Living through lockdown- Emma’s epilepsy update - Epilepsy Queensland - share your story

Living through lockdown- Emma’s epilepsy update

We caught up with our UK friend Emma recently, who is currently living through a three-month lockdown in the UK due to COVID-19. You may remember we shared Emma’s story last year. Despite being a UK citizen, her epilepsy journey actually began in Australia, in her teens, when she experienced a severe tonic-clonic seizure on a Mooloolaba beach.

Emma, now 31, will be three years seizure-free on February 22! She also shares with us what it has been like for her during lockdown:

“Lockdown has been pretty difficult this time around, I haven’t been able to see my friends for over two months as they are vulnerable with their own health. I walk my dog a lot, speak to people frequently and have ongoing therapy to support my mental health and wellbeing throughout this challenging time. COVID-19 has been challenging for our county but hopefully, times will be changing now there are vaccines being administered.”

Fortunately, Emma has been able to continue with her essential medical appointments, however, her medical care has been impacted by the lockdown.

She explains: “It’s been a challenge finding coping methods with adapting to doing appointments remotely through a mix of phone calls and FaceTime instead of in-person. I feel very fortunate that these appointments are still happening however I am missing the face-to-face aspect as this makes a big difference for me.”

Lockdown limitations and lessons

Other challenges Emma describes is missing her freedom and independence: “it isn’t safe to go out with my friends as we’d normally do.” She also misses working (Emma was an essential worker during the first lockdown) although she is due to start a new job soon.

Emma says there have been valuable lessons too: “I’ve learned that I feel pretty content with being in my own company. I do miss being out and about with my friends but also like having quality time to myself especially during these later lockdowns.”


A terrific epilepsy advocate

Emma has been involved with her local epilepsy organisation, Epilepsy Society:

“I’m incredibly passionate about the Epilepsy Society. During the last couple of months, I spoke to some medical students about the impact of medications on a long term health condition and invisible illness. I was also asked, as one of just 20 people, to participate in a virtual Christmas card that was sent to the Queen as she is the patron of the charity.”

Emma also has an Instagram account where she shares her experiences towards raising awareness of epilepsy. “This is such a positive outlet for me in being able to support awareness but also express how I feel.”

“Ultimately I feel the epilepsy community needs to keep safe and well during this time. Some of us are more vulnerable than others and you just need to do what you can to keep yourself healthy and well.”

Stay safe Emma and thanks for checking in with us. You can find Emma on the ’gram @capturing.epilepsy.

Epilepsy Queensland