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November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month



November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Amanda Moyer doesn’t know when the moment will come.

It happens three or four times a month. It could be when she’s working, watching television or taking a shower. Everything will be normal and then suddenly she’s gone.”When the seizures happen, my body shuts down,” said Moyer, 38, of Topton. “You space out. You’re unconscious.”Moyer is one of nearly 3 million people in the United States living with epilepsy. She’s been living with the disorder for 23 years.

She’s tried the drugs. She’s tried one surgery and is pondering another. Some treatments have worked better than others, but epilepsy is a big part of her life.”It’s one of the things you try to live your day,” she said. “We have to take all this medication to try and control seizures, and it doesn’t always happen that way. I’ve been through 12 medications and I’m still having seizures.”November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month.

For people like Moyer, it’s a chance to talk about a condition that draws less attention than other conditions, but is still very hard to live with. Moyer said she wished people knew more about the disorder that has affected her ability to drive, to work full time and to do the other things she wants to do.”One thing I can say about epilepsy is that it’s a life changer,” she said. “We really just want more awareness and want people to understand it more. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that epilepsy is no big deal.”

Having a seizure

There are different types of seizures, and some are more serious than others.

Usually you get no warning, Moyer said. You space out and then there’s no memory of that time, she said. Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain and may only last a few seconds.Moyer said sometimes her head will rock back and forth and she’ll bite her lip when she gets her seizure. It also can come with loss of consciousness, falling to the ground and muscle spasms.Focal seizures affect one area of the brain and can cause twitching or changes in taste and smell.

Other focal seizures begin in one part of the brain and spread to the sides.Moyer said you can’t just pick up where you left off before the seizure. Sometimes, it takes hours of rest to recharge.”You’re really not there,” Moyer said. “You’re so confused afterward. It’s not something you can just snap out of if it to go back to what you were doing.”The medicines to control the seizures have been hard on her body. At 38, she has osteoporosis, and she can’t have children due to the years of taking the medications. She said some of the other side effects include vision problems and just feeling drowsy all the time.”It’s hard to push through, but that’s what we have to do,” she said.

Sudden death

It’s relatively rare, but epilepsy can be deadly.

Cindy O’Donnell of Fleetwood knows about how serious the disorder can be.O’Donnell’s son Rourke died suddenly in August 2014 at 27. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was about 2 years old and tried for years to manage the disease.Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy happens in just over one in 1,000 cases, according to the CDC, and it’s not talked about much in doctor’s offices or in general, O’Donnell said.Usually, the exact cause of death is not known, but issues with breathing and heart rhythm can be contributing factors.

There are some things people with epilepsy can do to reduce their risk, such as avoiding seizure triggers, limiting alcohol consumption and getting enough sleep, the CDC says.”It’s not something that happens often, but it can definitely happen,” she said of unexpected death from epilepsy.O’Donnell said she hopes to do good work in her son’s name, organizing a retreat for adults with epilepsy and trying to raise awareness about the resources available for families.She wishes she had known about the 24/7 epilepsy nurse phone line that’s available through the national Epilepsy Foundation. Support groups can also help, she said.

Never give up

O’Donnell said finding the right medications can be a struggle for people with epilepsy. Many of the drugs that are supposed to curb seizures come with nasty side effects that affect mood, behavior, weight and much more.

Rourke had tried those medications. He also used a high-fat diet that helped control his seizures for a while, but the diet was not sustainable over the long term.A surgery to remove part of his left temporal lobe controlled his seizures for three years. A second one was unsuccessful.Despite his health challenges, her son received his bachelor’s degree from Alvernia University and was studying to get his master’s degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., at the time of his death.”My son was very brave, and never let his epilepsy deter him from achieving his goals,” his mom wrote in a letter about National Epilepsy Awareness Month.Moyer and Rourke were friends, and they shared many experiences with epilepsy, she said.

They had the same neurologist and had similar brain surgeries.”It was very hard,” Moyer said. “He was such a good friend. When people have gone through it, those people are like family. When you say you understand, we truly understand. Rourke was so smart, and he had so much going for him. We need more of those people around. I think about him every day.”Moyer said living with epilepsy changes everything. It’s very hard to hold a full-time job when you don’t know when your next seizure is coming. Driving is out of the question for the same reason because you never want to hurt someone else.

The medications can help some people, but don’t work for about a third of those with epilepsy.Still, despite those challenges, it’s important to keep fighting, Moyer said. She said she believes research could lead to a big breakthrough. The biggest hope is a cure.”I don’t give up,” she said. “I’ve lived with it for 23 years. The advances have really come along. Even when I had surgery in 2008, some of these advances weren’t around. I think that’s very important to never give up.”

Epilepsy Awareness Month fundraisers

What: A fundraiser for Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania

Where: Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, Village Square, 94 Commerce Drive, Spring Township

When: Wednesday, 5-9 p.m.

The restaurant is donating a portion of the proceeds from the night to the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania. Customers should bring their event flyers to give to the server.


What: Pancake breakfast and quilt raffle

Where: Dairy Queen, 5710 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township

When: Nov. 21, 8-11 a.m.

Tickets: $7

Support groups

Reading Hospital, Lancaster General and Lehigh Valley Hospital host support groups for people with epilepsy and seizure disorders.

For more information, visit the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania website or call 215-629-5003.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.


Woman, 24, With Cervical Cancer Given Months to Live After Docs Refused Smear Test Because She was ‘Too Young’

A WOMAN was told that she was “too young” for a smear test – only to be given months to live when docs finally discovered she had cervical cancer.



Woman, 24, With Cervical Cancer Given Months to Live After Docs Refused Smear Test Because She was ‘Too Young’

A WOMAN was told that she was “too young” for a smear test – only to be given months to live when docs finally discovered she had cervical cancer.

Katie Bourne started to suffer from belly pains, doctors assumed she had Crohn’s disease.

Then aged 24, docs refused to give her a smear test as she was too young.

Katie was finally diagnosed with stage-three cervical cancer back in February, when she was warned that unless she started treatment immediately, she’d only have 18 months left to live.

Katie told Teesside Live that all of her symptoms had pointed towards cervical cancer but that her referrals for smears were turned down because of her age.

She said she started to experience stomach pains in July last year and went her GP in November.

“They took some swabs and said I was booked in for a smear,” she told the site.

“But when I went back they said they weren’t going to do the smear and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

“The pain never went with the medication they gave me for that.”

In fact, after her cancer was picked up, it turned out that there was nothing wrong with her bowel at all.

In February, Katie collapsed in pain at her job at Next and spent the next three nights in hospital – where she was denied a smear again.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

The devastating thing about cervical cancer is that there are no obvious symptoms during the early stages.

But vaginal bleeding can often be a tell-tale sign – especially if it occurs after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.

Women are offered smear tests from the age of 25 which look for any abnormalities in the cervix, but if you are under the age bracket, and you notice any of the following symptoms, you’ve got to push for testing.

Other warning signs include:

  • pain and discomfort during sex
  • unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge
  • pain in your lower back or pelvis

And if it spreads to other organs, the signs can include:

  • pain in your lower back or pelvis
  • severe pain in your side or back caused by your kidneys
  • constipation
  • peeing or pooing more than usual
  • losing control of your bladder or bowels
  • blood in your pee
  • swelling in one or both legs
  • severe vaginal bleeding

“Because of my age I was still declined a smear and when the pains went they sent me home,” she said.

“My GP had sent two gynae referrals in the December and January but both were declined. All my symptoms have always been the same.

“And when I Googled them they always brought up cervical cancer.”

A third referral was accepted and a smear and scan confirmed Katie’s worst fears.

She was told that she had stage three cancer which had spread to both sides of her pelvis.

Katie began chemo last month, but docs don’t know how well she’ll respond to it yet.

Without treatment, her prognosis is just 18 months.

Now 25, she’s already set about making a bucket list.

Top of her list is marrying her partner of four years, Leighanne Prior.

The couple had planned to get hitched in Las Vegas in the next few years but following Katie’s diagnoses, they’ve decided to get wed next month at Middlesbrough Registry Office.

And in January, they’ll be honeymooning in the Maldives.

Another thing in the bucket list is to “finish all the Real Housewives series!”

Cheers For Smears

Fabulous has partnered with cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust to launch #CheersForSmears, a campaign aiming to ensure women across the UK attend their screenings, no matter what.

With around 3,200 women in the UK now being diagnosed with the disease every year – a number that is set to rise by around 40% within 20 years – and one in three dying from it, it’s clear we’re facing a cervical cancer time bomb.

Many say they can’t get convenient appointments to fit around their jobs.

In many surgeries, smear tests are only available at certain times or days, making it difficult for some women to book an appointment.

That’s why #CheersForSmears is calling on GPs to offer more flexible screening times and make testing available outside of office hours and at weekends.

We also want employers to play their part in helping to ensure that their female employees can attend potentially life-saving cervical screenings if they are unable to get an appointment outside of working hours.

Help get your employer involved by emailing


  • 5,000 women’s lives are saved a year in the UK by cervical screening
  • 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year
  • 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable
  • 870 women die every year in the UK from cervical cancer
  • 1 in 142 UK females will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime
  • 25-29 years peak rate of cervical cancer cases

Leighanne, 30, has taken time off work to help take care of Katie.

She told Teesside Live that because the pair have a young nephew and another one on the way, Katie is worried about whether they’ll remember her.

“But most of the time, she’s so positive, she’s been amazing.”

All women and people with a cervix are invited for smear tests every three years from the age of 25 to 64.

A smear test isn’t a test for cervical cancer, but detects changes in the cells of the cervix which can be a precursor to the disease.

Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated, so they don’t become cervical cancer.

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6 Scientific Tricks to Help you Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? Don’t lie in bed and stress about it. These science-proven tricks will help you get to sleep faster…



6 Scientific Tricks to Help you Sleep - Sostre News

Do you have trouble sleeping? Don’t lie in bed and stress about it. These science-proven tricks will help you get to sleep faster.

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“The Depravity of The Human Condition”

Driven with out love and purpose we lack the necessities to sustain human life. Through eyes of apathy homelessness is normalized as a chosen way of life…



"The Depravity of The Human Condition"

 “The Human Condition”


Despondency, starvation and lack cover the face of the earth

Driven with out love and purpose we lack the necessities to sustain human life.

Through eyes of apathy homelessness is normalized as a chosen way of life.

Depravity corrupts moral character diminishing compassion, and mercy.

loss of love is loss of life, people crave acceptance, support, love. interpersonal

relationships are opportunities for growth, maturity, insight and wisdom .

life experiences shape and mold character, without the proper elements to support

human life, we are susceptible to diseases both physically and spiritually.

atrocities darken the mind, and its eternal perception to see the good things

in life. destroying hope and potential, enslaving the mind to incorrect ways of

thinking. influencing the degeneration of moral conduct. impacting relationships,

creating heart ache and pain. destroying the fabric of relationships critical to our

emotional well being, drastically affecting emotional health. broken relationships

cripple our capacity to love. a closed unresponsive heart destroys inner life. making

you a slave to your own pain, causing great distress and spiritual blindness. that binds

the spirit that hinders it from expressing itself freely. erosion of love is malignant cancer

to the human soul. our heart is the core of who we are, our heart controls are thoughts

and actions. the heart most be protected and guarded in order to preserve the inner life

within us  the very essence of our spirit. we must be  careful of what we allow to enter

our hearts, music. television, the types of books we read  will mold us over time . like  water

over rocks the heart is a well spring of life’s issues, acting as a compass leading us along the

path of our destiny. the home of the higher self  created in the image of God


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