Epilepsy

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    Megan Glosson

    How Roe v. Wade Being Overturned Harms People With Health Conditions

    This past Friday, the Supreme Court voted five to four in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. This landmark court decision from 1973 established the constitutional right to abortion. Now, individual states will get to decide whether or not they will allow abortion. People across the country are experiencing mixed feelings about this perplexing court ruling. However, many people, including the justices who voted in favor of overturning the court’s previous ruling on the matter, are not thinking about the way in which this decision will impact the millions of American women and people with a uterus who live with chronic health conditions. So, here are just some of the people the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States failed to consider when they overturned Roe v. Wade and all but outlawed abortion for over half of the states in our country. 1. The Transplant Recipients Whose Medications Make Pregnancy Problematic Although it is possible for a transplant recipient to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, there are many potential complications. First and foremost, many anti-rejection medications can cause birth defects that would make life unsustainable for the fetus. They can also build up to toxic levels in the fetus’ bloodstream, which can lead to other complications. Although there are some medications that are safe for the fetus, any change in immunosuppressants must be made gradually so doctors can measure if these medications are actually doing their job (because not every medication works for every person). Also, because medication levels are based on weight, pregnancy can impact the medication levels in a way that leads to organ rejection during the pregnancy, making it a life-threatening situation for parent and fetus. 2. The People Whose Autoimmune Disorder Could Cause Complications Many autoimmune disorders cause your immune system to attack healthy tissue. This means that a pre-existing autoimmune disorder can interfere with the pregnancy by harming the fetus. Even if the autoimmune disorder allows the pregnancy to continue, the mother’s antibodies can enter the fetus’s system and disrupt its development and growth. Furthermore, some people don’t even know they have an autoimmune disorder until their pregnancy triggers it. In these cases, a person may find that being pregnant is interfering with their life so much that it’s not possible to continue living while pregnant. 3. Those Who Live With a Genetic Disorder That Could Prove Fatal for the Baby Living with a rare disease is not an easy road. However, some genetic disorders can be fatal, and passing them down to a child can increase the risk of fatality for the baby. These conditions include Huntington’s disease, vascular EDS (vEDS), cystic fibrosis, Marfan’s syndrome, and many other genetic disorders that someone can either have or be a carrier for. Even if the baby makes it through delivery, they will have a hard life (assuming they can sustain life). 4. The People Whose Endometriosis Caused an Ectopic Pregnancy People with endometriosis are twice as likely to experience ectopic pregnancies than the average person. Unfortunately, there’s zero possibility of an ectopic pregnancy becoming viable, no matter what marvels of modern medicine an OBGYN can perform. Usually, ectopic pregnancies are treated with injections that end the pregnancy or surgery to remove the fallopian tube. Either way, these life-saving medical procedures can be considered forms of abortion, and would now be punishable by law in some states. This means that people could face jail time for something completely out of their control just because they chose to save their own life. And without Roe v. Wade, there’s nothing a person can do about it if their state’s court system decides to rule against them. 5. Those Whose Cancer Treatment Would Affect the Fetus Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring type of cancer for women, and breast cancer rates are on the rise for women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, many of the recommended forms of cancer treatment can cause harm to a fetus and are not compatible with pregnancy. There are instances where a pregnant person with cancer can either wait until after their child is born to undergo treatment or select treatment methods that are least harmful to the fetus. However, there are also times when someone may need to decide whether it’s better to end a pregnancy during the early stages so they can undergo cancer treatment, or risk bringing a baby into the world while also dying. It’s not an easy decision to make either way, but the overruling of Roe v. Wade now makes it even more challenging. 6. The People Who Live With Mental Health Conditions That Require Daily Medications There are countless mental health conditions that require daily medications. Some of these conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. However, even with the wide variety of available medications out there for each and every single mental health condition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still says a majority of these medications are not safe during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Whether a pregnancy was planned or unexpected, a pregnant person who uses one or more psychiatric medications may be forced to decide whether or not they want to expose their fetus to the risks associated with the medication. In many cases, these medications can cause harmful birth defects or even harm the fetus in a way that makes life unsustainable. Therefore, these individuals need as many choices as possible available to them, including the right to terminate the pregnancy if that’s what they and their medical team feel is best. 7. Those Whose Epilepsy Puts Them At Risk for a Stillbirth Women with epilepsy are up to three times as likely to have a pregnancy that results in stillbirth than women who do not live with epilepsy. Sometimes, there’s no way of knowing whether they will experience a stillborn birth, whereas other times an OBGYN may no longer detect signs of life before the pregnant person even hits the third trimester. Without the option to abort, these individuals will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term even though the fetus will no longer grow and develop. 8. The People Who Almost Died With Their First Baby and Don’t Want to Go Through That Again There’s a lot that is still unknown about how pregnancy impacts the body. Conditions like pre-eclampsia are largely undetectable until it’s too late, as are other rare pregnancy complications. However, people who experience these issues during their first pregnancy are more likely to experience them again. This means a person may take active measures to avoid additional pregnancies. Unfortunately, no form of birth control is foolproof, and a person can still end up pregnant even when actively avoiding it. Should these individuals have to go through the same hell they endured during their first pregnancy if they don’t have to? And is that really someone else’s choice to make? 9. The Trans Man Who Would Struggle With the Dysphoria of a Pregnancy Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, trans men can do many things to counteract the gender dysphoria they experience. However, up to 30 percent of trans men still experience unplanned pregnancies. These pregnancies can lead to depression and other concerns due to the mixture of dysphoria and judgment from society. Before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, trans men could decide whether or not they wanted to go through with a pregnancy. Now that it is overturned, trans men in states with abortion laws in place may have no choice, and this combined with the stigma they likely already face due to society’s general view of the trans community in their geographic location, could cause depression and suicide rates to climb even more. This list isn’t exhaustive. However, it does provide a view into just how many people will be impacted due to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In many cases, people who live with health conditions are already marginalized and mistreated by medical providers and society as a whole. Now they may face even more problems and harsh judgment just for making decisions that can help them continue to live. This isn’t the type of treatment anyone deserves, especially people who already have to fight for their right to live day in and day out.

    Community Voices

    Scared

    I’m in hospital EMU (epilepsy monitoring unit) and this is my 6th night. I got told tonight to prepare for discharge tomorrow. It’s not guaranteed but that it’s likely. I’m struggling. I have so much going on ME, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Pelvic Dysfunction, IBS and now tomorrow I’m going to get another to add to the list. Either epilepsy or non epileptic seizure disorder. Before coming here I thought if I got epilepsy diagnosis I’d be happy. It’s a truly diagnosed clear illness with medication to control it. Good news and different from so many of my diagnosis over the last 4 years. Now having been in a ward with people who have been living with epilepsy for years I realize it’s not that straight forward at all. It’s a hard road and very trial and error. But however horrible it may sound the alternative just sounds awful too. Another diagnosis with no clear cause and no clear method of stopping me from having seizures. Another diagnosis that steps me away from getting back to the life I should be living at 32.

    I apologize for what probably comes across as a real winge and feel awful for those living with epilepsy that I might have been thinking to wish the diagnosis upon myself seems so awful.

    I just need to try and clear my head to allow myself to sleep and so thought I’d put it out to the ether.

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Diagnosis

    I'm diagnosed with bipolar depression, savior anxiety, PTSD, and epilepsy. I can't be medicated for my mental health because I'm pregnant. I feel crewed up in the head for needing medication but I'm also scared that my child will have the same illnesses I do. This is my first child and I'm just afraid that I'm not gonna be able to be a good mother because of my illnesses. #BipolarDisorder #PTSD #Anxiety #Depression #Epilepsy

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Just can’t hold down a job

    So I lost my job today because I’m unable to do certain things in my job role due to potentially having epilepsy. I don’t know what to do now as I’m pregnant no one will hire me and I don’t feel sick enough to get disability #Depression #Anxiety #Epilepsy

    9 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is Sammigirl. I'm here because I am a mom That recently lost my special needs daughter who is 21 but mentally about three I also have a special needs son that is 27 he has autism my daughter had epilepsy autism to walk-in and lots of other illnesses
    Her name is Samantha we called her Sammy Hence the name Sammigirl
    #MightyTogether #Migraine #Grief #ADHD #Fibromyalgia

    10 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is msrajenkins. I've been diagnosed with epilepsy

    #MightyTogether

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Having a difficult evening and past few days…

    Struggling with fears of being inept and always feeling like I’m dropping the ball somewhere. While I also struggle with deepening depression and fear from ptsd I want to talk to a friend or reach out to someone somewhere or even scream but I always remain silent and now I feel more stuck than ever! I can always give great advice to friends and I’d drop everything anytime at a moments notice to help anyone truly but when it comes to be I can not take my own words to heart I offer to others….I feel lost and alone!🥹😢😶

    #PTSD  #Depression  #NotGoodEnough #help #ADHD  #Epilepsy  #Migraine 

    7 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    2 Steps Forward 6 Steps Backwards

    Do you ever feel like every time you make any progress with your illness/disease you win a little then it knock you so much father back that you will never get back to were you were before?

    So I have FND which means my nerves and brain function abdominally and communicate about as well as toddlers playing the telephone game. Add in a sprinkle of Tourettes Syndrome and Sensory Processeing Disorder, Migraine, Dyskinesia, Dystonia, and we are currently exploring epilepsy. All this results in me being confined to a wheelchair at least 85% of the time and need to be supervised if I am not. Along with eating difficulties, communication problems ect...

    I have to go in for occupational therapy and physical therapy once a year to help me maintain quality of life. Sometimes we add speech or cognitive to spice things up if I need it . All these therapies are great and can act as kinda a filter on how to adapt my life to limitations and give some good ideas on how to make life easier within my limitations my body has placed on me. However it always feels like we make a little progress with them and once I "graduate" out of them (stop making progress usually after a the first 2 months) my body starts to decline again even though I countue to do my home programs (hey I want as much quality of life as I can get I mean I turn 20 in the fall I will take what I can get). This happens with me staring to fall more, my hands start to get weaker, I drop more weight, ect.

    2 steps forward 6 steps back.

    Every time. It seems like I am on this never ending loop of yes some progress. Whap out of no where I get worse ...

    2 steps forward 6 steps back.

    It's like this dance me and my body play. Oh you gonna work to try and get better. Sike now your worse enjoy the new wheels.

    2 steps forward 6 steps back.

    Around and around we continue this dance and we can't seem to figure out why this downward spiral keeps happening. Like I'm not gonna keep fighting for my quality of life but man would I like to stop this dance or at least hit pause for a bit.

    2 steps forward 6 steps back

    It's exhausting. I just moved and my new pcp asked if I had made any progress on getting better and it hit me that no actually I keep getting worse and my symptoms keep getting more debilitating as time goes on. So now we redo all the testing and redo all the things to see if anything has changed...

    2 steps forward 6 steps back.

    Anyway I'm just excused with everything. I'm still gonna try and still gonna give it everything I got which honestly isn't much at this point. Still gonna give it a go. Got to continue this dance in homes that some day it will be 6 steps forward and 2 steps back instead.

    #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #ChronicFatigue #ocupationaltherapy #PhysicalTherapy #notmakingprogess

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    Overthinking and drowning🫠

    So it’s one in the morning, I’m in too much pain to sleep, and now I’m overthinking. It just hit me that not only can I die at any time, but next week my friends and the people I grew up with will be graduating and I won’t be up there with them. Because I had to drop out, take a year off, fail. I know I made this choice last summer and I was upset about it, about the fact I wouldn’t get a prom or a diploma, but God, it just hit me. I’m barely functioning, my parents think I’m not trying enough and my friends are all being successful and travelling for college or moving out or getting better jobs and I can’t even remember to eat on time! I can’t work! I can’t take care of myself! And oh my god, am I failure?
    #Epilepsy #Sudep #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #LivingWithPOTS #ChronicIllness #TheDisabledLife #Depression #severeanxiety #Insomnia #MentalHealth #disassociation #Schizophrenia

    16 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Seizures

    <p>Seizures</p>
    2 people are talking about this