Jennie’s Embrace story - A mother with epilepsy now has peace of mind
For people diagnosed with epilepsy, one common aftermath of seizures is the Postictal state, which is characterized by confusion and temporary memory loss, such that patients do not remember where they are, what just happened, or when the seizure occurred.
For Jennie, it is no different.
She has had epilepsy her whole life, but was officially diagnosed in 2000. Her seizures progressively became worse, eventually developing to uncontrollable generalized tonic-clonic seizures. In her search for something to help, she came across the Embrace watch, which she refers to as her “memory buddy” because, aside from contacting caregivers when she’s having a seizure; it acts as her seizure diary, helping her document the exact times her seizures occurred, which she shares with her neurologist. She’s no longer scared of being alone with her kids at home, and is a successful homeschool teacher.
My name is Jennie. I am 37 years old from Cincinnati, Ohio. I was officially first diagnosed with epilepsy in 2000. After many consultations, it was determined I had been epileptic my whole life. I started out with just complex partial seizures and as time went on and I grew older, I had my first tonic-clonic seizure at the age of 18. I’ll never forget that morning, I was brushing my hair while getting ready for work and that was the last thing I remembered.
I was awoken to the sound of paramedics all around me in an ambulance on the way to the emergency room. There is no feeling worse than when you become coherent, and you wake up after having a tonic-clonic seizure. My seizures seemingly progressed and got worse. At that point my seizures had escalated to what is known as Refractory Epilepsy, which is a fancy medical term for Medicine Resistant Epilepsy.
On two occasions, I had seizures while home alone with my children.
Everyone around me grew scared to leave me alone for certain amounts of time, due to the fear of not knowing when a seizure would occur. A few years went by and I had 2 high-risk pregnancies. I tried to lead a simple life for my children, but I always worried about having a seizure when I was alone with them.
When my oldest was 6 years old, I was talking on the phone with a friend, I just stopped talking and fell to the floor in a tonic-clonic seizure. Thankfully, I was on speaker phone and my friend instantly started saying my name. My son picked up the phone and said to my friend “mommy is on the floor working out”.
He said that because my son had no idea what a tonic-clonic seizure was and what it looked like. My friend then immediately came to my aid. I was so thankful I was on the phone with someone or it would have ended up being me and my small children alone.
My seizures became so bad I wound up having a tonic-clonic seizure during a major surgery and had to get 5 blood transfusions because of it. After that episode in the hospital, I had another tonic-clonic seizure just 2 months later. This time my children were home alone with me again.
All I remember is laying out my daughters clothes for a family gathering and as I woke up confused and in pain from hitting my head, I saw my scared children on the phone trying to get me help. However, I had just recently moved to a new home so my children did not know the address.
I searched through several devices on the internet that could help, until I finally came across the Embrace.
After that, I searched all over for solutions that would be a safeguard so this situation would never happen again. For months I would skim through the internet finding devices and reviewing the many choices that claimed to aid in alerting someone that I was having a tonic-clonic seizure.
I thought it was a miracle when I stumbled upon the Embrace. I was so fortunate that this watch was available to individuals like me. I finally ordered my Embrace.
The delivery was fast and the set up was easy. I also joined several support groups on social media with members that also use the Embrace watch. This watch not only gave me peace of mind, but my family is just as grateful. I could actually become an individual again, able to be alone with my children without the fear of having a seizure.
This device offers so much more than detecting seizure activity, it takes note of when seizures occur, alerts caregivers, and most importantly tells them your location.
A week or so after my Embrace was set up and had started recording my activity, I showed my neurologist the Embrace. She was so thrilled about this device. I immediately was able to show her my seizure activity. So very often I refer to my Embrace as my “memory buddy”.
This device offers so much more than detecting seizure activity, it records when the seizures occurred, alerts caregivers, and most importantly tells them your location. I have had my Embrace for about 7 months now, and it has saved my life 4 times! That’s 4 times that I was alone and had a tonic-clonic seizure.
If it wasn’t for this miracle device there is no telling what the ending of my story would have been, or if I would even be here to tell it. I wear this Embrace everywhere I go, it is part of my daily outfit. I am now a successful homeschool teacher which I would have never been able to be before, because of the fact I was afraid to be alone with my children.
My epilepsy is still not controlled so I do not work outside of my home, but I have been taking the initiative to venture out independently a lot more, thanks to my Embrace. It makes me feel so safe and secure having it on. People ask me all the time what is the device on my wrist? I am so glad to tell them what it is, what it does, and how it helps me everyday. Every person I tell this story to is completely amazed by the invention of the Embrace. The Embrace saved my life and gave me some independence. I will forever be grateful, humble and thankful for the Embrace watch.
More Embrace Stories will be published soon! To share yours, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your story on Facebook or Instagram by tagging our page (respectively @Empatica on FB, @empatica_wearables on IG) or the hashtag #EmbraceWatch.