When Hemophilia Meets Epilepsy

Jared Formalejo avatar

by Jared Formalejo |

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It’s a struggle to balance life with two disorders. I need to take daily medications for epilepsy while also self-infusing to treat internal bleeds.

I recently suffered a horrible epileptic episode. My wife, Cza, and I were walking with our baby, Cittie, when I felt a strong aura warn me of an imminent seizure. I fell down a set of stairs that consisted of only four steps. I lost consciousness and woke up surrounded by mall staff and people giving me water while dragging me.

I usually have my mental script ready to explain my seizure by the time I regain consciousness. It usually involves reassuring the crowd that I’m OK — I just had a seizure thanks to a mild form of epilepsy. I wasn’t even aware that I fell down the stairs, nor did I know what injuries I sustained.

My first high-altitude fall rattled me. I didn’t realize until I went home that my right leg was tender. My knee was swollen and my calf was visibly bruised with a scar. I was unable to help Cza with work because I couldn’t walk around or leave the house. On the bright side, I was able to play with my daughter, dancing with her on the bed while watching “Sesame Street” and singing nursery rhymes.

I’ve since treated the injury, which has more or less healed, but I still have to wait for the bruise to fade.

columnist pic

My knee bruise. (Photo by Jared Formalejo)

Sometimes I lose consciousness and fall to the ground. Similar things occur: a crowd around me, followed by my dazed and confused explanation. I’ve scratched my face, bit my lips and tongue, and bruised my face by hitting the pavement before.

It’s not all bad. Since I have two chronic illnesses, complaining every time a medical crisis occurs would drive me insane. Sometimes I just have to inject some humor. Having a bruised face can be pretty embarrassing; I walk around with a swollen cheek and eye. But it’s OK if it makes people chuckle. At least I gave them a reason to laugh.

Sometimes, my injuries even give me reason to laugh. This past September, Cza and I applied for a membership to one of the bigger grocery stores in our city. I needed my picture taken for the membership card. It was bad timing because I had a swollen and purple face from a fall. Now I have a hilarious memento of that incident and can laugh about it whenever I look at the card. I survived.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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