Stacey Chillemi Epilepsy and Pregnancy

ISBN 13: 9781932603156

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

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9781932603156: Epilepsy and Pregnancy
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Approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from epilepsy; of these, more than one million are women of child-bearing age. With concerns about everything from medication-related birth defects to falls during seizures, many of these women are fearful of having children. The good news is that, with proper prenatal care, more than 90% will deliver healthy babies.Epilepsy and Pregnancy gives readers the basic facts they need to help them make medical decisions throughout preconception, pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the early days after childbirth. Topics include preconception, fertility, pregnancy risks, risks to the fetus, nutrition, keeping fit, what to expect during pregnancy, fetal development, and labor and delivery.

In addition, the book includes guidelines for the use of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy, recommendations and questions to ask their neurologist, recommended daily allowances by age group, glossary, and much more. Epilepsy and Pregnancy is an essential guide for any woman who suffers from epilepsy and desires to have a child.

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From the Author:

As one of the non-fiction genre's most successful authors, Stacey Chillemi enjoys an ever-expanding and tremendously loyal following.

Her books regularly appear on Amazon's best-seller lists and have sold more than 50,000 copies. Chillemi's most recent original paperback, The Complete Herbal Guide: Heal Your Body Naturally and Maintain Optimal Health Using Alternative Medicine, Herbals, Vitamins, Fruits and Vegetables (December 2012) debuted at # 1 on Amazon's best-seller list and has been rated five stars from  numerous readers who purchased the book.

 
Chillemi's first published book, Epilepsy You're Not Alone in 1998, helped millions of people understand and cope with their disorder enabling them to live a happy, healthy and productive life. Since that time, Chillemi has published numerous non-fiction and fiction books including The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body, Epilepsy and Pregnancy: What Every Woman Should Know, Co-authored by Dr. Blanca Vasques, M.D., Faith, Courage, Wisdom, Strength and Hope, Natural Cures for Common Conditions and The Secrets of Happiness and Success: The Power Of Positive Thinking.

Her love affair with non-fiction and with health genre in general, began during her junior year of college when she was having faced by numerous obstacles due to her epilepsy disorder.  Hoping and praying that she would be able to finish college and not let her epilepsy disorder get the best of her, she decided to research her disorder hoping to find out more about her disorder and ways to cope with it. 

Sadly, there were not many books written about epilepsy during that era.  The few books written were by doctors and the medical terminology flew right over your head.  Determined to find the answers to my questions, "How can I graduate college when I am constantly having seizures?", "How can I become a success in life and not let epilepsy destroy my hopes and dreams?", "How do people with epilepsy cope with their disorder?"

I decided to write an article to epilepsy foundation and asked them to publish it.  I wanted to learn how others coped with their disorder. I received hundreds of letters from all over the United States and Canada. I decided to use the knowledge I gained to help myself  and others by writing a self-help book called, Epilepsy You're Not  Alone.  Writing that book changed my life.  Letters poured out from readers thanking me for writing the book.  I never realized how powerful words could be.  My greatest gift was not figuring out how to help myself, it was being able to help others who struggled from the same problem.  There is no greater gift in life than the gift of giving. 

I graduated college, received an Associate's Degrees in Business, and then went on to receive a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Advertising, but in the end, I changed my career choice to journalism. I graduated Richard Stockton College in 1996. 

I began writing seriously in 1994, penning the manuscript that would become Epilepsy You're Not Alone. I held many jobs during those first years as a writer, finally settling in (much to our delight) to write full time in 2000.

Chillemi is an active member of her community and helps organizations in New Jersey.  She has written features for journals and newspapers. Her articles have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines in North America and abroad. She won an award from the Epilepsy Foundation of America in 2002 for her help and dedication to people with epilepsy.

Born in 1972, Chillemi was born in New York and lives in New Jersey with her husband Michael, and their three children, Michael, Alexis and Anthony. The family pets include two Shih Tzu's, Rocco and Princess, and two birds Elmo and Tweedy.

When she is not writing, Chillemi chases after his three Shih Tzu's, takes long walks, hits the gym, and goes to all her kids' football, soccer, wrestling, basketball and cheerleading practices and games.

From the Inside Flap:

Living life with epilepsy can be a colossal struggle. But, if you are Stacey Chillemi, it is a challenge and an opportunity to help others. Stacey Chillemi is a mother of three, a wife and writer. Her journey and reason for being is defined each day by the happiness in her children's eyes and the people with epilepsy she has helped through her writing.


"Through this experience with epilepsy I have learned to accept my limitations and to change the way I look at things. Through my writing I am able to help others and just knowing I've helped is enough of a reward," said Chillemi. How it Began At five years of age, Chillemi contracted encephalitis from what doctors' surmise began as an ear infection. For four days she lay in a coma and doctors were unsure of whether she would suffer from paralysis as well as the extent of the brain damage.


Fortunately, she recovered from her bout with encephalitis with no paralysis. However, she was left with epilepsy. Since her diagnosis, 27 years ago, Chillemi has had seizures ranging in severity from mild seizures in her sleep to tonic-clonic seizures. Living with Limitations As a mother of three and a woman with epilepsy, Chillemi is realistic about her limitations, "Having epilepsy and being a mom is difficult at times because I worry that if I have a seizure and I am unable to recover fast enough, that my kids will suffer," said Chillemi.


In fact, the entire time Chillemi has been a mother she has had only one tonic-clonic seizure resulting in serious injury. According to Chillemi, she was walking the dog with her children when she felt a seizure coming on. She immediately instructed the children to go inside and wait downstairs for her. Following the seizure, Chillemi realized she had suffered a head injury and reached out to a neighbor for help. After the tonic-clonic seizure Chillemi decided to write a children's book, called "My Mommy Has Epilepsy". Her goal was to help children understand epilepsy in an age appropriate way as well as to help dispel some of the fear she had witnessed her own children experience. "I don't want my children to get nervous or to worry about my seizures and the tonic- clonic seizure really motivated me to write a children's book to help them and other kids cope and understand epilepsy." She admits she is also limited by not being able to drive, but attributes her ability to ask for help when she needs it as one more lesson learned.


"At first it was difficult to rely on other people to drive the children and me places. I felt bad asking family and friends. But, now I've accepted my limitations and accepted who I am." Wisdom for Women Chillemi cautions women with epilepsy to monitor their stress level. "Don't try to accomplish too much. Do as much as you can and remember to set realistic goals and to reward yourself each day." She also believes that in order to live with epilepsy and maintain a positive attitude it is important to focus on one's self. " Don't look at what other people can do, only focus on yourself and your abilities because if you constantly compare, then you are adding to your stress level, which leads to being more physically drained and ultimately leaves you open to experience more seizures."


She advises women with epilepsy to educate themselves about their epilepsy and believes knowledge helps alleviate stress as well, "Women need to consult with their doctor, but not rely on their doctor for all of their information. In order to really feel empowered it is essential to take the initiative to learn all you can about epilepsy."

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