In her Kansas City apartment, where she enjoys making bracelets and playing Bingo, Peggy Ann Bell has celebrated several milestone events – turning 70 in 2017 – and eliminating a lifetime of epileptic seizures.
After 6 decades of managing the challenges of epilepsy, seizures and their after-effects, Peggy is progressing toward seizure freedom.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Peggy crossed the country at 8 years old to live with her aunt in Sacramento, California. While there, Peggy experienced a traumatic brain injury that would trigger the first seizure of many that would plague her for decades. Once she was well enough to travel, she returned to her mother in Arkansas, and they began to look for a doctor to treat Peggy's epilepsy.
"Those seizures were difficult to get under control," Peggy says. "I finally saw a doctor who prescribed Dilantin. I would take that medication for the next 56 years."
While Peggy believed that stressful situations could incite her seizures and did her best to avoid such triggers, the seizures only worsened. She experienced 1 or 2 seizures every month, and the after-effects of each would last for 2 to 3 days.
"They were never under control," she says. "They just got worse and worse."