I became interested in epilepsy very soon after I started my Neurology residency. The intricacies of the disease, the ability to make a meaningful difference in terms of treatment and quality of life, and the wonderful patients that I get to see that have been diagnosed with this chronic condition have made me want to work harder and learn more every day.
I specifically developed an interest in treating women with epilepsy while I was in my Epilepsy fellowship. I realized that this was a population of people that was often overlooked but really needed to be cared for differently. Picking the right type of contraception, becoming pregnant, talking about breastfeeding, discussing how hormones affect epilepsy, and making steps towards protecting bone health should all be a part of a normal discussion for a woman with epilepsy, and often times this is not the case. I have always felt that having more knowledge about a diagnosis leads to power over that diagnosis, and I would love for each of my patients to feel more empowered.
When I joined Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, I decided to form a partnership with Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), and soon developed the Epilepsy Pregnancy Clinic. This is a clinic that allows me to focus on women that have epilepsy and that are pregnant. Working side by side with the MFM group, we are able to provide more comprehensive care to our patients that become pregnant. This clinic’s development has been exciting for me and I hope to expand this clinic one day into a clinic that is specifically designed for all women with epilepsy.
Of course, none of the above would have happened without my family. I am lucky to have an extremely supportive and loving husband. I also am a new mom to a 9 month old little boy who gives me more joy than I thought possible. I know that having a support system like this has been the driving force to reaching my goals, and so I hope to provide some part of a support system to each patient I see.