Epilepsy & Concerts
Going to concerts & epileptic? here's the guide for you!
Attending concerts and shows is something that I do a lot. From Stadium concerts to free basement shows, I will be in the crowd if there is live music. When I was diagnosed with light-sensitive epilepsy, I struggled to balance keeping myself safe during shows while still trying to enjoy them. The first concert I attended after being diagnosed ended with me in the healthcare area having seizures and missing most of the show. The most recent concert I attended still landed me in the healthcare area, but just for a few minutes until I was ready to get out into the crowd and continue to mosh and dance. These times span about four years, so I'm going to share how I was able to come up with a safety plan to enjoy concerts as someone with light-sensitive epilepsy!
Where to Start:
For me, the most important info I need to be aware of is the following:
"Do I have someone who knows my condition at the concert?"
I am 17 and go to quite a few shows on my own. I usually have an adult somewhere if I need help, but they don't always sit with me. That being said, having someone familiar with your condition is important. I highly suggest always having a buddy, especially if your seizures are uncontrolled or happen daily. But as I mentioned, it's still possible to attend a show without a close friend or family member. Trust your gut because no two seizure disorders are alike.
"If not, How will I have my medical info on me?".This might be one of, if not the most important, points. Whether you are attending alone or with someone you know, the details(meds, type of seizure, when to call 911, medical allergies, etc.) must be somewhere on you. I use the Medical ID on my iPhone, but I know other apps do the same thing."Will this show include triggers for my seizures?"It's hard to predict what will trigger your seizures, but it's helpful to identify things that have triggered you in the past. In my case, I know that flashing lights, dehydration, and temperature are big triggers. So, I plan to bring sunglasses to help with the lights, stay hydrated by drinking LOTS of water before, and choose an outfit that will help me not overheat. I also bring my rescue meds.
Tips and Tricks
I mentioned a few things above that helped me, but I want to create a list of more general things:
-Bring sunglasses if you are light-sensitive.
-If you are bringing in medication, look up the venue's rules, and if there are none, the safe bet would be to get them in a prescription bottle.
-Find out if you can bring water into the venue; if not, make sure there is a way to get some. (A secret to getting free water is telling someone that you are epileptic and need some water cause you don't feel good. But you didn't hear that from me :))
-If you aren't feeling well, TAKE A BREAK!! I cannot stress this enough. It's something I still struggle with, and I know it's difficult to feel angry that you have this disability hindering you but if you don't feel good, sit down.
-Locate the health bay/area if there is one at your venue.I want to end this post on a high note because I know it's frustrating having to prepare for something that's supposed to be a carefree, amazing time. Have fun!!
These tips are just something to keep in the back of your head. They aren't meant to restrict you from having fun. I know it can be intimidating not to know how your seizures will act, and I want to share some pictures from when I had seizures but was able to keep moving
. 1/2This was after I was pulled out of the crowd from seizing. I took my meds, drank an entire bottle of water, sat down for 10 minutes, and returned to the show!4This one. I met yungblud! And how did that happen, you might ask? I had a bad headache and was looking for shade when I stumbled upon a free meet and greet! Sometimes things work in funny ways :)
As you can see, I chose to stay out of the crowd. It was frustrating, but I had a bad concussion and was having seizures so being able to take a step back was what I had to do. Bad religion was playing and it was cool to enjoy from a different perspective!
This was after I was pulled out of the crowd from seizing. Took my meds, drank an entire bottle of water, sat down for 10 minutes and got right back to the show!
This is another time I was pulled from the crowd for seizing. So, I took my meds, drank some water, sat down & got back out after 10 min!