Seizures and Epilepsy have been around since the beginning of time, only people didn't have a name for it and they certainly didn't understand it. In ancient times, it was referred to as the "Falling Disease" or "Falling Sickness". Other people referred to seizures as fits or spells. The bottom line is, people didn't begin to understand it as a medical neurological issue until the 19th century and it has only been within the second half of the 20th century that the "bad" stigma of Epilepsy and seizures began to change and be more accepted. For instance, prior to the 1950's, a person with Epilepsy would not be given a job. Even today, some employers are still reluctant to hire an individual with Epilepsy. Without medication and a doctor's note, some individuals may not be able to drive.
The fear my character Evelina Boyd experiences in my second novel, Highland Sanctuary, is very real. It was my reality for the first five years of my motherhood--even with modern medications, science, technology, specialists and hospitals. I can only imagine what it would have been like for a parent in the late middle ages. Evelina would have not only fought her own fears in preserving the life of her child, but those of the world--especially that of the church--a place that should have been a safe sanctuary.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Update: After 11 years of being seizure-free and medication-free, my daughter's seizures returned 6 months after Highland Sanctuary was released on October 2011. These are Tonic-Clonic seizures (grand mal) where she loses consciousness, falls wherever she is at, and stops breathing for a short while. She was 14 years old. We believe the monthly migraines she experienced for a year were warning signs leading up to the return of her seizures, but we didn't know it at the time. After many tests, hospital and doctor visits, medication trials, we have discovered her seizures are due to a hormonal imbalance that adolescence brought on. Now my daughter is almost 17, and on a combination of meds and hormone therapy that has kept her seizure-free for two years with very few side effects. I thank God for modern medicine and technology.