Hi there Sand and Welcome to HealingWell,
Being diagnosed with Epilepsy (or any orther Chronic condition for that matter) is a hard blow to take... and if it means the end of your career then that would be even harder. 2+ seizures would normally mean you were epileptic and the fact that you had a seizure while you were not pregnant would indicate that it was not the hormones causing it (although they may have triggered anythe onset of the epilepsy). Epilepsy can strike anybody at any age. Its not racist or sexist... it is no more prevelant in white, black or asian people or in males / females. The thing is that if you accept you are epileptic, that doesnt mean that it should rule your life. As with any chronic condition: you rule it... not the other way around. You may have to make adjustments.
One thing that does surprise me (Bearing in mind that you have seen a doctor, a neurologist AND a professor) is that NOBODY has given you an EEG (ElectroEncephaloGram). They are usually the first thing that doctors use in the UK to diagnose epilepsy. You can do a short one (about half an hour I think) or you can do video EEG's, 24-Hour EEG's etc... I have to be honest and say it sounds like epilepsy but I am not a professional. I would ask for an EEG to be done before I resigned myself to anything, but be warned that epilepsy wont always show up on an EEG. (It does usually but if the "epi-centre" of the seizure is deep within the brain, it wont always pick it up). Finally, can I ask what you career is? I am interested to know how epilepsy affects it. Whether you are epileptic or not, you are no less of a person and certainly not a freak as some people label us. Please keep talking to us and if you need to know anything... just ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question if you dont know the answer.
All the Best
I dont think there is anything selfish in the way you are aproaching this. I think 95% of people who are diagnosed with epilepsy probably react in the same way. I can give you all the information in the world... I know quite a bit about epilepsy, medications and UK law etc... so if you want to know something, just ask (Or shoot me an email... my address is on my profile - just click my name). As for help accepting epilepsy, I can understand how difficult it is. I am a very organised person and the unknown still gets to me ocassionally (Even after nearly 8 years). Im not sure how I can help you do that. Its very much an individual thing. For me, knowledge helped me accept it. For others it is something different. If I can help in any way, please tell me. As for the career, I can see how it is causing a problem. I dont think there is going to be any way round it since (As you say) the law is very strict about such things. Perhaps there is another tangent you can go off into within the marine industry (Such as research). Obviously someone else sails the boat but there is nothing to stop you heading a research team as far as im aware. Thats just one idea. You know the industry far better than I do so perhaps there are other ideas out there too.
I think the 3-4 day EEG's are the best kind of EEG really since they catch you as close to real life as possible in a controlled manner. It is worth taking the time out of work to get it done. If they can find a specific trigger for you, then that might be an advantage for you so that you know how to avoid the seizures.
I should have also said that I suspected that the 1st test ordered, the sleep study, was done because he was the head of the sleep center and I guess that it detects problems for most people. Based on what I know now, the considerably less expensive (to say the least) sleep-deprived eeg should have been recommended first. This would be especially preferred when you don't have the funds or easy access to the sleep center.
Let us know how it is going.