Thursday, March 25, 2010

Purple Shirt Day

I thought it would be wise to do this one the day before so you can all get into it on the day. Tomorrow is Purple Shirt Day. It's the international day to wear a purple shirt and be aware of Epilepsy world wide. Epilepsy has been described as a short circuit in the brain. A wiring problem. All kinds of things. However, there's a multitude of cultural differences in how it's explained across the globe. For me, my brain just works differently to others... a lot differently.

When I asked one of neurologists to show me on an EEG print-out where my brain went wrong, he pointed out a little ^ which should have been pointing down the other way. I was amazed such a little thing could screw things up; but it did.

I'm still amazed.

Being born with the condition, my life hasn't always been ideal. I've had some bad times. During my childhood, I remember going to get blood tests many times during my school years; and detesting it. As I got older, needles became a fear I couldn't control; however I found ways around the pain of them and when I talked to the nurses, they told me how to prevent how much the tests hurt. And I can tell you now, water has a lot do to with how much a blood test will hurt. If you drink about four glasses of water beforehand (about two hours before), you'll feel less pain. Honestly, you will.

However, as I entered my 20's - and wanted to drink, smoke and party, my condition came back. I had also burnt myself out after returning from a trip overseas (something I don't recommend to anyone. The burnout, not the overseas trip). It's taken me since the age of 19 until now to get myself worked out and my brain organised. And now, I have been seizure free for 6 years only yesterday. A lot of that has to do with new medications, my lifestyle and how I deal with stress.

And all I ask you to do tomorrow is wear a purple shirt for the day. It's so you and others around you can be aware of how many people around you have this condition; and believe me, it's more common than you think.

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