Monday, March 26, 2012

Epilepsy Awareness Day

Today is a special day.  Besides it being a Monday, the beginning of the working week, it's also Epilepsy Awareness Day.  This is a special day of the year where all over the world, we all wear purple shirts, clothes and anything else we want to show our support and bring awareness to this brain condition; and to bring it out of the shadows.
It's a very hidden condition because it's not always diagnosed properly and some people can be born with it while others have sporting injuries or car accidents and it is forced upon them.  I've heard of women who have been in good health for their whole lives and when they hit menopause, it happens to them.  This condition isn't a very fair thing to have as when you're sick, you're horribly sick; but when you're well, people think you're 'cured' and you can just go off your pills and you'll be fine.  Now, all of you who are my friends and are reading this know I can't do this (and yes, I do have this condition) with my medications and don't intend to.  However, I have met people who think that because the seizures go away that I'm okay now... that my brain is fixed up so I can go off the medicine.  No, it's doesn't work that way.  Never has and never will.
And Epileptic's brain - one who is born with the condition - is wired completely differently to a normal brain.  With medication, it will work like a normal brain, however you take the medication away, and it won't.  There are people out there who are going to say to me that there's no such thing as normal anymore, but unless you suffer from this condition, and you take the medications I do, and live my life and walk a couple of miles in my shoes, you don't know what it's like.  And until you do, please don't talk to me about being normal.  I asked my neurologist to help me get back to how my life was in high school - that normal where I could sleep in until 10am and eat what I wanted - and she helped me.  I am now very close to being that normal, but I'm on medications twice a day, I take vitamin supplements, I'm a vegetarian and I don't eat junk food.  I'm very careful about what I eat when I go out as I can't have artificial sweeteners, MSG or most food additives because I have a reaction to them.  Anyway, I don't eat out because I can't afford it on a Disability Support Pension.  So, I've learned to cook a good percentage of my meals at home; and have become a very good cook.
However, I do have my talents.  I'm a writer and an artist.  And even though I'm not good at maths, I'm able to keep time with music and sing and play two instruments - the flute and a little of the piano.  In recent years, I've been getting into gardening to help with keeping myself physically fit.  Besides, I love to get my hands dirty; and it's a lot of fun designing something and using my mind.
So, today, wear something purple and remember and bring awareness to Epilepsy.  It's a hidden and not well-known - yet very common - brain condition that isn't well-controlled.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here. 

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