My first seizures...

I had my first obvious seizure when I was about 10 years old. I was squatting down colouring in front of the family's black and white television (yes I am old enough to remember black and white televisions!). I made a loud cry as I rolled backwards onto the floor and banged my head. My body went rigid and colour drained from my face. My breathing became shallow and at one point it looked to my poor Mum that I had stopped breathing. The next thing I knew I was waking up in casualty. After my second seizure an appointment was made for me to see a neurologist. By the time my appointment came I had had three seizures.

My parents were upset that I had been diagnosed with Epilepsy. I was given Epilim (Sodium Valproate) to control my seizures. Mum and Dad were relieved that I had been put on Epilim because at the time many of the alternatives had sedative side effects and they thought that I was already enough of a zombie as I was.

My parents tried very hard not to let the Epilepsy rule my life. My best friend at school was an inspiration, she had a physical disability (caused by a motor accident). She never let this hold her back, she had the most happy personality I have ever known and was probably the most popular person in the class. My Epilepsy was nothing in comparison.

That does not mean I had an easy time accepting my Epilepsy. I did not like the way that it affected my freedom or the way it made me feel different. I certainly hated the seizures! It is just that my friend made me keep a sense of perspective on things (and on a bad day, helped me to try and get a sense of perspective back on my situation).

My parents tried very hard not to be over protective, this was hard when they had to make decisions regarding whether I would be safe to ride my bike on the road or not. If in doubt they asked my neurologist, in the case of the cycling, he said that I was less likely to have a seizure if my brain was active and it is good for me to have the exercise. My parents agreed but I had to let them know where I was going and also avoid busy roads.

Not everything about Epilepsy is bad news. The black and white television was a trigger for my seizures, so we got a new colour one. Showers are safer than baths so we had a shower fitted. I was not allowed to lock the bathroom door and if I did have a bath, my parents would get me to sing out loud because if they could hear me then they would know that I was alright.

My story so far... on the section you want to read next.

photo for my 1st seizures
Photo for School Days
Photo for Teacher Training College
Pupil drawn teacher picture
Pupil drawn computer picture
My Wedding Photo
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My first seizures...
School days
Teacher Training College
Epilepsy and my career
Why Epilepsy Support?