My last two posts have given you an idea as to how it all began. The remainder will give you a proper insight as to how times changed considerably and how all who were involved had to change their lives to accomodate with this condition.
The years 1993-95 were without doubt a bloody nightmare!
I had been diagnosed with Epilepsy grand mal seizures to be precise. I didn’t have the foggiest what they were and why they wanted to come into my life. In my eyes it was all thanks to those Jammie dodgers!
I was fortunate that I didn’t have them on a daily basis however was informed by the Dr that I would get no warning signs and would need at least 48 hours to receover from each episode. I would also (like many others with the same condition) have to be trialed on various prescribed epileptic medication that I would be expected to take three times a day. I would continue with this ritual till they found “the one” I was also told that this medication would “keep fits at bay” and would help with everyday life.
During this time of my life I had more hospital appointments than I had hot dinners and was juggling attending school with visiting relatives and spending time with friends. Trying to understand what epilepsy is is so complex because you are always second guessing as to when the next seizure is going to hit you. The majority of the time I never thought I would actually be able train my mind to think differently. To be brutally honest with you I don’t think the Dr’s actually got to grips with my condition till I was a little older.
I met a significant amount of people who I found to be inspiring, caring and very loving some were older than me others the same age. Whilst on the hospital ward I met up with a few girls who had epilepsy far longer than I had and were coping extremely well. How on earth did they cope? How did they manage to maintain a positive outlook on life when they were having seizures every day?
They made me smile and to be honest I didn’t want to leave them as I was afraid that once I did I would have to cope with this on my own. Secondly if I did have another seizure I’d be straight back in that hospital bed with my family walking on egg shells again. Mind you I was thinking I might get a new pair of rollerblades as I got a mountain bike the last time! On a serious note I didn’t want to burden my family with that worry again. I hoped the seizures I had was a one off and that I wouldn’t ever have to put my family through that again.
So.. The medication started. Three times a day. It wasn’t a large dose but it was enough to give me a headache. I was never one who got a headache, I gave everyone else a headache by talking too much but never was one who actually got them. As a child I loved to dance and have a daft joke on with everyone I knew. I would jump up and down on my bed and dance in front of the mirror pretending to be my favourite singer. It was only when I was diagnosed that that changed slightly and I became a lot more intreverted. The worry had offiically sunk in.
Within two minutes of dancing my mother would come running up the stairs.
“Are you ok flower, I thought you were fitting” she’d say.
“No mam I’m fine, just mucking around. If there’s a problem I’ll give you a shout!”
This same statement would come out of my mam’s mouth for a further 15 years till I moved out and moved in with my husband. The more I think about it now how on earth would I have known that I was having a seizure? I got no warning signs! I don’t even know I’ve had one till I wake up.
Every single time there was a clatter or a louder noise that she was unfamiliar with she would peep her head round the door asking if all was well. As much as it pissed me off when I was younger her doing that it portrayed to me that she meant well and I loved her for it. It must have been so difficult for my mam us living on our own, her working full time and having that constant worry of her daughter coping with a condition that as a parent she couldn’t control.
Then two weeks later it happened again. We were back to square one.