Most of us have something we'd like to raise awareness for and sometimes we find it incredibly tough to encourage people to read our posts, take notice of our pleas and listen to our reasons for wanting to raise awareness in the first place. Some of you know that I had a particularly difficult twelve months between 2009 and 2010 where I had several epileptic seizures. And some of you know that I had to go through the very frightening procedure of an MRI scan (my 3rd) and other tests in order to have my brain examined. Believe it or not, they did actually find my brain, even amongst the masses of sawdust, but to learn I had a different kind of epilepsy to the one I had been diagnosed with twelve years previously was an intense moment, especially as I'd resorted myself to the fact I had a brain tumour. It's just epilepsy, I told myself, over and over again. I can live with this. I might have to change my lifestyle but I'm used to doing that. I've done it before when I was first diagnosed in 1999. In the years of living with epilepsy I've given birth to a healthy daughter, lost my dad, moved to another part of the country and started a whole new life. I live with epilepsy every day. But I live to tell the tale.
I don't want to ram my issues with epilepsy down your throats because I understand this is a condition that many people are deeply afraid of. I don't want to scare folk, make them think they too could suddenly have a seizure out of the blue and then find themselves relying on anti-convulsants just to make sure they wake up in the morning. We don't have locks on our doors inside the house for obvious reasons. Not just because Amy has autism. I'm supposed to announce to the pool attendant that I'm epileptic, just in case they need to know. I can't watch programs that contain flashing images, or the news that shows camera flashes. I don't go to the pictures because I find it too straining to look at the big screen in a darkened room. I don't drink alcohol, or have caffeine in tea and coffee; I can't drink energy drinks because they too contain caffeine and too much caffeine will cause a seizure. I can't eat grapefruit because that too can affect people with epilepsy. Such little things, yet they are huge points on my list of things to remember.
Today is Purple Day - Global Epilepsy Awareness Day - 26th March 2012. If you'd like to know more about why today is celebrated, here is a little more detail: Epilepsy Action