Monday, 24 March 2014

Wednesday 26 March 2014 - Why I'll Be Wearing Purple

Now I know some of my friends will see the title of this post and say, how is Wednesday different? Purple is my favourite colour, I like purple a lot! But this Wednesday is different, this Wednesday is Purple Day, the international day for epilepsy. Let me tell you my story....

A random Friday in June when I was 12 is where it all began. I got home from school and fell asleep on the sofa and I was woken up when my parents got home from work later on. I made my way from the sofa to the kitchen as there was fish and chips on offer. I sat down and picked up a chip and the next thing I remember is waking up on the kitchen floor thinking a) this is cold,  b) why am I on the kitchen floor and c) who is this strange man in green?

The answer to my questions were because I'd had my first epileptic seizure and the man in green was of course a paramedic. I was left very disoriented and don't remember much of the journey to the hospital or the rest of the evening but I was kept in overnight for observation and sent home the next day with a box of purple pills and an invite for an EEG.

Around 2 months later I'm at another hospital with electrodes attached to my head with this god awful glue which takes a age to get out of your hair doing various tests to see if I had Epilepsy. Not long after, I received a letter confirming that the initial suspicions were correct and I was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

My family were fantastic, I remember Mum getting me lots of literature to read through and she answered any questions as best she could. My Dad shared his own story, my brother and I had sort of been vaguely aware that Dad was Epileptic but it had been many a year since he'd had a seizure, way before I was born but this alone meant that I knew this wasn't the end, just a new beginning.

My friends were brilliant too, I grew up in a small village so had a close circle of friends, many of whom I'm still friends with today. They didn't treat me any differently, the weren't afraid of asking questions and Mum explained what to do if I had a seizure when I was with them.

Throughout my teens I was under the care of the local hospital and I would see a Doctor every 6 months to monitor my progress. I was lucky with my Epilepsy I had a seizure when I was 13 and that was it for the next 5 years. Somewhere along the line my consultant at the hospital gave my Epilepsy a name Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. After a bit of research it really was like seeing the wood for the trees. It perfectly described my symptoms, I had Myoclonic Jerks (which up until this point I didn't even realise were part of my Epilepsy) and I would have the full blown seizures like the ones that are portrayed on TV. Obviously TV doesn't show the full joy of a seizure, for the record I always bite my tongue, if it's particularly ferocious I'll give it a good chew. This means I usually wake up with a mouth full of blood, a long with the disorientation it looks a lot like I've been in a fight!

Having JME means that I only have seizures within a couple of hours of waking up which so at least most of the time I'll be in the comfort of my own home and less likely to injure myself, that's not so say I haven't though. The injury lists covers a broken nose, a chipped tooth, a black eye and various carpet burns!

My Epilepsy was controlled to a certain extent by medication (Epilim in case you're interested) but it's fair to say that in my late teens and early twenties too much beer and too little sleep resulted in a few seizures but I was lucky, they weren't that frequent and didn't have a huge effect on my life.

Several years later I'm now in my mid early thirties and my life is a lot more settled, I've been off the medication for over 2 years and I'm able to keep my seizures at bay by getting enough sleep and not getting too stressed. I've not had a seizure for 11 years and I've had a driving licence for 9.

I've always been able to talk about and be upfront about my Epilepsy. I'm always happy to answer questions about my experiences as I believe that the cure to ignorance about Epilepsy is education.

It has to be said that I'm one of the lucky ones, I've never experienced (to my knowledge) any discrimination because of my Epilepsy, I'm able to to hold down a full-time job and I'm able to live on my own.

My Epilepsy is mine, it's part of me but it will never get in the way of me being me.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Photo Post

Something a little different for this post. Like a lot of people I like taking photos and thought I would share some of them with you.

                The two above were taken in the                           lovely Gloucestershire countryside

                 The three above are all in                                                Bourton-on-the-Water

I can't got to the South West without having cream tea!

1 March 2014 - Spring is here at last!

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Sunday, 9 March 2014


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Friday, 7 March 2014

Commuter Rant

The trains are a bit broken this morning and this brings out the worst in people.

"The train you are sat on on platform 2 is a bit broken, we're waiting for someone to give it the once over. There is however another train going in your direction leaving in 5 minutes on platform 1"

Lovely, I'll go to platform 1 then.

But first I need to fight my way through the numpties. I get to the stairs and there is a crowd of confused people staring at the screens.

"Excuse me, excuse me"

This is what I say out loud. Most people move eventually but not before they've looked at me like something they've scraped off the bottom of their shoe.

Inside me the swearing has started.

"Get out of the fucking way! Why are you blocking the stairs? Yes I do need you to move so I can get to a train that is actually running so yes you will need to drag your eyes away from the screen for a couple of seconds. Fucking numpties."

I make it to the stairs and I kid you not there is a line of people from one side to the other like some sort of barrier.

I am not in the mood for this shit.

I say excuse me again but what I really mean is:

 "you have 2 seconds to move and then I'm coming through whether you like it or not. And I'm a big girl so believe me you will be moving"

Seriously it's like these people live in another world to rest of us. Look outside your bubble and have some consideration for the people around you.

Eventually I got to my chosen destination (chosen by work, not me. My default chosen destination in the morning is my bed). The train pulls up to the platform, the doors open and in front of me is bunch of people blocking the exit.

They look at me expectantly.

I look around for my patience but it's no where to be seen.

"If you want to get on the train you need to let me off first and I can't get off unless you move!"

I may have got a bit shouty at the end of the sentence.

It worked though and I did feel much better afterwards and all ready for another day at the fun factory.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Tale of Two Audi Drivers

Last week I was out in the car for a couple of days for work which is always nice for giving me a day off from scowling at people at the train station in the morning.

Now I have a question, what is it about some people that the minute they get into their Audi, they can't help driving like a twat?

Audi driver number 1.

I'm on the A14, for those not in the know, it's a bloody awful road, always busy and rarely without some sort of delay. It's also one of the main routes to Felixstowe Docks so you're more than likely to come across a whole load of lorries.

So here I am in lane 2 merrily overtaking a load of lorries. The old dear in front of me only wants to do 60mph while overtaking which while is a pain in the arse, there's nowt I can do about it, so overtaking at 60 it is.

But then, who is that in my rear view mirror? It's Audi driver number 1!

He clearly does not want drive at 60 and decides that the only way to try and change this is to drive right up my backside.

Fuck. Off.

How is nearly driving in to the back of someone supposed to make them go faster?? If you drive up my arse all you're going to is make me slow down to make a bigger gap in front of me.

Audi driver number 1: You are a prize knob.

Audi driver number 2

About half an hour later, I'm 20 minutes from home and thinking about my sofa. I pull up to a roundabout and have a quick look in the rear view mirror.

Step up Audi driver number 2.

The reason it grabbed my attention is because it was so shiny and clean! Incidentally, my car looks like it's inhabited by a tramp.

Driving the car is young lady jabbering away on her mobile.

Now people talking on their mobiles while driving annoys me as it is and I can't help but think that surely a 3 year old Audi has bluetooth?

But then I notice the small child in the seat next to her. When I say small, I mean no more than a year old. Aside from me being a bit uncomfortable about such a small child in the front seat of the car, my overriding thought is GET OFF THE BLOODY PHONE!!

Now obviously in the queue for a roundabout we're not going at any great speed but she was distracted enough not to notice when the traffic moved.

Audi driver number 2: Pull over or put the phone down.

Rant over.

Thanks for reading