About my Epilepsy
developed epilepsy in 1993. I was 33 years old and had recently
come out of hospital following a road accident. Id been hit
by a car whilst riding my bicycle late at night. My memory was waking
up in a hospital bed some four weeks later after having been out
for the count, in a coma. Anyway that is the background to it all.
doctor told me I had a high chance of developing epilepsy. To me
that was falling about on the floor and pissing yourself, but to
be honest, as my memory and mobility were in a pretty bad way, I
didnt really give it much attention.
months after the accident, I left hospital. Later that year at the
end of 1993 I was taking a tube at Angel station. Apparently I went
down like a block of wood , I was told by a couple of onlookers.
I was out for a minute or so and an ambulance was sent for. I remember
feeling a bit tired and groggy. I thought Id fainted or maybe
it was a blackout or epilepsy? I didnt know. The people on
the platform near me were really helpful and waited till the ambulance
arrived. This struck me at the time as very helpful of them, as
I wasnt in any pain or in a visibly bad way.
was taken to Barts hospital and it was diagnosed as epilepsy.
The doctors told me there are many kinds of epilepsy. So much for
my earlier image of the condition. I was already taking tablets
for it since leaving hospital; sort of just in case.I spent some
time finding out about the different kinds of epilepsy or at least
trying to understand what to expect in my case. I joined the epilepsy
association. And kept taking the tablets. I still do. Trying to
understand my condition was a really big need in me. Maybe I could
disentangle what was the effects of the accident and what was the
effects of the tablets I had to take. They made me feel drowsy I
Anyway, I kept on collapsing like this, sort of short fall outs
every six to eight weeks for the following year. During that time
I talked it over with my GP and put my tablet dosage up. The blackouts
were less frequent.
I always felt an aura before hand. This was and is like a swoony,
spacey feeling. A bit breathless and Ive learned the best
way to deal with it is to lay down or at lest relax. People are
very accommodating or understanding. Ive even lain down in
the supermarket. I can recognise the signals pretty well now. This
is good news for my chin which got a bit bruised in the early days
from falling out instantly. People who saw it said it was pretty
instant. I dont stand too near the edge on tube platforms
these days, or do tightrope walking.
got used to the drugs, as at least theyve reduced the fits.
I must be a model patient as I dont drink too much either.
I joined the Epilepsy Association, my prime need was to try to understand
what I could expect. Do things stay the same, deteriorate or improve?
It was a similar need I had after brain damage from the accident.
What can I expect to happen? What happens to others?
are questions that every person with epilepsy needs to know.