To many people, epilepsy is merely a case of somebody lying on the ground twitching, drooling and possibly making some very odd noises. The impact that a seizure can have physically is not something that crosses the minds of some – not even doctors.
And yet, a seizure can cause severe injury, broken limbs and even death.
On Wednesday 28th March I was carrying a box downstairs. It contained the wedding dress from hell that a friend was going to remake into a ring pillow for me.
I experienced one of my abscence seizures as I was nearing the bottom of the stairs. It lasted mere seconds, but the result was spectacular.
No longer realising where I was, I put one foot out into open space and moved the other accordingly… and I fell through empty air before landing, feet first, with my entire body weight crushing them.
These pictures were taken this afternoon, so I dread to think how nasty they might have been before checking last night (I was too frightened to look).
When the abscence responsible for this occurred I was making sweet chilli courgettes and had planned to begin dry-brining the vegetables so I could make the piccalilli the following day. Instead I was in so much pain that I finished the courgettes and had to go to bed, where I’ve been confined ever since. On Thursday I couldn’t walk, stand or sit unaided (D, my walking stick and a fortunately placed towel rail in the bathroom being my only means of getting around) and today – Saturday – I still have to place my feet wide apart to spread my weight, with my stick placed between and slightly in front of them. I also still need the towel rail, but thankfully it now takes only one hand and not my full weight.
This is not the first time that a seizure in the wrong place at the wrong time has had severe consequences for me, but is probably the most colourful!
If you should ever witness someone experiencing a seizure or something that looks, to you, like a simple fall, please stop and check for injuries such as those that you see here. Please remember that epilepsy may be a neurological disorder – but its effects are often physical and sometimes fatal.
Tomorrow I will still be unable to put any weight on my feet and am – for once – grateful that I need a walking aid at the best of times else I’d be quite stuck.
Look after your epileptic friends.