The title I’ve selected for this blog is something that I said during a film interview. I am unable to share the video here because I’ve not yet received permission, but it was a video filmed by Epilepsy Action last year, shortly after my wedding. They were looking for four amazing people to appear in a short documentary about achieving goals with epilepsy, and I was one of those selected. Paralympic atheletes from all around the world congregated at the Olympic Stadium in London and were subjected to my ugly mug!
The above picture, though, shows a very good synopsis of what a seizure is like. It isn’t just your brain (although that’s where most of the party tends to happen). It’s your entire body as well.
The term I used for the picture – “The oncoming storm” – is, as many of you will be aware, a direct quote from Doctor Who, but it seemed an appropriate term to use. Imagine, if you will, a violent thunderstorm which – instead of being in the sky – is occurring inside your mind. Neurons clashing against other neurons, neural pathways firing off “lightning” (electrical energy) and yourself powerless to do anything but ride the storm.
The following morning you remember nothing of the day just past. You won’t remember going to bed; you won’t remember what you did all day; you won’t even remember what you had for dinner, or if you ate anything at all. Did you and your partner make love last night or did you dream that? Why is there a bruise on your hip? Your brain is completely fogged up, your balance and coordination utterly shot. Sometimes you spend days in bed recovering, and you may still suffer from “aftershocks”.
There are also occasions in which serious injury can occur:
Here you see my bruised and swollen feet and a broken big toe (the one with the really spectacular bruising). I also sustained two sprained ankles, when I suffered an abscense seizure on the stairs and forgot where I was. This happened in March last year, less than two months before my wedding – and so my toe was still broken (but mending) on my wedding day. It was the most perfect day of my life, but I had to hide a good deal of physical pain. Even now, fifteen months since my accident, my toe still aches and twinges from time to time.
Epilepsy is no joke. Please remember that.