My fiancée is wearing a lovely, foxy purple t-shirt for me today and I’m both thankful and proud. A couple of years ago I had one of the scariest experiences of my life and I was just as thankful for her then as I am now. You see, I had a dangerously long seizure that day. An epileptic seizure, or fit, should generally last from one to two minutes. Any longer than three and medical attention is needed (take note friends and family of epilepsy sufferers). That day I had three in a row, all longer than three minutes culminating in an eight minute fit. This can mean serious stuff!
Of course I don’t remember any of this. I just remember waking up a long time later in a dull and dreary hospital ward, feeling absolutely shattered (an epileptic fit feels like going ten rounds with Floyd Mayweather). I was also completely confused and very scared. I’m not going to try and be manly or arrogant about this, waking up in a strange place, feeling awful and not knowing how you got there is terrifying.
Fortunately Mahlah, my fiancée was there to reassure me. She told me what had happened and why I was there. But once wasn’t enough as having a very serious grand mal fit can affect a person’s memory in the same way as dementia for a short length of time. I kept getting scared and not knowing where I was and she kept being there to comfort me. Unfortunately, visiting time on the ward came to an end and I was terrified to be left by myself. Fortunately Mahlah wasn’t being told by any two-bit nurse that she couldn’t stay and keep me company. That night she shared a single bed in a horrible room with a guy who was confused and disorientated, knowing that she could get thrown out at any time. I want to thank her for that. I’ve had many similar experiences, depending on parents, friends, strangers and NHS staff to get me through and on this, Purple Day for Epilepsy 2016, I want to say thank you very much to them and to everyone who supports us. I appreciate it a great deal and I’m glad I took the difficult choice to be open about my problem.
For many people it is a lot more difficult than it was for me due to shame or circumstances. I would like to encourage these people to try and talk about it with someone they trust, then hopefully they can get to a place where they can depend on someone as much as I have been able to.