Welcome back; I hope you’ve enjoyed the last month of Summer. Although it wasn’t thrilling for me, I’ve not been bummed out by the spills of disappointment either. I’ve made my way through, maintained a positive state of mind, and have high hopes for further progress in September.
In some ways, this month has been less eventful, with only 18 more people following me on Twitter and no real late-night weekends out in town made available. But that’s not led to my disadvantage. I’d say I’ve further come to adjust to the life of a blog writer, and believe that my voice might be well within range too.
Forgetting My Med’s Led To Time On The Floor
Frustrations have been set: I’ve had three seizures this month while awake, and that’s not too common for me. With them usually occurring during the night, right now it seems that taking both my morning and evening medication at 9 o’clock is so important. Avoiding any alcohol is a new trick I’m trying out for a month as well.
Regarding missing my night-time medication, if I’ve messed around with the strict rules set it’s been tonic-clonic seizure time when I’m out with friends. Two of these seizures took place when I was out on a Friday, and I had another at home despite taking my AEDs on time, but having a pint of lager a few hours earlier. However, this only led to a less severe absence seizure.
I rang up an epilepsy nurse to mention my more frequent seizures, and she reminded me of another option that up until now I’ve put on hold. After updating my memory by watching a decent DVD on how it all works, I feel pretty secure in saying that I want to stick some VNS therapy inside my body.
It’s Time For Some Real Stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation therapy is a treatment for epilepsy that involves an upper-chest implanted generator which connects to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The generator works by sending regular, light electrical stimulations through this nerve to help calm down the irregular electrical brain activity that leads to seizures.
One frustrating fact to accept when you have epilepsy is that the odds on a new Anti-Epileptic Drug working lower by 5% every time you try a new one. To put it simply, my more recent AED’s haven’t done much for me, so I want to try something new.
VNS doesn’t work well for everybody, but I think it’s right to give it a go. I’m happy to know there’s no big risk with the surgery, it takes about an hour to complete, and the patient should be able to leave the hospital the day after. However, the implanted generators can take up to two years to kick in and prove their worth, so I’ll have to be patient in waiting for progress.
Why I’ll Never Take Requests Again
Quite a few friends of mine were so happy to hear that I managed to find myself a new job not long ago. In one day alone, I got a morning call from Adecco Recruitment Agency, and in the afternoon signed a contract so I could work at Galaxy Opticians in Broadheath.
The role involved me taking customer calls so that I could book, re-book and cancel their appointments with Tesco Opticians in the UK. On Thursday I arrived, received some training, and returned on Friday, hoping I could master the skills needed to make enough progress as the day continued.
But I couldn’t do it. By lunchtime, it seemed obvious that taking calls and working simultaneously on a database isn’t for me, due to the poor memory I have. Other new colleagues who managed to start at the end of yesterday’s training were already looking confident, but it would have taken weeks of me making mistakes and pissing off customers and colleagues if I was to try and learn it.
After working for three hours with an experienced colleague helping me take and make shaky calls and computer inputs, I had my lunch and asked to speak to the head of the department. I told her why it was more difficult for me, and how epilepsy can lead to memory problems. At that point, she thanked me for my honesty, and I left the building shortly after.
I am a little disappointed because they were a friendly bunch, and using a headset always looked appealing when I was watching other people communicate at Lloyds Bank. But more than anything, I only hope that Adecco Recruitment and Galaxy Opticians remember that memory problems can often occur when people develop epilepsy.
August’s Blog Post Production
My first post of the month looked to explain why having a trusted family never fails to offer you support in troublesome times. Obviously, this includes difficult times with epilepsy, and by giving examples of when my loving family has helped me I gave some proof of its value. I also wanted to thank my family, and make others aware of what might happen without a solid family backing you up in tricky times.
The names and details of sixteen celebrities then gave a wave, as I labelled up my list of 16 famous actors, musicians and athletes with epilepsy. There was something to learn about every one of them, as they each offer what always is a unique lifestyle when affected by epilepsy.
One more post is due after this one of course, and that’s my round-up of this month’s epilepsy-related news. This month includes new stories of recent success by individuals, groups and researchers; certain government plans have changed, and new advice relating to medication has been offered due to recent industrial flaws.
My Epileptic Friend
The last thing to mention is what I learnt from somebody on the 7th August: it was sad to hear that in July, my friend Dave Gothard passed away.
The news led to me postponing a blog post that I was originally due to publish that day. You see, I did a bit more research, and came across the fundraising page set up by Dave’s brother Peter on August 3rd.
Peter stated ‘Dave Gothard was taken suddenly from us in July 2017 at just 36 years old, due to epilepsy-related complications.’ This statement sadly means Dave died due to SUDEP: sudden unexpected death from epilepsy, the topic I was due to discuss in my blog post that day. At that point, I didn’t feel too comfortable doing that, so I respectfully decided to delay the post.
Learning about SUDEP when managing epilepsy is important though, so I imagine I’ll post it sometime next month or October at the latest. If you’d like to know more now, I recommend heading to the SUDEP Action website.
Dave was a great man, and if you haven’t already, then I recommend taking a look at the post I wrote to pay my respects.
Looking Forward To Autumn
After a pretty busy month, I feel like things might get even busier, but am willing to take on the challenge now. I feel more confident with my writing, and believe it’s time to start networking more with various others.
I’ll still look for that full-time job that pays much more than the dole but can only say I’ll have my main focus on enhancing my writing career. At the latest, I’m getting myself up at 8 am, so I can be sat at the computer at 9 and spending 8 hours or more in the day writing articles or communicating with others. To end the night, I feel more secure stepping away from my computer screen at 9 pm. It means I can relax, sleep well and continue my journey the following day.
I’ll have some decisions to make over the next few weeks for sure. Although I appreciate the readers I’ve already got, a lot of these have come from friends I already know, and I need to start finding readers from elsewhere. I also wish to write about my other interests by contributing material to other websites.
All in all, I’m feeling more confident after practice, want to discharge my old ways of being shy of making contact, and get my name out and about as much as possible.
Take care and thanks for reading.