The Epileptic Man is a blog that offers information and advice to others – mostly about epilepsy, but sometimes about other disabilities too. Since the website started in April 2017, over 70 posts have been published. You can track back through them via the home page footer archives to read things that you might find handy.
My name is Joe Stevenson and I am The Epileptic Man.
Forgive me if I sound big-headed, but that name always sounded appropriate for me. It was a name still available on Twitter when I went searching for it too. There’s no doubt that I’m not the only man to have epilepsy on the planet. But then, Bruce Wayne wasn’t the only person to have a fear of bats (as it suggests in Batman Begins).
But one independent thing he does do is voluntarily help people, and that’s exactly what I’m doing as well.
I write the blog posts for The Epileptic Man, and make the statements on Facebook and Twitter. If I’m making a few grammatical errors in the blog, then I do apologise! Despite getting a grade B in GCSE English Language, epilepsy lingers around and certainly makes me struggle to fulfil various tasks in daily life.
Nevertheless, I can still get my messages across to others when they need to cross the finish line.
If you don’t know me yet then the first thing to tell you is that my life has felt a little “different” at times. I did go to school, then college, and then university. I then scored a 2.1 in Popular Musicology – a now non-existent course about the history and culture of popular music. But six years have passed since then. Do I have a job that I’m looking to keep or build upon as time continues? Right now, the answer is no.
As mentioned earlier, epilepsy has led to me dealing with a fair few setbacks in my life. Although on average my seizures only occur around once every two weeks, no particular drug seems to work best for me. I’m not suitable for brain surgery either, so vagal nerve stimulator surgery is the next step ahead. This isn’t too dangerous, but involves implanting a pacemaker-like device in to my chest area. It’s something else to check up on, and can take up to two years to start working. I’ll still be taking medication with it, and there are no guarantees that it’ll help me out either.
Socially, it’s been a difficult 12 years or so. I suffered from mild/moderate depression between the ages of 17 and 25. I’ve been avoided by employers ever since I graduated. I have problems with fatigue too. And the most frustrating thing about my epilepsy is probably dealing with the thought damaging memory loss I’ve had to manage.
I have it on both a short-term and long-term basis. If I don’t make note of things, then I’m struggling to memorise the names of people, and the details of anything I come across. I’m terrible at quizzes. And I can’t remember much about my degree now.
As mentioned above, my grammar isn’t the best, and my dissertation at university would have scored me over 70 points if I hadn’t made any grammatical errors in the 15,000 words I wrote. But my lecturer said I could write a book about my chosen topic if I wanted to. 69 was my score.
I’ll be 30 years old on 17 February 2019. I can’t say that I’m yet to accomplish much of what I want to in life. But does that really matter? You see, I have a strong feeling that many more opportunities will arise in the future. It’s been a rocky road so far, but I see a much more fortunate fourth decade in life up ahead.
My life has improved a lot recently. Today, I’m a positive person with spiritual beliefs. I not only want to improve the lives of people with epilepsy, but disabilities too. In fact, if I’ve got a chance to bring total equality to the planet as a whole, I’ll give it a shot.
I’ve been ambitious since the day I was born, so lets just see what happens…