Achievements

Last Night I was reminded that this time last year I had my first driving test.

I don’t remember anniversaries or milestones to the exact date, I’m quite rare like that. I will have a date down somewhere when my last seizure was but I don’t know it off the top of my head.

This post has been difficult for me to write as I don’t want you to view it as a boast of my ability to drive. More of the amazing achievements people with epilepsy can still accomplish that they never thought were possible. For me driving has been one of my biggest achievements of my life, and the hardest. I NEVER thought I would drive…Ever. A few years ago if you said to me that I would be driving one day I would have laughed at you.

It took me several attempts to pass my test – solely down to nerves as I had made such a big deal out it. I was failing on very small, silly errors, which naturally hit my confidence, but a few tests later I eventually passed.

There were odd times that I did consider giving up (especially as each test was so expensive!) But I am glad I continued.

I know that there will be many more goals related to epilepsy that I will have to work on in the future, such as having a family, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

I’m sure that there have been many achievements that you have accomplished while having epilepsy, and through your determination and strength you are able to look back on them with pride. But whatever goal you are currently working towards in your life don’t give up on it, you need to believe in yourself and know that you can do it. 🙂

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Explaining Epilepsy

Ok we’ve all experienced this, having to tell someone either that you have epilepsy or what epilepsy is…or both, and it can be difficult sometimes especially depending on the person or setting. The first few times I can remember wondering how I was going to explain the topic of epilepsy to another person.

I try and think of the quote from Albert Einstein, ‘If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.’

The following, is very similar to what I tell people who want to know more about epilepsy without it becoming too technical, I find it works well as people can relate to it easily:

Epilepsy can affect ANYONE. (Sorry to scare you, but it’s a fact.) Anyone can have a seizure if they are tired enough, if their temperature is too high or if their have had a brain injury. The average person has a strong seizure threshold meaning that they have to become very unwell to suffer a seizure, but a person with epilepsy has a weaker seizure threshold which results in them having seizure much more easily.

Yes, I have said this a few times and it has worked, people do seem to be able to relate to it I guess.

I know sometimes you feel like your on your own, explaining something over and over again to people about something which is quite unusual, and pretty complex. Thats why I went for my angle, it makes it appear less scary.

Sometimes I have tried to be more, well, matter of fact with, ‘We all have electrical activity in our brains, well epilepsy is a surge of that electrical activity…’ and they’ve already glazed over. But perhaps its just the people I know.

I am really interested to know what angles you take, if you choose to take them.
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Welcome to Ardent Journeys

I decided to name my blog Ardent 0b458d6722087dab698677362d850f0aJourneys because I feel that life with epilepsy is a life full of journeys. Having epilepsy myself, I have discovered it has had a huge impact in making me the person I am today. I look after my health, have empathy for other people’s health and wellbeing, and appreciate all the support that I have ever received.

However, don’t want to have epilepsy viewed as a negative aspect of life that holds people back, stops them from achieving their dreams, and I don’t want people to be afraid to have to tell anyone that they have epilepsy for fear of that person’s judgement or reaction.

I hope that not only will I be able to post positive stories about my journey through epilepsy, but I also want to raise awareness and educate other people about epilepsy.