Do you remember The Fascinating Man? Well I caught up with him a few weeks ago and he’s recently been diagnosed with epilepsy. He told me that the doctors said it was something he always had but been triggered by recent stresses his life.
The Fascinating Man told me about the effects it has in his life, seizures that sometimes he feels coming on at other times he doesn’t. He said that he’s been started on medication to control the seizures, but they haven’t yet got the right dosage for it to be fully effective. I was sad to hear his University has stopped him graduating (a few months before he was due to do so) as they couldn’t insure him on placement until he has 1 year seizure-free.
I realised that he’s lost his driving licence as you have to be seizure-free for at least twelve months in order to have a UK driving licence. I asked him how he was getting about. He said that his boyfriend was driving him where he needs to go. Last time I spoke to him (see The Fascinating Man) I got the feeling that he wasn’t completely happy at that time with the relationship, so I asked him how things were. He seemed to indicate that the epilepsy had brought them closer together and that the boyfriend had been really supportive, which I was pleased with.
I know what it’s like to be diagnosed with a medical condition that’s life changing (see How I was diagnosed with Diabetes). I also know that it’s probably effected him in more ways than he expressed in our brief conversation. But I feel so much empathy for him, especially when I’ve seen him work so hard to complete Uni, only to be told he needs to repeat the entire 3rd year with a few months to go. I let him know that I was sorry to hear about his epilepsy and tried to reassure him that everyone has something. Explaining that I have diabetes and a friend of mine has a heart condition. That was then the end to another too brief conversation between us.
While reading up on epilepsy for this blog post I found a really interesting article by Hill entitled The psychological and social impact of epilepsy that could be applied to any long term chronic medical condition. It’s an interesting read and will give anyone not diagnosed with a long term medical condition some understanding of the psychological and social impacts that a person with a long term chronic medical condition experiences.