My Personal Journey

What has happened to you?

What has caused this?

Are you OK?

 

These are the typical and expected questions I get asked when I walk into a crowded room full of people, who don’t know that I suffer from Epilepsy or are just ignorant to the fact that I do. I am as always sporting a relatively enticing black eye and a very unattractive blue like sling which is supporting my left shoulder that I have just dislocated, I always dislocate it during a seizure state.

 

Oh so sorry, how rude of me I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Steven and this is my story.

 

At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with tonic clonic Epilepsy, after successfully accomplishing seizure free status from a long developing period of petit mal(absence seizures) as a child, where I experienced 250+ per day for seven years.

 

The tonic clonic seizures, there is no explanation to why these shocking and terrifying seizures has came upon me. The seizures uncontrollably begin without my knowledge and out of the blue, I wasn’t feeling unwell at any specific time, I hadn’t suffered from any head injuries previous to encourage the seizure activity in my brain.

 

I am an extremely fortunate and lucky young man to be sitting in the situation that I am in at present, alive, i experienced my very first tonic clonic seizure in my bath. Thanks to my dad, for saving my life or I wouldn’t be engaging with you all at present.

 

At 22 my massive and only dream was to persuade a career in the media industry, I was extremely ambitious and i certainly knew what I wanted out of life. Unfortunately all my dreams just become a distant memory, and we’re well and truly shattered due to constant and repetitive seizure activity.

 

Epilepsy certainly does not have to stop you from achieving, it’s not the end of the world, it feels like that, but it’s not. Their is so many incredible and important support services nowadays, there is every kind of support for everyone, never ever give up.

 

Since my diagnosis, I am on regular medication, unfortunately there had been times where my seizures have been so serious that I have needed emergency medications and treatment, I have recently had my left shoulder replaced due to the amount of times I was dislocated it, due to the impact of the seizure.

 

I have not let my Epilepsy hold me back, for many years I did, there were extreme periods of darkness, every day was extremely dismal, leaving the house was a massive challenge, putting on brave faces every where i went. However i have certainly realised, life is far to short, I’ve got a life to live and I am most certainly going to live it.

I have been so honoured and privileged to be attending Epilepsy, support and social groups in Ayrshire and Arran and be supported by Jim Thompson, Epilepsy Connections Field Worker in Ayrshire and Arran who has encouraged, inspired and motivated me to reach my full potential. 

 

 

Steven Connelly

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