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Epilepsy or 'Madness' Petit Mal - How Manage the Malady

Updated on January 11, 2012
An Abstract Sunflower - Just_Rodney, a selfportrait!
An Abstract Sunflower - Just_Rodney, a selfportrait! | Source

What is Petit Mal


This is one of those Neurological "disorders" that occur in a vast majority of people. You can Google it, and find out exactly what it is and medical discussions about it.

That is not what I am writing about, as it is only about my particular experiences, and how it has affected me and my daily life.

If some of the hypothesis about Vincent Van Gogh is true, then he suffered from Grand Mal, which debilitated him and eventually had him in an insane asylum. If you have ever read or studied some of the artist and their contemporaries, both Petit and Grand Mall, was very common, probably brought on by the abuse of Absinthe, a "tipple" of choice in those quarters of Gay Paree.

His art which now sells for vasts sums of money, did not bring him a cent while he lived. So genius is oft only recognised long after his/her demise.

How it Came about

Well I a year ago I was diagnosed with "Little Madness".

Fathersday 2010, having a late breakfast with Cecilia, my wife, in one my favourite "Brunchfest" type of place, and to put it mildly I spaced out, hands trembling, eyes looking upwards, then realised that Cee was actually talking to me some stranger was holding me upright in my chair, I still had my knife and fork in my hands.

Well not to labour on those embarassing moments, suffice to say I was bundled off and taken to the nearby Hospital.

At the hospital, the took the BP and all that preamble, ECG, etc. Then they trundled me off to have a CAT scan. The bundled me off to the ward dumped me in the bed, and ran the usual batteries of medical data height weight dentures allegies et al. Then came the nurse with those dinky little wrist strap bangles telling who you are and what ward you are in, then out comes another one of these in a dayglo colour, with the word "Epilepsy" emblazoned on it.

I went into denial, stating that I am Not an Epiletic, nor had I ever suffered from it.

Not to bore you with the details of my sojourn and tests that I had, the Neurosurgeon stated that I was PETIT MAL.

On the lighter side, this did not come as shock, as quite a lot of friends, family both current and former associates would have suspected, guessed as much a long time ago. That this actual diagnosis from the Medical Specialist, confirmed there suspicions.

I was still in denial did not accept the verdict of the first Specialist.

Hey I was not convulsing! Foaming at the mouth. Biting my tongue off or anything like that. No they had it all wrong, THEY HAD IT ALL WRONG. The Neurologist, the technicians handling the CAT scans, as well as MRI equipment was faulty, the technician, that wired up my head with electrodes and connected me to a laptop, strobed my shut eyes, they and the phycologist's half hour gentle interrogation, all of them had it all wrong.

Restrictions

When the the Specialist, started to explain what I cannot do, the limitations imposed was like steel bars encircling me. I became a prisoner in my own home.

The Neurosurgeon/Neurologist, that gave me a second opinion.

Stated what I could and could not do,

The nice part, he told that I should be in bed early, as my body needs, not eight but 9 hours sleep, cool I could live with that, except the best TV is only after ten at night.

Now for the fun parts, No hitting the discos and show bars every other night, as the strobe effects that are used there do something or other to the brain sensors and can trip off another episode.

So that sort of includes staying away from the Casinos as most othe newer machines flash away and flicker, as well as being under neon tubes as backlights.

My Bottles of wine, gather even more dust and cobwebs, the levels in my Kilbeggan, Jameson's and Bush mills have not altered, as I cannot drink. It seems that alcohol causes a bit of problem with the meds, personally I think they are being a bit of a killjoy.

Mobility becomes a problem, under South African law, im Not allowed to drive or operate a motor vehicle during this period. Now what can a person do without a car, especially a sixty year old, walk hey that is a bit risky as our neighbourhood is quiet in the day and there is a fair crime rate, especialy when the see a grey haired individual.

No handling any machinery. The joke i that I found that my camera, is heavy machinery. I now have such camera shake with the 55mm lens, so now I use a tripod to do any photographs. Bang goes my street photography and quick grab shots.


My World

        My Southern Hemisphere. If you stand in the centre, more or less, This is what you will see if you rotate yourself throgu 360
My Southern Hemisphere. If you stand in the centre, more or less, This is what you will see if you rotate yourself throgu 360 | Source
        My Northern Hemisphere If you stand in the centre, more or less, This is what you will see if you rotate yourself throgu 360
My Northern Hemisphere If you stand in the centre, more or less, This is what you will see if you rotate yourself throgu 360 | Source

The above is how I viewed my life after I had stabilised, then two years incident free. It was as if I was imprisoned. I had Epilepsy.

A Whole New World

As the medicines started to do there work, and my mood swings, lessened, I calmed down to a certain extent.

I srumbled upon a Facebook Site which was peopled by former colleges, mostly my peers and some younger than me some older.

I remember some of my skills, lectures and man management tools that had stood in me in good stead while manageing tasks, peoplesand projects.

It was no longer a perimeter, but rather a different set of parameters that I had to realise, develope harness and master.

So nothing wrong with me, as I could still Bake. A fresh batch of Breakfast in a Mug.
So nothing wrong with me, as I could still Bake. A fresh batch of Breakfast in a Mug. | Source
I could still see and photograph, that I now needed to always use a tripod. So I now shoot at 100 ISO instead of my previous 400 plus.
I could still see and photograph, that I now needed to always use a tripod. So I now shoot at 100 ISO instead of my previous 400 plus. | Source
I now try and elimate the use of a flash, to ehance the photo. Also have become more experimental in Photoshop. Created a desatured layer and blended this with its original, messed around with a couple of the percentages.
I now try and elimate the use of a flash, to ehance the photo. Also have become more experimental in Photoshop. Created a desatured layer and blended this with its original, messed around with a couple of the percentages. | Source

How Do I Get To Paris

Standing in the middle of the Sahar, I asked that question of a passing Bedion.

His reply was,"You are on the wrong road entirely"!

What I needed to do was get onto the right road, with a negative, woe is me attitude, I would not get to Dakar, let alone anywhere near Paris.

So I looked at and listened to the Specialist.

I slowed down, I avoided the known trigger points, flashing lights . By minimising the time on the computer to several stretches of an hour.

Do a bit of photography, you will be amazed what photo opportunities are in your back yard. play around for short periods with Photoshop.

Cook the meals feed the dogs etc.

Rake in a bit of exercise, using my own body as weights.

As For Driving

Before the onset of epilepsy, I was already startiing to find that I was slowing down a tad bit. My peripheral visionwas not what it was.

Reaction time, well that is an off and on situation,if I am driving, it is slow! If I am a passangerit is a whole lot faster.

So it is not such a drag, besides which, the cost of driving around without having a specific destination in mind is a bit futile, the costs mount up!

Source

I Am Not Caged - I am Free

I am alive and well, I have a controllable malady, which, with proper medication, will be corrected.

If I follow the regime', it will be sooner, if I fight against it, rant and rave! It will also get better - only a lot further down the road.

Comments

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    • Just_Rodney profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodney Fagan 

      7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Thanks for the company, only to pleased that you have had a close shave, thought for a minute that you were going to tell me that you were picked up for DUI, after consuming all or almost all the wine> LOL.

      One has to be positive, except that even though one is, it does irk, that one cannot pop out during the day to people watch, at a mall occasionally.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Great Hub Rodney.

      Great attitude. BTW lunch was awesome and the products you & Cee gave me for my birthday are absolutely amazing.

      Never had such a close shave or had my skin feel so good. Once I run out, I will just have to buy!!!

      Also nice to have my wine for me! So your malady has advantages for me!

    • Just_Rodney profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodney Fagan 

      7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Suzie, yes it is indeed a common malady, Thanks fot yje comment, keep well.

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 

      7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Amazing. I never realized this was so common.

    • Just_Rodney profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodney Fagan 

      7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Thanks Melodyandes, I am pleased that you enjoyed this.

    • melodyandes profile image

      melodyandes 

      7 years ago

      Amazing article.Thanks for posting.

    • Just_Rodney profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodney Fagan 

      7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      If other people can, so can I! It is just overcoming the "Oh woe is .." stages that are the hardest.

      Thanks Ash

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      7 years ago

      That's the spirit, Rodney! I'm sure you will overcome! :)

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