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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Andy Cavadino

Compared with some on this page, I've had it pretty easy with epilepsy. In fact, I've only had four seizures. Since I was diagnosed at 22, there's been very few times that my epilepsy hasn't been 'controlled'. I'm one of the 'silent' ones. You could get to know me quite well without even knowing about it.

That's not to say that it doesn't have a great impact on my life, especially at times like now where I'm adjusting medication. I'm a teacher, which is extremely labour intensive, and some days can be very difficult. When I step up, I get very tired, but paradoxically, I also get insomnia. I've fallen asleep at my desk more than once after school trying to mark books at the end of a day.

Losing my driving license was very difficult. I lost a lot of independence that day, having a seizure a few hundred miles from home. Firstly, how do I get myself and the car back to Leeds? Secondly, how do I get to and from school (work)? Enter parents. Sometimes I feel 12 again, getting dropped at school every morning.

However, in the long term, the only thing I can't do is drive a minibus. With the correct precautions, I can swim and do outdoor activities. I'm not photosensitive so can enjoy film, concerts and theatre. But most of all, I can still be a teacher, even though some days are harder.

My epilepsy was caused by a serious head injury in my childhood, from which I am extremely lucky to have recovered from. That didn't beat me, neither will this!

Andy Cavadino
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