At the age of 17 just as I about to take “A-levels” I experienced a situation that was described at a nocturnal seizure. That was almost 60 years ago and little was known about what was happening at that time. The medication prescribed was incorrect and later at the age of about 23 a large benign growth – an osteoma – was discovered using X-rays. This had caused damage to the frontal lobe of my brain. Surgery followed which probably did as much harm as good. Again the medication and treatment offered at that time was really based on a “lets see what works” attitude. Headaches were common and some seizures often happened. I then moved to Johannesburg and found a range of neurologists who offered advice mostly based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that discovered frontal lobe lesions on my brain. At least the source of the problem had possibly been found.
But it was a long lonely road. At the beginning the taboo of the situation was hard with lack of education and understanding from friends and even relatives. Being a neurological disorder I was told not to expect too attain too much in life. But I earned a first class degree in Theoretical Physics. Thereafter I entered academic research and held Professorships and awards world wide – I got elected to a Royal Society Fellowship in about 1995. Day and night would mean taking pills but it is just part of the daily routine.
Now I am retired and live in Bracknell, take lots of pills but active with some local charities helping as much as I can. I don’t let the ailment bother me but avoid stress and enjoy the love of my family. Local woodland and parks are so relaxing and I excercise regularly. The moral of my story is don’t take notice of prejudice or discrimination. Always believe in yourself – and take your pills!