We fight to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Nicholas Evans

I had a few very seriously knocks to my head growing up from leading a active life. From age 18 I would get intense episodes of knowing what was going to happen in the immediate future. I was convinced the only explanation was that from hitting my head I had somehow unlocked a gift of being able to know the future. (Silly I know but it's the only way I could explain it to myself).

These feelings would come over me and after I would have to sleep and wake up violently ill, throwing up and not being able to walk. I accepted this as just a part of life.

Age 34 I went to the doctor for a injury I had skateboarding. I mentioned to him the feelings of dajavu I had been having. He told me I was describing epilepsy and I would need to go and see a neurologist straight away. There was no way I was going to have epilepsy. That kind of thing happened to other people, not me! And besides epilepsy is when you fall on the ground and shake right? (I was uneducated on the subject)

I had a very bad problem with smoking cannabis from age 16 to try and self medicate myself from anixiety problems. As I got older my drug use got much heavier. I was never not on drugs and if I wasn't constantly high I would have the strange episodes of dajavu. I did my own research and found that the doctor actually did know what he was talking about. But I choose to be in denial still for a few more years. Until one day I had a gran mal seizure at home. I woke up finding I had wet myself, bitten my tough really badly. My leg muscles hurt really badly to. It felt like I had run a marathon. And my head felt like I had been hit with a bat. I Was very scared and went back to my doctor who sent me to the hospital to see the neurologist. After tests and a few more appointments I was told I had temporal lobe epilepsy. I would need to go on medication and although my cannabis use was likely controlling the seizures drug withdrawal was likely making them worse. I had to make a choice. I choose to go back into denial and pretend it would just go away somehow.

Well it didn't. I had a very bad seizure in front of my girlfriend. After I came to she showed me a big puddle of blood and fluid I had coughed up and I had been on my back choking from it. She said if I had been alone I could have choked to death and I can't stop ignoring this issue. It was a life changing moment. I went and filled the script I was given and gave up cannabis. Detoxing from almost 20 years of drug abuse was very hard on my body but I knew I had to do it because I didn't want to die.

Fast forwarding to 2017 I have been clean from drugs for just over two years. I have not had a gran mal seizure for 2 years. I have the occasional simple partial seizure but they are very brief and not nearly as intense as in the past. I learnt to cope with anxiety using cognitive behavioural therapy and my quality of life has improved greatly.

For me epilepsy is a blessing because it made me appreciate how important good health really is and it's the only thing that would have made me give up drugs.

Nicholas Evans
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