Beautiful Words:

original-4430-1425902759-11

A day late, but better late than never as they say!

This word of Latin origin drew me to think of the many seizure epochs I’ve experienced within my epilepsy.  Working through the myoclonic jerks, the grand mals, the ‘rainbows’ as I used to call them when I would see colors against a black background and the absences. So many ‘epochs’ in one condition!

The Question: When Is It Okay To Ask For A Seat?

crowded-septa-bus-940x540

Photo: Joel Mathis

I looked out of the window, surprised at just how pitch black it was.  I was hoping to be distracted from my annoyance at my foolishness in getting caught in rush hour traffic on a bus for which I was now a sardine in a tin.  Thankfully I had my book, which I am addicted to I might add, and I managed to finish it during a journey that normally would take an hour and fifteen minutes and instead took double the time.

As I was stood among fellow commuters, my back began to ache and I was feeling generally tired from the day.  My eyes wandered over the travelers on the bus and I began to wonder how many of the people sitting down would willingly think to give up their seat for somebody else.

As we all know, disabilities, if they’re physical, are easy to spot.  If someone has crutches or a wheel chair people naturally move, but I wondered what the reaction would be if I asked the man whose ears had been swallowed deep inside a pair of enormous earphones, if I could sit down because I needed to.

I have never used my disabled bus pass to get a seat just when I feel like it, but, I realized on the occasions that it’s been necessary due to a medical condition, I never felt confident enough to ask.  My thought process has been that I would surely need to get my pass at the ready to prove myself because, well, would I be believed?   I look perfectly ‘normal’.

So, the question is when is it okay to ask someone for a seat?

My mind returned to just over a year ago when I started losing my sight due to the medication I was trying.  I had the scariest experience when I was caught completely off guard downtown.  My vision deteriorated till all I could see was a blur of swirling color.  If I focused hard enough on things close up, I could maybe get double or triple vision at best.   Fortunately, I made it to the bus stop in time despite the increasing vertigo sensations.  As I stepped on the bus, guided by the driver, I was mortified to find that close up it was completely full of passengers.  Trying to calm down I thought, “No problem, I’ll hold on to the rail as long as I have some security it till be fine”.  When I eventually located the rail, there turned out to be four of them, I was seeing quadruple.  As the bus began to move, I took a chance on one of the four hoping it would be right.  Unfortunately for me, and for the chap whose glasses I almost broke, it wasn’t.  I fell into his face and then into his lap, very graceful.

Even after I explained that I couldn’t see and gave my profuse apology, neither he nor the passengers around him who had witnessed this embarrassing incident offered me a seat and of course, I didn’t even think to ask.

I came across this really interesting article written a year ago about the update in signs on the Metro.  This reconfirms the point of this blog post and how people instinctively still perceive disability.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2015/01/09/saving-seats-metros-new-ads-raise-awareness-of-invisible-disabilities/

youdbesurprised

Those seats are there for a reason.  If one is needed, no matter what health condition, we should have the confidence to ask to use it.  I know how difficult it can be and I know more than likely the request won’t be granted without the requirement of some type of explanation as to why.  I’ve seen the looks of reluctance from people who have had to move because of a wheelchair, let alone an invisible disability.

So as a reminder to both able bodied and disabled, don’t forget why these policies are put in place. They are for occasions like the one above.  I hope many of you are more assertive in these situations than I am, but if not, try to find your strength and put yourself and your safety first!

Beautiful Words: Querencia

il_340x270.712703557_qbtq

A wonderful word of Spanish origin.  I interpret this word as a reminder that what we are is enough and also, how important it is for us to have somewhere that we can recharge and feel safe enough to practice being our authentic selves.  It’s easy to continually question our actions, think we are not good enough or compare ourselves to others with a distorted perception.  When seeking querencia, it ultimately brings us the confidence to go out everyday and achieve what we need to with self worth and gumption.

 

 

Abortion & Epilepsy – Bellamy Young Tells Faith’s Story

Abortion, it’s such a controversial subject and we all have our own personal opinions about it.  It creates fire, anger, sadness, judgement and difficulty in obtaining and exercising compassion for our fellow woman, no matter what road she chooses to take because of the situation she has found herself in.  How can we possibly judge another without experiencing a certain set of circumstances?

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about planning and raising a family on my blog since July of last year. I was going back and forth as to whether it was the right move or not as it tends to be quite a fiery topic, since having watched this video I decided now was the right time.

There have been so many stimuli in my path which have brought up a mixture of my own pain and frustration alongside sadness at the lack of thought by some people surrounding couples who don’t have children.  It was in Italy last year that I put pen to paper, pouring my heart out in my notebook having read an article online by a writer who didn’t seem satisfied with her decision to have children!  The piece bubbled over with endless criticism for childless couples.

Perhaps I was a little more sensitive at that time due to working through my own issues of getting to grips with the fact that I probably won’t be able to physically have my own children because of epilepsy, endometriosis and the fact that only two thirds of my reproductive system remain – for the time being.

Women with epilepsy not only have to put their own health first but also consider the health and quality of life their baby will have.  I have been informed on numerous occasions the medical problems I face and the agonizing decisions I will have to make further down the road if children were an option.

I ask that you watch this video with an open mind and if you are opposed to abortion just try and put yourself in the place of this mother.  Bearing in mind, she not only had to make this heart breaking decision but she has to live with it for the rest of her life.  There may be constant guilt which accompanies her daily, and she may be convincing herself that she was doing the right thing because she knew she was not physically capable of looking after a baby and her other two children let alone herself, because of her condition.  It’s not easy trying to do the right thing…

A very insightful website.  Do go and check it out http://www.reproductiverights.org/

Beautiful Words: Ephemeral

most_beautiful_words_05

A smooth sounding word of Greek origin.  When I think of my own absence seizures this word hits the nail on the head.  Additionally, while as an epileptic I have seizures, the important thing is to note that nothing lasts forever, life and seizure cycles continually changes.  In that respect, this word is perfect to associate with seizures.

Beautiful Words: Hoppipolla

hoppipolla-1221700544820296-9-thumbnail-4

To welcome in the New Year I’ve chosen a more playful aspect for my choice of a beautiful word.  Whilst we have our realities, responsibilities and health issues that must be taken seriously, it is important to balance these out with enjoyment and laughter.  They in turn I believe, have an impact on one’s health.

b0ae7676923054d7bb1bf0f62e680379To introduce the first word of 2016, it is hoppipolla. This is an Icelandic word meaning, ‘Jumping into puddles’.

So, next time you’re out in the rain and are frustrated with the weather, the cold and you’re caught up with life’s stresses and strains, take a chance and find a puddle, dig out your inner child and jump in it.  You might just find by doing so things don’t seem quite as serious as you’d first imagined.

Happy 2016 everybody!