Thursday, November 1


You might have noticed that my blog is now PURPLE. Yes, I shed the green skin this month because November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. The official color is purple, so my blog and Twitter feeds will don the shades of lavender for all 30 days.

Can I have your attention? Please read these few short paragraphs and you will make me so happy...

Here's the deal: you have a brain. Forget the funny little things you might say about people being brainless or peabrained or whatever. If you're a human being living on this planet, you have a brain. And if you have a brain, you can have a seizure.Seems scary, doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. Learning more about epilepsy and educating others is the way to get rid of the terror and mystique surrounding this disease.

People have been afraid of epilepsy and seizures in general for what seems like as long as humanity has existed. In the middle ages, people conducted exorcisms on epileptics because they thought they were possessed by the devil. In World War II, Hitler's corralling of the "unfit" to sterilize or execute included epileptics. In the 21st century, there are many treatment options for epileptics including medication and surgery.

This is personal to me because my older sister has had epilepsy since I was an infant. She had her first seizure when she was two years old and since then she has had good periods and bad periods, but ultimately it's the epilepsy that runs her life... Right now she's exploring surgical options and, while that's scary in itself, it's scary that any seizure in the wrong place at the wrong time could seriously injure her or worse.

In October, everyone is talking about breast cancer. People have become pretty comfortable talking about breasts, and in "Movember" men have taken to discussing prostate cancer. These are both wonderful things. I'm glad that people are taking action to discuss, educate, and promote prevention, detection, and awareness of these diseases. HOWEVER, November is also Epilepsy Awareness Month and, quite honestly, it ought to be a bigger deal than it has been because while only men have prostates and women are most commonly affected by breast cancer (at least people are more likely to picture a woman when they think of it), EVERYONE HAS A BRAIN. Holy cow, can we please talk about epilepsy some more?

I have a few simple requests. I would love it so much if you could do any or all of them:
  1. Get purple - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog... Get some purple out there and tell everyone why you're getting violet.
  2. Talk about it - You probably either know someone with epilepsy or know someone who has had a seizure. (Think about the six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon type of thing--you're never that far from someone...) Open the discussion and talk.
  3. Get informed - Read a little bit about epilepsy, how it affects people's lives, how people cope with it, and what to do if someone has a seizure
  4. Visit my sister's new blog - she just started it, but she will be sharing her stories and I know she would love readers to cheer her on. 
  5. At the very least... have a look at this brief list of facts.

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