So I know brad paisley is America's sweetheart- an adorable country singer who is affable? How cute! We love him! But he made a comment on Rising Star that really bugged me:
"Someone probably had a seizure at home"
Ok. Well 1) unless there were tons of strobe lights and someone was photosensitive, a performance won't give someone an epileptic seizure. And 2) I get that he wasn't going out of his way to be offensive. He has apologized, after a fan with epilepsy pointed this out, and has made an apology to TEN (the Epilepsy Network)- a quick, yo, I didn't mean it that way. Live tv is a bitch.
Cool bro .
Hopefully, that will stop comments like these too.
here's my issue with all of this- epilepsy sucks. Whether you have petite mal, Dravet syndrome, or any other condition that causes seizures- it's not fun. For some people, it's an invisible disability. SUDEP is terrifying, and happens to 1:1000 people with epilepsy. http://www.epilepsy.com/node/2000093
As some of you know, I have epilepsy, and I've improved from when I was a teenager. I went from having about 140 (grand mal, partial complex, and absent) a month to having about 40 now(absent and partial complex). But I was bullied relentlessly in highschool for my episodes and peeing my pants in class. Different I guess. I have brain damage from my epilepsy. I am one of the lucky ones. I volunteer with epilepsy groups ( a lot of teenagers), and each year we lose people to epilepsy, but because it's not an "in" thing, no one hears about it, it's not talked about. I was misdiagnosed for years.
I can't have kids (not normal for everyone- these things vary- this is just my story- but these things CAN happen to those with epilepsy).I have kidney and liver damage (from meds- bad meds for too long). I slur my speech (and I used to do public speaking!). Vertigo is standard. I have aphasia. I can't drive- never have. Most days my hands and feet tingle. I have to sing in the shower so my husband knows I am ok. I wake up with new bruises. I've knocked out my teeth seven times. I think I have 7 teeth that are all mine/ not fake/ aren't bonded? I have wandered home from work in a fugue before. Depression comes and goes. But I am high functioning, and grateful for it. When I see my neurologist (actually an epilepsy specialist, I just can't spell it), I see people who never stop having seizures. Eventually it causes so much damage they lose function of their organs- then they expire. It's fucking tragic. It's worse to me when they are so young.
There is no cure for epilepsy. There is a VNS implant, and brain surgery (which I am working toward getting). And medications. Some do incredibly well on medication. I do not. I get depressed, or become so adjusted they no longer work. I've tried 16 of them. I am now on the highest dose of 3 different ones. They are okay. I have breakthroughs, but no grand mals.
I share this because looking at me- I look totally fine. Healthy even. No one knows unless they see my epilepsy alert tattoo, and even then, unless they know someone with epilepsy, they don't usually know what that means for some of us.
This is not a lets hate on Brad paisley story (hopefully he will educate himself). This is not a feel bad for Dutchess story. This is a hey, let's examine our words a bit story. I just feel like seizures/ epilepsy is one of those things that people don't notice when they say it.