Top 13 Essential Vitamins and their Functions

Balanced and Healthy Diet

The main aspects to consider when selecting a healthy diet are portion control and balance. There is a saying “to eat the rainbow”. This comes from the fact that the more colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins. So should the diet consist of a wide variety of colourful veg and dark leafy green then almost all vitamins are supplied.

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When selecting portions, a handy guide is to use amounts you are familiar with. Such as a an amount of meat the same as the palm of your hand, 2 fistfuls of vegetables and a thumb sized piece of fat. This will ensure that you are getting enough food at each sitting to both satisfy your appetite and meet your nutritional requirements.

Most people can get enough vitamins by following that simple advice. However, old age, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and conditions such as pregnancy may require additional intake amounts. Therefore, it may be important to include the recommended supplements for health and vitality. Otherwise, following a diet plan is the only way to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of these essential vitamins.

Different Types of Essential Vitamins

There are 13 different types of essential vitamins required for normal body function. They are classified into two categories namely: Water-soluble and Fat-soluble vitamins.

  • Water-soluble- They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Biotin, and Folate. They are not stored in huge amounts in the body and the excess is lost in urine. Aim to get a reasonable amount of these on a daily basis.
  • Fat-soluble- Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are stored in the body and, therefore, should be consumed in little amounts since extremes could cause health problems.

Functions, and Food Sources of Essential Vitamins

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties which help improve immune health by maintaining healthy mucus membranes and fighting diseases. It helps build strong teeth and bones, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, arthritis, and age-related muscular degeneration problems. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging by rejuvenating the cells.

The dietary sources of Vitamin A include milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, butter, eggs, fish liver oils, beef, kidney, chicken, leafy vegetables, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruits like mangoes, peaches, winter squash, apricots, and cantaloupe.

RDA: Men: 900mcg Women: 700mcg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 helps convert food into energy. It’s essential for healthy skin, hair, brain, heart, and for normal nerve functioning.

B1 helps prevent kidney stones, Beriberi, heart diseases, and indigestion. It’s especially crucial for elderly patients who are at a risk of Alzheimer’s.

Sources include pork chops, ham, liver, dried beans, nuts, and seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.2mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This vitamin helps with energy production in the body by enabling conversion of food into energy. It also helps the body use other B vitamins properly. It’s needed for healthy eyes, hair, skin, blood, brain. It improves the body’s metabolic activity, boosts the immune system, and promotes the health of the nervous system.

Vitamin B2 comes from whole grains, dairy products, soybeans, meat and poultry, liver, eggs, and mushrooms.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin, nicotinic acid)

This nutrient also helps convert food into energy and is important for the nervous system, digestive system, skin health, hair, and brain. It helps with indigestion, reduction of weakness, heart disorders, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, skin disorders, migraines, and diarrhoea.

Niacin occurs naturally in foods and can also be made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan with the help of B6. It’s found in a wide variety of foods including meat, poultry, whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, and peanut butter.

RDA: Men: 16mg Women: 14mg

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin helps convert food into energy and synthesizes glucose. Also, it can help break down some fatty acids. It allows the body to use proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from the food consumed. Its helps improve metabolism and treats skin disorders.

It’s found in whole grains, non-fat milk and yogurt, sweet potatoes, peanuts, almonds, eggs, liver, poultry meat, organic meats, and fortified soy milk.

RDA: Men: 30mcg Women: 30mcg

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

It helps the body make good use of proteins and glycogen. It also helps form haemoglobin which carries blood in the body. It improves sleep, moods, and appetite. It also boosts the immune system. The only vitamin deficiency known to cause or worsen seizures in infants is a deficiency of vitamin B6. Some doctors may also try vitamin B6 in older children with difficult-to-control seizures, but there is no solid evidence that it will be helpful.

Most people do not get enough of this nutrient. It’s mainly found in foods such as meat, potatoes, bananas, poultry, liver, soybeans, lentils, nuts, bran, oats, chickpeas and sunflower seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.3mg

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 helps improve body metabolism, synthesizes red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. Deficiency can cause anaemia. The vitamin is only found in animal food sources such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

RDA: Men: 2.4mcg Women: 2.4mcg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

It helps convert food into energy and also makes lipids and haemoglobin. Deficiency causes burning feet and neurological problems. It’s commonly found in whole grains, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, and poultry.

RDA: Men: 5mg Women: 5mg

Folate (folic acid)

It’s vital for new cell creation. It helps prevent birth defects when taken during pregnancy, reduces heart and colon cancer risks and offsets breast cancer risks among women who consume alcohol.

It’s mainly found in asparagus, spinach, okra, broccoli, legumes like chickpeas and black-eyed peas, tomato juice, and orange juice.

RDA: Men: 400mcg Women: 400mcg

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

It’s generally an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums, improves the body’s ability to absorb iron, boosts the immune system and maintains healthy tissues. It’s abundant in citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, and strawberries.

RDA: Men: 90mg Women: 75mg: Smokers: An additional 35mg

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for good bone health as it increases the amount of calcium and phosphorus absorbed in the body, making bones and teeth stronger and healthier. It also helps protect against infections by boosting the immune system health. Dietary sources include milk, fish, eggs, organ meats fish liver oils, and rice beverages.

RDA: Men: 10mcg Women: 10mcg

Vitamin E

It helps maintain a healthy immune system and other body processes. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. It’s found in vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, avocados, some nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and wheat germ.

RDA: Men: 15mg Women: 15mg

Vitamin K

This nutrient activates proteins and calcium essential for blood clotting and also helps prevent hip fractures. It can be found in liver, broccoli, spinach, sprouts, kale, eggs, collard, and other leafy green vegetables.

RDA: Men: 120mcg Women: 90mcg

Author Bio:

Alex Morgan – Currently studying in Dublin, Alex is a career writer, by choice! Versed in a number of subjects he mainly specialises in tech, education, health and fitness and gaming; of the video variety. He posts on a number of blogs and websites and harbours desires to begin a great novel, but struggles creating character names – Look for the epic fantasy “Tom the Barbarian” on shelves soon.

He can often be found on twitter under the handle @Al_Exical. He finds it comforting to talk about himself in the third person.

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Brain Train

November !! An Exciting Epilepsy Month

Bring on November !!

We’ve got some Exciting Epilepsy things coming up in November. In a few days here in my home town,  we have The Brain Train. The Brain Train is an event to really learn the facts, ins and outs of Epilepsy. We have some exciting speakers coming like my past Neurologist . People will really be able to have their questions answered by simply putting their hand in the air. People really do need to learn the facts. There isn’t enough public knowledge of Epilepsy. It’s also an opportunity for people with Epilepsy to realise that they are not alone.

 

Brain Train

So, next……Our Car Boot Sale !!

The New Zealand Epilepsy Foundation Support Group – Waikato .This is our group/board here in my home town. On the 8th of November we are having a Car Boot Sale.  So, bring your Car or Ute along, pay a small fee and see if someone else is interested in a few things you no longer require. We’ll have the BBQ going, so it should be a productive morning. It’s exciting for us to get these events going. As we all know, actions speak louder than words.

 

Car Boot Sale

 

I am also taking part in a November Epilepsy Blog Relay .  Every day in November, someone will put forward a blog post around the subject of Epilepsy. There are a few subject within the subject of Epilepsy. My post will be about Genetics. Is someones Epilepsy Genetic ?  Or are they the only one in their family with Epilepsy. I know for myself I’m the only one with Epilepsy. I’m also the only one in my family not wearing glasses.  You never know what your gonna get.

 

Living Well With Epilepsy

 

It’s fantastic to be involved in all 3 of these activities. I love the feeling of being involved, working with others, making a contribution. Together everyone achieves more.

Medication

No More Topiramate !!

Medication

Yes, that’s right, no more Topiramate.

Tomorrow is my last day of Topiramate. I’ll then just be taking Levetiracetam and Lamotrigine. I have been in the process of cutting down to 2 drugs since my visit to the Neurologist in mid July. Each month I took 25 less. I was at 50 mg twice a day.

So, will this make a difference ? Who knows. I haven’t really been the best lately. At the end of last week, I had turns 4 days in a row. But it’s all emotional. What I mean by that is that most of the time I know why my turn happened, what brought it on. If we look at the year so far, I was better in the first half.

Here is my number of turns month by month.

  • January – 3
  • February – 3
  • March – 4
  • April – 4
  • May – 6
  • June – 6
  • July – 4
  • August – 6
  • September – 4
  • October ….so far – 5

So, has the small increase got anything to do with medication ?  I don’t think so. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m still keen on seeing a Hypnotist. I did speak to one a while ago. He said they weren’t allowed to see the likes of myself, that they could be held accountable for anything that happens. There is a Hypnotist that advertising that she can relieve stress, confidence…. all types of emotional stuff. I’ll think I’ll give her a call sometime.

Let’s see if no Topriamate makes a difference. I’ve been on it for a very long time !!

Embarassment

Embarrassment

Embarrassment

Embarrassment – a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.

Are you someone who suffers from embarrassment ? ” Suffer” probably isn’t the most appropriate word to use. Maybe I should say feel Embarrassment.
This is something that I have gotten past. Epilepsy has played a part in this.

I no longer feel silly. I’m happy to laugh at myself. I’m sure you have been told that we need to laugh at ourselves. There is no need to feel embarrassment because of Epilepsy, so it’s a good idea to spread that into the rest of your life.

When it comes to Epilepsy I always think of the fact that Epilepsy can become part of ANYONE’S life. In some ways I’m actually proud of Epilepsy. I’d be happy if I never had another seizure, but I’m somewhat proud of where I am and where I want to be in the future. Yes, I have my bad days, but don’t we all ?

We can’t live our life’s trying to please everyone, so that’s why you have to forget what others think. I even think of not caring what others think. That may sound like a bad attitude to some, but I assure you it isn’t. Once again, I know where I am at. I know who I am. I’m 34 years old.

I often say I wish I understood how I would feel now when I was in my late teens. Those teenage years, many stress about the likes of homework. 20 years later you have your children to think about and the likes of paying a mortgage. What about retirement ? Once I reached 30 though, I realised that there was no need to be cool when I was at school. This is something I’m determined to get through to my children. It puzzles me that many people are friends through Facebook, but if you saw these people in the street, they wouldn’t even look at you. Why not ? Surely everyone has moved on from their school days.

Embarrassment

If people want to worry about how you look, what your wearing, let them.  Just don’t worry about it yourself.

“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.” – Douglas Engelbart

“Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.” – Tony Benn

V Drink

Does V Drink = Seizures ?

How many out there with Epilepsy think about what they eat or drink ?
Do you really think what you eat or drink effects your seizures ?
I think it probably does, but what extremes do you want to go to.
Yes, I think we all know that Alcohol is something to keep away from.
I do keep away from Alcohol. I have the odd drink here and there, but it would only equal one drink a month…..if even that.

As we know, fruit , veges and water are the keys. The world is becoming more and more obese every day. Our household has veges at least every 2nd night.

In July and August, I had 4 turns ( seizures ) each month. But there is something that could be contributing to this. I have a drink of V once a week. I have being seeing this as my little treat. V is a drink that is very high in Sugar.

V contains –

Sucrose, Guarana, Caffeine, B Vitamins, Taurine   drinking V

It’s interesting to read up on these ingredients. We all know that everyone should be careful with their Caffeine intake. I have never been a coffee or tea drinker. I do have a milo / hot chocolate with my breakfast, but that’s pretty much it. I’m sure you know someone that has many cups of tea or coffee every day.

I have read that energy drinks can interact with medication, so this could be the case with myself. I have tried to go by the policy of moderation. Moderation is the key to everything. This is why I only ever have one V drink a week. I don’t like paying for them either, but we have to treat ourselves occasionally. I feel a bit guilty sometimes for spending the $3-4 dollars (NZ) the V costs. I usually buy 500 mls.

I haven’t had a V in about 10 days now. So, I’ll try and completely stop drinking them. We’ll see if this has any effect on things.

Life is so much about routines and habits. I think you can look at so many things like this. There are so many things that people start , then they can’t stop. This can be from smoking and drinking or even children needing their teddy bear in bed at night. Crazy comparison ? My wife says it is. I say that because there are times when our son has come in to us in the middle of the night because he can’t find his teddy. I think if children weren’t given soft toys when they are first born, they would be fine without them.

teddy-562960__180
I have already discussed drinking tea and coffee. I never started in my early or late teens, so I don’t do it now. It’s all about starting things. If you never start doing certain things, you won’t find yourself having to stop.

Sorry if you find a few things I said sound rather bizarre.

All the best
🙂

An Epilepsy Alphabet : Words Out Of Epilepsy

Here is something crazy. How many words can we get out of the word Epilepsy ? I’m pretty sure all of these make sense. But you shouldn’t really use someones second name, especially when that name isn’t of English Language. But hey, I just did it for a bit of a laugh and also my love of Golf !! I’ve watched Ernie a lot over the years.

Sleep

6 Letter Words

Yippee, Slippy, Sleepy

5 Letter Words

Peels,Sleep,Lippy,Piles,Pipes,Plies,Spiel,Slipe,Speel

4 Letter Words

Pees, Pile, Yelp, Pies, Pipe, Peal, Pips, Slip, Lies, Isle, Else, Eels

3 Letter Words                                                                                                    

Yes, See, Eel, Sly, Lip, Els,Yep,Yip, Eye, Spy, Sip, Pie, Pee, Pip, Lye, Ply, Lie

2 letter Words

Is

 

Eels


Not The Best Day

I didn’t have the best day yesterday. It was the usual start. My wife left at about 7:15 for her 20-30 minute drive to work. Its always about then that the kids are sitting at the table eating their breakfast. I always have to tell them to be quiet, carry on eating , etc. Every day is the same. It can be pretty frustrating. So, it was that sort of morning, plus I had quite a few other things running through my head.

So, at 7:30- 8 am , it’s always brush teeth time. It’s always about 8:30 that we leave for our walk to school and then kindy.  At about 7:30 or so, the doorbell went. I went and answered the door. There was a Courier Man there with a parcel for us. I then remembered that he was going to be coming. .  But, that is the last I can remember of him.

Next thing I remember is walking along the foot path in my slippers. I eventually ended up back at home. The front door had been pushed towards been shut, but not completely. I went in and there was no one there.

So, I gave my wife a call. She said she was on her way home.  She also told me the kids were just down the street at my sons friends house. Sounds like I had taken off and the Courier Man was unable to stop me. My son asked the Courier Man to take them to his friends house. Well Done !! So, I got on my way there. Just as I got onto the street, our Neighbour arrived. So, him and I walked to their house. There were my kids !!

So, we came home again. Next thing ya know, about 8:30, my wife was home again. I wish she hadn’t come home for the day. I’m sure my parents could have helped us out. So, from there, she took our girl to kindy , and my son and I walked to school, which is not even 5 minutes walk away.

I rang the Courier Company and found out who had made the delivery. They told me so I personally rang the man and told him how grateful we were that he took care of the kids by taking them down the street.

So, I had a day with my wife at home. After lunch we ( including our daughter) went to the local shopping centre to do a couple of things.

So, frustrating for me !! Frustrating because it meant my wife missed a day at work. It just makes you feel bad because you messed everything up.

I felt ok this morning, and I was really. I was a little funny when I left kindy though. (after dropping my daughter there). I stood on the footpath and wondered how long I had until I had to be back, or some reason I was thinking I didn’t want to go to far.  One of the teachers came out to see whether I was ok. I said to her that it seems like there is several periods throughout the day, like there was when I was at school. EG: 6 one hour periods. At first I was dreaming I had to be back in a short time. But, I came right and continued on my way home. Apart from that, which only lasted a few minutes I suppose  I’ve been fine today.

 

Neurologist Appointment……In A Couple Of Days

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YES, THAT’S RIGHT !!

Just a couple of days to go and we are off to the Neurologist. 

My last visit was 15 months ago. 

So, I have been very excited about this. It should have been a few weeks ago, but I got a phone call, which put it off for a few weeks. It made me a bit angry at the time, but….never mind.

I have had big changes in medication since my last visit. I have had big improvement with seizure numbers as well, but then I feel it’s slightly gone backwards again in the last 3-4 months. I’m looking forward to taking all my records and having a chat. I write everything down. When I had a seizure/turn and why I think I had it. So, I’ll keep you posted on what comes out of our appointment !!

HAVE A GREAT DAY !!

Epilepsy Stigma – The Uneducated Public

This post is part of the Epilepsy Stigma Blog Relay which will run from June 1 through June 30.
Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!

My Epilepsy joined me at puberty, which is about 20 years ago.

Epilepsy is something that the public are very misinformed about, but at the same time everyone is an expert. Well, many think they are experts. The public need to be much more informed. When one is having a seizure, it is often misdiagnosed as another type of health condition/issue. I have experienced this many times.

The public needs to know ..

  • Epilepsy is not contagious
  • People with Epilepsy are capable of employment
  • People with Epilepsy are not violent
  • Epilepsy can become part of anyone’s life.

There are many types of Epilepsy and when people hear the word Epilepsy, they only think of Grand Mal Seizures. Some with Epilepsy are afraid to be out and open with their Epilepsy . Some with Epilepsy are ashamed. Many with Epilepsy often wonder if they should be honest when moving forward with their career.  Yes, of course you should. You need to be open and honest in all avenues. Your new employer isn’t going to be happy to see a seizure 2 weeks into your new employment if they knew nothing of it. Tell these people about your Epilepsy. If they choose not to employ you just because of your Epilepsy, that’s discrimination. Just because you have Epilepsy, doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of the position.

When meeting new people, you may not like it, but Epilepsy is a part of your life. If people turn away from you when they hear of your Epilepsy, they are not the sort of people to be forming relationships with. Others should love you as you are, Epilepsy or not. The best thing for everyone is to be loved by those closest. Family should love you wherever life takes you.

Everyone needs to understand that Epilepsy could join them tomorrow. But, many have the “No, that will never happen to me ” attitude. Another common one is “No one in my family has ever had Epilepsy so..” Anyone can have Epilepsy, at any stage of life.

Epilepsy may have got you down at some stage in life, but it may become part of your motivation down the road . Epilepsy has become somewhat of a passion for myself. Sound crazy ? Well, as said, many know very little about Epilepsy, so why not be part of the solution. I’m excited about doing this as a board member with the New Zealand Epilepsy Foundation.It’s fantastic to be part of getting more information out there and helping Epilepsy gain more publicity. In doing this, I hope to continue meeting others with Epilepsy. There are quite a number of people with Epilepsy. Think of  1-2 % of the population. I look forward to finding some of these people.

When I mention my Epilepsy , most of the time the person I am talking to will say they know someone with Epilepsy. Everyone seems to know someone with Epilepsy.

Don’t let your Epilepsy own you. Do the things that you want to do. There is a perfect job for us all. That job is called life. So try to enjoy everyday.

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out http://www.faithfulmomof9.com  for more on Epilepsy Stigma. 

To view all the blogs from the Epilepsy Stigma Blog Relay – 2015, visit:

No Turns Today Thanks !!!

So, what do you think ?

I just printed this yesterday and placed it on one of my dressing table drawers.
Hasn’t there been an idea that if  one wants to achieve something, they should be saying it to themselves over and over again ?
So, I thought if I have these words in front of me as soon as I get up in the morning, it may help. It will of course be one of the last things I see at night as well.  80-90 % of my seizures/turns are related to my emotions. So, maybe if I drawerslook at this, it will cement it in my head. Let’s hope what is printed is the outcome again and again.
Hey, why not give it a go.

We Have Got Nothing To Lose & Everything To Gain.

Emotion Sickness

Emotions !!!
Emotions !!!

The last week has shown me that my Epilepsy is very much an Emotion Sickness. What do I mean by that ? Well, firstly I get the term “Emotion Sickness” from a song title. “Emotion Sickness” is a Silverchair song. Silverchair are an Australian band. Their music is what I live off.

If I could remove my Emotions from my world,I think  we’d be well on track to getting rid of a large number of my turns/seizures. In the last week, I have had 4 turns. That’s a fairly big number. These occurred 4 days in a row.  It’s easy to see why I had 3 of these by looking at what was going on. Where I was, who I was with, what was been discussed. I can sometimes predict a turn is going to happen.

If you did remove Emotions, it may help with the Epilepsy, it may not.  Emotions play a pretty important part in our life’s. Think about the people you love, the things you love doing. What it feels like when your successful, or when your having a good time. Different feelings come from different places. It would be handy if you could see what feelings are coming. It would arrive at a gate or door…. It is your call whether you want to “let it out”, but it would be even better if you could also decide whether you wanted it to occur at all. Maybe it’s about being a bit more controlled in the way you think. Some of the situations I have which bring turns on are pretty minor. But they must still be enough to flick a switch. Our Emotions are part of what make us who we are. Are you an Emotional person ? Or are you more like a brick ? ( bricks don’t cry ). Do you like having a cuddle ? Do you tell someone special that you love them ?   Do you cry at the movies ? There are many parts to the way our minds work, along with our Emotions. Isn’t the mind an amazing system !!

I have made inquires into Hypnosis. The person I spoke to was willing to set an appointment, but there was a problem in that they would have been liable if anything had happened from that appointment/appointments. It’s still an area I’d like to explore. If someone can use Hypnosis to quit smoking, I think it’s worth giving it a shot for Epilepsy.

A Chat With My Local Paper

A few weeks back, with us being in the month of March, myself and Epilepsy Foundation marketing and programme manager Brian Barnett had a chat to my local paper , The Waikato Times.

Our plan was to get the word about Epilepsy out of there. As we know , there are thousands of people  that need to be found, come out their closets so to speak. We want to bring people together and realize there are people just the same as them. This year the Foundation are going to be starting new events
in different regional all around New Zealand.

A Visit From The Waikato Times

The words above are linked to the article.

 

GUEST POST !! SITA FROM LIFE AT FULL VOLUME !!

Hello all !! 
I am really excited to share with you the story of Sita, of  Life At Full Volume !! WOO HOO !!  Sita is in her mid 20’s and recently received a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. It’s been great to converse with another with Epilepsy, from the other side of the world. It’s fantastic to read Sita’s positive outlook on life.



 Tuning In: When The Body Says Enough!!

Hey everyone! My name is Sita and I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of ten. I’m going to be twenty five in a couple of weeks, just to put it in perspective, (for those of you who don’t know, Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes you to have seizures). When I was a kid, I was pretty much the poster child of someone who lived with well-controlled seizures. My seizures only occurred about twice a year, and even then they were in my sleep and the worst that would happen is that I would wake up with a bloody tongue. I never felt affected by this medical condition; I just felt like I was an ordinary kid who took medication twice a day to help control these mysterious seizures that only presented themselves on a rare occasion. My neurologist (a doctor who deals with epilepsy and other brain disorder conditions) was in awe. I was going to be graduating from high school soon and I was heading off across the country to start university. She seemed to think this was a big deal! At the time I just kind of shrugged my shoulders. Wasn’t everyone expected to graduate high school and go to university? I mean, my parents never said that I had to go to university, but it was something that I wanted, and I didn’t know why it was such a big deal.

Adjusting to university life was a bit of a struggle, as I tried to balance the stress of work and becoming more independent. The seizures still occurred from time to time, but I was never really in serious danger, as they usually always occurred while I was in bed or in my room. Well, except for the time that I did a face plant because I had a seizure while running. Other than that, the ride was pretty smooth.

January of 2012 is when things got out of control. I had a couple of minor seizures, but as the months kept coming more seizures came too. It got to the point where I feared going to school in the event that I would have a seizure and smack my face on the floor. Even worse than the physical harm to my body was the shame and embarrassment I had about the seizures. If you have ever witnessed a seizure, you will know that they look a little bizarre. I started to become very worried, and ultimately became very depressed. At the time I wouldn’t have told you that my anxiety was up the wazoo and I was so far in the depression hole that I couldn’t find a ladder. I was pretty much unaware of both. Even then, I am good at putting on a good face when I have to. I didn’t want to burden anyone. Plus, I figured that I was just a tired out student. I mean, no one wants to get out of bed on a Monday morning, and sometimes it’s sometimes hard to focus in lectures. Also, students are busy, right? We don’t always have time to eat properly, or at all, which is what happened to me as I found myself less hungry for food, and less hungry for the things that used to bring me joy.

I was pretty much in extreme denial. I just saw depression as something that happened to other people. Oh boy, was I wrong. The interesting thing about depression and epilepsy is that they work together in a happy little cycle. The more seizures I had, the more depressed I became, and the continued depression would cause more seizures. I was afraid to go anywhere on my own, even to meet a friend for coffee nearby. The seizures were so unpredictable that they happened at unexpected times, which left me little to no time to get to a safe place.

This left me feeling trapped in my apartment. I hated to make plans with my friends in case I had to bail at the last moment, or I was afraid of having a seizure while I was out. I started to yearn for the days where I could leave my apartment by myself and just go for a walk without any worries. It sounds so trivial, but when I was unable to go anywhere by myself without extreme anxiety, it seemed like a distant life that was no longer mine.

This experience taught me a very valuable lesson. Never take anything for granted. Even though being able to meet up with people and enjoy time with friends sounds so trivial, it is essential for ones well-being. I can’t be alone all the time and I need my friends to help maintain the richness of my life.Also, I’ve learned that, despite this year, I have it pretty good. Other people who live with epilepsy are unable to work, go to school, or are behind in their schooling. Some people even need to wear head protection all the time to protect them if they fall. Four years later, and I finally see why my neurologist was in awe of my accomplishments.

If there’s anything that i believe in, it’s that I believe that everything happens for a reason. (To a certain extent at least). I think this experience has taught me that I need to live in the moment, which I am working on. This is a key component of mindfulness, which is the idea that you are fully engaged in the moment that you are in, and every moment is ‘now’. I find it hard to be in the ‘now’, but part of me believes that the universe was trying to teach me a lesson when all of this was happening. I can’t skip over parts of my life. I have to live them, no matter what is happening. Additionally, many of these past few months have been very low-key for me, just to improve my health, so I have learned to find meaning in this ‘non-doing’. This means finding meaning in what I’m doing, even if it appears to be non-productive.

My seizures are still not controlled, but we are trying new medications and potentially the Vagus Nerve Stimulator as a last ditch effort. (The VNS is essentially a pace maker for the brain).

I managed to receive my Bachelor’s of Social Work degree in 2014, but as of right now I am focusing on writing a book on my experiences of living with epilepsy as a young twenty something year old. I have found that many people are intrigued by my story- so what better thing to do than to do it! I am also focusing on public speaking, as I have done some talks in the past and I am not shy to talk in front of people.

I find that telling this story to people is like ripping off a band-aid. The more I do it, the easier it becomes, and the easier it is to move on and gather strength, regardless of the situation.

Keep fighting the good fight!! xoxo

Great Suff Sita !!  As mentioned, it’s been great to be in contact with Sita. From this story and other posts on her blog, it’s easy to see she is headed in the right direction !!
Good on ya Sita 🙂  Life At Full Volume .

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Displaying Tuning in When the Body Says Enough!.doc.

A 2km Family Walk Fundraiser

Hey there !! 🙂

The Crowd Before The Start

So, we walked 20 km a couple of weeks ago…and this weekend we had another walk on. But, this one was a bit shorter. Quite a bit shorter actually. Just 2km . This was a fundraiser at our sons school just down the street. There were several distances available, from the 2km up to running 9km. But, I thought we would just walk 2km as a family. It was also a good chance to join in on the festivities afterwards. So, the people running 9km went off first and eventually our time came. I pushed my daughter in her pushchair and my wife went along with my son. He really surprised us, because he ran and ran.

Off They Go !!

So, Alie (my wife) had to jog as well to keep up with him.My daughter and I eventually caught up to them , and we stayed together for the rest of the race. We did really well. It was fantastic to cross the finish line together, as a family. We were handed a bottle of water each from one of the sponsors. There was plenty of things for the kids to do. Games like tossing a ball through a hole, Soak-a-Teacher, Raffles, face painting.We walked around and had a good watch, then went to the playground for a while, waiting for prize giving to come.There were plenty of prizes,from the most crazy dressed, spot prizes, and for of course the people who won each distance.We had to explain to our son plenty of times that not everyone gets a prize. So, by the time they had worked themselves through the morning, it was pretty much lunchtime. There was going to be live music starting at lunchtime. This was a couple who had appeared on the X Factor NZ. We had never seen them.


Go Hayden, through the hole !!

We headed home for lunch before the music started. So, I’m very glad we went and participated. At first we hadn’t intended to.
Sounds like there was between 600-700 people participate. So,well done Rototuna School.As a School , Rototuna are fantastic at fundraising.

Great Way To Spend A Sunday

Feel like walking 20km ?
Well, that’s what we did in the weekend. Yes, it sounds like quite a distance, but I do walk alot. I walk most days, with about 50% of it with a pushchair. My wife and mother-in-law also took part. I was a bit nervous leading into it. But once we got going, I was ok. I didn’t walk with my loved ones, because their steps aren’t as big as mine with my legs been a bit longer 🙂 . I sometimes take small steps when walking with my mother- in-law.. about 3 of hers to one of mine. But, she doesn’t really find this as amusing as I do. So this walk was through the bush/forest. Some of it was on road, either tar-seal or gravel. There was also some on bush walking track as well.I had a few chats with different people on the way around. It was 2 laps of a 10 km track. My first goal was to get the first lap out of the way. I noticed I was pretty close to the front of the field. So, I thought about getting in the first 5 to finish. But , Epilepsy was to play a part. I remember on completion of the 1st lap, I had a conversation with someone, saying that I should stop. But, I disagreed and carried on. My legs were sore and I could have had a trip to the toilet, but I decided I’d be right, I could hold on until the end. I continued to move towards the front, but eventually had some problems. I remember there were times that I walked the wrong way. I would have thought people would have helped out. Maybe they did, but if I was in a strange state of mind, it may have been hard to change my ways. I also remember walking passed the same people several times. That really tells me I must have been walking the wrong way. When there were bits of bush walking, I got lost , which would have cost me time as well. I also had to ask people for advice on where to go towards the end. But, I made it to the end. I won for my age group, for which I received a sports bag and medal. It was still a respectable time, just under 3 hours. But it could have been a lot better, maybe 30 minute, if Epilepsy hadn’t affected it.
Never mind.
It’s still a pretty good achievement to walk 20km. Maybe we can look at doing it again next year.
If we do, I’m sure I will be able to better my time.

Before The Walk 

An Ambulance On Our Walk Home

This week my wife was away for a night due to work commitments.
She came home feeling pretty tired and not her best so she took the next day off work. She rarely does this, but when she does I do enjoy it. The kids have been going to swimming lessons on Thursday afternoons. My Mum has been taking us, but with my wife home, it gave Mum a chance to have the day off. So, school ended at 3pm, and my daughters lesson was at 3:30. So off the 4 of us went. My wife was yet to see our girl in the pool, so she was looking forward to it. I had a plan to walk us home afterwards. My sons lesson isn’t until 4:30, so it is alot of time for my daughter to sit around doing nothing. So, we got her dressed, and her and I set off on the 30-40 min walk home.
It is mostly a walk I do often. Without driving I do alot of walking. I walked through the shopping centre/mall on the way home. Anyway, I looked at the time and it was about 4:35 so I thought of my boy in the pool . As we walked along, I all of a sudden got a fright and jumped as you sometimes do. A teenage boy came flying up behind me on his bike. He apologized and we smiled and had a bit of a joke with each other as he rode past. This was as I went down a bit of a hill. As I continued, I felt a bit funny, maybe nervous. I may have just been wanting to get up the small hill in front. This part of the road is a dip. It quickly goes down and then up again. Anyway, next thing you know, I’m in an Ambulance !!
Sounds like I had left my daughter in the pushchair (put the pushchairs brakes on) , and walked to the other side of the road. It is a very busy road. From the notes of the Ambulance, I crossed the road a couple of times then collapsed on the grass beside the footpath. It sounds like there was some very helpful members of the public. I have had an Ambulance come 3-4 times even though most of the time it hasn’t been necessary. The most frustrating is they don’t let you go very quickly. But, I guess they are just doing their job. The cost of it used to bother me as well. People would call one unnecessarily, and you would have to pay for it. That’s not the case now because we are part of the supporter scheme.We pay a small fee every year, which covers the whole family.  Maybe it is concerning when I am out with my daughter, but we are out walking most days. I have been doing this with my kids for years now. My daughter and I walk to kindy 3 days a week, and whether permitting, we walk for the sake of walking. I do think this whole thing started when the teenager went past me on his bike. That gave me a fright, and it was enough to get it started. That’s what led to feeling funny as I walked up the hill. As usual, it’s very much about emotions.  Thanks to the people who were nearby and noticed wasn’t quite right, and thanks to St John Ambulance. 

It’s Alot Easier These Days…& I LOVE Talking About It !!!

Have you used your smartphone today ? If so, what did you use it for ?
A phone call, a text, Facebook…. or maybe you needed to use a map.
So, it’s been a bit over 20 years since the internet arrived ? 
It’s now a part of most peoples daily
life’s,whether it’s at the computer or mobile phone.You can have the information you want at your fingertips,or deliver the information you want with the use of your fingertips.You can pretty much be online where ever you are. Healthcare is something that works well online. For myself, I no longer have to go to the doctor to get a new prescription of medication. I just log in at a website –  Manage My Health , say what I want/need, and my doctor signs it off. I go to the Doctors Clinic and pick up the Prescription and step next door to the Pharmacy. So, the use of the internet has taken a step out of what would have been done in the past, or at least a phone call. Manage My Health has all my records. All my visits to the doctor, any surgery, examinations I have had are all there to look at once I log in. Talking of visits, appointments..have you received a text message reminding you of an appointment. I know I have. This is something that wouldn’t have happened in the early days of mobiles, because text messages hadn’t even started. With the use of the internet , people can now research their own illness/condition. The one danger of this is that some may will start to believe they are an expert and self-diagnose.  But, we need to remember that that is the professionals job. They have done years of training. I for one have looked at a lot of things to do with Epilepsy via the net.It’s handy to read info in several places. It’s interesting to look at other peoples perspective, opinions. YouTube is a great place for that. Video is the best way to get your point across. Isn’t YouTube one of the worlds most popular places ?

As Technology develops, medical professionals are able to do their jobs better. With the Internet they can reach thousand of pages of info with the touch of a button. It’s a lot easier and quicker than thumbing through a text book.
I think Social Media has huge benefits when it comes to health issues. Well, that’s what I have seen of late. Something I have really started to enjoy more and more is the Epilepsy Groups I am in. These are Google + Groups and Facebook Groups. It’s great to see people having really open discussions about their Epilepsy. People are asking questions, and everyone is coming out and telling a small part of their Epilepsy story.There is nothing better than conversation. It’s sometimes the best medicine. It’s pointless bottling everything up inside. This is what I hope for the future here in New Zealand. That’s why I like been involved with The NZ Epilepsy Foundation. People with Epilepsy in New Zealand have to come out and not be afraid of Epilepsy.They need support.There is no point living in a box.  
You Have To Be Positive !!

Would You Like To Tell Your Story ?

Does Epilepsy effect you or someone you love ?
If so, would you like to write an account about it ? I would like to have some other peoples stories here. So, if you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch. Epilepsy is not talked about enough. The more peoples stories heard, the better. Everyone has a different story to tell.
So, feel free to get in touch via my blog or email me at positiveepilepsy@gmail.com