Carreer change due to Epilepsy

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 4/25/2005 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Brad (fly-guy)
I also know what it's like to have to change careers due to a seizure condition.
Brad, I can't offer any suggestions but I a similar situation happen to me.
My name is Randy, I'm Canadian. Music runs in my family and starting from age 9 I was playing drums and guitar with proffesional bands. Up until age 21 (1979) I was a singer/songwriter, music teacher and a studio musician. My only dream in life was to make a good living with my music. (I also developed Ulcerative Colitis at the same time, the Docs. say the two are connected)
Well, all that had to come to a stop. I was sitting at my desk at my P/T job when I had my first seizure. All I remember from that point on was waking up in the ambulance on the way to the hosp. After going through several tests and then seeing a neurologist, the tests showed that there was epileptic activity in my lower tempral lobe. He then persribed Dilantin and Pheonobarb (still on today) and the seizures were under control.  I was even able to keep my drivers licence.
One major problem though, the pills were severely messing up my co-ordination. I walked like a drunk, slurred my speech, my own family was embarassed to be seen with me.
Since my co-ordination was so bad, I could no longer play guitar or drums and I had to give up teaching.
I was so depressed, I could no longer fulfill my dream, now what was I going to do.
I had to make a career change. I was putting in job applications all over but I had no other experience.
Finally I got hired on by the Federal Government as a courier and mail clerk. I worked my way up to Administraion Manager for the Unemployment Insurance Office for 21 years and then 9 years with Veterans Affairs.
My condition was getting worse with age, no seizures but the meds were blocking my learning ability so I couldn't take on extra duties.
As a result of this, my employer(The Government of Canada)
put me on medical retirement last year (I'm oly 48) but after my disability insurance runs out.
I had to learn to live with my disability and work around it.
Diagnosed with epilepsy and ulcerative colitis in 1979,
Been on meds ever since.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/25/2005 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the post. You always hear that people take their health for granted until there's a problem, but never think it is true....well it is. Also, in going through this experience, I have heard the phrase "It could be worse" like a 1000 times, but again, that statement is very true.
As much as feeling sorry for myself and being mad at the world so to speak seems the right thing to make me feel better because things aren't going exactly as I planned, it could be a lot worse. I could have something life threatening.
As much as I rant and rave about those "stupid" neurologists, I know that you just have to pick up the pieces and move on. (darn it...I hate when my parents are right.....HAHA)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 4/25/2005 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Randy, thanks for sharing your story. So many things you have been through.............
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