I think maybe you are being too hard on yourself. We all have to ask for and accept help at times. Boy, have I learned that this past year. I'm wondering if you just shouldn't let your co-workers know about your epilepsy and see if they don't show more compassion. As it is, they are probably just wondering why you are changing buses and changing clothes as you go to work and they are probably also wondering why you are not driving. I would talk to your supervisor about it first and let him/her know that it does not effect your work at all, but that you just felt you should let them know about it. If you feel comfortable with the supervisor, you could let him/her know that you are coming to them now because of the way you have been treated and you wanted to let them know the reason you do the things that they laugh at you about. I would casually mention it, because you are being harassed in the workplace and if the supervisor is smart, he/she will put an immediate stop to that.
Caroleena, you are obviously a very strong person, I feel like you can handle this by talking to your supervisor, or better yet if you have a Human Resources Department or Manager, that would be your best bet. If you can go through what you do every day just to get to work, you can take this on. I have faith in you. You are woman!
It would really make your life easier to take that lady up on her offer of a ride to work. You could pay her something for gas and that might help her out also
Let's see what Darren thinks about this. He has dealt with epilepsy a lot longer than I have. I just hate to see you going through all of this just to be able to work, something most people complain about having to do.
"Let's see what Darren thinks about this." --> So there's no pressure here or anything then!
In my opinion, anyone who thinks epilepsy makes you slow or retarded needs a good kicking. (Not that I condone volience of any kind! Just a verbal kicking lol) Epileptics brains (In 99% of cases) hold exacly the same functionality of those without epilepsy. If someone had lost some functionality and they have epilepsy, then chances are its not the epilepsy but some kind of damage to the cortex or inner structures. They may not even be able to spell epilepsy, let alone know what it is and ignorance is a brilliant breeding ground for discrimination. If you take away the ignorance, you stand a much better chance in fighting discrimination. Explain what a seizure is, explain what happens during a seizure, explain how it feels etc, etc... (If you want any info, give me a yell!) Tell them EXPLICITELY you dont need people to feel sorry for you because EPILEPSY IS NOT A DISABILTIY. (If it was I would be claiming from the state, since disability pay is more than I get busting a gut in a supermarket!)
The independance issue is something I hear very clearly. I used to have a car. But 14 months ago, I crashed it after having a seizure. (I dont believe it was a seizure, but thats what the docs put on my medical records so I have to go with it). I lost all my independance in losing the car. I now get lifts back from work and I have to walk into work. (And like you, I have to wear a different set of clothes and get changed because I sweat a lot too). All I can say is that, independance doesnt come on 4 wheels. You still get to work by yourself dont you? You dont get lifts do you? (Unless I missed something!) So you still get to work BY YOURSELF. Isnt that indenpendance? Having a car is convenient. This is the way I have come to look at it. On the bright side, you have 7 months sz free! How many do you need to get a driving licence? (It sounds a bit like collecting points! lol)
Your Personnel department should be informed purely from a risk assessment angle. At the end of the day, you could have a sz at work and they need to make sure that they are aware of how to deal with it. (They should know anyway, but I'd tell them anyway!) As for people treating you like your slow, keep a watch out for the next time they have a problem understanding something... Then ask then if they have epilepsy! (Its not a very social response, but it would make me feel better)
Educate them is my answer. (And if you want any info before you start educating them, so you can look SUPER clever, give me a bell and I will help... I know alsorts off useless stuff!)
I hope this helps and that I was able to perform to a satisfactory standard!
I had epilepsy as a baby but outgrew it when I was about 2, 5 years ago when I was almost 25 the epilepsy came back. No one is sure why I got epilepsy again.
I was never interested in getting my licence as I live fairly central to town and walk to most places but also catch buses or taxis. I also felt that a car was a big expense to have especialy when I am currently unemployed. My neurologist has told me that if I ever wanted to get my learners permit then I need to go 3 years without having any types of seizures. I am an Aussie so the requirements for a person with epilepsy to get their licence might be different in other countrys.
People often ask me why I don't drive which sometimes bothers but I still be polite and answer. If I don't know the person well I just say I don't see a need to have a car as I can walk every where or I think cars are too expensive (with the cost of maintaining them & petrol/gas). If I know the person and trust them then I tell them that I have epilepsy or have a medical condition.
Post Edited (CQ:)) : 8/7/2007 2:34:02 AM (GMT-6)
Post Edited (Wayvonne) : 8/20/2007 7:39:40 PM (GMT-6)
Good Morning Caroleena,
I have had Epilepsy almost as long as you due to a brain abscess and am now 44 years old so I understand where you are coming from since I also ride the bus and walk just about erverywhere.There is nothing wrong with dressing comfortably because of the weather (i live somewhere where it gets really cold so I know exactly what you are talking about.I also hate having to get a ride from someone because I am an independent sort of person. The fact that your doctor cannot find the right dosage may mean you need to find another doctor. If these people at work who supposedly are your friends feel the need to ridicule you and gossip about you maybe you just need to find different friends.
With seizures you always have to be careful, I know I do because I can have a grand mal at any time day or night since I also have them in my sleep. I always tell my cat when I go out that I will be back in a little while "hopefully".You just have to not let is stop you from doing the regular things every one else takes for granted.I just remember that there are people out there that are alot worse off than me.