Today, March 26th, is International Epilepsy Awareness Day. Epilepsy is a disorder that results from the generation of electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. Seizure symptoms vary. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others have full-fledged convulsions (Mayo Clinic). March 26th is also known as Purple Day, which was started in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, where you wear purple in support of those with epilepsy disorders. (Visit the Purple Day website)
There are many varieties of epilepsy disorders. A (fortunately rare) type of epilepsy is Dravet Syndrome (pronounced dra-vay). Dravet syndrome, previously known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a neurodevelopmental disorder beginning in infancy and characterized by severe epilepsy that does not respond well to treatment. Estimates of the prevalence of this rare disorder have ranged from 1:20,000 to 1:40,000 births, though the incidence may be found to be greater as the syndrome becomes better recognized and new genetic evidence is discovered. It is thought to occur with similar frequency in both genders and knows no geographic or ethnic boundaries (IDEA League). There is no cure.
Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has had a major impact on the Dravet community causing the loss of
several children in recent months. With SUDEP, people with poorly controlled epilepsy have a small risk of sudden unexplained death. Overall, less than one in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP, but it's more common among people whose seizures aren't controlled by treatment. The risk of SUDEP is particularly elevated when generalized tonic-clonic seizures are frequent.
Compared to other diseases and disorders, epilepsy receives little media and monetary support. Part of Purple Day is to bring attention to the disorder. Please wear purple in support today and explain to your family and friends why you are doing so.
Epilepsy Facts to share:
Anyone, at any age, can have a seizure.
1 in 10 people are expected to experience some type of seizure in their
There are well over 40 types of seizures.
You should NEVER put anything in the mouth of someone who is having a
You can't swallow your tongue during a seizure.
An average convulsive seizure will last from 1 to 3 minutes...if it is a
first time seizure or if the seizure extends beyond 5 minutes...call
emergency services immediately.
If a person goes into status...this is when someone is seizing without a
break between the seizures...call emergency services immediately.
Not all seizures are Epilepsy.
Not all seizures can be controlled by medication.
Not all seizures are convulsive.
Epilepsy is NOT contagious.
People with Epilepsy can have a very high I.Q.
Please read the stories of the children and their families who have been affected by epilepsy and Dravet syndrome in particular:
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, when we all get a chance to be Irish, here are a few quotes and toasts to celebrate the day.
The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
Health and a long life to you.
Land without rent to you.
A child every year to you.
And if you can't go to heaven,
May you at least die in Ireland.
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.
Here's to the four hinges of society.
May you fight, steal, lie and drink.
When you fight, may you fight for your country.
When you steal, may you steal away from bad company.
When you lie, may you lie at the side of your sweetheart.
And when you drink, may you drink with me.
Merry met, and merry part,
I drink to thee with all my heart.
When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven!
Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.
Irishness is not primarily a question of birth or blood or language; it is the condition of being involved in the Irish situation, and usually of being mauled by it.
-Conor Cruise O'Brien
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.
The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad. For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.
- G.K. Chesterton
It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
- Brendan Behan
I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted.
- Soccer superstar George Best
And a few not so Irish toasts that I'll admit to having said at gatherings (yes even in public) with friends:
We may no longer be virgins, and that might be a sin, but we still have the box the package came in
Friends may come.
Friends may go.
Friends may peter out you know,
But we'll be friends through thick and thin,
Peter out or peter in.