A quick intro to Derrick:
· He’s 28, from London, UK and works in Customer Services for Great Western Railway
· His favourite foods: chapti, rice and beans
· His favourite activities: watching and playing football, video games and the gym
· His favourite book: 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness, by Jim Rohn
· His favourite singer: Michael Jackson
· His greatest inspiration: Jim Rohn
· Additional fact: Derrick has never been drunk or taken any illegal substances
Derrick’s quote: “I internally generate my own high!”
Over to Derrick!
Growing up I was a typical boy, who liked video games and physical activities; especially football. I used to spend all my time outside on our street. The street was a lovely, family-orientated street. Back then we were not as driven by technology as we are now. ‘Playing time’ was based around playing outside on bikes, playing rounders, hide and seek etc.. Some of these games may sound ancient to the kids of today!
The day my life changed was when I turned 7. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember borrowing a neighbour’s bike and riding up and down the street when I was hit by a car. For those of you who are wondering, no I was not in the wrong! The gentlemen driving the car was speeding. I hit the ground head first and my life changed.
A few days following the accident I recall having my first ever seizure. I was playing outside, feeling extremely happy when I started feeling this weird sensation for the first time. I felt dizzy, then started seeing stars and gasping for breath. After that, I remember waking up in the hospital and being told I had epilepsy.
Over the years I feel for some family and friends as it has been difficult for them to understand what epilepsy actually is. Some struggle to comprehend a seizure and each of its stages (before, during and after a seizure).
I remember a friend saying that after seeing my seizure first hand, he thought that I was possessed and that I needed prayers. I knew my friend very well and I knew that he didn’t mean for the comment to be malicious; it was due to lack of knowledge. Nevertheless, it was a bit concerning to know that in this day and age, when information is so accessible, he would believe and say such a thing. The problem with ignorant people like this is that they stick firmly to their misleading, inaccurate beliefs which have no concrete evidence. My friend was very religious, and religion was clouding his judgment.
I personally tend to have three stages with my seizures:
Stage 1: I start feeling dizzy, gasping for breath, feeling panicky;
Stage 2: The seizure commences;
Stage 3: I wake up confused, can be very aggressive (depending on how physically close people are to me) and then I become very emotional
I remember a close work colleague witnessing my seizure for the first time, especially Stage 3. His exact words were: “You acted like a baby” and then he started to laugh. He then went on to say that the yolk in eggs that I eat contribute to me having seizures! We must bear in mind that my colleague has no nutritional qualifications and was not a professional specialist in epilepsy.
Over the years I have been learning and practising ways to clear up misconceptions, educate people and give people an insight into epilepsy. I do this mainly through my YouTube and other social media platforms. Send me a message on the below link links if you’d like to learn more!