Today, March 26, marks National Epilepsy Awareness Day – also known as Purple Day. 💜
At La Maison, we share our daily lives with people who, from near or far, live with this neurological condition, which is why we really wanted to take a moment to discuss this subject here, with you. After speaking with people affected by this diagnostic & doing some research on the subject, we realize a little better the impact that epilepsy can have on a daily basis.
I had the chance to talk with our beautiful Karol-Ann, manager of the agrotourism site & member of the big family, so that she could share her story with me since she's been living with epilepsy for a long time now.
I have definitely grown from this exchange & I sincerely hope that this little article will allow you to learn some facts about epilepsy & understand this condition a little better. Enjoy your reading x
*I would like to mention that we are not health professionals. The purpose of this article is to inform, sensitize & support people with epilepsy.
First of all, what is epilepsy? :
As Karol Ann explained to me, in a simplified & popular way:
" Epilepsy is as if your neurons triggered a state of panic in your brain, but without necessarily having a reason to be alarmed. It's a bad code reading, if you can call it that, which puts your body on "shut down" for nothing."
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that can be passed down hereditarily or appear as a result of trauma. Contrary to popular belief, there are different types of epilepsy - something I didn't know before writing this article. Epilepsy is not always like the "stereotypical" image that we can be projected in movies. There are not necessarily always convulsions when you have a seizure. For some people, like Karol Ann, an epileptic seizure is like being in the moon for a few seconds - the person is said to be absent. Also, not everyone is affected by the same things. For example, some will be affected by strobe lights while others will not.
Living with epilepsy on a daily basis, what does it represent? :
As Karol Ann explained to me, there are factors that can increase the risk of having a seizure such as stress, lack of sleep, alcohol or any substance that weakens the abilities. People with epilepsy need to be more vigilant to reduce their risk of having a seizure. We like to believe that Lavender brings a little balm to people who suffer from epilepsy thanks to its many soothing & relaxing properties.
One of the facts I learned that surprised me the most is that when someone has an epileptic seizure (& no matter how bad the seizure is) their driver's license is suspended for a period of 6 month!
What can we do on a daily basis to support people who suffer from epilepsy?
"Getting informed on the subject, knowing what to do in the event of a crisis, giving to the cause & stopping believing everything you see in the movies, it's really a very good start" according to Karol Ann.
A good way to support the cause & to give easily could be to go have a little drink at La Prohibition beer bar, located in Sainte-Thérèse. Yes (!!!) From March 31st until April 30, La Prohibition will have on its menu a "Lavender Sour" concocted with our delicious lavender syrup! For each glass sold, 2$ will be raised & donated to the Association Québécoise de l'Épilepsie.
Jeannie, an employee at Prohibition, approached us with this idea & we accepted her proposal without hesitation. Living with epilepsy for several years, Jeannie is immensely grateful for the support the foundation gave her when she was diagnosed. She wanted to thank them for all the work they do & it gives us great pleasure to be able to contribute.
Here are some links that we found relevant, if you ever want to deepen your knowledge of epilepsy:
－ American Association of Neurological Surgeons
－ Canadian epilepsy Alliance