Michael McGiveron is taking on a 5K Park Run challenge to support Epilepsy Research UK. Here, he shares his story:
“Growing up with epilepsy was a real struggle on myself but also my family as they were constantly worried when I would have a seizure. I was always going back and forth to Alder Hey to get tests done to try and find out what type of seizures I was having and changing medication all of the time to see if it would stop the amount of seizures I was having.
On top of this, (and it still happens to this day) when I do have a seizure I will more than likely be sent home from university and relax from doing nothing at all. It happened a lot in high school for me as a prime example is a teacher talking to the class of 30 and all of a sudden I would have a seizure; thankfully I had a TA with me who knew what I would look like when I’d have a seizure and take me out as it would be very loud and when I’d have one I would have a headache. The amount of times the school phoned my mum to pick me up was unbelievable. Luckily enough it’s only happened once in university during a lecture where I had to leave because it was that bad and the lecturer was worried about me and even came out ot check on me!
I can’t really remember my first seizure or ‘episode’ as I like to call them. But I always remember waking up in the hospital and saying to my parents “Has it happened again?” It’s very hard to describe having epilepsy as it’s a struggle on a daily basis as for me I’m constantly taking medication which is controlling my epilepsy at the moment.
Having said that, now I know when it is going to happen 70% of the time but there’s always that 30% where it comes out of nowhere. As the seizures that I have now are a oral seizures where I will get a metallic taste (basically the sensation of having blood in my mouth) and the urge to spit it out until it stops.
It’s a lot like being on a constant roller coaster up and down all the time, but over time it has changed a lot because the way the episode happens as I sometimes feel dazed and confused and depending on the seizure I will feel tired. When I do have a seizure I feel tired and I could end up going asleep for up to 3 hours as that’s how bad the seizure could be.
As I said at the beginning, my epilepsy is controlled as I haven’t had a episode since the 8th September and there are ways that I control my epilepsy as most people will do and that is being stress free as much as possible. This is because for me the less stressed I am there is a high chance I won’t have a seizure but if I’m stressed I am more than likely to have a episode. It’s the same if I don’t get enough sleep.
With your help we can find the best treatment for epilepsy and raise awareness of it as I believe (along with cerebral palsy, which I have got and raising money for as well) doesn’t get recognised by the media and I’m hoping it does by me doing this.
Thank you for reading my story and any donations are welcome as I would really appreciate it, I will be doing a parkrun on 14th July with the help of Everton in The Community.”
If you’d like to sponsor Michael you can do so on his online page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-mcgiveron1
Thank you Michael for such great support!