Epilepsy and fiction
As a teenager I had epileptic seizures in which I didn’t lose consciousness. Strangely, it didn’t really cross my mind to tell anyone, and so the seizures went undiagnosed. One of the things holding me back was that I couldn’t imagine how to describe what I felt, so this short story is my attempt: The split mind of a prophet. The seizures re-occurred briefly when I was in my mid-twenties and the story is an account of one of them. Everything I remember is accurate, for the rest I used my imagination and a real dream I’d had. Everyone’s experience is different, though aspects of my experience may resonate with many epilepsy sufferers. Repeated swallowing, for example, is a common symptom.
When I have seizures in which I do lose consciousness (which began later and are now completely controlled by medication) I don’t experience this feeling, but for many people this kind of experience precedes a grand mal seizure.
This story was inspired by my trip to a London Brain Project exhibition. Epilepsy-inspired artwork included paintings, music and a ‘reality-theatre’ production. I’m releasing it to coincide with the National Brain Appeal, which recognises that one in six of us will experience some form of neurological disorder. Please share it with anyone who might benefit from hearing of my experiences. Thank you.
Check out my Etsy shop for polymer clay creations. My conical flasks designs make the top sellers for earrings, necklaces and cufflinks.
I also make lace, which I mention not because it is art about science (though it could be) but because it is both an art and a science. Designing a pattern is as much a mathematical skill as a creative one – for the design to take shape the threads need to be in the right place. It’s an art that needs logic just as much as science does.
I also want to mention a project I was lucky to be part of: Society of Biology’s BioArtAttack. It is a competition for young people combining science and art, and has produced some stunning creations.