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Old 05-10-2005, 06:38 PM
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Career change due to seizure condition


Hi everyone. I posted this on another site but I thought it should be posted here as well.

Music runs in my family and starting from age 9, I was playing drums and guitar with proffesional bands. Up until age 21 (1979) I was a singer/songwriter, music teacher and a studio musician. My only dream in life was to make a good living with my music.

Well, all that had to come to a stop. I was sitting at my desk at my P/T job when I had my first seizure. All I remember from that point on was waking up in the ambulance on the way to the hosp. After going through several tests and then seeing a neurologist, the tests showed that there was epileptic activity in my lower tempral lobe. He then persribed Dilantin and Pheonobarb (still on today) and the seizures were under control. I was even able to keep my drivers licence.

(I also developed Ulcerative Colitis at the same time, the Docs. say the two are connected)

One major problem though, the pills were severely messing up my co-ordination. I walked like a drunk, slurred my speech, my own family was embarassed to be seen with me.

Since my co-ordination was so bad, I could no longer play guitar or drums and I had to give up teaching.

I was so depressed, I could no longer fulfill my dream, now what was I going to do.
I had to make a career change. I was putting in job applications all over but I had no other experience.

Finally I got hired on by the Federal Government as a courier and mail clerk. I worked my way up to Administraion Manager for the Unemployment Insurance Office for 21 years and then 9 years with Veterans Affairs.
My condition was getting worse with age, no seizures but the meds were blocking my learning ability so I couldn't take on extra duties.
As a result of this, my employer(The Government of Canada)
put me on medical retirement last year (I'm oly 4 but after my disability insurance runs out.

I had to learn to live with my disability and work around it.

Randy
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:36 PM
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Re: Career change due to seizure condition


Originally Posted by RanMan :
Up until age 21 (1979) I was a singer/songwriter, music teacher and a studio musician. My only dream in life was to make a good living with my music.
Randy, what is stopping you from continuing to be a songwriter or music teacher?

Have you ever experienced the zone while playing music?
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:41 PM
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Bernard,
I still write music but not as often as my brain is always in a fog from the meds. (dilantin & pheonobarb)

Re: Teaching music - Since my mind is left in a fog and the meds have effected my eyesight, I can't read the music fast enough and my co-ordination is so bad now that I can't keep a beat or strum the guitar or move my fingers fast enough on the finger board.
Example: Think of this:

When you're on meds it's like you're on a safarri is the jungle of Africa and you're chasing an elephant and trying to aim you're rifle at it to shoot it so you stand up in the jeep to try to get a clear shot but the road is bumpy and you can't get a clear shot. If you're not on meds it's like that road is smooth and you can get a clear shot.

Randy
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Been on meds ever since.

275mg-dilantin/day
120mg-pheonobarb/day
3,000mg-Mesasol/day
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:41 PM
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Howdy Randy!

IMO there are two separate issues that have to be taken into consideration:

Seizure control and
Quality of life.

This may be easier for me due to the fact that my seizures are intractable and I have never been seizure free.

I feel that living a miserable, unfulfilled lifestyle is too high a price to pay for being seizure free. There is some point in everybody's life where they must decide whether they are better off being seizure free or being able to get some joy and fulfillment out of life.
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