It's Purple Day!March 19, 2015

Epilepsy Australia encourages Aussies to wear purple clothing on March 26. This is a means of support to the epilepsy campaign, spreading information on awareness and prevention. Why the colour, you may wonder, as purple happens to be associated with nobility. (Think for a moment. The answer is quite obvious.) Purple is the colour intermediate between red and blue. It's a combination of stability (associated with blue) and energy (of red). It's the right hue for the occasion.

There's more to this event than seeing the neighbourhood flooded with purple items. It's about educating ourselves on epilepsy. It's a neurological disorder, where there's an excessive brain activity. It's doesn't mean that someone afflicted with it will show a mental feat of mighty proportions. The person rather suffers from seizures.

There's no need to panic. You don't have to be helpless and horrified. Epilepsy can happen to anyone, which means we never know when it strikes those who are afflicted with it. It can be managed with proper medication and the right lifestyle, but better be ready in case the unexpected happens. Here are some helpful tips:

You must have a sense of urgency. When seizure happens, it may take seconds before the patient suffers more. Our first instinct is to call the emergency hotline, but it can wait. Make sure that the person is in the right position, which can end the discomfort. Find out if the finger (or thumb) is on the mouth. Remove it in case. Keep a close watch, as that person might inflict self-harm. When the seizures abate, then ask someone to make the call. If you can handle another task, then well and good. But it's better to concentrate on one task, which is a life-saving act. It can be too much, though.

We must have a healthy lifestyle. Studies shown that a ketogenic diet (high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate) can lessen the frequency of seizures. If you have doubts about it, or on other kinds of diets, then think about the effects of overeating. If you have a kin suffering from epilepsy, then try to engage in lots of activities. Walking is the easiest, if not the most sensible. Participating in group sports won't be hard at all. (Who knows, backyard cricket may do wonders.) Open communication is the most important, letting that person know that it will be fine. Emotional support can go the distance.

Try to know more about epilepsy. Not being afflicted means you don't need to know about this disorder. Self education will help us understand the human body more. This will make us embrace old age. (Forget the last one if you're young.) Be better, be useful.

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