Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Wednesday, 09 May 2012

Buenos Aires: Oh oh, who hit the SHUTDOWN button?

When I wake up I'm looking into Nick's eyes. Something is definitely wrong, I didn't go to sleep opposite this man and now he is looking at me with that oh too familiar frame of face. Part sympathy and part fear for the convulsions he has just witnessed.

How did I get into this vulnerable position? I cycled and travelled for 9 months through 11 countries without a problem, why now, why here?

Because in true Indy fashion I have taken on too much, too fast and without caution. Most people wouldn't attempt to learn a new language, in a new country, in a new job, in a new culture, in a new studio apartment with two new friends and try to be the life of the party (putting most 20-year-olds to shame) ... all in one week.

Epilepsy -is -dancing -single -410x 410

What did my body do in retaliation? It hit the SHUTDOWN button.

Since I was in my late teens I have occassionally suffered from epilepsy but only in my sleep. When I pile on too much stress and stimulation on my sleep-deprived body, I have a nocturnal seizure. The seizure itself normally only lasts a minute or so but it's effects can be felt for at least a fortnight.

The scariest bit is straight after the seizure, when I have what feels like a dagger sticking out of my temple and as the pain dulls I slowly become aware that I am completely lacking any short-term memory. I recognise the people huddled around me but I couldn't tell you what day of the week it is or what I had for dinner last night.

It makes me realise that losing your mind is not the worst thing that can happen, knowing that you're losing it is much more frightening.

The day after one of my nocturnal episodes I am pretty much bed-ridden, sleeping it off until the afternoon, waiting for my nightmare to pass. As my memory returns, muscles I never knew I had ache with a dullness you only feel after extreme physical activity. My neck, ears, jaw and shoulders seem to cop it particularly badly, I guess all that dribbling and foaming at the mouth counts for something.

But at least I know I'm in good if not slightly wacky and creative company.

Vincent Van Gogh, Prince and even one of the Popes suffered from big E but hopefully I'll hold onto my right ear, my last name and my marbles.

Vangogh  Prince _1227186031_crop _433x 364

Today I did a weird thing. I decided to watch some tonic clonic seizures on the web. Thanks to youtube you can name your medical condition and see it in much greater detail than ever before. Watching people convulse, without emotion, in stiff frozen shapes brought a tear to my eye. Trying to imagine my body playing that part, devoid of any personality, completely frightened the bejesus out of me.

Fortunately over time I've identified a pattern. Unfortunately, I tend to be mindful just long enough to forget the nastiness of the affliction so approximately every year or so I get a reminder to slow it down.

During my research today I learned that 1% of the worlds population suffer from some sort of epilepsy and that doesn't even scratch the surface of all the neurological bizzarities going on in our heads. I have never shared all this with my friends and followers before so it takes a deep gulp of guts to post this. However if this online social world is good for anything it's good for sharing information that until now has remained hidden.

Not to be all gloom and doom, this Flight of Conchords 'song for epileptic dogs' is an absolute cracker because somewhere there's a golden retriever having a seizure!

Does your body have a special way of telling you to slow down, chill out or take it ham and cheesy? Feel free to share the spotlight below...


Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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