Tuesday, January 13, 2009

People's HealthBlogger Awards '08

(I was being informed on the 14th of Jan that Wellsphere has extended the PHBA competition to end on 31st January 2009)

Still remember how all of you had counted down from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 to the strike of 12.00am on New Year eve to shout your lungs out and party the night away to welcome in the New Year 2009 with loud bangs, bashes and grand firework displays recently?

I did none of the above. My New Year eve was spent quietly at home in front of my laptop. I had stayed up till 3.00am to write and get two articles ready for posting into my epilepsy blog. The first article, entitled "Happy Seizure Free New Year 09" had already appeared in my blog. I have yet to post my second article into my blog.

It is now 12.34am, Tuesday, 13th of January 2009. I am counting down from 3 days to 2 days and 2 days to 1 day to the strike of 12.00am on Thursday. 15th January is the final day for voters to cast their votes for their favorite health blogs. I cannot believe I am thrilled to see and know the final outcome of the voting competition.

Just one and a half months ago, I had hit my lowest point in mood and enthusiasm for my blog. I was contemplating to end my blog. My days were shrouded in darkness and I was groping desperately in the dark to find ways to get out of it. Dr Geoffrey Rudledge from Wellsphere.com sent me an email to inform me that my blog has been nominated to be part of its 1st Annual People's Health Blogger Award competition. I did not bear much thought about the competition but as miserable as I was, I soon found out that votes had rolled in for my blog from some readers that were unknown to me.

I rubbed and blinked my eyes with disbelief at the sight of the votes, especially the inspiring, uplifting and touching comments that came with it. I felt greatly uplifted by voters who had taken their time and made efforts to vote for my blog. OOmph!!!! I was jolted by the positive response for my blog and knew from that moment onwards that people were cheering me on to keep my blog going continuously for the good sake of everyone.

A quick view of the latest results of the PHBA position confirms that my blog stands no chance to be ranked fourth or fifth out of one hundred nominated health blogs. It does not matter to me which position my blog will be ranked at the end of the competition. It matters most to me that supportive people have shown their love and concern for me by their show of thumbs up for my blog. I have failed to be the winning blogger but I have won and gained back my lost enthusiasm to enable me to keep and maintain my blog going well. I cannot wait to heartily congratulate the winning blogger at the end of the competition.

I wish all 99 bloggers best of luck in the PHBA competition. Continue to do your best to keep all the good work going in your blogs. People need you and your help.

I wish to thank my husband, son, sisters, brother and sister in law for walking closely with me in my epilepsy journey and carrying me up whenever I stumble and fall. I am extremely grateful for the constant show of strength and support coming from my friends and readers of my blog. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I remember how on this day last year my son, Edmund, helped me to start this blog. I sat beside my son watching him click everywhere on the laptop to get the blog started. I was thrilled to gigabytes to see the birth of my blog but at the same time was overwhelmed with worries on how I was going to maintain and keep the blog going.

Time passed by like the speed of lightning and today marks the first anniversary of this blog. With guidance and wisdom from God, I have successfully maintained my blog well. Early last month, Wellsphere.com, a renowned health website in USA, had nominated my blog for participation in its 1st Annual People's Health Bloggers Award. The purpose of the voting campaign is to identify the No. 1 Top Health Blog out of 100 health blogs. The voting had started on the 15th of December 2008 and will end on the 15th of January 2009. I am extremely pleased by the number of votes cast by readers for my blog. I am also very inspired and moved by the wonderful comments that voters had written about me and my blog.

Below are some of the voters' comments :

> She is a leading star for people with epilepsy. She has epilepsy and advocates knowledge about epilepsy to people who are ignorant of epilepsy. She has written articles regarding epilepsy awareness in local newspapers. She set up a booth in a shopping mall to distribute epilepsy pamphlets and materials to members of the public. (By Low G.)

>I think she should win the award because she is a very dedicated person in promoting epilepsy awareness. I believe her blog has brought great meaning to many epileptics as they strive to cope with their struggles related to epilepsy. In my case, I have learned a lot about what is epilepsy and the right steps needed to be taken in assisting (People With Epilepsy) PWE. (By Pinko E).

>I find her blog to be very informative and she knows her work very well. She is very dedicated to the issues related to epilepsy and she will be the most suitable candidate to be voted a " favourite health blogger". (By K Y Lim)

>Because she needs more attention talking out of her own experiences and helping others with the same condition as hers. (By Amy Smith)

>Serene channels her energy to share a lot of information about epilepsy with others through her blog. She is also very willing to help others who need help. These are admirable feats that will make life much more meaningful for many of us. (By Vic)

>Serene should win the award because she has conquered her epilepsy emotionally and had then dedicated many years to helping other epileptics. Her blog is just another small part of her strong desire to help others. She spends a lot of her time in charity organisations and also helped to organise fund raising campaigns in aid of the needy. (By Andy L)

>She speaks from her experiences. She knows what others like her have to undergo and more importantly, she wants to help! A truly compassionate person!. (By Cornelius Koh)

>I have been following your blog for quite some time. You have inspired me in so many ways and I just want to thank you for all the work you have done. (By Lindsey W)

>I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice Blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. (By Sarah)

I wish to thank everyone for being extremely supportive of my blog. You all have contributed very significantly towards the success of my blog. With your continued support this blog will go a long way to make lives more meaningful and easier for caregivers and people with epilepsy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Scientology banned my epilepsy meds: ex-Church member

6/01/2009 6:54:00 AM. | TIm Brunero

With headlines around the world suggesting John Travolta’s son Jett could have been saved with anti-seizure drugs - a former Scientologist, and epileptic, has told LIVENEWS.com.au how she was ordered off her medication.

Tory Christman, who reached the upper echelons of the church, claims she was told to stop taking the drugs by an unqualified medical official, which led to her seizures returning and to her knocking her teeth out in the bath.

“It was a nightmare,” said Christman. I had grand mal seizures, I fell in the bathtub just like Jett did, and knocked out my front teeth. It was really bad. I was losing my memory.”

“My mother saved my life and realised it was really kooky and said either you get back on your medicine today or I’m going come out there and Scientology will never forget me. Christman was a member of the Church for 30 years before fleeing in the year 2000."

John Travolta’s son, Jett, died last Friday reportedly after hitting his head during a seizure. Travolta is one of the highest profile devotees of the Church of Scientology, which teaches that mental illness is psychosomatic and can be treated with spiritual healing. Scientologists are also taught not to use drugs to treat mental illness and campaign openly against drugs like Ritalin which they label “kiddy cocaine”.

In the last few days allegations have surfaced in British tabloids that Jett Travolta’s seizures were not due to brain damage caused by childhood Kawasaki syndrome - as the family claim - but that the 16-year-old was autistic.

Scientology does not recognise autism, which is often connected with epilepsy, as a mental illness. The Travoltas have in the past been picketed by activists, who claim their refusal to acknowledge their son’s true condition amounted to child abuse.

source : www.livenews.com.au

Ever since news of Jett Travolta's death was made known in the media, my inbox has been flooded with epilepsy updates concerning this tragic death. To this extent, it makes me wonder how news of the deaths of non celebrity parents' children are highlighted and disappear all too quickly to be forgotten and never to be mentioned again. Is there any difference between Jett and authistic/epileptic children of non celebrity parents?

There is no difference at all. Every live lost to authism/epilepsy requires the same attention and actions to be taken to prevent further similar deaths. Instead of just focusing on the death of a celebrity's child, all of us should focus beyond this and stretch our hands out to offer comfort and help to anyone we know who has also lost a child to authism/epilepsy. It is the ordinary caregivers that require most attention in their time of loss and grief. They are not celebrities but their children's lives are just as precious as that of children born to celebrities.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Teenage son of Grease Lightning actor, John Travolta, had a history of seizures.

The teenage son of actor John Travolta and Kelly Preston died suddenly on Friday, 2nd of January 2009, during a family vacation in the Bahamas, according to the family's lawyer.

Jett Travolta, 16, suffered a seizure at his family's vacation home. Attempts were made to revive him but he died at the scene. Jett, who had a history of seizures, was the eldest child of Travolta and his wife.

source : www.news.yahoo.com

My deepest condolence to John Travolta and family.

I have no intention to scare people out of their skin but death does take its toll on people with epilepsy in the form of SUDEP.

Till today, there is still no known cause of Sudden Unexpected Death In Epilepsy (SUDEP). Some research and studies suggest the possibility that part of the brain that controls breathing might be affected during a seizure and stop a person's breathing. Or perhaps, the person affected could have had existing problem with their heart or lungs.

Two of my friends had told me of the loss of their dear spouses due to unexplained sudden death after having seizures. SUDEP is most frightening for one to encounter. I suggest that you allocate half an hour of your time to read up more about SUDEP by visiting www.epilepsy.org.uk. Empower yourself with some knowledge about epilepsy and be well informed and prepared should you ever come face to face with epilepsy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Picture of Maurice, Ben, and Gavin

Dear Serene Low,

We both know difficult times call for people to share their good fortune with those they know and care for. If your gift to us has crossed in the mail, please accept our thanks - especially from people with epilepsy including Maurice, Ben, and Gavin.

You have come to know Maurice, Ben, and Gavin over this past year from our newsletter InTouch and a letter we sent you recently.

Each of them bravely stood up on behalf of thousands of Australians with epilepsy: each revealed their own private challenges and achievements, so the attitudes of the community towards epilepsy is based on fact not fiction.

Serene Low, you're one of our most important supporters. That's why this year's Treasure Tree Christmas appeal asks you to remember people like Maurice, Ben, and Gavin.

Talk about them to your friends and families. Tell them about epilepsy.

Give your gift today.

Epilepsy is the most common brain disorder in the world today. Yet few people, aside from supporters like you, know the impact epilepsy has on the daily life of people and their families.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria proudly acknowledges the courageous efforts of Maurice, Ben, and Gavin. We'd like you to do the same. They know only too well how desperately your support is needed to help the many thousands of people with epilepsy like them.

It's only through gifts from donors like you that we're able to touch the number of lives that we do through our support of people with epilepsy.

Help Others by donating

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Maxwell
Fundraising Manager
The Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria


Help Victoria. Donate.


Chinese people everywhere in the world get to celebrate Happy New Year twice in a year. The first celebration falls on the 1st of January 2009 and the second celebration falls on the 1st day of the Chinese lunar calendar which is 26th of January 2009. On this day everyone will be wishing each other Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai which literally means Wishing You Prosperity.

Other wishes go like Wishing You Longevity, Wishing You Wealth and Prosperity, Wishing You Great Success In Life, In Studies, In Work or In Business, Wishing Everything Smooth Sailing In Your Life, May The God of Fortune Knock On Your Door, Wishing You Good Luck In All Your Ventures, Wishing You Strike The Lottery, Wishing You Promotion In Your Job, Wishing You Good Health Always, etc and etc.

All the above wishes mean nothing too much to me except they are all good wishes. If there is a wish that will be most meaningful and happiest to me, it would be Wishing Me A Seizure Free New Year. Having achieved an excellent record of four years free of seizure, it is truly my greatest wish to have more seizure free new years to come.

So, here, I am wishing every person with epilepsy a HAPPY SEIZURE FREE NEW YEAR 2009.