Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This is 'Faith'

This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which need to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first owner also did not think that he can survive. Therefore, he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'. By this time, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him. She is determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfing board to let him feel the movements. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him to stand up and jump around. Even the other dog at home also helped to encourage him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward. After further training in the snow, he now can walk like a human being.

Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he just attracts all the people around him. He is now becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows. There is even one book entitled 'With a little faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul.

We may have a perfect body but never a perfect good health. All of us have health problems whether minor or serious. We are to be our own doctors. We ought to be responsible to tend to every aspects of our health before resorting to seeking professional medical help. I am a person with epilepsy. I may be a potential breast cancer patient, stroke patient,dementia patient, kidney failure patient and everything else that may happen to me. Come what may, I will deal with it positively or live with it optimistically.

-Serene Low-


Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular moving patterns.

Visual stimuli in our houses comes from television, computer, electronic game sets, handphones, etc. According to an expert in UK, television is a highly seizure inducing electronic gadget because it has a refreshment rate of 50Hz (flashes) per second.

There are no strict and special guidelines to regulate light flashes on television and other visual stimuli gadgets. Just how often and long hours are we exposed to visual stimuli in a day? To be living in the 21st century and to totally avoid visual stimuli gadgets is an impossible thing to achieve. To overuse it is courting trouble. So, how can we adjust and regard our length of exposure to visual stimuli gadgets as reasonable and acceptable?

The responsibility is on each and every one of us to do it at our own moderate rate. Not too little and not too much.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


A group of my friends marveled at the years I had been cooking meals without encountering serious accidents. They know the risks I have to put up as a person with epilepsy cooking in a kitchen, particularly over a stove with a wok sizzling with food or a pot of bubbling soup.

What would happen if I were to have an uninformed and untimely seizure while stirring hot soup in a pot? Chances are dangerously high that I might topple the pot of soup over myself while falling unconscious onto the kitchen floor. And what would happen to me if a seizure were to occur when I am deep frying food in a wok? Again, I might very likely have the wok fall onto me or I might fall face down into the wok before I land onto the floor.

I have goosebumps and chills every time I am about to cook a meal or boil soup. I pray to God to keep me safe while cooking and I also have my hubby stand near me while I cook. My hubby is around to help reduce the impact of any potential cooking accidents that may happen to me. Do not attempt to cook while alone. Always have someone stand nearby to assist whenever required.

My late mum's friend who was at her mid seventy a few years ago, had her first tonic clonic seizure while deep frying a fish in a wok. She fell body forward to the wok, deep fried her right hand and fell onto the floor. Family members sent her to the accident and emergency ward immediately after the accident. Ever since I got to know of my mum's friend's cooking accident, I got my carpenter friend to modify the length of my cooking spatula. He changed the wooden holder of the spatula into a longer one.

It was very difficult at first to learn to use a longer than usual spatula. I was so clumsy using one. Imagine the green vegetable leaves dropping onto the sides of the stove top every time I turn and stir the vegetable. The gravy also spills and splatters onto the stove top. I had a lot of mess to clear up after cooking.

Today, I have mastered the skill of using an extra long spatula for cooking. I am able to stand further from the wok while cooking. In case I should fall, there will be a reasonably safe distance for me to fall onto the floor without having the wok to fall onto me or I fall face down into the wok.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday January 22, 2009


Learning to deal with an epileptic fit can help save lives.

FOUR days more to Chinese New Year, and it seems like everyone is already in a festive mood, including my friend Serene Low from Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur,

It is crucial to know what to do when someone has an epileptic fit

Serene, 49, is an activist for persons with epilepsy (PWE). She has lived with epilepsy for most of her life, having experienced more than a hundred seizures. Today she is on two medically prescribed key drugs to stop her fits. It has been four years since she had any epileptic episodes.Epilepsy occurs because of over-activity of the brain cells, which produces a surge of electricity. Despite her personal battle with the condition, Serene is eagerly awaiting to usher in the Year of the Ox.

“I look forward to embracing the New Year with heaps of optimism,” she writes in an e-mail. "I am confident that with proper monitoring and intake of my anti-epilepsy drugs, there will be many more seizure-free new years for me. I hope, too, that more people will be sensitised to epilepsy and know what to do when someone has an attack in public."

The new year began on a positive note for Serene. Her friend telephoned her recently to relate an unforgettable episode. She was having dinner in a coffee-shop in Bangsar. She couldn’t help noticing the two men who sat at a table in front of her. They were also having their dinner. While waiting for her food to be served, one of the men stood up suddenly. The next thing she knew, he was on the floor. He had fallen with a loud thud. All the customers in the coffee-shop had also witnessed the drama. They looked frightened and confused, and did not know how to respond to the situation. Everyone, except Serene’s friend.

“My friend calmly walked over to the man, and asked the curious crowd to give the man some space so he could have some fresh air.”

She stayed by his side and witnessed his convulsions. Blood trickled down from his temple due to an injury from the fall. She used paper napkins to wipe off the blood from his head as he continued to convulse. One of the customers tried to place a spoon in the hand of the epileptic man. Some people believe that a spoon in the hand of an epileptic will stop a seizure immediately. Another tried to insert a spoon into the man’s mouth. Others suggested that an ambulance be called to the scene.

“My friend asked everyone to stay calm. This gentleman is having an epileptic attack. We have to wait until the seizure stops," she explained.

Serene’s friend noted the time of the man’s fits. She also tried to gauge the duration of the seizure. (This information is useful to doctors who treat epileptic patients). After three minutes, the gentleman came to. He was in a daze and didn’t know where he was or what had happened to him.

“My friend explained to him that he had just had a seizure. She also assured him that he would be fine after a good rest,” said Serene.

“I was so proud of my friend. She had followed all the right procedures in a video I shared with her recently on how to help someone during an epileptic episode. Being armed with the right information is not only useful, it can often save lives,” concludes Serene.

Source: The Star Online

Monday, March 2, 2009


I missed my medication yesterday morning and had a seizure by night. My husband found me lying on the floor of the study room. I had fallen from my husband's armchair during the seizure. I had no symptoms forewarning me of an impending seizure. I only felt very tired seconds before the seizure occurred.

Sigh! Because of my own forgetfulness in taking my medication yesterday morning, I had broken my good and long seizure free record of 4 years and 2 months. I visited my neurologist last week to discuss the effects of my medication. I am on 6 X 30mg of phenobarbital daily. The worrisome factor about phenobarbital is the addictiveness of the drug. I had been on phenobarbital for 30 years. Because of it's addictiveness that my body has grown to depend on, any attempts to lower the dosage would very likely cause a bad withdrawal in the form of more uncontrollable seizures.

Phenobarbital also depletes calcium in the body's bone density. Because of my long term intake of phenobarbital, I have annual tests done for my bone density. Fortunately, the readings for my bone density are still reasonably good. People who have poor level of calcium in their bone density are subject and prone to fractures during falls.

It is high time I change my drug. My neurologist had suggested Epilim Chrono to be a better substitute. Any change in drugs or dosage of drugs must be done and closely monitored by a neurologist. I will be changing my drug to Epilim Chrono in the next 6 months to come.

For anyone who is on constant medication, it is imperative to have a good and regular habit of medication intake and changes in intake can only happen after proper consultations with doctors.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Montreal , March 1 , 2006 - Did you know that more than 300,000 Canadians have epilepsy? Each day, an average of 42 Canadians learn that they have epilepsy and about 60% of new patients are young children and senior citizens. Epilepsy is a physical disorder caused by sudden, brief changes in how the brain works. It affects people from all walks of life and it is the second most common chronic neurological disorder affecting humankind, after chronic headache.

For the third year, Epilepsy Canada and its partners are proud to adopt the lavender ribbon and flower as a national recognition for our cause. During the month of March, through the Lavender Ribbon Campaign, we hope to educate the public in order to eliminate the myths and stigmas surrounding epilepsy and to indicate the critical need for funding research into all aspects of epilepsy. “Despite the need for research in the area of epilepsy, other disorders (stroke, Alzheimer’s disease) are better researched – the reason is funding. Compared to other chronic neurological disorders, epilepsy is a grossly under-funded medical disorder”, explains Donald F. Weaver, president of Epilepsy Canada.

source : www.epilepsy.ca

I have placed my order for some lavender pins in support of epilepsy awareness in Canada. It does not matter where epilepsy awareness is promoted. It matters most that we must all give our support to such a cause that is underestimated by too many. Unless one is directly affected by epilepsy, one will never comprehend too well the social issues and medical issues related to epilepsy.