Thursday, April 23, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Believe In Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be… that's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better.

There are times when people disappoint you and let you down, but those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself and all that you are capable of.

There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.

Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.

So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be, because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep believing in yourself.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Charcoal sketch of Salt & Pepper Hills/Sketched on 9 April 09

My husband and I have been in Coober Pedy for 4 days since last Sunday. Coober Pedy is in central Australia. It is in a desert. The population in Coober Pedy is about 3,800 and comprised surprisingly of 40 over different nationalities. There are also about 500 aborigines here. Many of them still live in the outback.

As an epilepsy activist, I never fail to ask new faces I meet about epilepsy. It was on my second afternoon here that I had the opportunity to have a chat with Debby who helps run the family owned motel.

Epilepsy was not new or unheard off for Debby because she has a sister who has uncontrollable seizures for most of her life. So, as a very young kid, Debby already knew what a seizure is all about. She also recalled the difficult time her mum had in caring for her epileptic sister. Her sister is on medication but she still has seizures.

On our third afternoon here, I had the pleasure to catch up with our tour guide who was on a few hours break in a coffee area. Jimmy, 64, was our tour guide for a half day tour of Coober Pedy. Besides being a tour guide Jimmy had for 30 over years served as an ambulance assistant and volunteer in the local hospital. The hospital here is a very small one. It has a small operating theatre room where only very minor surgeries are done. Any major surgeries will require a flying doctor from Adelaide to fly in or the patient will have to be flown to Adelaide instead.

Jimmy shared with me his medical knowledge he had gained about epilepsy and how he had helped several people with epilepsy in states of seizures. Jimmy mentioned there was a man in a restaurant who had a seizure while chewing a buttered roll during lunch. The roll was stuck in the man's throat and the man was losing oxygen fast because his face had turned very blue. Jimmy dashed forward to that man and forced open his mouth. He used his finger to dig out the big clump of roll from the man's mouth. Immediately after that, the man was foaming and breathing normally again. Then when the seizure had stopped, Jimmy turned the man on his side.

Jimmy had also helped some aboriginal epileptics too but he commented that it was very hard to always be of help to these people because most of the time they are heavily intoxicated with liquor. The over consumption of liquor had so often trigger seizures in the epileptic aborigines.

I was very happy to have the pleasant opportunities to talk to two wonderful people here with the knowledge of epilepsy. Many people do know a lot about epilepsy but because they are not asked about epilepsy, they just keep quiet about it. So, it is my advice to everyone to grab opportunities to ask people about epilepsy. You never know what you will find out until you ask.

Thanks to Debby and Jimmy, my trip to Coober Pedy has been made extra memorable and unforgetable

Friday, April 3, 2009


Over the years of my epilepsy awareness work I had come to know many nice people mainly persons with epilepsy and caregivers. I knew Soo Fong after giving an epilepsy talk in her home. Having the same faith and a common interest in epilepsy, Soo Fong and I have become very good friends. She is a caregiver of her daughter who has epilepsy.

Soo Fong’s friend, Sophie is a principal of Country Heights Kindergarten located in Kajang. One of Sophie’s students has epilepsy. Sophie told me when she was in Taiwan studying she had frequently witnessed her friend in a state of seizure. Now that her student also has epilepsy she knew the importance of educating her teachers on what is epilepsy and how to assist her student while in a state of seizure.

I had a great and meaningful one hour of sharing session with Soo Fong, Sophie and her staff of 8 teachers about epilepsy. I gave a brief explanation of what is epilepsy and later played an 18min epilepsy DVD for everyone to watch and understand epilepsy better. At the end of the DVD presentation there was an interesting discussion session. I was very taken by the teachers’ keenness in knowing more about epilepsy.

Photo taken with Sophie on my right and her kindergarten staff

The parents of the epileptic child ought to be very glad, contented, comforted and appreciative for knowing their child is in a very good kindergarten managed by an understanding principal and run by teachers who are knowledgeable in handling their epileptic child.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I had a great time meeting up with Rose in Singapore last year. We were in Singapore to attend an epilepsy congress. Rose updated me on her epilepsy awareness work. Rose lives in Iloilo. Iloilo is a small and lowly populated island off Philippines. The public mode of transportation in Iloilo are buses, private vans and jeepneys.

Everyday Rose will board buses, private vans or jeepneys to and fro from work. Rose, deeply committed in her epilepsy awareness work will approach and talk about epilepsy to drivers of such vehicles when they are having their lunch or taking a break. She empowers the drivers with the knowledge on how to handle a person in a state of seizure while in a public vehicle. She also holds epilepsy workshops in the offices of bus companies. Having educated the drivers Rose hands over stickers with the message
“THIS IS AN EPILEPSY FRIENDLY VEHICLE” to drivers for them to display it on their vehicles’ windscreens. Rose claimed that members of the public are familiar with the sticker and know the drivers of public vehicles are well educated about epilepsy.

Rose has done a SUPA DUPA epilepsy awareness job in her homeland. She told me she is going to work hard to advocate epilepsy to management staff in shopping malls, banks and whichever and whoever she can get her hands on. She hopes to give out stickers with messages like
“Epilepsy Friendly Shopping Mall” and “Epilepsy Friendly Bank” soon.

“So, if I ever travel in a public vehicle in Iloilo, I won’t have to worry what will happen to me if I have a seizure. I am in good hands”.