Epilepsy at work: Hi guys How do you... - Epilepsy South Af...

Epilepsy South Africa

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Epilepsy at work

AtiSindz profile image

Hi guys

How do you guys deal with being epileptic in an industry where they feel a person with it is not to be trusted because he/she can have a seizure at anytime and you feel limited to work in other departments

11 Replies
EpilepsySA profile image

It might be helpful for you to meet with one of our counsellors to help you through this difficult time. Simply call our toll-free number (0860EPILEPSY) or email info@epilepsy.org.za, remembering to let us know where you live.

We are also preparing a social media campaign in December offering hints and tips from persons with epilepsy. If you are willing to participate, please email your hints and tips to info@epilepsy.org.za. If you are willing to be identified, please include a photograph.

AtiSindz profile image
AtiSindz in reply to EpilepsySA

Thank you so much, I will indeed send the email because I’m interested in these campaigns 🙏

I go for the “fronting it out” approach and not taking no for an answer. I am a teacher so as you can imagine, having seizures or even the potential for having a seizure at work isn’t ideal, which in the last year has happened many times. But it’s part of life and I have always refused to let it get in the way. Luckily my employer are very supportive, as are my students. It has potential to make me feel limited, I know exactly what you mean. But I think if your employer see you are keen to crack on as you would an employee without epilepsy, and are realistic about your abilities etc, you will be convincing to them? As a teacher obviously a huge part of my job is responsibility and a duty of care to my students, and having seizures could potentially be seen as putting this in jeopardy, but I work my bloody hardest in all the times when I AM seizure free and try to help them see I CAN do it and don’t need my job dumbing down. What line of work are you in? Good luck :)

ALESSI profile image
ALESSI in reply to Aog92

Well done...kick ass.I had to stop in law the stress and pressure triggers my epilepcy....at this stage i feel totally useless and lost

AtiSindz profile image
AtiSindz in reply to ALESSI

I can only imagine your situation ALESSI. And stress really do trigger most of epilepsy attacks. Don’t give up, maybe find something else, some you can do at home you know.. in your own comfortable space, something you mostly love. Please don’t feel lost we are here to listen and give advice. 🤗🤗

AtiSindz profile image
AtiSindz in reply to Aog92

I’m so very proud of you, my line of work is at the mining environment, I’m an operator for the big machinery they use to haul coal so most of the time I’m behind the wheel. I havi hidden my condition for ten years and luckly or by the grace of God my medication didn’t disappoint me up to so far though at times I fee threatened by it as if I’m going get an attack. Their policies do indicate that epileptics must not be allowed in the pit or on those machines which is the reason I had to hide for so many years. But lately I disclosed, and they did all types of scans on me and wanted my medical history regarding the condition and my last attack. So the mine mine doctor declared me fit for that kind of work considering the response of my medication on the condition that I haven’t a seizure for 15 years now and it’s still there not that it’s gone. I’m so relieved. Now I even talk about it I’m not ashamed. You have just encouraged me even more🤗

Aog92 profile image
Aog92 in reply to AtiSindz

Ah wow thanks so much that’s really kind of you to say. Yeah can imagine that there must be lots of health and safety red tape in the mining industry with all those hazards! That’s great news that you have had 15 years seizure free, what an achievement. And glad that your work were supportive now that you’ve taken the step to tell them about it, it’s certainly a weight lifted and if you’ve done your job well for all that time anyway, they can’t have too much to say about it! I declared my epilepsy when I first got my job even though it was then controlled, and to be honest I’m glad I did because since March just gone it has been well and truly out of control, so luckily work already knew and there wasn’t an awkward conversation to be had! I do think people appreciate honesty and tend to find once we do reveal our “deep dark secret” like it can feel at times, generally, no ones that bothered anyway!

AtiSindz profile image
AtiSindz in reply to Aog92

You are definitely right that it must have been a weight lifted off my shoulders, it was indeed. It felt bad to hide my condition , sometimes ppl would make fun of ppl of the same condition and I couldn’t say a word because I knew they will tell and I would be removed from my line of work to lesser paying department of sick employees . Now I even take my medication in the open not in hidings im really grateful. I wish you all the best in this condition, we are together.

I'm running awareness campaigns in Gauteng especially for so called "disorders" that our people call us with, I'm have a daily job as well and I'm also not being understood on what I'm about ..

but this stereo type it is nothing but a passing shadow, our people are looking at the whole in the doughnut but they disregard the doughnut itself.

This year I would like to work with Epilepsy SA and other stake holders to find proper Jobs and businesses opportunities for those suffering from mental "disorders"

Our aim is to help people to be independent

WhatsApp: 067 151 9093

Email: mmatsepe@atmsolutions.co.za

EpilepsySA profile image
EpilepsySAPartner in reply to emzin

I have asked Manini Maruwa at Epilepsy SA Gauteng to contact you to discuss collaboration with Epilepsy SA. Please note that International Epilepsy Day is celebrated on the second Monday in February every year. As such, we will be celebrating this event on 10 February 2020. This is followed by National Epilepsy Week. The 2020 theme is Reaching Out, Touching Lives and this is exactly what you've done.

I have been very fortunate Because my employers are very knowledgeable and I don't find it hard in anyway. One thing about me if I join a new company I always disclose to them even before join during the interview and I assure them that my condition is under control0

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