20 years ago. It was my eighteenth birthday and all was well in the world. My parents celebrated with my twin and I by giving us a long lie, we lived on a very busy farm, and we both got very expensive watches. I was emensly happy.
We all had a busy day, tending to the herd, the horses and generally trying to catch up on the duties missed in the morning and we did our best to do some of the work for the next day. Amazingly we finished at 4 pm.
A couple of hours later and our taxi arrived to take us to our birthday party. Finally legal to have a "bevvy". We had been to pubs before, got drunk a few times, but it seemed like a milestone and it felt great not to worry about being asked for id.
On arrival we were astonished at the amount of friends and family that had taken the time to wish us the best and of course get at the free buffet and the free drinks at the bar. We are all Scottish after all.
Our proud Dad made a small but heart warming speach about how we were now men and that he was very proud of both of us and then he took us to the bar to order drinks. (he insisted that he be the first to buy this very first pint in a pub (little did he know)).
With our cold pints of 80%, eighty shilling (a scottish ale to anyone not familiar), we both mingled and welcomed our guests. This was going to be a great night.
The Band had arrived and were playing their first song when an amazing waft of sweet strawberries filled my senses, the smell was so strong that I could not concentrate on anything else.I looked around for the source but could not find anything.
Not more than a minute after this sensation I experienced a very vague, outside myself feeling.
Everything and everyone around me were muted and blurred, like a bad reception on a television there was a constant "sssshhhh" noise. I felt a strange yet not all together unpleasant rush through my whole body and then I wasnt there, I was nowhere, no pain, no senses, no anything.
When I returned, from nowhere, everything was still and like a wierd dream. I recognised most of the people around me but couldnt place them. The surroundings I couldnt fathom at all and an overwhelming sense of fear and confusion made me panick and I tried to get up to run away from this strangeness. I had a sensation of being held down. The bodies around me seemed to be making inarticulate noises and I was petrified.
Slowly but surely I seemed to get back to myself. Everything started to come back into focus. Smells and noises started to make sense again and I realised I was in hospital but I didnt know why.
A doctor was rubbing my chest with her knuckle and piercing her thumb nail deep under my own thumb nail. Unless someone has done this too you, you will not believe how bloody painful this can be.
I shouted at her to "get the hell away from me!" and strangely this did not have the expected result. Instead of looking annoyed or surprised at my outburst she smiled and stroked my hair and spoke softly saying " hello gary. how are you feeling?" in a soothing and friendly manner.
I couldnt answer the questions about "who I am", "where I was", "what date it was" and the likes until nearly half an hour later when my senses returned fully.
This was my first seizure and the beggining of the rest of my life living with epilepsy.