Blog · Dealing with epilepsy

My Chinese seizure

Back in 2014, I attended a series of meetings in China at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). This was doing for multiple reasons in which I will not go right now.

I had an excruciating long flight departing from Brussels with a stopover in Turkey and onwards to Beijing. Overall, with the stopover included, it took about 15 hours. I slept a little in the plane, but the space between the seats was minuscule. Out of the 9 hours it took to reach Beijing, I slept, perhaps, 1 hour.

Going forward, I reached my hotel (the Friendship Hotel) at around 6 am and had a meeting with my friend Bi at 9 am (see photo below: she’s the one in the middle). In between, I took a shower and opened up my laptop for a quick chat with my wife to tell her that I’m ok. Everything went smoothly: chat, meeting, the entire day in fact.

In the evening, after all the fatigue was still settling in, again, I opened up my laptop to have a chat with my wife. I was still wearing my suit (see photo below again: I’m the one on the right).

So I started my laptop (putting it on my lap while lying on the bed) and opened my Skype account, spoke with my wife and…everything went “blank”, let’s say. I was wondering the neighborhood searching for some sweats and water/juice to have in my room (to eat while watching a movie). My wife was calling me on Skype (I saw quite a few calls) and on the phone.

It seems that I had a seizure while talking to her. The fatigue told my brain that it should do something about it. The brain reacted.

The weird thing about this seizure is that there was no blood (didn’t bite my lips or tongue) and my laptop was on the other bed (double room with two beds), in perfect order, with all the windows opened as before (even my Skype, but without a running call) and plugged in.

I have no idea how this happened. It wasn’t an absence seizure, it was a grand mal one (according to what my wife described – and she saw me having seizures before).

I’m still searching for an explanation for all this. Any ideas are welcomed :).

Seenu Reedy – on the left (former YPARD Asia coordinator), Bi Jieying – on the center (YPARD Asia coordinator), Codrin PO – on the right side.