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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Sunderland


Updated: Jun 12, 2023

New Years Resolution I read with interest and empathy in the New Year, of Professor Green (Stephen Manderson) and his recent experience of a Grand Mal Seizure and the shock surrounding it. I’ve made no secret of the fact that over the years I’ve had several Seizures; it seems from the age of 7. Interestingly they occurred every 7 years with little discomfort, 7, 14, and 21 being a full collapse, but by 28 my seizure on a hot day and a hangover dislocated my shoulder, fortunately, my brother was with me preventing further injury.

The Drs diagnosed a brain Seizure which naturally scared me to the roots, far worse than saying an epileptic seizure I nearly had another! That particular time I also developed issues with my back and my spine was compressed by 2 inches.

The shoulder would dislocate on a regular basis after this, a sudden movement, the swing of the arm just walking down the street, but I learnt to put it back in almost immediately.

The crunching sound was sickeningly audible though and would turn heads, and my stomach!

I didn’t particularly link the seizures with anything, maybe tiredness and excess alcohol but Doctors said I wasn’t epileptic and so no medication was issued. After the 28th episode, I was visiting the British School of Osteopathy for my back over a few years, and the senior consultant did all she could but then one day recommended Kinesiology at the Hale Clinic, it was an unknown alternative treatment but with remarkable effects, the Osteopath could not achieve.

The treatment included certain nutrition and mineral-related medication that had instant effects, at the time it seemed like magic, but it worked and my health improved enormously. I could walk upstairs easily and grew back the 2 inches I ‘lost’.

The practitioner retaught me how to look after myself and it was deemed stress and personal neglect could cause the seizures, in my case, but anyone could suffer from them.

I changed my lifestyle, learnt to recognise work-related stress and acted accordingly.

It also opened up the alternative lifestyle of Buddhism, Feng Shui and alternative therapies I’ve never looked back on. It was at this point the 7-year link was identified, the body changes every 7 years, and with it the changes were catastrophic for my body.

I changed my lifestyle and reduced the impact of my 35th seizure and skipped totally my 42nd. I still didn’t make too much of it and no fall ever hurt me like Professor Green. Life carried on as normal but in a more relaxed, sensible, and alternative way.

It was my 49th year, in actual fact 3 months after 50, when during a particularly stressful time and an accident at work that resulted in PTSD that I had not realised was overtaking me, I had a life-changing Grand Mal. Sat on my sofa at home I managed to destroy my right shoulder breaking it in 14 places, and severely ripped tendons in my left shoulder and arm. My hips were thrown out of joint but didn’t dislocate or break, but my shoulder required 5 operations over 7 years, and it’s never going to work fully again. For months, my limbs literally corkscrewed in different directions and were black and blue. No fall, just seated, such is its terrifying strength that my wife and friend witnessed, I knew nothing till I came through it.

I was fully investigated this time with every available scan and test and with a sleeping scan Drs discovered a lack of oxygen at birth caused by a cord around my neck, may have caused some small scarring, but that was the only anomaly. Not epileptic, no medication, no way of controlling what may happen again. I had to give up driving, voluntarily, as there is no warning of a seizure so better not to put anyone else at risk. An arm that is restricted in use but doesn’t prevent me from working or carrying out normal daily practices, but I can’t lift anything over my head. I can’t swim on my own and escalators are a personal dread.

I also can’t decorate so some good out of it…

I’m heading towards my 10th 7-year period next and have avoided 2 periods so again this year’s resolution is to relax, avoid stress and take no grief from anyone or any situation, it can be difficult I know. When asked why I don’t drive I tell people, but the conversation then peters out, not a lack of interest but a lack of understanding so on a need-to-know basis, I don’t go into details. A recent medical visit relating to the shoulder initiated a conversation about driving, and for the first time a stranger understood how life-changing it has been for me, not something I had taken on board, but yes it is, those words cut deep.

Apart from family and close friends, most people don’t understand the effects it had on me. Those with epilepsy suffer greatly and I’m grateful mine is as it is. A non-blood-related family member has epilepsy and is on medication so he lives a relatively normal life, successfully, but it’s always at the back of his mind. My wife can’t fully relax as she is always checking if a headache or an illness is the trigger of a seizure, which saddens me. The fact is I never know, I just wake up in whatever state it leaves me. I’ve had 6 in my lifetime, many have 6 an hour.

I don’t convey this story for sympathy, I don’t need it, but merely to point out that like Professor Green, we can all suffer from a seizure at any time if we allow stress and overindulgence to take over our lives. Healthy living is important and we often misuse our bodies under times of stress. We lose sleep, we work long hours, we don’t rest enough and that glass or 2 might just be too much at times.

I’m entering 2023 with strength and commitment and continued hope that we all have a healthy and productive year.

Look after yourselves.

Happy New Year everyone

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