My name's Mark Kellaway

My name's Mark Kellaway.

Six years ago
I was diagnosed with epilepsy,

which is complex partial seizures
in the left temporal lobe,

which for me means I have absence
seizures every three weeks or so.

That means, to me,
that I freeze completely

and then I dribble

and really have no awareness
of what is going on around me.

The seizure lasts for about 30 seconds.

After that I can work
and function properly.

One of the major ways
this affects my life is my memory.

My memory now is terrible.

There are lots of things in my life
that I can't remember.

I can't even remember my wedding day and
other days that are so important to me,

like the birth of my first child.

When I was first diagnosed I was told
that I had to give up driving.

This affected me in a lot of ways

because I had a job that was
about a 45-minute drive away,

so obviously getting there
became difficult.

I had to take a train journey
which involved two different changes

and be picked up at the station
the far end by a colleague,

so I gave up the job.

Luckily the company were very good to me

and I didn't have to give
my standard month's notice.

The main treatments I've had
are a variety of different drugs.

I've had, I think, six different types

and at the moment I'm taking
three of those types together

to try and make a big improvement
on my condition.

They're quite successful.
Not perfect, but we're getting there.

I've had a couple of side effects
from taking the drugs.

The first was some weight loss

and at the moment
I do get double vision some mornings

when I'm walking to school.

I think some of the ladies in the area
think I'm winking at them,

when in fact I have to close an eye to
make sure I'm walking past the right one

and not bumping into people.

Good girl. How many can you do?

I'm hopefully having an operation
in the summer

to remove part of my brain,

the part that's been diagnosed
as causing the epilepsy.

This is obviously a big thing for me,
but hopefully it will be successful,

and if it is then I won't need to be
on the drugs for the rest of my life,

so fingers crossed for that one.

"What are you up to?" asked Pup the dog.

I've been lucky in my family life

that having epilepsy
hasn't affected me too much.

Apart from my wife having to do
the driving and small things like that,

we've been very lucky.

There's not many things
that have changed.

Having my children,
they understand the condition

because it's what they've always known,
it's not anything strange to them.

My advice for anyone just diagnosed
with epilepsy is don't worry.

It is a shock to start with,
but just think about things

and it doesn't have to affect your life
too much.

Like me, it could change for the better.

I get to stay at home,
being a stay-at-home dad,

which is the best thing
that could have happened.

Daddy, let me do...

- Let you do what?
- Do aeroplane.