Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The 29th of February

Unless you've been asleep for the last day or so, or have a calendar that doesn't work, you will have noticed that today is a leap day.

For those of you born on the 29th that have been around 84 years or so, Happy 21st Birthday! For those ladies who have decided that waiting around for their bloke to pop the question would mean they were still unmarried and on their pension - congratulations if he said yes!

Of course being the 29th of February, also signifies something else too - it's a Summer Olympic year.
The rather amusing irony, which I noticed many people in the same situation as me commented on in the likes of Facebook groups, is that we have another day to wait until March begins - the month when we will be told if our conditional offer to carry the Olympic flame is confirmed. There seems to be a few nervous individuals itching to find out if they have passed the security check and hoping they get the e-mail tomorrow, so today is prolonging the agony for them.

Apart from a rare day of girl power, as of tomorrow it is the start of Epilepsy awareness month. For those of you who didn't know, the month culminates in Purple Day on the 26th of March, when people across the world wear purple to raise awareness and raise money for Epilepsy, or even just have fun with their wardrobe. The idea is derived from the colour of lavender, as it is often a flower which signifies isolation.

Speaking about women and Epilepsy awareness however, does take me back to yesterday, when I was at a presentation on the UK Epilepsy Pregnancy Register. It was startling how much this voluntary register had done in the last few years in terms of research in comparison to much older data collected years ago in very small quantities.
Many pregnancy registers are compulsory given certain circumstances unlike the Epilepsy one, yet women are still enthusiastic to take part.

The information these women are voluntarily providing and that the register is recording, is absolutely invaluable to better understanding Anti-Epileptic Drugs that pose a higher risk than normal, of malformations in a child. I should add caution to that statement, because these are still rare, but it does empower women to have more information available to them to ask the question of their GP or Epilepsy specialist.

To anyone thinking of having children in the future there is always information and support available if you ask for it. To any woman that is pregnant and on AEDs, please think about joining the register and I wish you a safe birth and healthy baby.

If you want any more information, you can go to the register's website: www.epilepsyandpregnancy.co.uk

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