My name is Greg Van De Moortele, and the purpose of this book, is to provide you over fifty of the Epilepsy related poems I have written.
I have used these poems, to express my knowledge, experiences, and personal feelings, to not only help other patients, their family members, and friends, but to also give the general public a better understanding of Epilepsy, and the obstacles which can accompany the disorder.
I have had Epilepsy since the age of nine, and was in the operating room for the tenth time in February, 2012. Prior to this surgery, I had undergone four minor surgeries to my brain, two major surgeries, in which parts of my left temporal and frontal lobes were removed, and the remaining was for the Vagus Nerve Stimulator.
This tenth surgery resulted from the discovery made, only weeks earlier. My regular Neurological appointment began as normal, but when the higher than regular number of seizures was seen, the Vagus Nerve Stimulator was quickly checked on. Only then was it learned the Stimulator was not working. My Neurologist and his assistant individually had similar remarks.
“If something is going to go wrong, it seems to always happen to you.”
Considering everything the Epilepsy has put me through, what I was told, was so very true. X-rays were taken and sent to the manufacturer in Texas. The response was not a good one, as all three parts of my VNS would need to be replaced.
Once it was learned the entire device was going to have to be replaced, not only did my Neurologists say it, but a couple of friends, and people from the Epilepsy Surgery web site, also said, “With all of the seizures, surgeries, and experiences you have gone through, you should write a book.”
This was something I had considered, and wanted to do for years, but had never been able to take the final step. However, there was a complication during the replacement, which was very terrifying, and it is what brought to mind, “Write the book while you still can.”
During the month away from work, due to the complications I began spending all of my time, creating a time line of all the major events of my life, and then began writing the book. While writing my true story, ideas for poems constantly came out of nowhere.
As I have now completed over fifty Epilepsy related poems, I want to get these out to patients, and the friends and family members of patients. It gives them a completely different perspective on the disorder.
One thing that has really been noticeable, after my second major brain surgery in 2006, on the left temporal Lobe, is the fact my right temporal lobe has seemed to become more dominate. I do not know if it is to make up for the severe impact the seizures and surgeries have had on my memory, but my imagination has continued to expand.
Any time I am not keeping busy, my imagination soars, thinking of things to do paintings of, or write poems about. These are but two, of the many artistic things I do, and I want to be able to use these skills, not only for myself, but to support, and give hope to all other patients.
I have helped support a number of patients who are interested in, being tested for, or undergoing surgery for their Epilepsy. The Vagus Nerve Stimulator implant is a treatment which is far from common. I have had one implanted since 2001, and have gone from the weakest settings, all of the way to the maximum settings. The fourth surgery for the Vagus Nerve Stimulator took place, in 2012.
This is another topic I am able to help others with.
One of the most helpful things a patient can obtain is friends, in the same age range, who have Epilepsy. Somebody who truly understands what the other is going through. Whether it be a seizure, a change in medications, or one of the continuous list of things patients face, if they have support from on