Jason - Interview 35

Age at interview: 19
Age at diagnosis: 11
Brief Outline: Jason was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 11. He is on Epilim (sodium valproate) and has occasional seizures.
Background: Jason is 19, single and lives in a residential college for young people with epilepsy. Ethnic background / nationality' Mixed (Afro-Caribbean / Caucasian)

More about me...

Jason is 19 and a full-time student at a residential college. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 11. His epilepsy may have been caused by a hard knock he had on the head when he was doing sport. Jason is currently on Epilim (sodium valproate) but he says his medication is not really sorted at the moment as he is still having tonic-clonic seizures. He has had two EEGs in the past but is about to have a brain scan for the first time. Jason is quite excited about that as he hopes the scan will help him to understand the cause of his seizures better. Jason experiences blurred vision and memory problems as side effects from his medication.

Jason says school was quite difficult for him as not many people understood about epilepsy. He said he had a really good teacher and a helper at school who knew about epilepsy and were supportive. Jason has been at the residential college for a year and has one more year left. He has his own room and, because of his seizures, a special bed and also the desk and the radiator in his room are padded for safety. Jason shares the house with five other young lads and he says he has made quite a few mates at the college. 

Jason says staying at the college has made him more independent and he now goes to doctor's appointments on his own. He'd like to do some travel training next to be able to be even more independent. Travel training will include visiting the nearby village, practising making appointments at the doctors and so on. Jason has a brother and a sister and he goes home to visit his family every other weekend. At home Jason likes to spend time with his friends and ride his bike.

His favourite sport is rugby and he likes following the international games on TV. He likes playing basketball and goes to the gym twice a week. Jason says sometimes exercise can trigger his seizures so he says he needs to be a bit careful. Jason enjoys horticulture lessons at college. In the future Jason would like to work in a shop and then maybe work as a gardener.

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Jason wants to work in a shop and has been selling plants in the shop of his residential college....

Well, my brother's at work, looking after his son because he's got a child now. And he's my nephew. I got my sister, she's got a job now, she works as well she's just started work which is good. Like what I would like to do is, I'd like to work maybe in a shop or' yeah I'd like to work in a shop.

Yeah. You've kind of done that a little bit here as well, if you've been selling plants and things like that.

Yeah. My mum wants me to become a gardener, but I told her that I want to work in a shop first. Then, I start thinking about working in a garden.

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Jason used to go to doctor's appointments with his keyworker but has now started to go on his own...

Do you go to the doctor's on your own, or do you go with your keyworker?

I've only just started going on my own. I used to go with [name of keyworker]. I go on my own now.

Do you like going on your own?

Yeah, I like it.

Yeah. Why, why do you like going on your own?

It makes me feel more independent. Makes me feel I could do this sort of, makes me feel I could do stuff on my own, yeah.

Yeah, do you get to ask the doctor, if you have questions, about the medication or the blurred vision?

Yeah I do ask him that and he sometimes say, and he talks about how often I get these blurred visions, he talks to me what we're trying to sort out your medication.

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Jason sometimes forgets things. Forgetting his key worker's name really upset him.

What really upset me is what happened on, yeah it was on Sunday, which was just yesterday, I couldn't remember who my old key worker's name. I tried to remember her name, she just said, 'Come on Jason you remember my name", like I was with you for a year, she asked me about four times, I couldn't remember it, and just felt like bursting out crying.

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