People ask why I subject myself to interviews for the world to read and watch.
People want to know how I prepare myself for unexpected questions that often deserve revealing answers.
I am grateful to accept interviews and sit with a microphone because I was once the person searching for these answers. No matter how many books I read or papers I flipped through, I could not find anyone who shared their similar situations. When I was trying to learn more about seizures, the personal interaction I had with other epileptics was nearly nonexistent. I had never met a stroke victim let alone a young stroke survivor. I had no instruction booklet preparing me on how to walk confidently in a world that was suddenly only filled with strangers. The answers I wanted are the ones I hope to pass on now to others.
I know what it is like to be the person desperately seeking answers. I remember, and still experience, the challenge of suddenly needing to ask questions I never before had imagined but not being able to find a person with first-hand experience on the subject.
Why do I subject myself to this? Why do I allow myself to become so vulnerable all around the world? I do it so you know you are not alone:
65 MILLION People around the world have epilepsy
1 IN 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.
Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. Nearly six million die and another five million are left permanently disabled. Stroke is the second leading cause of disability, after dementia. Disability may include loss of vision and / or speech, paralysis and confusion.
Globally, stroke is the second leading cause of death above the age of 60 years, and the fifth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 59 years old.
A German study surveyed the face recognition abilities of a large group of students, and reported a prevalence rate of 2-2.5%. That is, as many as one in 50 people may suffer from developmental prosopagnosia. This number goes even higher when you add in the number of people who have acquired prosopagnosia through brain damage.
Next week I will start a series of posts answering questions from the spring 2013 Life Design class. These questions are mainly asking about prosopagnosia. Do you have any questions you would like to ask regarding my experiences?
I want to hear your questions, too. If you are thinking of these questions, please know there are many others out there wondering the same thing. When I am asked questions, it also helps me learn more about my conditions. Often life happens so fast we do not take time to think of how and why we respond to challenges the way we do. Your questions make me slow down and really think about how I have journeyed from a victim to someone who not only survives but thrives. Please feel free to ask questions either by commenting on this blog or sending a message to findingstrength[at]rocketmail[dot]com. They will be answered in a post next week. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
You knocked on the door. I answered.
You have talked. I have listened.
When you ask your questions, I will respond.