My brother has had epilepsy since his late twenties/early thirties. His condition has continued to deteriorate as his seizures increase.
Despite many different medical regimes over the years, his health continues to decline. He has a condition similar to a well-known sports personality here in Australia called Wally Lewis. Wally underwent brain surgery in 2007 and I understand had a portion of his brain removed. Since that time he has made a complete recovery.
Unfortunately the area of the brain where my brother's seizures originate is too deep for the surgeons to get at. The only option they have offered my brother is removal of half of his brain, and of course they could offer no guarantees about his recovery or even if it would stop the seizures.
I can't imagine how he and his wife must be feeling.
This is the third of serious illnesses hitting our family this year alone. My mother has had lupus (an autoimmune disease) for many years and she is now finding it difficult to eat and is often in pain. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few months ago as well.
This is in addition to my sister's condition which is called syringomyelia, a debilitating spinal condition that is slowly causing her to become paralised.
While I have ongoing problems with my shoulder after a fall almost two years ago, I also have to contend with a damaged knee as well as ongoing back and neck problems that I was born with.
It's almost like we've got some kind of sadistic medical fairy waving her magic wand over us and laughing in a maniacal voice.
But, I really am grateful for my health, because I look at my other family members and think "Hey! That could have been me."