Bath time beckons
IN the blink of an eye, cousins Alex Marsh and Beth Wolozny went from being fiercely independent and active 20-year-olds to needing a chaperone to have a bubble bath.
Ms Marsh (24) was a keen water polo player studying architecture when she was diagnosed with a rare form of complex partial epilepsy in 2010.
“I start shaking on my left side and my hand curls up so we jokingly call it ‘the claw’, but I also have pretty scary continuous seizures called status epilepticus,” the Subiaco resident said.
“When I was first dealing with the medication I would say ‘no, I’m fine, I’m fine’ but I was sleeping 20 out of 24 hours in the day.
“I couldn’t do anything for a whole year. I had to give up alcohol, caffeine, driving, a normal diet, going out with my friends. Even now I am not allowed to swim without a buddy.
“A lot of people wouldn’t know this, but epileptics can drown in even the smallest amount of water.”
To mark National Epilepsy Awareness Month and Purple Day on March 26, Epilepsy Australia is encouraging people to accept the Bubble Bath Challenge, snap a selfie in the tub and post it to social media.
Although Ms Wolozny (31) was diagnosed five years before her cousin, she said they experienced the same frustration and helplessness with the disorder. “I had been for a swim and run
along Cottesloe beach, went into the OBH, had one drink and fell on the concrete,” she said.
“Other people at the bar probably thought I was just really drunk, but that was my first seizure.
“From there, once I went on medication, the seizures started more and more. As a 21year-old girl, I put on 30kg very quickly.
“It was a dark time. I went from being an independent person to almost totally dependent. I fought that so much.”
Beth Wolozny and Alex Marsh.