Government and Epilepsy

There was a time I was a through & through Libertarian (with that capital L). I felt that less government is more government, and our nations was founded on the idea that we should not have our Federal Government in our day to day lives. In a lot of ways, I’m still right there. I want to believe that we would do well without unemployment, Medicaid, Food Stamps… That charity could fill the place of our government.

I don’t know that I truly believe this anymore. My last job (a government job), I had an uphill battle trying to make people understand that I wasn’t mentally insane, and that I DID really need help. Between the ADA, EEOC and threat of lawyers I finally got them to give me some much needed help. Then, less than 6mos over it started all over without cause. They didn’t say it was a review, they told me should I not agree with no help from them they would make me a receptionist.

I’m a college educated woman, with lots of experience as a social servant. I want to help people. I want to make their lives better. Unfortunately, without the government stepping in with acts, and laws I wouldn’t be able to do that through any job. With the job market the way it is, should I not be protected under the ADA & EEOC, I would not be hired, or fired as a person who “couldn’t do their job as described”. Think about it, if you owned a business and you had two choices, both equal in every every way except for one cannot a) drive b) function if med changes happen c) be mentally/physically present constantly due to seizures. Which one would YOU keep/hire? It sure as heck wouldn’t be seizure girl.

So without the ADA & EEOC I wouldn’t be able to work. With less government I wouldn’t have SSA Disability to turn to, and then where would I be? I’d be living with my parents with no way to help support myself. I would be a burden. My condition is heart breaking enough, why would I want to burden them further?

Not to mention without the hope of the NIH case study, surgery would be off the table. Their research is one of the main driving forces of Epilepsy research. Can we really say, given the statistics of giving vs people with the disorder we’d be SOL in a bad way. The NIH is a life saver when it comes to those of us with Epilepsy.

Some say I can turn to charity. The fact is charitable giving is hardest hit when the economy is down. It’s like pulling teeth to get people to donate even the smallest of things. I’m lucky to have some friends & readers that would do anything to help me raise money, but without them I’d be nothing. Again, it goes back to being a burden. I *CAN* work. I do work, everyday, but instead I would likely be sent to the back of the line, begging for work, and meds. What a bad combination.

Government and politics will always play a huge role in my life. I love to see how our world can twist and turn based on the momentum of humans. We really can change the world should we just try. So as election day comes up (in Epilepsy Awareness month no less), really consider what government does, and what you want it to do. I’m learning over time what I want my government to do for me, but what about you?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Miriam
    Oct 09, 2010 @ 20:02:03

    You are so very right, Meg. How many people with epilepsy, or other disorders, were getting short changed before the ADA was put into place? How many people are still getting short changed because employers have found ways around the legislation and regulations or people simply don’t know their rights? Hopefully employers will take advantage of new technology and flex-time to allow people of all abilities to participate in their companies. What if universities had dismissed Stephen Hawking as just another guy in a wheelchair, after his ALS progressed? How many people are left in the void, because no one will give them a chance? How many Stephen Hawkings, Van Goghs, or Lewis Carrolls are out there?


  2. junewilliams7
    Oct 10, 2010 @ 01:15:16

    You are not a burden. And I agree with you about government doing some good things — ADA, EEOC, funding medical research. *hugs*


    • Meg
      Oct 10, 2010 @ 09:59:09

      I know I’m not a burden, not always… But could easily fall into that trap. IF anything even slightly changed, I could be a burden on my friends & family because I wouldn’t be able to support myself.


  3. seakats
    Oct 10, 2010 @ 03:17:09

    Believe me, I know all about how this happens. Unfortunately, I was just diagnosed when I had a problem with employers. I had NO idea what rights I had. Again, like you Meg, I was working at a government job. The last 10 months has been the longest period of time I’ve ever been seizure free. Complex partial free anyway. I still get those simples The drugs make you a zombie and without them I’m in seizureland. Are you content in your new job or is it the same job same attitude?


    • Meg
      Oct 10, 2010 @ 07:22:34

      Oh, it’s night and day. The people are wonderful & supportive. They don’t look at me strangely when I just check out for a bit, they just continue with what they’re doing. It really is a blessing for me to be at this job.


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