My Medicine Wheel, Including Disabilities

Carly McIntosh

Just being taught of the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel, I can definitely say that my medicine wheel is not perfect. Being shown a circle cut into four equal elements standing for Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, and Mental. With the twists and turns I have had to live with I don't even know if it is possible to make my medicine wheel up to fifty percent ideal.

When I was young I was discovered having the disability of Epilepsy. Knowing that a epileptic seizure could occur at any moment places fear at the back of my mind every day. With the years I have had to learn how to cope with Epilepsy struggles have taken place as well. The one in charge of the seizures is my body, and if he doesn't like something it's time for a seizure. Almost every single man-made chemical that comes close to my body, time is up. The programming of my body is to have a seizure when I come into contact with pesticides, herbicides, cleaning products, diesel, MSG in foods, and plenty more. With the amount of things my body does not approve of I could go on for years.

In the year of 1999, I was living in the prairies of Manitoba, Canada. At the time spring had just arrived and the farmers had to start spraying their fields with herbicides. The farmers would not let Mother Earth place one weed on their land. I remember driving home from Brandon Manitoba one day while the herbicide had reached into my airway, and that evening my body went into a full-strength grand mal seizure. My body was so effected that the Grand Mal Seizure kept coming back in rounds. I was in the Emergency Room for hours, but once they got me to come out of the seizure I didn't wake up for three days. With the strength of that Grand Mal Seizure my brain and nerves had been so effected it had seemed like a tornado had touched down inside me.

In my medicine wheel emotional, physical and mental are not in good health. I never feel safe, and when you never feel safe stress and anxiety come into play. Once I feel a Aura Seizure start to react that is all I can focus on, not knowing where it is headed. A Aura Seizure can grow into a Complex Seizure as well as a Grand Mal Seizure. In Spring and Summer man-made chemicals are spread everywhere in the air, when I go for a walk I am taking a big risk.

My biggest fear is going into a complex seizure and getting hit by a vehicle, that fear will never leave.

Being physical is not an option for me, when my heart rate goes up automatically a complex seizure will set in. Back in high school I remember having a Complex Seizure in gym class almost every week. I had to sit gym through pretty much every day, yet I still got my credit. Till this day it still makes me laugh, the only reason I got my credit is because my gym teacher had Epilepsy just like myself.

For physical all I can really do is go for walks, I always have to have a steady heart rate.

In the year of 2007 I had my first MRI and was told by a Neurologist I had a brain tumour placed on my left temporal lobe. The neurologist had told me if I were to get the brain tumour removed the seizures would decrease and my memory would start to repair itself. I put my trust into my specialist and surgeon, and I will never trust anyone in neurology ever again.

All that has changed is that I have a gigantic scar on my head, with pieces of brain tumour still resting inside, and my memory completely destroyed. It had taken me years to forgive my enemy, but enough is enough. With all the stress I have been put through in the past and present, all I can really do is laugh about it. Laughter is the best medicine.

Born and raised in Manitoba, Canada and now residing in Calgary, Alberta, Carly McIntosh recently found her ancestry. Her goal is to pursue a future with writing and hopes to open some closed eyes and minds.

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