I used to read all the time. More so when I caught the train - that 20 minute journey to work granted me 20 blissful minutes with my nose in a book. I went through a stage of perhaps two books a week!
In 2008, at the age of 20 I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy (the temporal lobe is responsible for comprehension, verbal memory and other language functions) but the fact that it had gone undiagnosed for so long (ignoring the symptoms) meant the medication actually had more of a negative effect than the condition itself. Memory-loss was a major set-back. And verbal communication became an effort.
One thing that disturbed me was the loss of spelling and grammar. I realise that sounds ridiculous but, for someone to whom words are everything; from having a such a wide vocabulary as a writer, to not knowing how to spell words such as 'ridiculous' was devastating. I felt stupid and this upset me greatly.
I have become a slow reader. I can read entire pages without absorbing any information and I forget things almost immediately. I have read my favourite book, Birdsong at least 3 times but I can't tell you the names of any of the characters. I now also lack concentration. I have started so many books on my extensive bookshelf but I have not had the focus to complete any of them.
It makes life hard sometimes, but I do realise that compared to some people with epilepsy I am so incredibly lucky. I must keep reminding myself!