Eyebrows and Epilepsy: Things That Are Only Tangentially Related

I got my eyebrows waxed yesterday.

Lest you think that I’ve decided to experiment with beauty blogging, let me immediately assure you that this particular eyebrow-maintenance experience is, indeed, relevant to the theme of my blog. You can also rest assured that my brows are now “on fleek,” as the kids of today, or maybe the kids of yesterday, say/said.

After the preliminaries—preferences regarding shape, etc.—were out of the way, the aesthetician got to work, and we started chatting. She asked what I do for a living, a question that makes me uncomfortable right now since I don’t have a great answer; I told her that I finished a PhD last year, but I’m currently not working because I’m recovering from a recent surgery.

“What was the surgery for?” was the next query.

“Epilepsy,” I answered, figuring that there was no harm sharing this nugget of information.

“I have a friend with epilepsy,” she said, continuing to smear hot wax on the region above my eyes. “I work with her at another spa.”

“Oh really?” I tried to be all casual, but I was, of course, curious. Keep going! I thought.

She didn’t need encouragement. Within minutes, she had told me that her friend/coworker used to work full time but was forced to cut her hours because the stress was causing her to have frequent seizures on the job. Her seizures usually follow the same pattern: a feeling of anxiety (presumably an aura) and then the seizure itself, after which she doesn’t know where she is. While plucking my eyebrows, my aesthetician described how she and other employees at the same workplace help this woman lie down when a seizure occurs, and how they comfort her when she regains consciousness.

“Not many people are very aware about epilepsy,” she observed, “but it’s a serious thing.”

“It’s true,” I responded. “Your friend is lucky to work with people who’re understanding and able to take the right steps.”

She nodded. “It was scary, the first time, but you get used to it. It’s hard for her, though. She needs to keep her stress low. Once, she was in the middle of painting a client’s nails when she got the anxiety. The customer came to us and told us that something was wrong, so we helped her to one of the beds in the back. When it was over, she asked, ‘Why am I here?’ and other questions like that.”

She grabbed a mirror and handed it to me so that I could check out my freshly groomed brows.

“They look great,” I said. “Thanks.”

While I was expressing gratitude for her fine work making my face look a little more dignified, I was also acknowledging—extremely indirectly, I will admit—how she efficiently and respectfully deals with her friend’s seizures. If everyone were so caring and considerate, the world would be a much friendlier place for people with epilepsy.



2 thoughts on “Eyebrows and Epilepsy: Things That Are Only Tangentially Related

  1. It’s awesome the way she and other coworkers help the woman with epilepsy.
    If more people were that kind and caring the world be a much better place for all.

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