“I was sitting on the toilet going about my business when suddenly I blacked out.”
Maxine and Karstan were the happy go lucky couple of last year’s The Block: Glasshouse. And while the pair would seem to have it all after taking home substantial winnings and tying the knot on the show last September, Maxine is now opening up about a time in her life that was less than peachy.
Maxine, 25, has penned a blog post detailing her frightening experience of being misdiagnosed with epilepsy in 2013, before appearing on the hit amateur renovations show.
Maxine explains that she first became concerned with her health when, “I was sitting on the toilet going about my business when suddenly I blacked out. I woke up delirious on the bathroom floor, with a bitten tongue and feeling very confused about what had just happened.”
Maxine’s partner Karstan, 27, immediately came home from work and took her to the doctor where she underwent various blood tests and an EEG.
Writing of her experience with the EEG, Maxine says, “The specialist attached the metal disks to my head until I looked like a complete alien and then asked me to hyperventilate for exactly 10 minutes. Apparently putting your body under stress segregates people with regular and irregular brain activity. As I breathed in and out I felt really confident, I remember thinking 'I got this' and wondering what the point of me even being there was.”
The Newcastle resident had been planning a trip to India with her mum at the time of her health scare and felt confident that there was nothing wrong with her health. “Life was stress free, I was engaged, happy, healthy (I thought) and I also thought that I was invincible,” she said.
Yet when Maxine went to the doctor to receive her results, it wasn’t the situation she was expecting. She explains that the doctor said it was not safe for her to fly to India, as she could have a seizure on the flight which could be life threatening.
“I remember thinking, ‘Is he serious?’ And then my body become numb,” Maxine wrote. “Within the next 20 minutes the specialist advised me that I had a severe form of epilepsy and would have to take medication twice a day for the rest of my life. He then proceeded to tell me about all of the scary and negative things that my future could hold.”
As a consequence of her diagnosis, Maxine had to take time off work and was not allowed near sharp objects. She could not be left home alone, could not drive, swim, ride a bike, or consume alcohol for a minimum of six months.
“I may need brain surgery, pregnancy in the future would need to be heavily planned to reduce the risk of deformities and my medication will probably make me depressed,” she continued.