After the first seizure . . .

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Epilepsy
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This is a follow-up to my blog called My son and a different path.  Read on if you want to know what life is like when you are first diagnosed with epilepsy.

In my previous post I described the first time my son had a seizure. As soon as my son was able to talk again, I scooped him up and took him to an urgent care facility.

The physician concluded, what I already knew, it was a seizure. The physician suggested that we make an appointment with a neurologist for further testing and possibly medication.  He said it seems that my son was okay now and was just tired from the seizure.  He also gave us some basic information about what to do if my son had another seizure.  The following information is available from the Epilepsy Foundation for this circumstance:

When providing seizure first aid for generalized tonic clonic (grand mal) seizures, these are the key things to remember:

  • Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby.
  • Don’t hold the person down or try to stop his movements.
  • Time the seizure with your watch.
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.
  • Put something flat and soft, like a folded jacket, under the head.
  • Turn him or her gently onto one side. This will help keep the airway clear.
  • Do not try to force the mouth open with any hard implement or with fingers. A person having a seizure CANNOT swallow his tongue. Efforts to hold the tongue down can injure teeth or jaw.
  • Don’t attempt artificial respiration except in the unlikely event that a person does not start breathing again after the seizure has stopped.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally

In addition to the above information the doctor said if my son has another seizure and it goes on for 10 minutes or more, then I should call 911 and get my son to a hospital.

After the doctor visit, I took my son home, who was very sleepy.  The whole situation was jarring.  My son had a seizure which was shocking to me. It isn’t something you expect or plan for. Luckily I knew some of the first aid procedures for seizures from a first aid class I had in grade school. I also knew a couple of people who had seizures. One was a young girl I went to grade school with who had a brain tumor. The other was a neighbor and I knew he did not have his driving license because he had epilepsy. Up to this time I had not ever seen a seizure in person, but had seen them depicted on TV.  I am sure you can imagine how accurate that is.

I was reminded that my husband and I had such a hard time having a baby. Finally after five years with no success, I got pregnant via invitro fertilization when I was forty years old. Our son was our miracle baby and we were grateful to have him in our lives.

The day after my son’s first seizure I made an appointment for my son with a neurologist. Coincidently we lived in a city that had a Children’s Hospital.  The earliest we could get in to see a doctor was Friday, which was 5 more days away.  I called in sick to work because I wanted to make sure that everything was all right with my son.  The last thing I wanted to happen was to take him to daycare and he have another seizure.

While we waited for the neurology appointment I kept running things through my mind about what could have caused this to happen and why did it happen to my son now. At the moment I could not think of anything except earlier in the week my son had fallen off the bed head first. When it happened he was fine and he just shed a few tears.  I think the falling was more traumatic than the actual landing on his head.

That first morning I also called my husband and told him what happened.  He was in West Africa and was stunned went I told him the news.  He asked that I keep him informed as more information is available. He was going to make plans to conclude his business as soon as possible and come home.

To be continued . . .

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