Epilepsy, otherwise known as a seizure disorder, is this month's health condition that we have been focusing on in our Lunch and Learns. It is one of those hidden, almost silent conditions that can occur at any time while you are caring for a family member or while you are not with that person.
Being with someone during a seizure, especially one that is violent, can be frightening no matter how young or how old you are. You may also feel embarrassed or even angry if the seizure happens in a public place; some people may say things that are unkind out of simple ignorance and others may offer help and support. It is ever so normal to wonder: When will it stop? Did I do or not do something to cause this? Do I need to call for help? Is he/she safe? Am I prepared to do whatever is necessary to provide care when the seizure is over?
One of the biggest fears, is fear of the unknown. Is today the day a seizure will return? In a way, this can be a type of fear that is similar to that inspired by terrorists. We cannot allow our fears to take over! Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, "He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."
Sometimes, seizures are triggered by internal or external forces. Helping your family member to minimize these triggers can help avoid seizure activity. Tips to do this include:
Maintaining a proper diet and blood sugar control
Taking medications as prescribed
Avoiding super bright lights
Managing stress and anger
If you are experiencing having a tough time dealing with the issues surrounding seizures, please feel free to speak with a trusted adult such as the Family Specialist of the Caregiving Youth Project who is in your school or who is a phone call away at 561.391.7401.