In our schools, this month's Lunch and Learns have been focused on seizures, a disorder of the brain also known as epilepsy. It's a condition that has existed for years that is even described in some Biblical writings. At the last Camp Treasure one of the students asked about how to handle the reactions of others when someone looks normal but has a hidden health condition - something that people outside of the family don't easily understand.
Having a seizure condition is somethings that many people try to keep hidden as if it is something to feel shame about. The unknown often creates feelings of fear. Fear often raises its ugly head when we don't understand something or someone's behavior.
Having a seizure is not in the control of the person with this disorder, unless of course prescribed medications to control the seizures are not taken. Sometimes there are also "triggers" that stimulate a seizure that can be avoided. It is also not something that you or anyone else gives to another person.
Being prepared as much as possible alleviates some of the anxiety that you may feel if your family member who you care for has a seizure disorder. What are some things you can do to be prepared?
Keep a list handy of all the medications your family member is taking
- Make sure critical medications are renewed before they run out
- Know the name of the doctor who is in charge of the seizure care
- Have important phone numbers available
- Prevent your family member from injuring himself/herself if a seizure occurs
As a caregiver, you may feel especially anxious never knowing when a seizure may happen. This is a very normal feeling! Chronic illnesses that offer no visual cues to others make managing those conditions more of a challenge for the caregiver. If someone has a wound, you can judge how well it is healing or if it requires different care to heal. It is impossible to look into someone's brain to learn when and if another seizure will occur; perhaps one day as medical technology advances, this will be possible!
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.