Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seizure 101

This morning I did a brief seizure 101 session for one my classes, because whether I like it or not, I did have a seizure on Tuesday and people in my life like to know what to do if it happens again. (We are praying it was an isolated event!)  After class I wrote up a brief summary and e-mailed to my class, because I couldn't remember if I'd said everything I needed to say (I ought to use notes when I do seizure 101). I thought I'd post it here in case anyone needs a refresher or is just curious. Here it is:

 I find that by equipping people with information they are less likely to be anxious.
1.       I have seizures. They are part of my life, but do not define me. I am so much more than my seizures. For real. I can do anything that anyone else can do except stay up really late at night and drive a car.

2.       If I have a seizure, don’t panic. I will live. For real.
-          Stay Calm
-          Protect my head if you feel comfortable
o   Sweatshirts, coats, feet, laps, pillows are all options
-          Time the seizure. The first time you see a seizure it will seem like it lasts forever. In reality, it’s likely less than a minute
-          Try and remove my glasses and hearing aids if you feel comfortable (and put them in a safe place please!)
-          Roll me on my side after my seizure, especially if I am vomiting or sounding like I’m going to vomit. This will keep me from choking on any vomit.
-          Stay calm
-          Panic
-          Put anything in my mouth
-          Try and hold me still. This will hurt both me and you.
-          Do anything that makes you uncomfortable
-          Panic
3.        I will likely be confused and disoriented after a seizure. Please reorient me as to where I am, what happened and who you are.
4.       A seizure is not a 911 emergency unless:
a.       I seize continuously (continuous convulsions) for 5 minutes or more
b.      I have more than 5 seizures one after the other (waking up only briefly in between each)
c.       I hit my head hard enough that there is blood (not just blood from biting my tongue)
d.      I stop breathing and don’t start again (I often stop breathing for short periods during a seizure as my airways spasm)
e.      I choke on my own vomit and therefore am not breathing
If you have any questions at all, please ask me. And please, don’t define me by my seizures. They are part of me, not all of me. And hopefully you never ever have to see me or anyone else have one. But if you do, you know what to do.

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