Archive for the ‘Epilepsy’ Category

COPING WITH THE UNCERTAINTIES OF SEIZURES AND EPILEPSY: THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

In all chronic conditions there is a need to “be realistic” and a problem in defining “reality” and in accepting it. One of the most difficult realities of epilepsy is that no one can predict when and where (or even if) a next seizure will occur. This is “the uncertainty factor.” It is this uncertainty factor that differentiates epilepsy from most other chronic conditions. It is this uncertainty factor that is most disturbing to older children with epilepsy as well as to their parents. “Could I have a seizure while crossing the street?” “Is it all right for me to go to school today, or will I be embarrassed by another one of those things?” “Suppose he goes to the prom and has a seizure?” Uncertainty leads to anxiety and worry. Coping with anxiety is the principal task for a parent of a child with epilepsy. Worry must be contained. It cannot be allowed to permeate every waking moment of your life. It cannot be allowed to be the master, dictating overprotection of your child.But how can worry and anxiety be contained? It’s useless to be told not to worry. You need to be helped to see the reality of your child’s epilepsy. For some, that reality may be a few seizures, likely to be controlled, and epilepsy that eventually disappears. For other parents, the reality may be continuing seizures or retardation or other disabilities. No one can predict with absolute certainty what the future holds for a child with epilepsy, any more than we can predict with certainty what the future holds for a child without epilepsy.It is the lack of ability to influence the future that can be the most disturbing to people with epilepsy and to their loved ones.*188\208\8*

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LIVING WITH EPILEPSY/SCHOOL: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

“Will my child have problems in school?”"Are my child’s school problems due to his epilepsy?”There aren’t easy answers to these questions, since no one has a crystal ball to see how your child will do in the future- Even if your child is having school problems, your physician can’t make a blanket statement that the child’s school problems are or are not due to epilepsy. Answers to questions such as these require much more information.Why does one child do well in school? Why does another have school problems? A child’s “doing well in school” and “school problems”? A child’s “doing well in school” and “school problems” depend, in part, on his intelligence, on whether he has a learning disability of his attitude towards school and about himself, and on the teacher’s and the school’s attitudes toward him and toward epilepsy. Let us reassure You first that:• There is no reason to worry about the possibility of school problems unless your child is encountering and demonstrating problems -• Most children with epilepsy do well in school.• Most children with epilepsy DO NOT have learning problems or social problems in school.• There is reason to be aware that school problems could occur, since they do occur more frequently in children who have epilepsy.You should also remember that lots of children without epilepsy have problems of various kinds in school. Thus, even if your child does have problems in school, they may not be related to epilepsy itself.*240\208\8*

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HOW WE DIAGNOSE A SEIZURE AND DECIDE WHAT IT WILL MEAN FOR YOUR CHILD: PROVOKED AND UNPROVOKED SEIZURES

Friday, January 21st, 2011
Your child is playing outside when his friend comes banging at the door. “Come quick!” the friend shouts. “Something’s happened to Bobby!” You run and find Bobby on the edge of the playground jerking his arms and legs and making gurgling sounds. “Was that a seizure?” you ask your physician later. “It certainly sounds like one,” she replies. “We have to be concerned that Bobby might have another one. If he does, then he has epilepsy—by definition.” If after talking to Bobby’s friend she learns that Bobby was climbing a tree, fell, and hit his head, she might answer differently. “I think Bobby had a slight concussion and a brief seizure, what we call a ‘post-traumatic seizure.’ These brief seizures after a child hits his head are not uncommon and rarely recur. I think that this is what we call a provoked seizure. I don’t believe he has epilepsy or will have epilepsy.”
It is not the mere occurrence of a seizure but also the circumstances under which the seizure occurs that determine if a child is likely to have more seizures. Furthermore, the child must have two or more seizures or he has not got epilepsy.
If a child has several seizures during an episode of meningitis, or after a head injury, or with diarrhea and dehydration, or with other acute “illnesses,” these seizures are termed “provoked” seizures or “symptomatic” seizures, ones that have a defined cause, just as Jane’s seizure after fainting was a “provoked” seizure. The acute brain disturbance that caused them will disappear or be cured and the seizures should not recur.
Although acute conditions such as a head injury or meningitis can cause permanent damage to the brain, and that damage can later lead to “unprovoked” recurrent seizures—i.e., epilepsy—permanent damage followed later by epilepsy is not a consequence of acute “symptomatic” seizures in children.
*19\208\8*

HOW WE DIAGNOSE A SEIZURE AND DECIDE WHAT IT WILL MEAN FOR YOUR CHILD: PROVOKED AND UNPROVOKED SEIZURESYour child is playing outside when his friend comes banging at the door. “Come quick!” the friend shouts. “Something’s happened to Bobby!” You run and find Bobby on the edge of the playground jerking his arms and legs and making gurgling sounds. “Was that a seizure?” you ask your physician later. “It certainly sounds like one,” she replies. “We have to be concerned that Bobby might have another one. If he does, then he has epilepsy—by definition.” If after talking to Bobby’s friend she learns that Bobby was climbing a tree, fell, and hit his head, she might answer differently. “I think Bobby had a slight concussion and a brief seizure, what we call a ‘post-traumatic seizure.’ These brief seizures after a child hits his head are not uncommon and rarely recur. I think that this is what we call a provoked seizure. I don’t believe he has epilepsy or will have epilepsy.”It is not the mere occurrence of a seizure but also the circumstances under which the seizure occurs that determine if a child is likely to have more seizures. Furthermore, the child must have two or more seizures or he has not got epilepsy.If a child has several seizures during an episode of meningitis, or after a head injury, or with diarrhea and dehydration, or with other acute “illnesses,” these seizures are termed “provoked” seizures or “symptomatic” seizures, ones that have a defined cause, just as Jane’s seizure after fainting was a “provoked” seizure. The acute brain disturbance that caused them will disappear or be cured and the seizures should not recur.Although acute conditions such as a head injury or meningitis can cause permanent damage to the brain, and that damage can later lead to “unprovoked” recurrent seizures—i.e., epilepsy—permanent damage followed later by epilepsy is not a consequence of acute “symptomatic” seizures in children.*19\208\8*

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