Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jacob had a seizure last night.

He was lying next to me in my bed, after sneaking in at some early hour after I had fallen asleep. I didn't even realize he was there until I felt his body convulsing next to mine.

It took me a moment to figure out what was going on. By the time it was over only 45 seconds had passed. He didn't seem to wake up from the seizure, and slept peacefully by my side the rest of the night.

I, on the other hand, did not return to a peaceful slumber. I kept going over it again and again in my mind. Did that really just happen? What does it mean? Will it happen again if I fall back to sleep?

I did finally return to dreamland and, of course, my dreams were about a friend of mine who has epilepsy and the one time I witnessed her having a Grand Mal seizure.

She and I had gone to a movie together, and were on our way to find a late night meal, when all of the sudden my friend, who normally doesn't stop talking, went silent. We were right in the middle of discussing where to eat, one of our favorite activities, so I knew right away that something was going on with her. I looked over the passenger seat and saw her looking frozen, eyes glazed over and an odd expression on her face.

Not 2 seconds later she was convulsing next to me. I was driving, on a narrow one-way downtown street in an unfamiliar town, and didn't know what to do next. I pulled over into an alley, tried to hold her arms from flinging around and hurting herself, and we sat in that alley for the longest 10 minutes of my life.

When the seizure was over my friend was out of it. She was drooling, unable to speak, falling in and out of consciousness. I was scared. I remembered seeing a hospital directional sign earlier in the day, and through my own panicked state, and with a police car following us after going through a red light, I was able to find the way.

My friend stayed only semi-aware for several hours. She had dislocated her shoulder and bruised her face, but was ok other then those injuries. After spending most of the night with her, her dad showed up and released me to go back home to my kids.

It was a big deal. I hadn't experienced anything like it before, and hope to never again. My friend was ok, thank goodness, and I think it was more traumatic to me than it was for her- she has been epileptic her whole life and I was an uninformed novice.

Fast forward to last night. This one was even more scary to me. It was completely unexpected and it was my baby.

I woke up this morning and immediately got online to research the autism-seizure connection. I already know there is a higher risk with autistic kids to have seizures, and we even suspected he might be having febrile seizures several years ago when he was regressing in several areas. But the test Jacob went through were inconclusive, and we let that concern go.

Today I found many, many articles and blogs and websites about this exact thing. Puberty, changing hormones, injury- all these things can be a catalyst for the beginning of a seizure disorder.

And when I take into consideration the fact that Jacob seems to be regressing in a few areas (play, writing, level of aggression) I have to accept that this may be the beginning of a whole new set of concerns.

One positive in the past two weeks- one of the medications Jacob has been taking for several years was discontinued. If we are to begin administering a new medication specifically to fight seizures, I am relieved that at least one strong chemical is already gone from his body.

I have a lot to think about, tons more research to do. Prayers will be going up for Jacob continuously. I'd be grateful if you could add yours.


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