Imagine you have only been in your new high school for 2 or 3 months and you only had your first seizure ever,a month before that.
That’s tough, but recently arrived in a new country, an adolescent and just getting used to the fact you have epilepsy is even tougher…
I ‘only’ ever had about 3 seizures during my high school years but the first one springs to mind!!!
It was in a science lesson, sitting on a stool, and I went into a seizure. They (two other guys sitting next to me) were trying to help out!..by holding me down and forcing a ruler into my mouth, to stop me from swallowing my tongue!!
I apparently retaliated by pushing one, and ‘stabbing’ the other on the wrist with a compass, and he told me the next day that he wanted to punch me…lovely!! I happened to ask how everybody in the class reacted, a mixture of shock and laughter, especially my confusion and grunts afterwards.The head teacher was called, and asked me if I knew my name. Yes, this was the harsh reality of epilepsy then, and is still be happening now. The golden rule if somebody has a seizure is to NOT to stop the seizure from happening and limit the possibility of injury if you fall.
Obviously the school were aware of my condition, and asked the usual questions…what should we do? However my classmates and probably my teacher at the time didn’t.
You learn to, or is a good idea to tell your friends, the close friends, who you trust and are most likely to hang around with, what to do if the scenario does happen and you continue this when you get older.But outside that circle of friends and the school or any other environment, in general it didn’t and the message if more difficult.
My parents told my family,sibling about the epilepsy condition and what to do if a seizure should occur, this takes the shock effect away and people are aware of what to do.Looking back…at school,college…the working environment. There were no first aid classes as such, or ones that did, epilepsy or other conditions weren’t. This is what is needed to dispel the myths and misconceptions of the condition. The compulsory classes at work if any, tended to focus more on fire regulations or maybe resuscitation and other physical injuries.
Over the years, my family and wife get asked…should we call an ambulance if I had a seizure.It’s not necessary unless the seizure lasts for more than 3 minutes or you have injured yourself when you fell. However I have just been talking about Tonic Clonic or Grand Mal seizures, so people need to be aware there are other types of epilepsy which are categorized into PRIMARY GENERALIZED SEIZURES which includes Absence, Tonic Clonic or Myoclonic seizures and PARTIAL SEIZURES which includes Simple or Complex Partial.
I hope you found this useful…spread the message