Saturday, January 9

A Scary New Leaf

After the Seizure

So, it looks like our sweet Henry has begun a new adventure, and is taking us along for the ride! Grand Mal seizures. Actually, the medical profession does not call them that anymore (they are now generalized tonic-clonic seizures) but I like the old name which means "big bad" which is perfectly apt! Henry had his third big bad seizure on New Year's Eve day. This time, despite the ferocious intensity of the whole thing I was fairly calm. 911 was not called, I knew what to do for him: Henry's neurologist had given me the parameters for when I needed to call for help, and when just to deal.

Interestingly, the last two seizures began in the same exact spot in the kitchen (and at around the same time of day!) Making me very very leery of Henry ever even going NEAR this spot again! You should see me shooing him away from it now, as though it was the fault of the location (some supernatural vortex hanging in the air only he can see?) as opposed to what I am sure it really was: random chance. Silly of me, but I confess it still makes me nervous.

The good thing about the last two seizures happening in the kitchen is that I am almost always in there. Both times my "child-in-danger-radar" worked flawlessly. I sensed something amiss and leaped up and grabbed him before he hit the ground. People who have lost control of their musculature are a dead weight and as he now outweighs me and tops me by four inches this is no joke. I have two close autism mom friends who work out rigorously in order to deal with their children, and obviously this is what I now need to start doing, too. Alas for lazy (in body) me! We are all, reluctantly, having to turn over new leaves.

After a big seizure most people are somewhat groggy and disoriented and Henry is no exception. He got up from the floor and staggered right for the stairs to go up to his bed. Actually, this was probably more dangerous than the actual seizure itself as he had very poor balance and wavering muscle control. But he had enough muscle, and enough body mass to resist my trying to get him onto the couch. Bed was what he wanted. I got one of my other sons to help me half-carry him up the steps and get him into the bed. (Here he is in his little safe harbor, resting up.)

If you ever see someone having a seizure here are a few tips:
~gently roll them onto one side if possible (this helps clear the airways)
~put something soft under their head (making sure not to obstruct the airways)
~loosen tight neckwear, if any
~don't try to restrain them, but move any sharp or hard objects away from them if possible.
~call for medical help.

For more information on seizures click the Mayo Clinic seizure page.

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