Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Epilepsy Awareness

Talking about Epilepsy is easy for me to do.  As a parent of a child who suffered with intractable epilepsy, I wanted anyone who came into contact with our Caleb to understand his seizures.  I always talked to his classmates about seizures and autism.  And most importantly, I trained his teachers, aides, therapists, anyone who helped him through his day, about seizures. 

It is so important to share that you have Epilepsy with others.  If you are an individual with Epilepsy, creating awareness by sharing about your Epilepsy can save your life.  If you are a parent with a child who has Epilepsy, sharing their condition with teachers, administrators, coaches, is vital. 

There are so many misconceptions about Epilepsy, some people may react incorrectly.  You may need DiaStat, sublingual medication or extra medication in an emergency.  Do the people that you have daily contact with know what to do?  Many people with Epilepsy may have a seizure that stops on its' own.  Going to the hospital is most of the time not necessary.  Would those around you "overreact"?  Would they respond correctly? 

Being an advocate for yourself and teaching those around you about appropriate response to your seizures is necessary.  Don't be afraid to talk about Epilepsy.  Your local Epilepsy Foundation can advocate for you and can also educate employers, teachers, therapists, classmates and first responders on proper seizure response.  These programs are free. 

Caleb never finished his Kindergarten year of school.  He became too ill, and contracted illness that exasperated his seizures.  His last day at school, he went into Status Epilepticus (prolonged seizures) and his teacher called me.  She knew that he needed DiaStat and I told her to administer it as I drove to the school.  I had trained her at the beginning of the school year, and she knew just what to do.  Her being able to do that allowed his seizure to slow.  It was a blessing to have trained staff who cared so much about our sweet Caleb. 

Knowledge corrects improper stigmas about Epilepsy.  Knowledge allows proper response.  Knowledge creates compassion.  Teach others about Epilepsy, or ask for a free presentation from your local Epilepsy Foundation for your support team. 

To truly be "aware" of Epilepsy, educating others is important.  If you don't know proper response for Seizures- see the Seizure First Aid blog entry on the right. 

If you or a loved one has Epilepsy - make those around you Aware.

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