Taking Epilepsy To School

*phone rings*

Me: Hello!

School: Umm… we don’t want you to be alarmed, but we think Meghan has had a seizure.

Me: Okay! What happened? Did she fall? How long? Is she okay now?

School: Yes she’s okay, but she’s a little groggy. She’s in the nurses office. Everyone is concerned and taking care of her. We think she might be having another one.

Me: Go ahead and call 911 I’m on my way! 

I got to the school in time to ride with Meg to the hospital in the ambulance.  The school counselor drove my car to the hospital and stayed with me until family arrived.  It turned out Meg’s medication just needed a little adjustment and she was fine.  We feel lucky that Meg attends a school with very loving staff and I have to say they did everything right!

I knew some day Meg would have a seizure without me present and it was up to me to educate her school on what to do when it happened.   Ironically, the day before Meg’s seizure at school, I’d met with her teachers and school nurses to discuss how to recognize when Meg was having a seizure, medications, allergies and most importantly what to do in the event she had one while at school.  Every year we prepare a packet that’s handed out to the school nurses and all Meg’s teachers.  On the first page we include a picture of Meg, a list of her current medications/doses, a list of her allergies, and mom and dads contact information.  The second page has a first aid list, tailored specifically to Meghan, of things to do in the event a seizure occurs.  The third page is a list of her physicians as well as their contact information.  The final page contains the numbers of family members we trust to be called in the event my husband or I can’t be located.  Fortunately, on this particular day, Meg knew something wasn’t right and went up to her teacher, who recognized some of the signs we’d discussed the day before and immediately took her to the nurses office. 

I should point out that every seizure is different and some seizures have no warning signs at all.  Yet, in other situations people might get an aura (funny smell, feeling of nausea, etc.) that lets them know they’re about to have a seizure.  In Meg’s case her eye’s are usually a tell-tale sign, they flicker like a water spigot, she can’t really look at you and it can progress into a mild rhythmic jerking of part or all of her body.  The seizures she had that day at school were very mild because they were detected early and we were able to adjust her medication pretty quickly.

There are websites like EpilepsyFoundation, Epilepsy Advocate, Talk About It, that provide lots of information for people who have or want to educate themselves on Epilepsy.

There are books to help young children understand Epilepsy like…

So the message here is educate!  Inform people what to do in the event you or your child have a seizure!  Epilepsy is not an obstacle it’s a small hurdle, that with a little compassion, knowledge and love, can be lept over!  So make the pledge… Talk About It!

3 thoughts on “Taking Epilepsy To School

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