Seizures seem to have become an expected thing in our house now. We haven’t had a full blown one in a few months but they are on our radar all the time and partial seizures happen multiple times every single day and a lot throughout the night. In spite of this, I don’t think I will ever get used to seeing someone I love having a seizure and even though we are constantly expecting them, the shock of when a big one happens hasn’t calmed down at all.
The first seizure I saw Connie have, I would not of even recognised as a seizure if Connie hadn’t gone into hospital and been told that was what it was. To me, it looked like she was having a stroke. One side of her face was twisted downwards and even though she was sat up you could see that she was ‘not with us’ at all. At this point, back in March, we were so inexperienced in anything to do with seizures that it all passed in a blur. The only focus we had at the time was making sure Connie was breathing and that she focused herself to being back in the room.
The second seizure actually feels like the first time I experienced a proper ‘stereotypical’ seizure. Connie was lying in bed when it started and there was all the expected signs of a seizure – she was violently convulsing, foaming at the mouth, her pupils were dilated and her body was rigid. It was terrifying to see. I will never ever forget the look on her face from that day. Seeing her go through all this for the first time, whilst counting to see how long it took for her to come back to us, was traumatic. An ambulance was rung again and this one was so bad that she actually had to stay overnight in hospital because it had totally wiped her out. She took 48 hours to return home and took about a week to recover fully.
It is true what they say about when you see something like this. Your body sort of goes into automatic mode and does things without realising. Somehow we managed to do the important things such as getting her into the recovery mode and making sure her head was safe so she didn’t injure herself. One of the hardest things is talking to her whilst she is going through it. We have been told by the epilepsy nurse that she will be able to hear what we are saying all the time Trying to talk and comfort her when all you want to do is cry and shout for help is so hard and hearing the little noises she tries to make in response makes it even harder.
I never thought that I would have to deal with seizures. The good (but sad) thing is that the more we go through, the more experienced and confident we are in helping Connie through them and panicking slightly less. Our confidence is growing but it will never take away the initial horror and panic when one starts. There is no doubt that seeing a seizure for the first time is terrifying and I know I will never ever forget the look on her face each time she goes through one. It sticks with you.
Have you ever seen someone you love have a seizure? Is it something you experience often or is it something you have never seen but are dreading? Leave a comment below – we would love to know other people’s experiences.
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