How Does a Seizure Feel?

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by Chris Mobley

When was the last time you were hit by a truck?

Yesterday? Every day for the last three years of your life?

Occasionally, just for fun?

Pretty absurd isn’t it? (Apologies to anyone that has actually been struck by a truck)

Well, when you consider the physiological and neurological effects of seizures, this is reality for lots and lots of awesome special needs kids and adults that suffer from some variety epilepsy.

Seizures can be caused by lots and lots and lots of different conditions.

Our son happens to suffer from seizures due to the physical nature of his brain.

It is smooth.

He has a condition called lissencephaly, which does in fact mean smooth brain.

The average person’s brain has lots of wrinkles and folds that carry the fired off neurons to a synapse somewhere in a different location that then dictates to the body to do something, like eat.

So when my son’s brain fires off that signal, it’s pretty limited in its trajectory.

Frequently its destination is nowhere and this can cause him to seize.

I’m going quit while I’m ahead, as to not avoid embarrassing myself or my biology-teaching wife.

One of his doctors once described the physical effects of a seizure as the equivalent to running a marathon in 30 seconds and capping it off with an awful migraine.

Pretty exhausting.

So what do the rest of us do after something physically exhausting?

Well we typically rest and depending on the severity of said activity, we really don’t want to be bothered.

We may sleep for a longer than usual period of time.

If you suffer from migraines, you might have first hand experience of something closely related.

You know that your sensitivity to light is excruciating.

Consider this a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

Today’s PSA is brought to you by the letter L.

As in 'Leave' me alone.

'Let' me be.

For those who have children with epilepsy, I’m sure we all have the same general advice for the day or days of seizures that our kids live with.

Please let them be.

Do not attempt to talk to them in pity.

They don’t care that you’re there.

They probably just want you to turn down the light, stop talking so loudly and let them sleep.

If you were to do anything maybe bring a pillow.

I try not to get too irritated with people when it comes to my son.

They just don’t know.

They have no idea really.

They’re not sure what to do.

Just give it shot though, think about your worst headache at the end of the longest day you have ever had.

Empathy should be your currency. 

You may now return to your regularly scheduled distractions.

Thank you. 

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