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9 minute Absence Seizure

Posted Nov 19 2012 1:40pm
You know me and my superstitions.  I hadn't mentioned it, but was about to say something.  That Jenelle was having a really good no-seizure streak.  Oh well, it was a good run.  Until Saturday, Jenelle had been doing relatively well with Onfi.  The absence seizures we were seeing had settled down a bit, and no more grand mals!  None since starting Onfi!  All of this great seizure control since early August - it was quite a streak if I say so myself.  But all the knocking on wood is really just superstition, and if she's going to have a seizure, she's going to have a seizure.

This weekend, Jack's travel ball team had it's first tournament of the new season in Fountain Valley.  Grandma was watching Jenelle as I was keeping score - they were walking around behind the back stops.  We were at one of those multi-field places where three back stops back up to each other, and there was a game going on at the field behind ours.  All of a sudden, I saw Grandma violently fall to the ground.  Instinctively thought she was hit by a foul ball, and dropped everything to get to her.  It was then I realized that it wasn't a baseball at all, but Jenelle had fallen to the ground due to a "drop seizure" and took Grandma to the ground as well. 

Two gentlemen friends of ours ran to help me with both Grandma and Jenelle.  Grandma was OK, but with her history of back and knee pain I knew she was going to hurt later because the fall was pretty hard.  We helped Jenelle stand up, and she remained quiet for quite a while.  It was then that I realized she was in an absence seizure.  With Jenelle, there is always a delayed reaction, and Grandma said Jenelle hit her head pretty hard when she fell.  As we waited for some sort of reaction for Jenelle, I realized we needed to start timing the seizure.  Two minutes had already passed.  Absence seizures are very tricky to spot, this because often times the patient seems to be somewhat alert.  Jenelle was smacking her lips, chewing, and blinking here eyes while looking around.  Definite obvious signs of an absence seizure.  I confirmed it was a seizure by holding her hand and arm; you could almost feel the electricity pulsating in her.  When the timer on my phone reached 4 minutes, we moved her to the grass.  After 5 minutes, Jenelle was still not seizing so I gave her Diastat.

Unlike her usually response, Jenelle did not immediately come out of her seizure after the Diastat.  One of the parents on our travel ball team is a doctor, so I asked for him to help me track her heart rate and breathing.  Luckily, she did real well with the Diastat, and her heart rate did not drop.  Having a doctor nearby was easier than having to call 911.  Just as we approached the 9 minute mark, and me thinking she needed a second dose of Diastat, Jenelle finally came out of it, and acted as if all was normal. 

I watched over her closely the rest of the evening, and later Jenelle was giggly and acting very normal.  We were worried with her hitting her head, but other than the seizure she showed no signs of any concussion.  The other good news is that after the Diastat, we didn't seem to have any follow up/cluster seizures.  Once again, Diastat saved the day, and a trip to the ER.  Thankfully the doctor parent on our team saved us a 911 call as well!  I'm still not sure if it was a drop seizure, that went into an absence seizure because of the hit to the head, or if it was one long seizure.  Regardless, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  OH, and Grandma is very, very sore - poor Grandma!

Thank you for continued prayers - as always, I'll keep you posted!


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