SEIZURES IN CHILDREN- HOW CAN PARENTS COPE?
Seizures in children can be devastating to parents. One moment a picture of health and the next your child is convulsing and/or non-responsive. What are the treatment options? Do you have to use drugs? Is surgery necessary? How can you control the feelings of panic?
How Can I Control the Feelings of Panic and Helplessness?
Sometimes looking at why a problem affects us so much will give us a little relief.
We naturally want to protect our children. This is a good thing. We are designed to worry and care for our children. When they are sick, we feel stressed. This anxiety can, and should be, focused to benefit the child. It can motivate us to make sacrifices such as getting up in the middle of the night to comfort our children.
When it comes to our children suffering from epilepsy, we can use this same energy to focus on two things. First, finding the best solution for our child. Whether it be the Modified Atkins Diet, the Ketogenic Diet, medication, surgery or Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), we can do the research and take the time to find the best fit. Second, we can use this energy to focus on helping our child have a life that’s as normal and positive as possible. In many cases this battle begins between our own ears by accepting the condition and learning to still have a positive, and thus healthy, view of our lot in life.
Seizures in children takeaway control. It is very common as a parent to want to control our children’s environment, health, and education. Seizures threaten all sense of this control. Seizures occur unexpectedly and while they are happening there is often little or nothing we can do to help our child. This complete and sudden loss of control is very stressful for a parent.
To combat this problem we need to remember that we really can’t control our children. Control is an illusion. If you buy into the idea that controlling them is possible, the teenage years and beyond are going to be a rude awakening. Learning to live with, love, guide and protect our children is a much healthier way to raise them. Having an epileptic child may assist you to achieve this superior way of parenting.
Seizures in children are frightening. Let’s face it, watching someone have a seizure is frightening, even traumatic. Watching your child have a seizure, especially the first time, is terrifying.
We conquer our fears with knowledge and experience. Both come with time. After you’ve seen a number of seizures, and become aware that life will realign post seizure, some of the terror eases. After witnessing enough seizures, provided they are not life and health threatening in of themselves, you may even get used to them (almost). The other part of the solution here is knowledge. Learning about epilepsy, and specifically what your child is suffering, can eliminate much of the fear.
In the end, seizures in our children do not have to be the end of the world. In most cases, we can find a way to manage the seizures through medication or diet. In cases of intractable epilepsy, usually, a normal life can still be maintained through careful planning.