Epilepsy - Zelienople,PA

Updated on September 16, 2009
S.K. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
5 answers

I was wondering if anybody has had to deal with epilepsy in a child. We may have the opportunity to adopt a child with epilepsy & I don't really know anything about it. I have looked online & read some about it, but I would love to hear about people who have dealt with it first hand. Thank you so much!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

My friend's daughter had her first seizure when she was 14 months old. She is now 31 months old. She is on her second seizure medicine now. The seizures are more controlled now, but she still has break through seizures when she is sick. The first couple seizures I saw were a bit nerve wracking for me, but now I am used to them. (As are her parents).
Epilepsy is completely different for each person. Some are completely controlled by medicine, some partly, some not at all. Some kids grow out of the seizures, some don't.
You should not automatically rule out this child b/c of the epilepsy. However, since you already have one child, I would find out all the details of this child's condition and see if you feel able to care for them.
Some things to ask: 1) Is the child on medicine? 2) are the seizures completely controlled by the medicine? 3) How often does the child have seizures? 4) How many times has the child been to the hospital b/c of the seizures? 5) What medicines is the child taking? How often are they given? Are they oral? 6) What are you supposed to do when the child has a seizure? (For my friend: If the seizure lasts more than 3 minutes she has to administer another medicine rectally & call 911 (b/c the medicine can stop her daughter from breathing)) 7) Does the child have any brain damage or learning disabilities from the seizures? (with every seizure the child runs the risk of getting brain damage) 8) Who is the child's neurologist? 9) When was their last MRI & EEG? (These can tell you about brain damage & frequency of seizures & if the child has the possibility of growing out of their condition) 11) Will the child outgrow the seizures?
That's everything I can think of off the top of my head. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions. (My personal opinion...If I were childless I would adopt this child w/o a second thought. However, having kids already makes this decision harder b/c every time you have to go to the hospital you would be leaving your other child behind. Its a tough decision. Good luck with it.)

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answers from York on

I have a daughter with epilepsy. If you give me more details on the type(s) of seizures or the specific syndrome I can be of more help. I also have two healthy daughters and although I don't love her less, it is much more stressful. Epilepsy often goes hand in hand with other problems, so the seizures may only be a small part of what you will have to deal with.



answers from Williamsport on

Hi S.,
My son is almost 3 and he was diagnosed with epilepsy in April. In the big picture, this condition has been far more daunting for mom/dad then for my son. He is on 2 medications twice daily - so 4 times a day we have to remember to give them to him. When he has a seizure, 2-3 body parts will flail and he basically is unconscious - but he remains breathing. Within 2-10 minutes he wakes back up and is bit confused - but not in any pain. As long as we, or someone is there to reassure him, he is ok. He might need to rest afterwards because they can be stressful or exhausting for his little body - but no other harm. Now he hasn't had one for 2+ months, and the medicine is supposed to control them, so hopefully he won't have anymore - but if he does, we are prepared.
I think your biggest challenge would just be learning about the condition so that you can be prepared. Really - the children (or adults) with epilepsy are just the same as everyone else... don't judge by the wacky things you see in movies - in general, you would never know if someone has epilepsy. They can function just like the rest of us. If the child takes meds, you would need to take on that responsibility, and you would just need to learn about situations in which your child is more suceptible (or more dangerous) to seizures... (strobe lights, while swimming, etc.) Every child needs a family to love him/her and of all the medical conditions out there - I would choose epilepsy over many others. It is a condition that is mostly easy to manage. I can't say that you won't be terrified the first time he/she has one - or that you won't have some bumps in the road - but even healthy children can have bumpy roads. :)
Be aware that it is more difficult to find health insurance for children with epilepsy - but not impossible.

Best of luck - and please let me know if you have more questions!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hey S.

I don't have a child with epilepsy, but I can tell you epilepsy is not a "one size fits all" disease. There is a broad range of seizure types, medications and side effects. Some epileptics are severely affected, others not so bad. I think you should make an appointment with your pediatrician and start there.



answers from Philadelphia on

Dear S.,
I would contact the American Epilepsy Foundation and the American Epilepsy Society to see what you may be in for. Learn the symptoms and you will fare much better. Keep the child away from aspartene. The National Feingold Society also may have input for you. Good Luck,

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