Husband with Epilepsy - Need Advice

Updated on May 19, 2012
C.S. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
7 answers

My husband was diagnosed with epilepsy just before we were married. If he takes his medication than he is seizure free. He has only had 5 seizures in his almost 10 years of epilepsy (onset at age 26). He went 4.5 years without having a seizure and then "forgot" to take his medication on Sunday (Happy Mother's Day!) and Monday morning. He drove my 1 year old to daycare and had a seizure 1.5 hours after dropping him off.

When my first baby was born, he "forgot" to take his medication and then had a seizure twice before he was two. He swore each time it would never happen again.

Well, it has happened again. There is a major breakdown in trust and I don't know how to allow him to drive the children again. His doctor says he can drive and he just "needs to be more careful". How do I move on? How do I make sure he did take his medicine?


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answers from Columbia on

Unless you think he's purposefully trying to put your kids at risk, don't ya think this just an unintentional mistake?

Put a reminder in his phone calendar.

Post a note on the bathroom mirror.

But please, on behalf of your husband, approach this as an "our" problem and find a solution to help. Without a solution to offer, you're simply restating the problem over and over.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Does he feel bad? like, I mean remorseful that his forgetfulness could have harmed his children?

You call them "your" children in your post. Are they not his as well? Shouldn't you refer to them as "our children?" As in, he drove "our children to daycare and then had a seizure 1.5 hours later?"

You're not his mother. This is not your battle. You can't control it.

Of course he swore it would never happen again. He probably meant it (although I don't know him). I don't think this is a "trust" issue at all (he didn't intentionally lie to you), as much as it is he needs to have ownership in what the consequences are if he fails to control something that is controllable.

I would say this warrants a conversation. Ask him what he wants. Ask him as a responsible father what he needs from you, as a responsible mother, to help support him in BEING a responsible father.

This is about more than just driving..... Are you going to never leave him alone with them again? What if he is sitting with one of them on the couch and has a seizure. What if he is cooking them dinner and has a seizure? You can't micromanage his every move out of fear that he won't take his pills.

You can't just say "you're not allowed to drive the kids anymore". That's not a realistic consequence. Even though I understand why you are scared and that your motivation is to protect your kids and keep them safe.

However, my bf is bad about remembering his allergy pills. So, every night we take them together. I'm not his mom and if I say "I'm getting my glass of water for my zyrtec... would you like one also?" and he DOESN'T take his pill.... I don't nag or remind him again. That's on him. yes, I know..... it's allergies and the consequence is a stuffy nose or a sinus infection..... not the same as a seizure. But still.......

Just my $0.02

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I realize your fears (my husband is a type one diabetic and had his first low with just the kids at home, he usually waits til im around but he didnt this time dang it) and it was frightning. Ive always thought about what if he is driving, what if he is driving with the kids, what if he is just taking care of the kids. I've seen how fast he can drop and it is scary. He maintains it really good but there will always be lows which cannot be helped by taking a pill. Get him on a routine where the pills are in a day of the week thing next to the alarm clock with a glass of water the night before. or in the bathroom next to his toothbrush etc something that he has to move to get to something he has to do anyway. You cant hold it against him, harder said than done but you cant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

It is very unsafe for your husband to drive your kids right now. "You have to be seizure free for 6 months before you are supposed to drive. Epilepsy medicine is cumulative, it builds up in your system, so forgetting it one day, is likely to have ramifications for up to a week after the "forget"
The only way to make sure he takes it, is to hand it to him and watch him take it. My son is epileptic and that is what I do with him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Can you set out the medicine for the week in one of those divided pill containers? The ones labelled Sunday, Monday, etc. Then put away the bottle containing all the pills. That way you can check. If it's Tuesday, and the pill is still in the Tuesday compartment, you know he didn't take it.



answers from Louisville on

My aunt was crippled for life because her date had a seizure after he forgot his meds. My SIL remembers hers, but they are no longer as effective as they used to be. She drove through a house before losing her driving priviledges. There is no way I would let my son in the car with someone who had uncontrolled epilepsy and especially someone who had been in a wreck due to it. I would seek a second opinion. The doctor should be monitoring his blood levels of the meds. Yes, it is a pain to not be able to drive, but it is worse to have someone hurt or killed because of a serzure behind the wheel.



answers from Sacramento on

get him a pill case with the days of the week on it. that way you can check each morning if he has taken his pill. if he has forgetten call and tell him so. have him keep some pills in the car and at work. you guys are a team, and team mates help each other out. so take the responsibilty of making sure he has his meds as part of your team work.

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