Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chemotherapy messes with my Epilepsy

Someone has opened the tap on my feet and drained all my energy. I need to lie down. I  stare at three abandoned blog posts on my laptop. Only two lines in each. A fleeting idea captured but nothing else flows from my foggy brain...

It is day 7 of my fourth Chemo cycle. Two thirds of the way through!  I sigh with relief as the nausea waves it's farewell, off on a holiday for a couple of weeks. Recently we too tried to go away to the coast...

During the first night away, I become aware that I am lying on a hard scratchy surface. Like slowly awakening from an anaesthetic, the cool hard floor presses into my hat covered head and bare legs. I don't move, I just idly wonder why I am there. A while later I surface again;  I am still on the floor by the bathroom. I try to move but can't...I call out to Mr H. 

The next thing I hear is Mr H saying my name...

Dawn, Dawn wake up you are scaring me...

I open my eyes. I am lying on my side, still on the scratchy hard carpet

Stand up, I need you to stand up 

I crawl, dragging my rigid left leg to the bed, then Mr H calls for an ambulance. 

I don't know where we are I hear him say as he paces the floor to grab the hotel brochure. Out of the recesses of my Sat Nav brain I mutter a postcode which he repeats into the phone...says yes and no and about thirty times before sitting bedside me as I shake, and twitch, rubbing my lamp post leg...

In A&E the Consultant concludes; No sepsis. A series of Tonic Clonic seizures... (The first Tonic Clonic I have had since my initial one in 2008) I tell him the Oncologist has said the Chemotherapy may disrupt my epilepsy...

At 05.30hrs, still wrapped in my dressing gown we Sat Nav our way back to the hotel. We rest. for a while, eat breakfast then pack and re-navigate the journey home, less than a day after we arrived...

I thought you were having a stroke Mr H tells me in the car, you had one (seizure) then another without coming round. I put you in the recovery position but you didn't respond...

No more holidays for us until the Chemo is complete!

Epilepsy Action Advice if you witness me or someone else having a seizure

Do...

  • Protect the person from injury - (remove harmful objects from nearby)
  • Cushion their head
  • Look for an epilepsy identity card or identity jewellery
  • Aid breathing by gently placing them in the recovery position once the seizure has finished (see pictures)
  • Stay with the person until recovery is complete
  • Be calmly reassuring
The recovery position

Don't...

  • Restrain the person’s movements
  • Put anything in the person’s mouth
  • Try to move them unless they are in danger
  • Give them anything to eat or drink until they are fully recovered
  • Attempt to bring them round

Call for an ambulance if...

  • You know it is the person’s first seizure, or
  • The seizure continues for more than five minutes, or
  • One tonic-clonic seizure follows another without the person regaining consciousness between seizures, or
  • The person is injured during the seizure, or
  • You believe the person needs urgent medical attention