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Epilepsy can Turn the Common Cold into an Enemy
Earlier this week, Logan had his teeth worked on under sedation and promptly woke up later that day with the beginnings of a cold; but the next morning, along with a worsened cold, we went through a long day of epilepsy in action here at our house.
That Thursday morning after his teeth were worked on, he woke up with a runny nose and we debated whether he should go to school. We were glad to have played it safe when Logan had over a dozen seizures, his epilepsy pushed beyond his seizure threshold because of the common cold.
And that, right there, is the reason why we are usually living in the shadows of epilepsy around here. Because a simple cold can make Logan’s world crumble into a day of seizures and leave us all exhausted and on seizure alert.
The Reality of being a Special Needs Parent
When you have a child with special needs, no matter what the actual diagnosis, you often spend much of your child’s life second-guessing whether that cold is going to be more than a cold. You analyze everyday actions to see if this one thing could cause your child to relapse.
That’s our reality. Our epilepsy reality. Our special needs reality …
But not always.
I wrote about the opposite of this phenomenon once before, about a different cold. “Sometimes a Cold is Just a Cold” touched on these fears, but led me to realize how much uncertainty we lived with as a result of our children’s special needs.
Over thinking the Common Cold?
Each of our children have had epilepsy, or prematurity, or asthma, or RSD … sometimes one or all, and sometimes they were just fragile for a time. It leads you to over-think even the common cold.
Going outside to play, for instance, can become a very limited activity around here – Logan tends to have seizures when overstimulated and for the longest time just going outside invited sickness 9 times out of 10 in all boys. We try hard to work around that now, but we can’t always help it.
This summer, while other kids were playing, my kids had limited time outside because all three are extremely sensitive to the heat.
Going outside, catching a cold … these things that kids do … they can actually open the door to increased seizures and trips to the hospital, days missed from school because of illness.
It’s our reality. When epilepsy can mean a cold becomes more than a cold, you think harder about things. I do … I can’t help it. When a well-meaning friend or family member says “it’s just a cold” there’s always a part of me that thinks “maybe it isn’t.”
Living with epilepsy means we have made adjustments, that we understand we have to be vigilant.
Your Turn: Do you have a child with special needs; with epilepsy; just a simple inquisitive spirit *grin*? Do you find yourself questioning the common cold sometimes as well? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!