Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why we need epilepsy education

I saw a woman in the emergency room recently. It's an unfortunate story, and all too common. A young adult, she has had seizures since her teens. She takes her medicines.....sometimes. We couldn't find any trace of them in her blood, though.

And so, she had a bunch of seizures over a couple of days, and banged her head up pretty bad, and they had to call a neurosurgeon to see if she was going to be OK. Seems such a waste.

But before you get feeling high and mighty, think of the last time the doc gave you an antibiotic that had to be taken four times a day, and how good a job you did with that. Very few take them as prescribed even for a week! This is one of those sticky subjects where we have to balance encouraging personal responsiblity with compassion and understanding. We have to look for more ways to make the treatment and prevention of seizures less of a detriment to peoples lives. It really is hard for a young person who is otherwise normal to accept the need for such a hassle on such a frequent basis. Especially when sometimes they get away with skipping! we want "no seizures, no side effects!" (no, i don't get any money from CURE, they just have a great slogan)

Anyway, i just wanted to point out that the Epilepsy Foundation of Louisiana has a committee that formed to address the care of people in the state that don't have any financial resources. As part of the overall plan, they are constructing suggestions for a rotating or mobile educational program that would be offered throughout the state. Stay tuned, it isn't really very fleshed out yet, but it would be a very important service. I hope there will be significant public comment and involvement in the process, because "knowing is half the battle."

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