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Deborah’s Story

Deborah's Story

I didn’t begin having seizure activity until I was approximately 11 years old, but let me share events that occurred prior to that, since the real cause of the seizures was never determined.

Parents say that when I was a baby – 6 months or more – I would have convulsions any time I had fever. When I was about 13 months I had a convulsion in which the doctor thought I was going to die. It was apparently the worse one ever.

I can remember when I would get the least sniffle or the least sickness of any kind involving the slightest grade of fever, my mother would bring out the rubbing alcohol when my fever would start up. In order to get it down, she would bathe me in rubbing alcohol. Then, as I grew older I didn’t have the convulsions. Unfortunately in 1967, at age 9, I had appendicitis. We lived in a very rural community and the local hospital about 20 miles away and only had 1 MD. If surgery or specialties were needed, you had to go elsewhere or wait for a doctor from somewhere else to come there. I don’t know about you or your children, but as a child, I always got sick on the weekend. The local hospital with the one MD would have a visiting resident on weekends.

Mother and Daddy took me to him on Saturday. After explaining the symptoms – the pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting, he quickly said I had a 24 hour virus. He gave my parents an RX and sent us on our way. Mother had had appendicitis fairly recently and even asked him if it could possibly be this, as I was acting the same way she had felt. I remember as if it were yesterday – the resident saying in a cocky tone of voice: Oh no Ma’am – she has a virus.

Well, we got the med, went home, and I didn’t get any better. Daddy called our regular MD Sunday morning and he agreed to meet us at the hospital. On the way to the hospital the pain stopped. When we got there the regular MD took a blood test confirming I had appendicitis – only it had now ruptured. It didn’t matter whether they called a surgeon to come there (which they did) or me to be transferred to another hospital, we were looking at 35-40 miles and at least a few hours to get together, get set up for surgery, etc.

I stayed in the hospital 23 days. The drainage tubes drained very little. I developed a fever that they had a hard time controlling. Although they said it was sometimes common for a child to develop an abscess after this kind of surgery, they could not locate it. They took all but one drainage tubes out and sent me home. That night after laying down to go to sleep, the abscess burst and drained through the incision.

The fever left. I got well. But…..about 6 months later I began having auras and shortly after that I started having seizures. After numerous testing, questions, etc., the only thing the MD could come up with was the fever from the surgery causing the epilepsy. He said I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I have had Petit Mal type seizures up until 1988 when a psych. gave me Prozac. It through me into my 1st Gran Mal type seizure. Every year for about 5 years I would have 1 Gran Mal type seizure. I don’t fall quite as bad as I used to but do still fall. I hope my story can help someone.

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