Student Nurse with Epilepsy - page 2

by mitsybitsy

2,425 Views | 16 Comments

Hello, I have had Epilepsy all my life, since I was 8 yrs old, and my seizures are actually very controlled, after having brain surgery. I am currently in Nursing School, this is something I have always wanted to do. I... Read More


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    I saw the original post was in spring...but this is a GREAT thread! I'm a NICU nurse, and we have at least one student a semester faint (I realize, that is not comparable to a seizure). The student is always completed mortified, terrified,vulnerable & shaken to the core on the future of her career. There is no doubt a seizure would magnify those feelings more. From a staff nurse perspective--it's not really a big deal. We are all people, and our bodies can fail us. Nurses of all people should realize that & be understanding!
    My son (11yrs) has complex partial seizures. I love hearing the advice from you guys! He has blown me away how he can emotionally handle it- simple put: he has epilepsy, but that is not WHO he is. I agree, there is a stigma, and a LOT of misunderstanding about seizures and all of the types, not to mention side effects from the meds. I know there is a BIG transition into adulthood and owning it all while trying to balance the stress of being a college student. It is common to have med slip-ups resulting in seizures until that adjustment is made.
    So, you had a seizure. OK. Be your own advocate, believe in yourself and move on best you can. I have a co-worker nurse in my unit that has epilepsy. It is good for us to be aware of that, but it doesn't change how we view her or her capacity as a nurse. She is an absolutely amazing nurse! Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. Others will believe in you to. If you are timid to move forward, others will follow that lead and have a hard time building confidence in you. You CAN do this!
    Madras likes this.
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    Thank you so much stay calm your words were very helpful to me and I appreciate the advice. I think it is great that you are involved in how epilepsy effects your sons life I sometimes wish my parents were that way. I have felt very alone in this journey with epilepsy, I am 32 and returning to school after a horrible divorce. I have been through a lot and I guess my insecurities and timidness is from my family always treating me like I don't really matter. I used to have complex partial seizures so I totally understand, I think I have had every seizure ever known, lol its been a struggle. I just want to Thank you your words mean a lot!
    staycalm likes this.
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    Staycalm, something you can begin to do now, (if you haven't done so already) is to put your son in charge of taking his own meds. He's at an age where he wants to feel more grown up, and there are so many ways he still can't be safely independent quite yet, and taking his own meds on his own, by himself, is a great start to becoming responsible for his own condition. My mom did it with me and I can remember how proud and grown up I felt.

    I soon discovered how much better I felt when I took my meds on schedule instead of skipping a dose here and there, going to bed on time instead of reading under the covers with a flashlight every night, and generally NOT trying to sidestep my parents' rules. That's a pretty rebellious age!

    ETA: What I didn't know then was that my mom was overseeing the whole process or the first month or so by tracking pill counts.
    Madras likes this.
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    Quote from sharpeimom
    Staycalm, something you can begin to do now, (if you haven't done so already) is to put your son in charge of taking his own meds. He's at an age where he wants to feel more grown up, and there are so many ways he still can't be safely independent quite yet, and taking his own meds on his own, by himself, is a great start to becoming responsible for his own condition. My mom did it with me and I can remember how proud and grown up I felt.

    I soon discovered how much better I felt when I took my meds on schedule instead of skipping a dose here and there, going to bed on time instead of reading under the covers with a flashlight every night, and generally NOT trying to sidestep my parents' rules. That's a pretty rebellious age!

    ETA: What I didn't know then was that my mom was overseeing the whole process or the first month or so by tracking pill counts.
    I have epilepsy as well. My first grand mal seizure was in elementary school and continued on. I'm on meds and well controlled. I'm in my last year of nursing school now and have learned over the years about my stressors, sleep, not missing doses etc and how they affect my lifestyle.

    My parents did the same thing for me as well. They let me take control of my seizures by giving me this responsibility (with close monitoring and counting I'm sure lol). I feel it gave me the maturity to think critically and deal with complex issues. Of course I had a few slips which resulted in a rebound seizure but how many teens haven't?!

    On the note of having seizures in school, work etc..... Yea I had one in Medical Assisting school a few years back. I had skipped a few doses. Was it embarrassing?? Not really. Were my classmates concerned? Absolutely. Honestly when I came to (emt sticking me for bg ouch) I was really only concerned if I had wet my pants!!!!!

    It took a bit to gain confidence again and feel like I wasn't a walking accident but the key is to know your body, know your triggers, take your meds and smile!!

    Woops I almost forgot I had one at work too smack down in the middle of the drs office!!! I'd never received so many get well cards in my life lol!
    sharpeimom likes this.
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    sharpiemom- agree! We have an amazing pediatric neurologist that has really led the way & set the standard for how to parent through this. He advocates normalcy as soon as achievable- by not placing unnecessary boundaries on kids with epilepsy- how that can debilitate to normal development than the epilepsy itself. The world is mostly still open to all possibilities- with unknowns for sure and bumps along the way.
    Our son had definitely stepped up and is VERY responsible for 11 (almost 12). He FINALLY can swallow his pills, allowing for independence. He has a pill box with the days of the week with an am & pm box for each. He takes his pills on his own...and then I try to check often & make sure. He does slip up some, but he tries very hard to remember on his own. I agree it's important for him to "own" this.
    sharpeimom likes this.
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    Staycalm, when you have enough posts to PM other members (I'm not quite sure how many that is) please feel free to contact me and we can chat. I've been down the road your son is traveling now. Sometimes when you have the type of seizure he and I have it can be exceedingly difficult to convince someone who presumably should know more, and think they know enough but don't, that you are indeed having a seizure. Most people, including some physicians,some nurses, and the general public, believe it wasn't a REAL seizure if you didn't lose consciousness, lose bladder control, and act disoriented afterwards. I, for example, have vice grip-strength contractions in my face. I also have abdominal seizures. Again, NO loss of consciousness and, as the nurse in my PCP's office said, "Nothing weird." Huh?

    If he needs answers down the road, if kids ask questions he can't answer, I'm here to help. We all are.
    Madras likes this.
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    Thanks for this! I haven't been formally diagnosed with seizures but the doctor said I have "seizure-like movements". I'm almost always conscious, but I still feel like I'm a distraction to other students in class and during clinicals, especially since I don't know exactly what they are so I can really explain them. My main concern is working 7pm-7am. Several professors have encouraged me to get a job as an AUA or nurse tech and since I'm in school M-F during the day, the only shifts I would be able to work would be the weekends. I've also been told by professors and current nurses that new grads always get night shift. This whole working nights thing is annoying, especially since I've been told the experience is good. To clarify, I do not currently work nights because I know it exacerbates things.


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