August 8, 2014

Dear Frannie Friday--Seizures

Something that I haven't talked about on the blog, but has been a recent and unexpected issue in my life has been seizures.  My brother has been staying with us.  A couple of weeks ago I heard a very loud thud in my house.  I thought something just fell in the garage or something and didn't pay much attention to it.  I knew that my brother had to get up shortly so I knocked on the door to the room he'd been staying in to wake him up.  There was no answer, so I cracked the door open to find my brother on the floor, convulsing, foaming at the mouth with pools of blood all over the floor.

I knew then that he was having a seizure--the second one in a month, but the first one I'd witnessed.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  In a panic, I grabbed his arm and called his name.  He stared at me blankly with a look of absolute terror on his face.  The blood was coming from his head, which he'd hit on a bookshelf as he fell to the floor.  Over the next several minutes, Patrick and I got my brother up and to the hospital.

My brother is doing much better, but ever since the incident I have done a fair amount of research on seizures.  I am going to share them with you now so that if you are ever in the unfortunate situation where you have to help someone who is having a seizure or who is prone to them, you might know what to do.

What to do if Someone is Having a Seizure 

First of all, my suddenly grabbing my brother's arm?  Not cool.  Don't do that.  Have you heard the old rule to put something--like a belt or a wallet--in their mouths so they don't swallow their tongues?  Yeah, don't do that either.  Apparently, if you put something in their mouth they have a better chance of suffocating from an airway blockage than they do of swallowing their tongue.

The best thing for you to do if you see someone having a seizure?  Nothing.  You just let them ride it out.  Obviously, if they are driving or something, you will need to take charge but otherwise do not intervene.  If they are standing and go to fall, help them down gently and move things out of the way so that they don't end up injured (like my brother did).  If you can, loosen any ties, take off necklaces and glasses and turn them on one side to make breathing easier.

Know Some of the Triggers 

Sometimes seizures occur with little or no warning.  But if someone is prone to seizures, here is a list of some common triggers that you might be able to correlate to their situations so they can be avoided or monitored, if applicable:  stress or anxiety, the use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, being overtired, mental strain (like solving a complex problem) or overstimulating activity (strobe lights, televisions, computers, video games, etc.).  I've read that a lot of people who are prone to seizures actually keep a journal--if only for a little while.  This helps them realize what they were doing, feeling or even eating during the times they were having seizures.

Treating Seizures Naturally

Of course, many people prone to seizures benefit from and possibly require medication from a doctor.  But, being more of a natural remedy fan myself, I did look up some possible alternatives:  chamomile, coconut oil, fish oil, avocados, blackstrap molasses and epsom salts.

Of course, these are only things that can help prevent seizures and you should always consult with a physician first.  

Seizures are scary, but as with anything else--knowledge is power.  So be prepared.

Do you have a question or suggestion for Dear Frannie Friday?  Email me at

Grey Tee-Target; Denim Jacket-Lee; Polka Dot Skirt-thrifted; Silver Oxfords-thrifted; Crossbody Bag-Coach, gifted; Tassel Necklace-Charming Charlie's; Earrings-gifted

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