Our son with autism has Seizure Disorder in his overall diagnostic and safety data. The seizures came on with puberty and were terrifying intrusions in his teen years.
Now he’s in his 20s and the seizures have faded but not gone away. They show up now and again with much less intensity. Well, for him. Not for us.
It used to be that a seizure knocked him out for a good 24 hours. He would sleep and snore or at least breathe heavily until a groggy reentry into our world. ‘Twas up to us to stay alert and watch over him.
Last night he was here for dinner and a small seizure broke through. He knew it was coming; he knelt on a big beanbag chair in our front room and hugged the dog, protecting himself from the risk of a fall. (Confused the heck out of the dog, though, as our son seldom interacts with the pets).
We thought, Wow, that’s sweet! He’s hugging the dog… Then we noticed his forearms were rigid and vibrating.
It ended quickly. We rolled him on his side on the beanbag chair but he was up and talking in a few minutes. He went on to have full dinner and a pleasant evening amusing himself and deflecting our efforts to engage him in anything that seems like work (that’s normal – a sign that he’s fine).
Today he was all smiles, had a big breakfast and is off to his day program.
We, in contrast, continue to recover. Neither of us slept well, as we hovered on the edge of sleep listening for sounds of another seizure. I took a sick day from work to recover.
It is good that he’s moved on to his group home, because we are so absolutely aging out as caregivers.
Today I feel for the folks who care for (and age with) their spouses, who don’t have group homes or agencies to take over the work. As one said,
They looked at my diet. They looked at my life style, my BMI and they are like “There is no reason for this!” I am almost diabetic and there is nothing to indicate WHY I should be – STRESS!!!!! That is one of the worst things on a body – my body can’t take much more STRESS! Despite the yoga, the chammomile, the meditation, the walking and support -being a caregiver is MONOTOMY PLUS and horribly stressful. There is no cure.
Pardon my language, but…