Epilepsy: A Parents’ Worst Nightmare Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

Jawaharal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India, once asserted, “Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Everyone in the world face challenges, most of them face them every day of their lives. The challenges that people go through make them who they are. It determines what becomes of them and what they will do in life. If someone just gives up because of a challenge, like a disease, and thinks that they will never amount to anything then they will not ever measure to anything. Epilepsy is one of these challenges that take many forms.
Anyone who has Epilepsy knows that it is a struggle living with it. Epilepsy is construed as “recurring seizures (more than two) for which no such provoking factor is found” (Appleton and Marson 3).“Epileptic seizures occur when nerve cells fire abnormally and synchronously” (Appleton and Marson 1). “Normally, brain cells produce some electrical energy, which flows through the nervous system and activates the muscles. The brain of an epileptic patient sometimes fails to control this release of energy” (Schuelein, “Epilepsy” 1). “A seizure may cause temporary uncontrolled muscle movements or unconsciousness” (Striedter 19). “Multiple convulsions of unknown causes occur in epilepsy” (Schuelein, “Convulsions” 1).
“There are many types of epileptic seizures: these are usually divided into generalized and focal (also called partial) seizures” (Appleton and Marson 9). “Some types of seizures are easy to identify but others are not, particularly in infants and young children” (Appleton and Marson 9). “Most epilepsy syndromes occur in children” (Appleton and Marson 9). One type of epileptic seizure is a Tonic-clonic seizure (Appleton and Marson 10). “The first phase of a tonic clonic seizure is known as the tonic (contraction) phase. At this stage, because of widespread contraction of muscles, the body is rigid, and is incapable of maintaining a normal coordinated posture, so the person falls to the ground” (Appleton and Marson 11). “The respiratory muscles also contract, forcing out the air from the chest, so there may be an involuntary noise a grunt or a cry at the onset of the tonic phase of the seizure” (Appleton and Marson 11). “After one or two minutes of the tonic phase, the seizure passes into the clonic (convulsive) phase, with rhythmic movements of the limbs and trunk muscles” (Appleton and Marson 12). “As the clonic phase comes to a stop, the rhythmic jerking movements become slightly stronger but less frequent. The whole tonic clonic seizure usually lasts three to five minutes” (Appleton and Marson 12). Another type of epileptic seizure is a Typical Absence seizure (Appleton and Marson 12). “Although a translation of ‘petit mal’ is the ‘little illness’, petit mal does not mean the same as ‘minor epilepsy’ as there are all sorts of small attacks which are not attacks of petit mal” (Appleton and Marson 12). "True absence (petit mal)...

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