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Share Your Seizure Story: Aaron, My Son

Somehow I thought as long as my son got into a school, all would be well.  We very carefully sought out a college or University that had the programs in which he was interested and provided the support he would need.  The school he chose was the right size, the right distance away from home, had the major he wanted and overall seemed like a really good fit for my son.  He attended a summer program for a month to get him used to the academic rigors of college as well as an opportunity to learn about the campus.  I could not have asked for a better scenario for him.  When move-in day came, of course I was sad but SO very proud of him and excited for him to begin this next journey in his life.

However, two phone calls from campus police three months into the semester made me seriously consider whether this was a good decision at all.  Did we make the right decision?  Was he REALLY ready to be away from home?  I received an evening phone call at about 9:30pm on a Friday to inform me that my son was found lying on the ground not far from his dorm.  It was November, in Wisconsin, now I am beginning to panic.  Was he breathing?   Was he assaulted? How did this happen?

Fast forward to a few weeks later, after it happened a SECOND time… apparently my son had NOT been taking his seizure meds.  What?  Well why not?  Does he know how important his medications are?  What could be so important that he forgot to take his medicine?  And not just once did he forget, but over the course of a few days because the level of medication found in his blood was nonexistent.

As you can imagine, big changes needed to be made if he was going to go back for second semester.  There were many conversations, arguments and deliberations as to how he could ensure that this would never happen again.  I am happy to report that as of the writing of this, he has had no subsequent incidences.  I am hoping that this may serve as food for thought for those of you sending a son or daughter off to school.  High school at home was so routine and had become so habitual we rarely had a problem with a skipped dose.  I would suggest the following: If you can, help your child to start new routines as soon as they begin the semester.  Each day’s schedule may be different, try and create a routine that works well for them.  Choose a location to store the medication that will help them remember.  Maybe it’s on a dresser, or combined with their toiletries for the bathroom.  Use a medication organizer, so that missed doses are easily identified.  Try to create and maintain these routines as early as possible and urge your student to remain consistent as best as he/she can for the best possible outcome.

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