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Saturday Night

by on March 5, 2011

Things went from decent to bad in the matter of a few hours.

She had three seizures tonight in as many hours.  They were long-6 minutes, 9 minutes, and 5 minutes-and serious as ever.

I was alone with her in the room for the first one.  I barely even noticed it.  If I hadn’t heard her panting, I would’ve missed it.  I saw no obvious reason for it but seizures aren”t unusual so I wasn’t worried.  She was having some neck pain all day and it seemed to worsen after the seizure.  It was muscular so I put it on ice.

The second seizure happened with her visitors here.  It started off serious.  It dragged on for the entire time because there were signs that she was improving and then no change for a couple of minutes.  I considered giving her an emergency dose of Valium but her improving condition made me wait.  I straightened her head position and replaced the ice pack.  Again, there was no obvious reason for the seizure so I was a bit rattled.

The third seizure occurred just after her visitor left us.  I had just given her the bedtime medication and just tucked her in for the night.  I was tidying the room before closing the light.  She was lying in an ideal sleeping position.  I left the room to take a handful of laundry to the washing machine.  When I returned 30 seconds later, she was contorting and had a frightening wide-eyed look.  At that point, I was definitely upset.  There was still no obvious reason for it.  It started strong and tapered off slowly just like the second seizure.  It was obviously smaller so I didn’t consider the Valium.

What the hell is going on?  The most obvious thing is that her tumor is growing and putting more pressure on the brain stem.  I was warned that seizures may become more commonplace.  During her seizure her face twitched uncontrollably so it could be a sign that the tumor is now interferring with the 7th cranial nerve.  I cannot ignore this distinct possibility. 

It could also be aggravated by secondary factors.  All day her temperature fluctuated between 98.4F to a high of 99.9F.  When it was obviously high I removed her blankets, put a wet towel on her head, turned on the room fan, and opened the window.  It definitely helped reduce her temperature but I don’t know if this small swing could have aggravated her seizures.  I’ll talk to the RN about it tomorrow. 

In all these months I’ve been dealing with her seizures, I’ve never known of an attack during sleep so I got her comfortable and she slept quite quickly.  Afterward I sat on the chair next to her and did a bit of digging.  From what information I could find, seizures during sleep only occur in epilepsy patients.  I took some comfort in that and now I’m calming down.

I remain worried about the near future.

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