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What is a Seizure?

By Edited Jul 7, 2016 0 0

My co-worker is a very shy person. Quite over weight, with appears to be burn scars on her face, and a bad case of acne, most of the time she doesn't even acknowledge me. So imagine my surprise when she took a deep breath, made eye contact and began to speak. We were alone, it was quiet in the room. I heard every word as she calmly announced:

"I think I should tell you I had a seizure," This morning. Those were her exact words. She is a young woman, in her early thirties, who still lives at home with her father and a sister. To my knowledge she hasn't a friend or a hobby in the world. She walks to work, and walks home 3 and a half hours later, six days a week, without saying hello or good bye to me. We don't have health insurance.
"I'm telling you in case something happens."

I wonder why she is sure she had a seizure. I'm not entire sure I know what one is myself. In my mind I am already planning on looking it up on the internet as soon as a I get the chance. I later learn a seizure is an electrical impulse in the brain. There are websites on epilepsy that talk a lot about seizures. But I don't know if she even has epilepsy, or what other circumstance would cause a seizure. Instead I ask dumbly. "If something happens, do you want me to call your dad?"

She says the first intelligent thing I've heard her say in four and a half years of working together. "No, call the fire department." Well, yeah. I had CPR years ago, but I can't remember if there was any training regarding seizures. What would I seizure look like? Would I be able to tell? She's pretty quiet, and always odd. I feel sorry for her. She's still big, but she looks small.

Later she hands me a piece of red paper with seven numbers on it. "This is my dad's phone number," she explains. "I guess you could call him too – " I nod, and post it on the wall with the other phone numbers. I notice she and her sister have a phone number listed that's different. I wonder why. I can't imagine them making out going calls. They don't even talk to each other. They haven't said more than 20 words in all the years we've worked together.

I find out later that if you have had 2 seizures you have an 80% chance of having another. This co-worked told me she had one once before, six years ago. She fell down at work before I worked there. She thought she tripped on the uneven carpet. The edge was ragged. At the emergency room they told her she had had a seizure. "All week," she tells me, "I've had intense de ja vue."

This strikes me as a remarkable symptom, if it IS a symptom. Does she have de ja vue like she's in an emergency room again? Like her brain is on fire? Or is it just the plainness of having such a scheduled life, un-punctuated with any social events or goals. I go home and research on the internet, according to dictionary.com: "some symptoms of a seizure can include, a rigid body, uncontrollable shaking, grunting, as well as the person will have an altered mental status. "



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