Idea stolen from ReaderCon, to be used at every con hereafter: a note about my epilepsy and my emergency contact info are written on the back of my badge, just in case. I am approaching six months seizure-free, but it never hurts to be prepared.
In case of a seizure with convulsions
If you’re nearby when I have a seizure with convulsions, here’s how you can help:
1. Roll me onto my side—this will prevent choking in case I vomit, or have something in my mouth.
2. Cushion my head.
3. Loosen any tight clothing around my neck.
4. Keep my airway open so I can breathe. If necessary, you can grip my jaw gently and tilt my head back.
5. Don’t restrict my movement unless I’m in danger.
6. Don’t put anything into my mouth—not even medicine or liquid! These can cause choking or damage my jaw, tongue, and teeth. The widespread belief that people can swallow their tongues during a seizure is a myth.
7. Remove any sharp or solid objects that I might hit during the seizure.
8. Take note of how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occur so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.
9. Stay with me until the seizure ends.
In case of a seizure without convulsions
Non-convulsive seizures may cause people to behave in ways that seem unusual. For example, they may wander aimlessly or make unusual gestures—but it’s not on purpose! If you’re around when I have a non-convulsive seizure, here’s how you can help:
1. Remove any dangerous objects from the area around me or in my path.
2. Don’t try to stop me from wandering unless I’m in danger.
3. Don’t shake me or shout.
4. Stay with me until I’m completely alert.
When to call 911
When a person has epilepsy, a routine seizure may not be a medical emergency. But, it’s important to call 911 in the following cases:
• The person having the seizure is pregnant or has diabetes.
• The seizure occurs in water.
• The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
• The person does not begin breathing again or does not return to consciousness after the seizure stops.
• Another seizure starts before the person regains consciousness.
• The person is injured during the seizure.