Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow up

Thanks to everyone who asked...yes, Harley's fine...I'm going to "insert" a little blurb I found about absense seizures. Today's episode with Harley he had been pacing and kind of "tripped" and laid on the floor. His body was completely still other than strange facial 'tics' (especially his eyes, which rolled back). The doctor we were seeing at the time was the psychiatrist and he made a note of it and suggested we revisit with the neurologist...As you read the description of an absense seizure you will see that it is sometimes hard to differentiate if he's being "autistic" or having one of these types of seizures. When he had this episode today it lasted about 20 seconds (which is VERY long for him...when he had these when he was younger they lasted 5-10 seconds MAX)...and he seemed to have a hard time focusing and was having problems with his eyes for a few minutes afterwards. However in the past when he's had them he would go to one extreme or the other - one being becoming aggressive and the other reaction being wanting to sleep instantly. Neither of those things happened today.

Harley was not responsive, I got on the floor and touched him and shook his leg. When he 'woke up' and returned to the chair he was supposed to be sitting in the dr asked him if he was awake or asleep and he said he was awake and semi-conscience? (sp?)...I haven't seen anymore since and I'm not sure how you would explain these to the school to have them watch for these types of activity since they are so hard to differentiate...

The other issue we have with these seizures, which you will again see on the "blurb" is that they are not traceable. They are not picked up on EEG -- besides last time he had an EEG for seizures they put him to sleep using an anti-seizure medication so it was really a waste of time...

Ok now for the "blurb":
What Are the Symptoms of an Absence Seizure?
Because absence seizures are usually quite brief, tend to strike during times of inactivity, and closely resemble daydreaming or "being off in one's own world," they may pass unnoticed by others and go undiagnosed for some time.

Absence seizures fall into two categories: typical and atypical.

Typical absence seizures begin abruptly, last 10 to 30 seconds, and resolve themselves without complication. The person simply stops in his tracks (and/or mid-sentence), and enters a staring, trance-like state during which he is unresponsive and unaware of his surroundings. He may make fumbling movements with his hands, and there may also be eyelid fluttering, lip smacking, or chewing motions during the seizure. When the seizure passes, the person returns to normal, with no memory of the event and no lingering effects. Generally speaking, typical absence seizures have no discernible cause.

Atypical seizures are similar to typical seizures, accept that they tend to begin more slowly, last longer (up to a few minutes) and can include slumping or falling down. The person may also feel confused for a short time after regaining consciousness. While the cause of atypical seizures may be unidentifiable, they are sometimes traced to abnormalities in the brain that were present at birth (congenital) or from trauma or injury, or from complications from liver or kidney disease. This type of seizures may continue into adulthood.

So see, Harley seems to have a mixture of the two types....We were warned waaaay back when he was diagnosed with autism that it's fairly common for a seizure-like disorder to start when they hit puberty and the hormones start to reek havoc...He has had these before though...long before any hormonal thing kicked I guess it's time for another MRI to see if the cyst has grown...Dang it! I was hoping we could get through this stage without any more complications but it's starting to look like that won't be the case :(

Poor Harley....he's not going to understand the tests...but at least I can write a social story and he may be more cooperative this time. That would be cool!

1 comment:

katie said...

i'm sorry you are going thru this with him, tracy! hopefully more tests or treatments can work for him and he'll respond to it. hugs!