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Concern for toddler's safety - mother has epilepsy
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Concern for toddler's safety - mother has epilepsy

Our daughter-in-law has a seizure disorder/epilepsy that she has had since she was 2 years old. She has a 15-month-old son (our grandson) who we are trying to protect from being put at risk in case she would have a seizure while she is alone with him. She has had 4 grand mal seizures in the past year - the last one just 4 months ago - and her original Neurologist told her in August that she should not live alone or drive for a minimum of 6 months.

She agreed to leave the baby with us but opted to move into her own apartment in August. She has since then gotten a second opinion from another doctor who supposedly told her that she was fine and that her seizure was most likely caused by stress. She is now demanding that she be allowed to keep her son. Our son, the baby's father, passed away this past June and we offered to let her live with us after he died. However, she found it to be too confining and/or "uncomfortable" for her. We are trying to find an option other than filing for legal guardianship - but we are coming up empty. In the meantime, we are terrified about the safety of the baby.

She is allowing him to stay with us during the day while she works, and she did just start a new full-time job as a home care nurse.  However, she is still insisting that she keep him at night - and she lives about 25 miles away from us. Her parents are elderly and not able to care for the baby although they live close to her. Her father is transporting her and the baby, although I think she has convinced him that it is safe for her to drive as well and I believe she is driving although the legal restriction in our state is that a person who has a seizure should not drive for at least 6 months.

I hope someone here can help.
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327385_tn?1378364331
i do understand your fears for your grandson. i also have grandmal seizures and i have 3 kids. i can tell you when you are under stress it can bring them on. i live in ky and if you have a seizure your not allowed to drive for 3 mnts after. i can understand her wanting a place of her own it feels as if we are children with someone watching every move we make. i could see how it would feel uncomfortable living with you to be reminded of her late husband. i think its unfair to her for you to take her son away when she is able to have a full-time job. before you go that far does she take her meds on time every day? i would start by having her take her levels every month to see if she was taking her meds to see if that was the reason she was having seizures. if her levels are rite on have her try different meds. i know being under alot of stress and she sounds as if shes going threw alot now will cause seizures and keeping her son wont help her . if shes just not takin her meds the level draw will show that and she will start taking her meds. please just try to support her and your grandson now. have her doing the level draw will help find if she needs different meds or shes just not rembering to take them.i understand you are scared for your grandson but its not fair to take the child away from his mom . im sorry if it sounds harsh but it hurts that people think moms with epilepsy shouldent be able to keep there kids.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm glad to hear from someone who is in a similar situation. We are not cruel people and we would never file for guardianship except as a last resort. There are other factors that I did not mention, but I will say that we believe our grandson's mother has psychological issues that need to be dealt with (her Dad and our son told us she was diagnosed as being Bipolar) - plus she has a history of abusing prescription pain medication and tranquilizers that was quite an issue before our son died. We know that she was under a lot of stress and we never expected for our son to die when he did. We have all been through more than we ever imagined we could handle but somehow, with God's help, we will find a way to keep going.

When your children were babies, until they were old enough to talk and call for help if you had a seizure, did you have help with them? We never intended for her to live with us permanently but just until we could come up with a better solution. The Neurologist who had been treating her for over 3 years told her that it was not safe for her to live alone for a minimum of 6 months, which would also mean that it would not be safe for her to take care of her son without help either. We are trying to be fair, and we don't mean to seem thoughtless or unkind, but we are very concerned about the baby.

Another thing I have wondered about is: how often do you need to have your med levels checked? She has another issue that complicates things even further -- she has had gastric bypass surgery, which she says affects how medication is absorbed. She seems to think she needs more -- for example, more pain medication -- than normal in order to have the same effect. She does seem to be able to eat a normal amount of food now since it has been several years since she had the surgery, so hopefully this is not as much of a factor.

She has had a lot of trouble keeping a job since we have known her, and the job she has now seems to be temporary as well. We are paying for her health insurance through the state high risk pool and are also paying for the baby's health insurance. We are good people who love our grandson and are trying to protect him since our son is no longer here. He was very protective as well and would not let her drive since she started having seizures. I know how he would feel now and it makes things even more difficult.

Bottom line -- we would never try to take a child away from his mother just because she has epilepsy. We are only trying to find a way to help her to protect him. Thank you so much for responding and please let me know if you have other suggestions.
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327385_tn?1378364331
i am sorry for the loss of your son. i understand why you are worried about your grandson with the unexpected passing of your son. i had seizures as a kid and i have learnt my warning signs that a seizure is comming. i learnt what can bring them on and to avoid those things. i stayed home alone when my hubby was at work and my seizures were controled. i took my meds same time every night and if i felt the least bad i would go to my mothers till my hubby got home. i had my blood levels drawn at start once a month till got to level that they were controled then i had them drawed every 6 mnts. i know she has some kind of warning sign one is comming. maybe she just hasent realized what her warning is. i get dajuv them i get sick to my stomach sometimes a numb confused feeling with weakness. that is just the 2 that i get most often and when i start feeling that way i get the phone and lay on the floor.i know grandmal seizures are very scary and my kids are 14 / 9 /7 and no sign of epilepsy for that i am thankfull.with her having bipolar and abusind prescription drugs will make it harder to control her seizures. my neuro has told me some meds will affect the seizure meds from being absorbed and effect the way the meds work. she is going to have to want to get her seizures in control and give 100% to get them under control.no one can make her take the meds and the fight to get them controled is a long hard fight. if her current meds dont control them even tho her levels are good its time to start something new and live with the fear you will have a seizure till you get the rite meds.the only thing i can tell you is to find a good neuro and do the level draws and buy her a med holder that holds her meds for a week. it really helped me i put my meds in a week at a time and i could see if i dident rember to take them, this helped me more than anything. sometimes it is just forgetting to take a couple pills.now i tell you some things that can bring them on. i know from my experance playing games / flashing lights/ stress/ not eating / not getting enough sleep and the big one getting scared. hope this helps
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just come to the point that I am going to have to put all of this in God's Hands and let my daughter-in-law work this out for herself. We will try to be there for her and support her as much as she will allow us to, and I know that she feels bad enough about having the seizure disorder without having to deal with us not trusting her to take care of her son. It is very hard not to worry about him, but she is leaving him with us quite a lot and I think she will continue to let us help her as long as she feels she can trust us. She has never been very open with us about wanting to discuss her seizure problem, and I can understand that. I would probably not have wanted my husband's parents to be that involved either if I had been in her situation.

Your suggestions are very good, and I hope that she is very careful to take her medication faithfully. I know that my son really tried to help her with this when he was here. I do know that she told us that, in the past, whenever she would have a seizure she would have a warning. But the ones she has had this year were different, and she did not have any warning. That is the scary part.

She was supposed to have an appointment with her Neurologist yesterday, and her parents went with her. I am not going to ask her about it unless she wants to tell me but I pray that this doctor is doing all that can be done to help her. I know nothing about him.

Thank you again, so much, for your concern and your help. God bless you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am very sorry for your lost.  And I am very sure this has been hard on your daughter in-law also.

The one big thing that makes my son seizures come more is worrying, stress ,even getting something or going somewhere he wants to go can give him a seizure.

my son gets his levels checked every 3months now,at one time they where being checked every two days.one of his levels where low and I couldn't understand why they where,because I always made sure he had them every day since he is only 11.
Then one day I went to check on him in the bathroom and before he flushed the toilet I notice that the medicine ,that the levels where low on  had come out when he went to the bathroom ,about two hours after I had given them to him.

I was close to the hospital at the time because they where having us stay there.So I called and left a message then went in and the doctors where glad that I had notice what was going on and changed his pill's.

My son still has seizures every day even on medicine and the VNS put in this June.

Hope this helps and the best you can do is help her and be there for her and your grandson ,and try keep things nice for her.
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