Abby's epilepsy has been relatively stable for a number of years. The last time the apple cart was upset in a major way was about a year and a half ago, when the switched generics on us for one of the anti-seizure meds.
In that particular case, the new generic was absorbed at almost double the rate of the old generic, making her trough level skyrocket to over 60. It should be below 30. She had numerous seizures as a result, as well as a resurgence of migraines and facial tics, both of which hadn't bothered her in well over a year at that point.
Since then, we seem to have settled into a relatively livable pattern of one complex-partial seizure about every three months. And actually, she hadn't had a seizure at all, as far as we know (always tricky to know what's going on when communication is such an issue) in about six months.
Today, the phone rang.
I always loathe when my phone rings, and I see on my call display "School Division". Something is usually wrong, although there are always exceptions.
Today wasn't the exception.
The teacher explained to me that Abby had an absence seizure. We haven't had an absence seizure in a looooong time... probably since she was about 16 or 17 months old and started transitioning from the infantile spasms to the complex partials. I asked some questions, and from what I could remember is sure sounded like an absence seizure, albeit a long one at 45 seconds.
Second-guessing myself, I check epilepsy.com just to make sure I was remembering the ins-and-outs of seizure types correctly. Then I called the school back and asked a bunch more questions.
Was she responsive? No
Did she chew, which she typically did for complex partials? No
Did she come out of it gradually or abruptly? Abruptly
Did she seem aware of what just happened? No
Walked like a duck, talked like a duck....
I didn't know what it meant. Do seizure types change?
The answer.... dah dah dah dah!... is YES!
I called Dr. E. I love that man. I'll be lost when he retires in the next couple of years. Anyway, he explained that it's very common that as these kids approach puberty that the changing hormones can dramatically alter both seizure patterns and types. It can be rough. His advice was just to wait, watch and keep track of things.
See, now here I've been worried about the puberty and Autism thing. You know, teaching her to wear a bra, menstruation, the mood swings, all that fun stuff.
That, somehow, suddenly seems simply compared to the prospect of managing an ever-changing epilepsy through the teen years.