06th May2011

Seizures and syringes

by Dutchcloggie

As mentioned before, JD has trouble swallowing things and this is only getting worse. Her medication is all in liquid form because she struggles getting it in with tablets. She has a syringe driver with steroids which dispenses the medication over a 24 hour period. However, up till yesterday she still had to take her anti-seizure medication orally. I would draw the liquid from a bottle and squirt it in to her mouth and beg & pray for her to swallow it. As she needed 4 syringes in total, it had become a complete struggle and I was getting frustrated with worry about not getting the complete dose in her. I am sure JD was getting annoyed and upset with me trying to force her to swallow.

Syringe DriverSo a solution was concocted. We were offered a number of different options. One of them was to give JD a suppository with the anti-seizure stuff 3 times a day. No thanks. Another option was to give her a different drug in smaller doses 4 times a day. This would not really solve the swallowing issue so this too was rejected. That left the option of inserting a second syringe driver with a drug called Midazolam. This is an anti-seizure drug which is also used as an anesthetic. To put it simply, it prevents seizures by making people sleepy.

In anticipation of this change in medication, I had not given JD her full dose of oral medication in the morning, preferring not to battle with her. Unfortunately, JD had a seizure during the day as the nurse ran late and only set up the syringe driver late in the afternoon. It was only a small seizure so I wasn’t too worried.

Then, later that evening, she had another one. I felt a bit sorry for her two visitors who were sitting at her bedside. It must be very upsetting, especially as they had not seen JD for about 6 years.

I checked with the evening nurse to see what to do if there were any further, larger, seizures and then I went to bed. But just before I turned off the light, I checked the new syringe driver with Midazolam. And I noticed it had actually not dispensed any drugs at all since the nurse set it up in the afternoon! No wonder JD was having fits, she had no medication for a whole day! I rang the excellent Primecare Rapid Response team and they sent a nurse with a new syringe driver and it was all sorted. Phew!

It made me feel a lot better to know there was a clear cause for JD’s seizures. I would have been much more worried & upset if the seizures happened despite having new, stronger medication. JD and I slept through the night, the two syringe drivers buzzing away reassuringly by JD’s side.

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