When I was a kid, we had a dog that was epileptic. He was a great dog and we kept him until he died years later.
The first time he had a seizure, it was quite frightening, for both adults and children alike.
After that, every few months or so, we’d be watching TV or something, he’d walk across the room without a care in the world, and then all of a sudden stop, seize up, rear up like a horse, fall over and shake uncontrollably for a minute. Most of the times he’d pee himself. We’d let him be and make sure he didn’t crash through the glass door or conk his head on the table leg. When he’d stop, he’d lie there for a minute or so before scrambling to his feet and stumbling around for another minute or so. Then he’d be fine and walk off like nothing happened. We’d clean the floor up. And then him.
I’m telling you this story because I thought of it after going to yet another epileptic who had a seizure. It’s a quick story about us living with and caring for a family member, which our dog very much was, who is epileptic. I am in no way comparing anyone to a dog per se, so spare me your outrage. As usual, this person’s family called 911, even though he’d had plenty of seizures before because he’s epileptic. As usual, by the time he got to the ED, his mind clearer, he lamented, “I didn’t want to come to the hospital. Why do they keep calling you?”
Obviously, call us for status seizures or never-ever-before seizures. But seriously, for epileptic seizures, the CDC and other organizations are quite OK with you not immediately calling 911 at all. You won’t find the EDs disagreeing either. Just because an epileptic is compliant with medications doesn’t mean s/he’ll never have another seizure. This is a long-term problem much better managed by a long-term provider, not whoever happens to be on duty.
For those of you who use MPDS, if you’ve ever wondered, this is why non-active seizure calls are Alphas.