‘Hum Do Hamarey Do’– the ideal family. Anil and Manisha thought with a daughter and a son now their family is absolutely complete. But just when contentment was settling in, they were presented with a difficult situation. 8 months back while playing with his brother, Deepanshu, 3 yrs old, became unconscious and started to have a seizure. “We just couldn’t understand what was happening to him. His body started to move abnormally and his eyes rolled over. We felt helpless.” Scared by the episode, they decided to consult the local doctors, who suggested that the episode may be due to something the child might have eaten. They recommended de-worming. Post the second episode Manisha decided that it is more than just bad food.
After consulting family and friends it was recommended that they consult a neuro specialist. Some local doctors recommended Dr Meena Gupta, Sr Consultant Neurology who specializes in pediatric neurology. Dr Meena has a degree in pediatrics also and over the years has treated cases of Muscular Dystrophy, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Delayed Speech and Weakness successfully.
Post consultation and some tests, it was revealed that the child is suffering from Epilepsy – a common neurological disorder world over. According to Dr Meena Gupta, “In general epilepsy can be divided into two categories on the basis of underlying causes. One kind of epilepsy is the result of brain damage caused by head injury, brain infections such as meningitis or neurocysticercosis (brain-worm), use of drugs or intoxicants such as alcohol, illicit drugs, congenital brain abnormalities, or brain injury at the time of birth. Children with epilepsy in this group tend to have more frequent and longer seizures. Also, response to treatment may not always be good and multiple antiepileptic drugs may be required to control epilepsy.”
She also states that, “Where in the cause of epilepsy cannot be ascertained then this form of epilepsy is also called idiopathic epilepsy. A majority of such patients have genetic or hereditary basis for their epilepsy and other family members may have been affected by epilepsy. Children in this category have normal intelligence and have no symptoms other than epileptic seizures. Fortunately, this is the major form of epilepsy in children.” Many children outgrow their epilepsy.
Post discussion with the family, it was revealed that the daughter also had similar episodes. The family had just ignored the same as they were not that frequent. This was a typical case of Idiopathic Epilepsy, where the disease runs in the family.
Dr Meena Gupta further states, “Treatment in such cases is essential so that children can have a normal life. They need a seizure free life so that they can go to school, play and have normal activities. If they aren’t able to have that, they are confined within the four walls of the house and are usually affected with depression and complexities of behavior.”
A doctor’s responsibility includes compassion and just as she is treating Deepanshu, Dr Meena Gupta urges the family to treat the daughter as well. “Economic conditions can burden families and Epilepsy has a drug dependent treatment protocol.”
When you ask Manisha what her next step would be, she says shyly, “I’ll take care of my family. It’s not just about ensuring that my son is fine, but understanding that I can’t ignore my daughter’s condition too.”
As she moves out of the clinic, she lifts her 5 year old daughter and hugs her like she hadn’t ever before!