Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blunt Force Trauma Childhood Epilepsy

My son who is in the last year of studying to be a nurse called me today to tell me he was studying epilepsy and found out that I didn't really have formal epilepsy. He said that most so called Childhood epilepsy is caused by blunt force trauma to the head as in untreated(or treated) minor or major concussions that because of a dent in the skull create pressure to the brain. But if this happens between about birth and 12 to 13 then as the cranium part of the skull grows it relieves the pressure build up by the brain cavity becoming larger and the child then "Grows out" of their childhood epilepsy. Most childhood epilepsy therefore is not heriditary epilepsy at all but blunt force trauma epilepsy.

In my case I was hiking with my Dad at Chilao (in the angeles Crest Mountains next to Los Angeles) around 6000 feet to 7000 feet in elevation sometime between 1956 and 1958. I fell backward about six or 8 feet onto the back of my head. I was between 8 and 10 and I threw up from a concussion and cried. But because I was tall for my age and because my Dad's truck was about 3 miles away and because my Dad was born in 1916 he said, "Get up. Let's go. Stop Crying." And I said, "Dad, I'm hurt real bad." He just said, "Get up. Let's go." So because I was scared and didn't want to be alone there I got up and followed him and threw up as I walked a couple of times. However, my head hurt so bad I didn't think I could make it but I did.

This was just the way things were done when Dad grew up. If you could get up and walk you did. If you didn't they got help or buried you. That was it. That was life the way it was in the west. He never took me to a doctor. He didn't believe in them unless an arm was broken or something like that. But still, he was a great Dad. He didn't drink. He didn't smoke. He didn't have affairs on Mom. He always had a job or his own business and made very good money. My father was exceptional for the 1950s or any time. And most important of all he stood by me through everything like a John Wayne or a Clint Eastwood Character. My Dad was amazing.

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