The panic button

I bumped into an old mate, Nicola, in town today on the way to work. She, too, is in that horrible, horrible space between children’s services and sweet fuck all.  After a quick catch up (that was pretty negative because of the sweet f.a. situ), she asked if I’d heard of seizure alert dogs. Her son, 17, has developed epilepsy, she doesn’t want to put him on medication and her son’s consultant ain’t very happy about this.

“Well, funny you ask because….” I started.

“Ha ha ha ha!!!!!! You always know something funny about things, Sarasiobhan!”, she laughed.

“…I read about this woman,” I continued, “she had a seizure alert dog who was brilliant. He sensed when she was about to have a seizure and nudged her, so she could take medication. She had a panic button installed in her flat that he could press with his paw to call the paramedics if she became unconscious…”

“Wow, that is amazing.  I will definitely look into it for Billy”, said Nicola, paying proper attention at last.

“The funny thing was, if he felt she wasn’t paying enough attention to him, or felt like a bit of attention from the paramedics, he would walk over to the button and stand, with his paw raised, ready to press….”

“Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha”, Nicola howled, hysterically hanging on to my arm. Her laughter was infectious and we stood, a couple of hysterical women, in a sea of commuters and Summer school students. Bit of a chuckle and tonic.

More details of the story of the young woman with the seizure alert dog, and other young people’s experiences of epilepsy, can be read here.

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