I dread it every day. I try to avoid it whenever I can. I pass the buck, make any excuse but in the end I have to do it - homework and I hate it.
What is meant to take only ten minutes lands up for us taking twice, if not three times, as long and on a Friday evening when you are tired and your son is tired and you are faced with three sets of ten minute homework briefs, you know you're not going to get to bed early...
Some would say leave it for another day when he's less tired and I do, do that, but sometimes I never get a chance, not because we can't but because I may try to get the homework done when he is having a "spate".
A "spate" as I call them is a series of interconnected absence seizures some of which I can see and others I cannot. For example in those I do see we have the classic vacant expressions, non-response to calling his name, maybe a slight upward rolling of eyes and maybe even a hand twitch and chewing motion at his mouth if they last for more than 15 seconds.
For the ones I don't see, the ones I refer to as part seizures (actually called complex partial seizures), he carries on, on automatic pilot either running or walking, carrying out a function and usually he is right back to normal, though maybe a tad confused as to how he got there, before you can make up your own mind. These are horrid ones because if he is thinking about needing to go to the loo he can actually do it which aint so hot in the middle of the school dining room, I am not saying he actually goes to the loo thinking he's in the bathroom, no he just wets himself I am not sure which would be most humiliating.
Like many who have stronger seizures the ones I assume people call classic epileptic seizures or Grand mal (for the uninitiated these are known as tonic clonic seizures) after a “spate” he can be exhausted, so much so that like last night he has to go to bed immediately even though it’s only ten past five.
And there's another thing he seems to know some things perfectly one day and completely loses it the next so sometimes he can read brilliantly and the next hour or day he's stumbling and fumbling over the very same words even though he is not having a seizure! Can you imagine how frustrating that is for him and how bewildering it is for me? In fact I go nearly demented. I just don't understand it and then I get exhausted by it all too. Sometimes I find it just easier to do the homework myself...
PS. As I understand it this forgetfulness is also part of his epilepsy and that is something I learned just now as I wrote this post. Do you know what it’s horrifying how much I have to learn so that I can help him. So tonight, sans homework, I go to the Parents evening armed with a list of reading and watching for the teachers at his school so that at least we know a little more about what we are dealing with…
For those who’d like to know more go to this BRILLIANT web site: www.epilepsymatters.com
I just love Canadians!