It seemed clear that her concussions were the cause of her seizures. But what the neurologist discovered was shocking:
(click image above to watch me share this by video instead)
Two summers ago, my neighbor “Lori” was a 14 year-old softball player who took a blow to the head while she was at bat.
That night she had a seizure & went to the ER where it was confirmed that she’d gotten a cuncussion.
The next day she had 4 seizures, and in the following weeks she would have four and five seizures each day. She couldn’t even go to school. She could only stay in a dark room, and try to avoid activities that were too strenusous.
It was traumatizing, to say the least. Her parents are among our best friends, so when she was finally getting some tests done at Vanderbilt, I went with them.
As we pulled into the parking garage at Vandy, she had another seizure right next to me in the back seat while I laid her down in my lap.
We went inside the hospital, where the neurologitst ran stress tests on her to trigger a seizure that they could study.
In the end, Dr. Kevin Ess, the director of Pediatric Neurology sat down with the family and shared his fascinating insight:
“Lori,” he said, it’s clear that you are not faking these symptoms. They are real.”
Lori wondered who in the world would fake something so dreadful.
“However,” the Doctor continued,
“You do not actually have epiliepsy so we don’t call these ‘seizures.’ We call them, ‘episodes.’
“WHAT YOU HAVE IS A CLEAR CASE OF STRESS.”
Lori was mortified. She wondered what kind of mental weakling she must be. She looked at me and said, “I feel so stupid! I put everybody through all of this turmoil because I have stress?”
Her parents and I thought it was the best diagnosis possible! (Thank God, it’s just stress!)
Then the doctor said something really surprising:
“When I see patients with these symptoms and I tell them what’s going on, I get one of three responses:
The first patient believes what I’m saying and their symptoms stop immediately. They never have another episode.”
(This is what happened in Lori’s case and the whole family went on to get coaching for the root of their stress- issues.)
Dr. Ess conintued,
“The second patient believes me and their episodes stop over a short period of time.
But the third type of patient thinks I’m full of crap and they go on to get more and more opinions and sadly, they rarely recover.”
Can you imagine that?
I never stop being amazed at the mind body connection.
You can guess what we were all thinking, “But she had a concussion!” In fact, she’d had a few concussions in a short time.
Most of the time that we see a neurological stress response, there is some kind of legitimate trigger.
But please don’t miss the beauty of this story:
You can clear a stress response when you see things differently.
When it comes to the Yips, for example, my clients discover that they are completely free. They don’t have a nagging fear in the back of their mind that it’s always there.
That’s because we work directly with their nervous system to create a new response to an old stressful trigger. We do this whether the original trigger is conscious or subconscious.
- Anyway, our teenagers today are the most stressed-out segment of our population. My hope is that you’ll be aware of very real, scary symptoms our kids are facing and be an encourager and and empowerer.
- Also, if you find your self under a great deal of stress, know that our anxiety begets anxiety in our kids. There is amazing power in working with a skilled performance or life coach to master your state.
Gina Parris is internationally sought after for her expertise on turning stress into strength. As a speaker & performance coach she helps individuals and whole teams blast through the blocks to their peak performance.