We all tend to daydream once in a while. But, is it daydreaming or seizures? Absence seizures can seem like someone is daydreaming. But, in reality, they’re having a seizure. Just like a daydreaming episode, these forms of seizures are also short lived. So, sometimes they may be hard to recognize. If you think your child is suffering from absence seizures, you should consult your pediatrician right away. 

My daughter, Haley, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just 2 years old. Prior to the seizure that caught my attention, Haley didn’t seem to daydream much. She fell a lot. But, I figured that was normal. She was a wild toddler. But, one night she didn’t something strange. Something she has never done in the past. It was enough for me to prompt a call into her pediatrician. She suggested I bring her in right away. Within a week we were at an appointment with the top neurologist at the local children’s hospital.

The “Daydreaming” Episode That Made Us Call The Pediatrician

I remember that night so clearly. We were standing in the kitchen with the back door open. I was cooking, Haley was watching. Then Haley walked straight to the back door and looked out. She stared for a second or two. I thought she was just seeing what she could see. Then I called her name. No response. I called it again, still nothing. So, I started saying silly things. She wouldn’t respond. The only movement was her chewing on the inside of her bottom lip. I tapped her shoulder. She didn’t do anything. This lasted a good minute before I tugged her hair a little. About 10 seconds after the hair tug, she turned around. She was staring at me. She looked petrified. Then she just hung onto my leg.

Epilepsy.com has a load of information on seizures!

daydreaming or absence seizures

Haley’s Initial Pediatrician Appointment

The next day we went to see Haley’s regular pediatrician. After an exam, she referred us to a pediatric neurologist specialist. She explained to us what absence seizures were. She told us to be patient. Sometimes neurology is backed up. So, getting an appointment may take a while. The neurology office called us that day.

Haley’s First Neurology Appointment

Neurology got us in fast. Within a week we were meeting with the top neurologist at the hospital. On his initial exam, his first instinct wasn’t seizures. Since I had never noticed it before, he chalked it up to daydreaming. But, decided to order an EEG anyways. It took a while for us to get the EEG scheduled. It was almost a month before her first EEG.

Daydreaming or Absence Seizures?

daydreaming or absence seizures

I watched Haley a lot during the month prior to the EEG. I knew what I was looking for now. That’s when I started seeing the occurrences more often. I was honestly surprised that I hadn’t noticed them before. But, these only lasted 5 – 20 seconds. 

Haley’s Diagnosed With Epilepsy

Haley’s pediatrician called us back two days later with the results of her EEG. They results were abnormal. She had abnormal activity in the right temporal lobe of her brain. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and we started her on medication.

Neurology called us in shortly after we got the results from her pediatrician. They informed us what absence seizures are. One of the rare, but possible, causes of the seizures is brain tumors. The neurologist wanted to do a MRI. Just to rule out any brain tumors. Thankfully, Haley was free of any abnormalities! So, Haley is part of that 60% that do not have a reason behind their epilepsy. 

Haley had a second EEG a year after her first. They found the seizures had spread to the left side of her brain as well. She still enjoys every day just like any normal kid. She even started Kindergarten this year. So, before you say your child is just “daydreaming,” make sure you know the facts. Because, let’s be real, is it daydreaming or absence seizures? Epilepsy is the 2nd most common neurological disease in the world. 

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