I was a senior at primary school.
My class and I were quietly studying in a science lesson, when our teacher started behaving
We were all very fond of her. She was one of the younger ones. Kind and friendly, yet firm
enough not to allow us to take advantage of her good nature.
She was seated on a raised dais, behind her desk with a Bunsen burner and other
equipment neatly arranged around her. She liked to wear a white laboratory coat, and was
always beautifully presented.
But on this morning she was scaring us.
She started jittering in her seat. I noticed that her hands were gripping the edge of her desk,
but oddly, despite her strange movements she did not speak to us or give us any
One by one we stopped what we were doing and stared dumbly at this extraordinary
display, as she continued to quiver in her seat.
Then, looking at each other we agreed that someone should fetch matron.
Within minutes it was all over. Matron and another colleague arrived. Medication was
administered. Another teacher took over the class.
We were informed that it was epilepsy, and our lovely teacher was back as normal the next
I have seen many patients having fits since, but most of them were not people.
The care of patients with epilepsy has changed a great deal over the time I have been
practising, but the need for education and information is still paramount.
During my first aid courses I make sure to spend some time describing what a person should
do if their pet has a fit. It really helps if you are prepared before the event. We now
understand that an episode does not necessarily have to involve the loss of consciousness,
and that there are all kinds of types of fit.