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View Full Version : Help! Trying to convince Aunt with epilepsy to go to Disneyland!



MissDisney
05-11-2009, 10:55 AM
Hello all, I have an Aunt with epilepsie.
My family is trying to convince her to bring my cousin (4) , uncle, nana, and herself with us when we next go (2010 sometime!)
She is on medication for it!

I was wondering which rides wouldnt be good for her... if you have any suggestions/ links/ first hand advice that would be greatly appreciated!! :D

Thanks~

Toocherie
05-11-2009, 11:08 AM
Hi Jenn:

spend some time checking out the Theme Park Access Guide on MousePlanet--it is here: http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16 I am moving this post there because I think it is most likely the folks (including me!) who frequent that board will be able to help.

I'm not sure of all the ins and outs of your Aunt's illness, but as a start it would be a good idea to think about all of the issues she may have. Will lots of exertion trigger a seizure? Will blinking lights? If so, you should plan which rides to avoid for her and whether you should rent a wheelchair to help make the day easier. There are wheelchairs available for rent in the parks--or you can rent one from an off-site company so that you are sure to always have it (sometimes they run out of wheelchairs in the park). You should also consider whether a GAC--guest assistance card--may be of help. It is a card you get from Guest Relations which identifies for CMs issues that your Aunt may have and allow her alternate access. For example, I have trouble with stairs, so I get a GAC for that and the CMs allow me different access/exit if there are stairs.

Pookie
05-11-2009, 11:09 AM
My DH suffers from seizures due to a car accident. He takes meds to control them. He goes on every ride at Disney with no issues. He even went on Mission Space at WDW. Flashing lights is what can set off his seizures so he takes it easy with that type of stuff.

She should go and have a great time!

adriennek
05-11-2009, 11:28 AM
Hello all, I have an Aunt with epilepsie.
My family is trying to convince her to bring my cousin (4) , uncle, nana, and herself with us when we next go (2010 sometime!)
She is on medication for it!

I was wondering which rides wouldnt be good for her... if you have any suggestions/ links/ first hand advice that would be greatly appreciated!! :D

Thanks~

Has she expressed any specific objections that you need to address? What are they?

Adrienne

MissDisney
05-11-2009, 11:33 AM
she's just hesitant about going because she's afraid she'll have one when we're there.

She has only had two seizures but we dont know what triggered them.

4biegelboys
05-11-2009, 11:56 AM
Although this is easier said b/c I don't suffer from this but tell her not to let it run her life. She's allowed to have fun. And if she has an episode then she'll be with her family, and who cares what anyone else thinks. Have fun, let your hair down and don't worry about it. That is the advice I take myself when i take my son who has autism any where. If I keep saying what if...I would never get to enjoy life and niether would my son.
As for rides or any of that stuff not sure I can help you with that. But perhaps there is a website or search WDW with epilepsy and that may give you a more indepth look into traveling there with someone who has that. Hope your WHOLE family has a great trip.:)

Drince88
05-11-2009, 12:00 PM
I browsed quickly throughthe Disneyland Guest with Disabilities (http://adisneyland.disney.go.com/media/dlr_v0200/en_US/help/disabil_gdebk_3_08.pdf)handbook and didn't see anything - but I thought someone had mentioned some publication that listed attractions with strobe lights? If I had a condition that I don't know what triggered it, I'd avoid the things that often trigger it in others, like strobe lights and being overly tired/hot/etc.

adriennek
05-11-2009, 12:31 PM
she's just hesitant about going because she's afraid she'll have one when we're there.

How long ago were the two she had?

Cathy's advice was spot on: Avoid common triggers like strobe lights and becoming over-tired.

Beyond that: What IF she has one at Disneyland? Well, they have a first aid station at the park, staffed by registered nurses. If she has one, a CM can call for an RN to come to where she is with a wheelchair, escort her back to the First Aid center and help her get any medical attention she might need. Or else, just a place to rest until she can return to her hotel.

Down the street from Disneyland is UC Irvine Medical Center among other local hospitals, should she need urgent care.

Adrienne

cstephens
05-11-2009, 12:42 PM
she's just hesitant about going because she's afraid she'll have one when we're there.

She has only had two seizures but we dont know what triggered them.

Does she have a doctor who might be able to help address her concerns, either with preventative tips or a plan of action/medication or something in case it does happen?

MammaSilva
05-11-2009, 03:51 PM
Speaking as the parent of a child with a seizure disorder who goes to Disneyland as often as life will allow...your aunt has to decide how much control she is willing to give her medical condition. If she has a seizure at the park there are CM's on hand to lend as much or as little assistance as your aunt requires. We deal with seizures every trip and it doesn't embarrass me or the people who are with us, we know it's not like she's throwing a hooey fit, it's a medical condition she can't control. We stop, deal with the seizure and give her recovery time then go on with our day. The first aid center has already been mentioned but let me say it again, the staff there are amazing and go above and beyond. If your aunt even feels over stimulated or heated or whatever she can go and take a short break from the park in a cool environment and they have cots to rest on if she wants/needs. The first thing you have to do is to let your aunt figure out just what it is that she's afraid of then we can all be of more assistance.

3894
05-14-2009, 05:37 AM
she's just hesitant about going because she's afraid she'll have one when we're there.

She has only had two seizures but we dont know what triggered them.

My brother has grand mal epilepsy and I have (ugh) panic disorder which, although not epilepsy, also results in debilitating attacks. I know what your aunt is saying. To me, it isn't fear of what everyone will think. It's the attack or episode itself. It takes real work and courage to overcome the fear of an attack or episode. It isn't just something you snap out of. It leaves you exhausted and just not you. Why would anyone want to provoke that?

Well, mostly because life confined to home is very dull and the DLR is very nice.

If you can build up your aunt's self-confidence that she can do this, you're more than halfway to the DLR. Be gentle and reassuring with your aunt. Tell her you'll be right there with her to help if something happens. Tell her you'll listen to her and take her seriously when you're on vacation. If she says she's tired or not right, you'll listen. If she says no thanks to something or I need to leave/sit down/whatever, you'll just let her do that with no cajoling or disappointment. Her needs will always be first in your mind because they just have to be.

Best wishes on your project. You have the best intentions in the world.

MissDisney
05-21-2009, 04:37 PM
Thank you everyone for your advice, it's much appreciated!
:)

so, which rides should she avoid?

AVP
05-21-2009, 04:58 PM
so, which rides should she avoid?What are her suspected triggers? The most common ones are fatigue and strobe lights.

I know I have a list somewhere of attractions that use strobe effects, but I'm not at the computer where that might be stored. Off the top of my head:

Tiki Room
Space Mountain
Tower of Terror
Honey I Shrunk the Audience

Any ride with image capture - Buzz, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Screamin'.

AVP

MammaSilva
05-21-2009, 06:40 PM
Roger Rabbit is one we avoid due to all the issues, Mr. Toads is another risky one for seizure triggers.

Digital Jedi
05-21-2009, 07:02 PM
Well, I know everyone's case is unique, but my daughter is going on 5 years old and has suffered from epileptic seizures her whole life. She's been on everything she's old enough to go on, first when she was 2 and then when she was 4. Blinking lights don't seem to trigger her seizures, but lots of external stimulation often does. That said, even after an 8 day vacation of non-stop stimulation, we encountered no problems. Although, we were prepared for anything and had all her medication handy just in case.

I know that one way to deal with seizures is to get plenty of sleep. And if you've ever been to Disney, you know you're going to get plenty of sleep that night. My daughter never sleeps in her wheelchair, because it's just made for that and she's also too interested in what other people are doing when out in public. But after just one day at the Magic Kingdom, well...


http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/55/l_2feeb622e7aba12a0936adbb96f708b1.jpg


What we do is, take into account what her known limits are, and when it's something we've never done before, just venture carefully into it. You'll find you can actually do more then what you may have thought you were capable of. Also, take it slow. Don't rush and plan for everything you normally need ahead of time. In our particular case, we had a cooler with cold packs to keep her (at the time) four doses of medication handy, one for the morning and one for the night. We also kept her diaper bag out of the sun, where we had her Diastat stored (used for immediately stopping seizures). And brought along general stuff for general sicknesses, like Tylenol and cold medicine, as even a low grade fever can trigger a seizure. We never stayed in the direct sunlight for more then a hour, but there were a few times we were in intensely hot areas and I worried a little. She seemed to fair better then me in those situations.

Of course, keep family or someone nearby. It always helps to know someone who knows what to do when you have one is nearby.

Bytebear
06-04-2009, 03:06 PM
The Matterhorn has a strobe light in one of the dark tunnels. I think Muppets 3-D has a strobe effect. Others have already been mentioned.

MissDisney
06-04-2009, 07:39 PM
there are so many rides with those strobe lights.... even POTC has some (skeleton in the storm scene) =( Indiana in the *future* room, Haunted mansion....
I suppose it's going to just be trial and error? :confused:

MissDisney
06-04-2009, 07:43 PM
What are her suspected triggers? The most common ones are fatigue and strobe lights.



they werent exactly sure.... my guess would be fatigue, since when she had her seizure it was in her kitchen. Would high stress levels also contribute to them?

Gilesmt
08-24-2009, 10:40 AM
I don't know if you are still looking for answers or not. But for others who may read or what info on seizure disorders and the park.

I have a seizure disorder myself but have not had a seizure in many years and do not take medication at this time, but still have to be aware that it may happen again at any time. My last medication was 3 years ago.

My daughter has suffered from seizures since she was an infant, she has taken medication on and off for years. She has been to Disneyland at least 9 times if not more, she has gone on everything and has not had a problem.

When you wrote that you Aunt had a seizure in the kitchen, was this her only seizure? has it been daily or weekly or monthly or yearly since she had a seizure? Is she on medication?

This will tell you more about what she needs to avoid or not avoid. My daughter and I avoid nothing but we do not have seizures daily.

When my daughter did have a seizure at Disneyland, we went back to the hotel since she usually sleeps for several hours after a seizure and we made it a night for fantasmic and fireworks since we all slept good in the afternoon and was able to stay up late that night. We adjusted.

Since you still have a little time, maybe talk to your aunt about other options that would open her life up to more oppertunities. My daughter has a service animal for her seizures, or I should say did. The dog went with us on many trips to the park. You think big dogs get a lot of talk, this 3 lbs Yorkie got so much talk when people realized it was a dog in the bag around her chest. I now have a service dog for my eye sight. I refuse to allow my disability to stand in the way of fun and life. The dog will tell her like my daughters did when she is about to have a seizure and she will be able to take steps to avoid it or to minimize embarrassment (although she should not feel any, but my daughter did and we can not control what another feels). Sometimes we had enough notice to get her to the first aid station, to lay down and rest and to get some fluids or food into her, sometimes, weather the dog is wrong or he caught it in time, with these meassures her seizure was very mild or was not at all and we after 1/2 hour were able to go on our way and have fun all day.

Hope these helps.