Epileptic travelling to India?

#1 May 14th, 2005, 01:08
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#1
I have a friend with Epilepsy who is interested in coming to India with me(her first time) in August, and I have a few concerns.

First off, are any of you IM'ers epileptics and have you had issues(ie; seizures) when travelling in India?

In addition to prescription pills, my friend also uses medical marijuana(in capsules or tea) to control her seizures. She has all of the Dr.'s paperwork authorizing this and hasn't had a problem travelling domestically, but, I know India is completely different when it comes to drugs. I would think that customs/authorities in India wouldn't care what kind of documentation she had from over here, and it is a major No, No.

The heat may be an issue for her also, so we would have to be extra careful with that.

Can anyone shed some light on travelling with this disease? I would imagine that there are ways to deal with just about everything while travelling, but I would appreciate any input on this subject.

Thanks

KariB
#2 May 14th, 2005, 02:04
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by KariB I have a friend with Epilepsy who is interested in coming to India with me(her first time) in August, and I have a few concerns.

First off, are any of you IM'ers epileptics and have you had issues(ie; seizures) when travelling in India?

In addition to prescription pills, my friend also uses medical marijuana(in capsules or tea) to control her seizures. She has all of the Dr.'s paperwork authorizing this and hasn't had a problem travelling domestically, but, I know India is completely different when it comes to drugs. I would think that customs/authorities in India wouldn't care what kind of documentation she had from over here, and it is a major No, No.

The heat may be an issue for her also, so we would have to be extra careful with that.

Can anyone shed some light on travelling with this disease? I would imagine that there are ways to deal with just about everything while travelling, but I would appreciate any input on this subject.

Thanks

KariB
Karil B , I wud like suggest you come with all Docter's Advice, First ask all things from Docter and then come , otherwise it may be dengerous and in India In August will be so hot .Epilepsy may develop because of an imbalance in those chemicals in the brain that help the nerve cells in the brain transmit electrical impulses. My eolder Brother is also Epliepstic , I know only this things when Eplepsy comes , If she is Full of enthusiastic , pasionate person ,then come and enjoy of life , Life is too short Kari we shoud enjoy its , its just like ice cream enjoy it before melts , i wud like tell u something this ..You cannot stop a seizure, so do not try. Do try rolling the person on his or her side to keep the airways clear. Do not put anything in the person's mouth, not even medicine. People do not swallow their tongues during seizures. Trying to give medicine, however, may cause choking. Do not shake or hold the person who is having the seizure.

Have a Nice Journey !!!
Cheers!!
#3 May 14th, 2005, 06:33
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#3

Exclamation Caution

I think this is a huge risk you will undertake. I would be cautious about it, even though it might turn our great. Someone with health issues and is not used to a place like India is taking a huge risk. Sorry if I sould pessimistic but if your friend already has frequent seizures chances are he will have them in India as well.

Just my thoughts of caution but i am sure others can also pipe in with their wisdom.
Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
#4 May 14th, 2005, 08:15
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Hi KariB,
I am no expert on epilepsy and so I would say talk to your doctor about travelling. But here are my perceptions of epilepsy in India.
1. As in other places, India has a fair number of people with epilepsy. With the advent of new drugs it is now not considered as serious a problem as it was upto some years ago.
2. People in both cities, smaller towns and villages (and as an example in Diu, a small place where I live), are aware and tend to be helpful in whatever way they can. Off course you will have the stray cases of people being shocked and some completely rude bastards etc.
3. In my direct and personal experience I have found friends and siblings of epileptic patients, in the villages of Diu, where I live, very supportive and natural in behaviour, and the social interaction healthy and normal.
4. The degree of severity of epilepsy….frequency etc. August can be a warm month, but not that hot, provided you head to the right places. But check with your doctor on the effect of warm weather.
5. How comfortable and knowledgeable you are, whilst handling the situation in case of a fit. If you know what you are doing, you can usually always find someone to help you, in the sense of holding the person etc.
6. There are good doctors and hospitals in India and you could keep that in mind.
7. Whilst travelling by bus once, there was a village woman who had a fit. I recollect that there were a fair number of idiotic comments from some moronic passengers. The problem was more so because a lot of them were embarrassed because her skirt sort of came up. However it didn’t take very long before other women in the bus took over and people were helpful. So in that sense trousers might be a better idea whilst travelling in this conservative country.
8. Customs shouldn’t have a problem with your marijuana based Doctor prescribed medicines. In any case they don’t have to be told medication. So I really would not worry on that front at all.

Finally…How keen is your friend on visiting India!
#5 May 14th, 2005, 08:31
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I'll just add my weight to the comments of Indiawise! I have seen someone having an epilectic attack on the ferry between Cochin island and Ernakulem!
We were amazed a how it was handled by the locals there was none of the fuss you would see here in the west!!
The patient was handles expertly and with great human dignity. The whole thing didn't phase people at all they barely broke stride!!
#6 May 15th, 2005, 21:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiawise 8. Customs shouldn’t have a problem with your marijuana based Doctor prescribed medicines. In any case they don’t have to be told medication. So I really would not worry on that front at all.
I am more concerned about this than getting her through a seizure. As I live in a state that supports(?) medical marijuana, it doesn't seem like a big deal to me, BUT, India is different and I don't know how the authorities would feel, or behave. It would not be a good thing to have to call her husband and tell him she's in jail for 10 years for trying to bring her green leafy meds into the country!!!

The heat is an issue also, but when speaking with her further, she appears to have coping mechanisims in place for that.

The seizures are the least of my worries!!

Since we are still in the process of getting her "bitten" we have much to discuss and plenty of time to work out contingency plans.

Thank you all for your input, keep the replies coming!

KariB
#7 May 15th, 2005, 22:05
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#7
you can call Indian consulate and ask them about issues with drugs.
#8 May 15th, 2005, 22:58
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I strongly suspect that, if you were travelling to UK, you would find yourselves surrounded by sniffer dogs and, at best, Customs would confiscate the drugs.

So, what of India... I don't know, but I wouldn't like to try it.

To the suggestion that you should act on the advice of a doctor, I would add that a chat with an Indian doctor might be very useful, preferably one who hasn't been away for a long time or one that visits regularly. If you can find a native of the area you are visiting, then even better: it it would be great to be pre-armed with a list of recommended hospitals, phone numbers, etc. The increased peace of mind might help to make sure it isn't needed. He/she would also be very familiar with the climate.

What part of India are you planning to visit?
~
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#9 May 16th, 2005, 00:14
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#9
Is the medical marijuana in pill form?? If not I would think it foolhardy to try and pass weed off as medical marijuana in India no matter how many doctors letters you might have!
Try to find out if you can get this in pill form! Or try to talk to a aruvedic practicioner in India perhaps he can prescribe Bhang a marijuana derivative, which is in pill form well kind of.
I've heard that Bhang is sometimes used as a bona fide Aruvedic medicine, though I'm unsure if it would be good for your specific case!
Another alternative is to simply use mainstream drugs for the time you're in India in order to avoid any problems I'm sure you can buy thes drugs in India at a fraction of the price of back home when your friend gets back home she can resume with her preffered treatment!
#10 May 16th, 2005, 04:00
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#10
Just what is medical marijuana? I mean if its not in a pill form then is it a sort of cleaner version and gauranteed (like iso marked!) of the normal weed. If its the normal version then well I reckon like the epileptic drugs being available locally even medical weed should be available locally at a fraction of the cost!
Or simpler like cyberhippie suggests, if possible, it might be possible to take a break, for the timebeing whilst in india.
#11 May 16th, 2005, 04:31
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Marinol is one form of medical marijuana. There is some information about it on their website, here:

http://www.marinol.com/home.html

some don't find it as effective for medicinal purposes as smoking as discussed on a few of the sites on this Google page:

http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
#12 May 16th, 2005, 05:59
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#12
It's about pills guys. I'd check with your own embassy at home + abroad + the same for the Indian one just to double-check as suggested.
#13 May 16th, 2005, 22:07
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#13
Excellent insight! Thank You.

Actually, the preferred method of ingestion for Med. Marijuana is smoking, but it can be eaten straight, ground up and put in capsules, or made into tea. I figured that once we got there(we're going into Mumbai and then south through Hampi and then on to the hills stations around Ooty), it would be no problem to get hot water for tea, or to eat it. Obviously she would need to refrain from smoking it, unless we are in discreet places.

She can increase the "mainstream" drugs, but then the chance of seizure increases. We're just trying to get an idea about if we should bother trying to get it into the country, or wait and get it there(!), or even just go without, increase the other meds and then deal with the seizures.

As for the question of what exactly is Med. Marijuana, from my understanding, it's just governmentally regulated pot. She has a prescription from her Dr. and is able to purchase it from a center specializing in this, much cheaper than street prices. Here in the US, there are still huge issues on all the legality of this. California is much more liberal than alot of states and there are battles back in forth from the states and the federal govt. It's a bunch of crap as far as I'm concerned. Just legalize it, tax it and there would be no national debt!

KariB
#14 May 17th, 2005, 22:55
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#14
Another point to consider, you may want to be with your friend at all times and understand how to help her should an attack occur. We were at the train station in Jhansi and saw a crowd of a couple dozen people looking at a fellow having an epileptic attack on the platform. A couple of people were holding him down and another person was pouring tea down his throat in an attempt to help. The poor fellow was choking and couldn't breathe but they kept pouring. I grabbed the guy and rolled him on his side to let him cough out all the tea and kept the people away from trying to hold him down. After about 10 minutes, the poor chap's seizure stopped, he sat up for a minute, then walked away.
#15 Jun 9th, 2005, 09:10
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#15
Not so good news for your friend KariB, at least on the home front:

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Use of Medical Marijuana

Then again you might be interested in this thread by IM member John.sw:

Brandy, Rum, Champagne & Ganja as a medicine.

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