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Need help very badly, please!

Let me start by saying that neither I, nor my husband have epilepsy. neither of us had ever had a seizure before 2days ago, so I apologize if I am posting in the wrong place, but I need help. 2 days ago, my husband had a bad reaction to the prescription drug, tramadol. he had a tonic-clonic seizure right next to me in our bed while we were watching tv. it was absolutely the most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my entire life. I can't still hear the noises he made. the images of his body seizing and his eyes rolling in the back of his head will not leave my mind. Within 20 minutes after having the seizure, he was 100% back to normal, besides being a little stunned by what I explained to him had happened. and since then, he's been totally fine, back to normal. no headaches. no cloudy, fatigued feeling. no muscle aches. nothing! but I have been a hot mess to say the least. I'm driving him crazy because I've been following him around like a puppy dog, afraid to ever leave him alone because I'm scared that he'll have another one when he's standing and I want to catch him if he does. I even made him let me stay in the bathroom while he took a shower last night. he doesn't understand what I witnessed, because he doesn't remember it. I'm constantly crying. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I constantly feel like I'm on the verge of a panic attack. I feel incredibly paranoid, not just about his seizure but about everything. I just have General, intense feeling of impending doom. I don't know how to get over this. he's no longer taking the tramadol, so intellectually I know that he's not gonna have another one, but that isn't stopping me from feeling this way. Will I ever be ok? will I ever recover? will I ever be normal and carefree again? I don't know how long I can live like this, in constant fear and panic. I just feel so lost. does anybody have any advice as to how I can pull myself out of this? or at least any encouragement that is will subside eventually?? I'm desperate...


There are many medications that can cause a seizure. I am sure that is the case here and he will be ok. I think that you are completely over reacting here. I am sorry if I am being harsh here but you need to calm down and get over it and be thankful that neither of you do have epilepsy. There are many people like myself on this website that have this happen to on a regular basis and can't live normal lives. I'm sorry that you had to witness you husband have such a horrible seizure but now you have witnessed something that many people unfortunately go through on a regular basis that people do not even take the time to understand and epilepsy is not the only one.

There's a good possibility that the seizure was non-epileptic. In other words, not generated from the brain. This can be caused from a severe allergic reaction (from food or medication), or maybe from a severe emotional response (maybe lightning or witnessing a murder). You can actually have 2 or more seizures without them being epileptic.

You should still inform the doctor that prescribed the medication. It'll be on your file for the future.


I don't know what kind of seizure it was. all I know is that we were sitting in bed watching tv and I heard him make a loud, strange noise, and when I looked over to see what was going on, his entire body was violently shaking and stiff and he was about to fall off the bed. I grabbed him and pulled him into me and tried to hold him on his side. the shaking lasted about 60 seconds and then he collapsed into a deep sleep and started breathing incredibly hard and making kind of a snoring sound. then he jumped up like he was scared and he didn't know where he was or who I was. he laid back down for another few minutes and then got up and was completely normal again. everything I've read explains that word for word as a tonic-clonic seizure.I don't know if you can have a non-epileptic tonic-clonic seizure or not. he also but his tongue very very hard during the seizure. besides, " what happened?" the only other thing he kept saying after he woke up was, " what's wrong with my tongue? my tongue hurts."


I understand what happened to your husband. I also understand that uou are really stressed out because you seem to think he might have another seizure even though he isn'r going to use that medication again.

Now understand that many of  us know what it is like to have saizures and that some are ugly. No what you need to do is relaxe and be thankful that he doesn't have seizures like some of us do. . Understand that there are meny different types of seizures.

If you do a little research you would find that many different things can and do cause seizures. Over the counter medicines for one. People with diabeties can also have seizures. Their sugar level can do it. I have a friend that has seizures from time to time but his are less than the tonic clonic but his can also be cause by his heart medication.

intellectually I know that he's not gonna have another one. Then use a little common sense and relax kick back and watch a few movies eat some popcorn or go cook a great mean. He is the lucky one because he knows what happened. He may not know what his seizure looked like but then there are places he can go to and see what you saw.

Again relax. You are being stressed over something that happened that may nevere happen again.

You are over reacting because of what your saw. I don't want to be harsh in any way but calm down and get over his seizure be thankful that neither of you has epilepsy. Many people in here on this site have seizures of all kinds and we would love to be without seizures of any kind. What you witnessed when you saw your husband I had 4-5 times a month. That was not counting the other seizures I had. I am greatful for the seizures I have today compared to the ones I had years ago. 

What you witnessed many people in here have on a regular basis. Now you might see why some of us want to get other people to understand what we have been going thru. We do have walks to raise money like they do for breast cancer and heart disease. But we never have gotten the people that those two get. We have the color purple which is to be worn on the 26th of this month. Do you think people will be wearing purple??? Why is it stores push for breast cancer but not epilepsy? Understand that there are probably more people with epiepsy than have breast cancer. You probably do not know but even in the 1960's people with epilepsy were still being put in homes away from the public. Some states were not giving marriage liscenses to people with epilepsy in the 1970's. We have come a long ways and technology has helped.

So relax have a good meal and a gew glasses of a good wine. I say that because you are actually stressing yourself out and that doesn't help him.

Thank you Joe for your comment. I will be wearing purple on the 26! And I will run in D.C. next year, I believe the walk is in April. You are right, epilepsy doesn't get the support that it should. Luckily, there has been more and more awareness and less shame lately, perhaps due to celebrities and politicians having them this year. It had definitely put the talk out there instead of hiding it.

Cool I will be watching. As for the walk they are in different towns on different days. I will be contacting My sister in law and asking her if they will be sponsers since they do back Breast cancer alot My neices run marathons.

You might have heard  anout her She and My brother started "Walter Anderson Plumbing" and they were one of the largest plumbers in So Cal.

If you want to check and see if there is a walk near you go to the EFA and enter your zip code. I know we have one here in Dallas and there are walks in San Antonio and Lubbock but other towns may have them. I know before the EFA we had walks here because we had the DEA Dallas Epilepsy Association

you guys are absolutely right, and now I feel horrible for even posting this. I didn't even consider the thought that people reading this would probably love to be in the situation that I or my husband is in. I apologize. it's just something that I've never experienced before and it caught me completely off guard. I feel incredibly lucky that neither of us have epilepsy, because I honestly don't know if I could ever witness my husband have another seizure without completely losing it to stress and anxiety. I admit, I was one of those people who knew nothing of epilepsy, because it's never effected anyone I know. I see now that that was ignorant of me, to think that something like that would never happen to someone I love, or myself. in the last 2 days, I've done more research on seizures and epilepsy than I can even fit into my brain anymore and I can't imagine going thru what all of you go thru on a daily basis. I would not bea strong. I apologize if I offended anyone with this trivial post, but thank you for responding anyway. if nothing else, just being able to vent really helped me. and you can bet that I will be wearing purple on the 26th. if anything good came out of this situation, it brought me awareness of epilepsy. good luck and God bless all of you. I will keep you all and your recoveries in my prayers.

It really meant a lot to read your post. I am sorry that you had to watch your husband go through a seizure belive me I know they are not fun. I hope you never have to witness something like that again. I am glad that this has brought you epilepsy awareness. Many people do not understand anything about epilepsy. I will be wearing purple with you on the 26th!!

Thank you very much. I think it effected me so much because, not knowing anything about seizures, when I witnessed him having a seizure, it was the first time that I've ever been faced with the thought of not having him anymore. I thought he was going to die as he was laying there in my lap. and all I could think about were our 4 children and how in the world I would tell them that their dad is gone. I've just never experienced anything like that before and I'm actually almost jealous of him because he doesn't remember it. he doesn't have to live with the aftermath that I am living with. I pulled up a video of an epileptic in a hospital having a seizure and I showed it to him so that he could see what I witnessed, and he was genuinely shocked and just kept apologizing for me having to witness that by myself, so he is starting to understand more of why I am so affected by this. Thank you again for your response.

I'm not offended. I understand you're scared and it feels like you wrote this during a very big moment of panic. But breathe. The worst thing you can do for him is to freak out.  He probably doesn't have epilepsy at all. It was probably a reaction to the medication. Any number of things can cause a seizure to occur.  I'm glad you're reading up on it, but please let him speak to a doctor before you scare yourself, or him, more. Don't make the diagnosis yourself. It's good to be prepared with some questions, but don't make assumptions. 

I wish you and your husband the best. Thank you for sharing. 

Thank you to everyone for posting. Can I ask you all one more question? I'm just really really shocked that my husband has recoveredso quickly. Everything I've been reading for 2 days gives symptoms of what a person should be feeling for 24 hours after a seizure. Headaches, body aches, a dazed, foggy head. Things like that. Is it normal for someone to recover from a tonic clonic seizure within 20 minutes after having it, without any symptoms at all? The only problem he's still having is the result of biting his tongue really bad during the seizure. Besides that, he's been 100% normal since 20 minutes after the seizure occured. Is that normal to all of you who have experienced seizures so often? Does it signify at all the severity of the seizure? Like that maybe his seizure, though it looked violent and very ugly to me, may have actually been fairly mild?

Hi WellsMegan,

Tonic-clonic seizures at times can be a relief, esp. with a combined quick physical recovery (which becomes more rare over decades), either from the effects of amnesia erasing the memory of surrounding unpleasant sensations, or from the effects similar to those reported in some reports on electro-convulsive therapy.

Sometimes the loud, strange noise of a seizure in epilepsy is called "the epileptic scream". When my partial seizures go into secondary tonic-clonics, the "Epileptic Scream" happens at times. Which particular stage in the tonic-clonic a particular type of scream occurs is difficult to determine, but from reports, the one right near the start is the loudest, with any following loud forced vocal sounds more similar to "Valsalva maneuver" and "Petechial Hemorrage" associated phenomena. Some epileptic histories cite the Epileptic Scream as being louder than any voluntary or fright reflex screams. Animals often have the Epileptic Scream also.

In humans, it's sometimes called "Epileptic Cry" (Page 3, first column, 4th paragraph): "With a severe and generalized tonic contraction at the onset, air is forcibly exhaled through closed vocal cords, giving the “epileptic cry” of peculiar and piercing quality." From:

In rabbits, (Page 16, first column, first paragraph):
"At 10 mm after the third hour, the rabbit let out a typical epileptic scream (see part I, this issue) and extended his front and hind paws, throwing his head back and arching his body in a typical opisthotonus position. After about 2 mm, the animal went into generalized convulsions and died within about 1 mm." From:

Dostoevsky also made the epileptic scream part of a great work of literature.

The epileptic scream often has the result of being a major disqualification for all major life activities through the trauma effects on others. Concern for these effects outweigh the concerns for accommodation under the ADAAA.

Before I was officially labeled with epilepsy, I had many adverse reactions to various medications, and what not, that often happened to coincide with my seizures. The adverse reactions were making my seizures more intense, but not, per se, causing the initiation of the epileptic seizures.

The fine line between percipitants and intensifiers is somewhat irrelevant, as both indicate an increased propensity of the presence of a more fundamental disorder.

In my case, one of the more fundamental disorders is temporal lobe epilepsy, and over the decades of my life, the results of long term epileptic "kindling". Other disorders include bouts of hypoglycemia, LQTS, and likely neurocutaneous disorders (with hypoglycemia and LQTS being both very responsive to percipitants and intensifiers, much like close calls with SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) and LQTS 2 drop-dead strenuous sports events & inverse LQTS 3 sleep/wake near-death/recovery seizures).


"Dose-independent occurrence of seizure with tramadol"

Re: tramadol & epileptic kindling (The data demonstrate that kindling enhances the susceptibility of rats to convulsant adverse effects of tramadol and its enantiomers, indicating that a preexisting lowered seizure threshold increases the risk of tramadol-induced seizures):
"Anticonvulsant and proconvulsant effects of tramadol, its enantiomers and its M1 metabolite in the rat kindling model of epilepsy"

Re: QT (Neither morphine nor tramadol doses are associated with the QT interval length.((But,) The tramadol treated group is small which might conceal a QT-prolonging effect.)):
"Oxycodone is associated with dose-dependent QTc prolongation in patients and low-affinity inhibiting of hERG activity in vitro"

It is advisable that tramadol should not be used in epileptic patients.:
"Tramadol induced seizure: A 3-year study"

Severe hypoglycemia induced by tramadol: two new cases of an unlisted side effect. Rev Med Interne. 2011;32((11)):703–705. [PubMed] "Severe hypoglycemia induced by tramadol: two new cases of an unlisted side effect"

Seizures are different with each person that has them some get head aches others are really tired. Most of my convulsive seizures I was fully awake and I could see hear and understand what was going on. At school I was geberally taken to the nurses office and she watched me for a pariod of time. We even sat and talked. But yes many people can go thru seizures and come out of them and we are back without any problems. As for the bitingof ones tongue what many have found out is that when falling your body hitting the ground causes your head to jar and when that happens watch out cause your tongue between you teeth and the teeth slamming shut during tha fall is what causes the bite. I was normal within that time frame.

Like I said I have seizures that look like grande mal which the person losses conciousness. My focal motor seizures can and have been just as bad as a grande mall but in mine I see hear and understand what is going on and yes I have seen the fear and worry on peoples faces. I have even heard friends say UWWWWWWWWWWW I don' want to be around him anymore. So yes I have no problems once I have recovered from the seizure and back to normal I could do my school work or any chores I had to do. They were tiring but I had things to do and people to see. Understand too that I started having seizures over 50 years ago.

You and your husband will get your lives back it may take a little time for you but you will get back to doing what you did. I know that because most of my family members did.

Now I do want to get some coffee you should get some too or a cup of tea. Dependiing on the time a nice glass of iced tea with a lemon twist in it is always good. Down here in Texas we do like our tea sweet too.

Thank you very much for your response. My husband did not fall. He was in bed next to me when it started. He started to fall off of the bed but I was able to grab him and pull him on top of me and get him on his side. I'm not sure at what point he bit his tongue, but it was not cause by a fall. I really appreciate your post, it gave me a lot of hope that things will go back to normal in the foreseeable future. We are in California right now, but are awaiting a relocation in the next couple months to Conroe, TX. My husband grew up in Denison and Ft. Worth up until he was 28 years old and we are very much looking forward to getting there and getting out of CA. Again, thank you very much for your information and kind words. I appreciate them very much and wish you all the best :)

Conroe is nice I lived in Bay City for a while.

I have family out in Ca. Mom's in San Diego alnog with one brother. Another brother in in Ramona. We also have another brother up in Sabastapol(spelling amy be off). I lived in Edgemont when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I went to Moreno Valley High School. I know that Edgemont, Sunneymead and another little community merged and created Moreno Valley but that was years after I left. I have heard that the M is still on the mountain which I am happy about considering it was my class that put it up there, Things are deffinately different now Denison and Ft Worth are not bad but he will deffinately have to get used to traffic and the highways are different now.

It was a pleasure and I come on here to help people. Yours was different but I do know what it is like from both sides. Like I said I have seen what people go thru when they see me in a convulsive seizure, I have also helped people in them.

If yall are in the wine country or like wines from there we have several wineries here in Texas and the wine I get and use for drining and cooking is LLano which is right outside of Lubbock. Their wines have been up against Ca and NY wines in contests and yes Llano ahs won many blue ribbons.

Take care and go xreate a good and drink a glass of wine then for a movie you both like kick back watch the movie. Pop some pop corn


You might read the Wikipedia educational article on Tramadol; the article may provide insights into some of your questions (a medicine possibly causing a seizure). Best wishes.

It is been said that you have to have at least two unprovoked seizures to be considered epileptic and start medication.

Many people have just one seizure and does not mean they have a seizure disorder. yes, prescription and street drugs can cause seizures.

Yes, it is also common that family members and care takers get PTSD after witnessing a seizure on their loved one. It is a disconnected feeling, fear and the paranoia that follows.

The good news is that it goes away. You do not have to spend the rest of your life waiting for the next seizure to come. That is no way of living. It is what it is.

Now, he may or may not have a seizure disorder and only time will tell, whether or not he has another one. And yes, people can snap back to normal after having a seizure.

Yes, your post offended me a little, but life is too short to be mad or offended, so no worries. Perhaps this experience will give you a sense of compassion, understanding and consideration for those that have to suffer this condition forever. I would like to add that epilepsy can appear at any age and most of the time is NOT inherited and it can happen to anyone.

I wish you the very best and to your husband a prompt recovery and that he never have a seizure again. Best wishes.

again, I apologize for offending anyone. in retrospect, I can understand how my post seems incredibly trivial to people in your situation. I have an insane amount of compassion for all of you and what you struggle with on a daily basis. I also have compassion for you families, who have to witness their loved ones in such a state on a daily basis. I don't know that I could be so strong. I have never had a seizure and have never witnessed a seizure, so it's not something I'm used to and not something that was expected, so that's why I overreacted. I had no idea that seizures were so violent and scary looking. I have looked up TC seizures on YouTube since this all happened and have come to realize that as scary add my husband seizure was to me at the time, it could've been much, much worse and that his was mild comparatively, but it was no les terrifying to be faced with the idea of him dying, which in my mind, was a real possibility, not having much knowledge of seizures. I have now educated myself and understand that the seizure by itself was not fatal.

Thank you for responding and reassuring me that I will get better. I've come to realize that with each day, I do feel better, so I am confident that I will be fine. and again, I apologize. I really wish I would've thought about what other people with epilepsy would think while reading this post, before I posted it. I guess my hope was to get advice from epileptics on how their loved ones cope with the trauma of seeing someone they love so much in such a helpless state. as I said before, if anything good came from this, it brought me awareness of epilepsy and an incredible amount of respect for all of you who suffer with this horrible disease. you and your families are all much stronger than I could ever be.

You were not offensive. You were inquisitive! 

Ask anyone that if they thought they could get useful information on their condition, would they inquire others for some information?

Thank you :)

I just read your post. I can understand all the questions you have and how you are feeling scared that your husband will have another seizure. But like one poster said, when a person has one seizure that does not mean they have a seizure disorder or epilepsy. It most likely was caused by the medication your husband was taking. There are many medications that cause seizures as a side effect.

I first started to have grand mal seizures only in my sleep starting 5 years ago in 2009. I was sleeping on the couch and woke up around 6am in the morning to feed our dog and cat. My boyfriend wanted me to go back to bed in the bedroom, but something told me to stay sleeping on the couch. I believe that was my first aura. Later my boyfriend was on the computer and apparently our dog was trying to get his attention. He told her to lay down. She witnessed my seizure and cuz I was her mama, she went to her daddy to let him know something was wrong with me. Then a few minutes later he heard a "ghostly" sound. He said, "Babe did you hear that?" and looked over at me on the couch and saw I was having a grand mal seizure. He called his stepmom and told his parents I was having a seizure and his stepmom came right over. They called the ambulance. I was taken to the hospital. I had a CT scan done, it came back normal and nothing was really done. The dr. never told me why I had a seizure and I was sent home. 2 months later I had another grand mal seizure in my sleep. The ambulance was called again, but because of the cost of being taken to the hospital in one ($900 ambulance ride) my boyfriend drove me to the hospital. Again the dr. did not tell me why I had a seizure or what type they were. We went home against the hospital wanting me to stay. It was 2am in the morning and I had to go to work that day. We went back to bed. Two hours later, I had another grand mal seizure in my sleep. We went back to the hospital. I was given a liquid anti seizure med intravenously, and was put on Dilantin 100 mg 3xaday. I was told to follow up with my primary care dr. within a few days. One thing should be known, I have something wrong with my stomach. I have stomach nausea and feel like I have a stomach flu everyday at least 5-20 times a month. When I started taking the Dilantin 3xaday, it was not good. It made my stomach nausea even worse. So I called my dr. and told him and he told me to take it 2xaday. I took the Dilantin for a while then it was changed to Phenytoin 100 mg 2xaday. Then a year later it was changed to Tegretol. I took the seizure med. for a year and a half. The grand mal seizures I had only in my sleep stopped. With in that time my primary care dr. gave me an EEG and MRI. Both tests came back normal showing no seizure activity. I found out that the EEG should have been given when I was sleeping. My seizures only happen while I am asleep, so seizure activity would only show during sleep. Then I started to notice I was losing my memory. I could not remember things like my aunt's last name or my cell phone number. I found out a side effect of seiz. meds is memory loss. Also all seizure meds are not good and some can cause even worse medical problems like bone loss and liver problems. So I decided to wean myself off the seizure med. I slowly decreased my seiz. med and finally in 2011 I did not take anymore seiz. meds to control my seizures.

Right now I have 1 maybe 2 grand mal seizures a month only in my sleep. I have a lot of the side effects of grand mal seizures. My boyfriend sees me having one and says my face and lips are blue and I stop breathing. He says my eyes are open wide and blinking rapidly like I am being electrocuted. My body is stiff as a board he tells me cuz I guess he lifted my leg and it was stiff and did not bend. When I come out of the seizure I am confused. It takes me 30 min. to an hour to fully come out the seizure. I have a terrible headache after one, the right side of my tongue is bitten, I have peed my pants, my legs are sore, and I have bad stomach nausea. For the rest of the day I am tired and rest. My brain does not feel right and sometimes stray thoughts come to me and I wonder who am I or what am I doing? I also have auras and at least 4 or 5 auras I had have led to seizures while I was sleeping.

One thing that is a blesssing for me is that I only have my seizures while I am sleeping. I am thankful for that because if I ever had them while I was awake, I don't think I would have been able to cope with them as well as I have been able to. I have a lot of admiration for the people who have seizures every day all day while they are awake. They are strong.

Having seizures is a scary thing for the people having them and for the people who witness them. 

I still don't know what type of seizures I have or what is causing me to have seizures. My boyfriend and I think I have Nocturnal Seizure Disorder. These are when someone has grand mal seizures only while sleeping and that is exactly what I have and how my seizures are. 

Well that is it. Hope this helped you. Take care.


Thank you for sharing you sorry with me. I have so much respect for your boyfriend for being strong enough to witness someone he loves go thru that so often. I'm not really sure I would be emotionally capable of witnessing my husband do what he did even a second time. I guess if faced with that situation, I wouldn't have a choice but boy, it would be difficult for me for sure. It's so hard to witness how violent they appear to be but forcing yourself to remember that the seizure itself will not hurt you permanently (at least not that I've read about). I am a medical professional ( Medical Assistant) but I worked mainly in pediatrics, so I've never had much experience with seizures except for what I learned about them in school. Because of my schooling, I knew what to do when I recognized that he was in fact having a seizure, but I did it hysterically and probably scared him more than he scared me when he first woke up in confusion with a strange, hysterically crying woman over the top of him screaming, "Omg you had a seizure! are you ok!?" I was a hot mess to say the least.

after I read up on Auras, I asked my husband about them. I showed him all the different auras that I read about but it seems as though he did not experience any auras. He says that he felt completely fine and only remembers watching tv in bed, and the next thing he knew he was in my lap and I was crying and asking him questions. He had no recollection of any of it and said he has absolutely no feeling of ill will or anything strange before it happened. That's almost more scary, to think that it can happen with absolutely zero warning. You can be fine one minute, and on the floor having a seizure the next. That's just terrifying to me. I've never had a seizure (neither had my husband), but after this experience, I've found myself having unexplained paranoia of having one myself. I've caught myself doing things ( especially taking a shower or driving) and thinking to myself, " if I had a seizure right now, where would I fall and how badly would I hurt myself?" And I've also had fear of the thought of having a seizure in front of my children ( I'm now a stay at home mom/wife with 4 kids. ages 9, 6, 3 and 2). I know that those paranoias are completely unwarranted and over dramatic, and I'm hoping they fade with the fear I have about my husband having another one.

Again, thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I will keep you and your boyfriend in my thoughts :)

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