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Altered Consciousness/impaired awareness?

Could someone explain what this may actually mean?

For example, after my aura of a very distinctive smell - I'll open my eyes suddenly and be staring at the sky, ceiling, or wall (after having been standing, walking, or sitting straight up watching TV, etc.) and be completely confused, bewildered, and groggy minded as to what happened with loss of actual time between what I was doing and where I'm at in that moment - not knowing or remembering anything in between


as in recently I had 2 seizures over 2 days back to back.

1) I was sitting in my recliner talking to my daughter & neice about what to have for dinner.  I had the "smell", then my daughter & neice were talking to me but they were at the end of a very long tunnel & I couldn't answer them (they said later that my eyes were closed & they thought I had fallen asleep sitting up).

Then I kinda opened my eyes and my niece was gone.  I got panicky cause I didn't know where she was.  My daughter said my sis came and picked her up.  I never saw my sister.  My sister later told me that she spoke to me, I only grunted never spoke, and she left. 

Somewhere I lost time and I felt groggy, bewildered, drained, and sleepy for a while afterward.

2) I had the "smell", took a header face first towards the curbing in the parking lot at a local Wal Mart (my Dad's quick thinking saved me cause he apparently caught me in mid-fall).  My dad said I never said a word, was looking straight ahead, took a few steps, and then just dropped. 

While sitting on the curbing, I saw the other cars rolling through the parking lot but they weren't real in that they were wavy and weird looking and seemed to be close and far off at the same time.  My Dad spoke to me but he too was at the end of a long tunnel for a moment, maybe 2.


After both of these, I kinda "woke up" in that no one was in a tunnel and nothing was waving back and forth but was left drained, tired, bewildered, groggy, and sleepy for quite a while afterward. 

In fact, I had my Dad take me home the day of the parking lot incident.  We never even entered the Wal Mart.  I laid the seat back in the car and then went to bed as soon as I got home.

Pardon me if I may seem stupid about this but in all sincerity, when I read about altered consciousness or impaired awareness, I'm just not sure what it's talking about or if what I have is what this is.  






I've just begun to have little "episodes" myself  but haven't been diagnosed with epilepsy.  I've been out driving for instance, gotten a wierd smell and then it's all I can do to focus and pull the car over till I feel better.  Went to the dr and they did an eeg but said that they couldn't diagnose because nothing showed up. 

 First happened December '08 - was driving to a friends to celebrate Christmas, on the way I suddenly smelled burnt pumpkins  and couldn't figure out where it was coming from.   Looked around the car,  checked the air vents, looked back up, the lights turned green and just as I pulled forward, I had no idea where I was.  I had to drive a bit, pull over on a side street and try to figure out how to get back home.  I knew my address, could read the signs, but it was like I had suddenly been transported to a foreign land.  Hard to even figure north, south etc. 

Since then, its happened once more while out driving, and a couple wierd deja-vu's other times.  Haven't lost consciousness,  can't figure out if its just low blood sugar or what.    I'm in my mid 40's, have a job across town, have  a family to raise (single parent) and if they "diagnos" me with epilepsy - there goes my job!  So now I'm trying to make sure I don't skip meals, or over-indulge in anything. 

would appreciate any tips on keeping the old brain steady.  Want to search all possiblilities before any over-zealot dr. slaps a label on me and ruins my life.


peace R.C.


consciousness and impaired awareness is the same thing.  If you
would look both phrases up, an altered state of consciousness is where
one loses the sense of identity with one's body or with one's
perceptions.  Impaired awareness is a reduction in awareness.

To put it simply, when you have this type of seizure, you're not unconscious however, your level of awareness is reduced."

 I agree with this.  Please search here for the threads of people describing their "auras"  

  An "aura" or partial s. is hard to describe to someone else .I am actually glad I have done Hallucinogenic  drugs because even what your descibing is so close to the "aura" feeling these drugs have .

 Altered consiousness is a perfect way to describe this, it is not a really a question it is the state of mind your in .  I have been like this for several weeks now, WHEW exhausted,plus the full long gmal sz to go with it wrecking my back and muscles. 

 I used to have the szs and feeling you descibe a lot and during the day like you .That is scary and dangerous I feel now .Actually I have been hurt quite a bit probably just not admitting it I feel so lucky though compared to some and have never taken this to seriously ? just more in stride . But it has shown pretty clearly over a yr. or so .

 I  call it a fluculating I.Q.  But for real my mind hurts bad ?It takes over a week to regain basic stuff like spelling , forgetting, balance ,vision,etc.  Please be careful and try to let the family know what may happen  so they are prepared.    Rick



From what you're describing, it sound like you've experienced a complex partial seizure.  Basically  altered consciousness and impaired awareness is the same thing.  If you would look both phrases up, an altered state of consciousness is where one loses the sense of identity with one's body or with one's perceptions.  Impaired awareness is a reduction in awareness.

To put it simply, when you have this type of seizure, you're not unconscious however, your level of awareness is reduced.

Last but not least nobody, I mean NOBODY is considered stupid when they are merely trying to learn.


thanks everyone

see I get that "smell" first.  It's very distinctive and when I smell it I KNOW what it means now.  I know that is my "aura" or my Partials.

then I immediately either have the total loss of consciousness/time memory
loss OR the end of the tunnel - not quite right - surreal thing

then I have some GI distress, I'm confused, bewildered, groggy, foggy, and just physically drained to the point of just wanting to sleep or lay down for a while

I can't move my arms or legs for 2-3 minutes and then the muscles in my
arms, legs, and the one where I took the header in the parking lot last week - my back & neck muscles ached so bad afterwards. 

The muscles hurt and ache
for a long while afterward.  I mean my calves hurt so bad where I was in the recliner that other time last week I couldn't stand up.

I just never quite knew what it meant
by altered consciousness/impaired awareness  - I just know that things
aren't as they should be and yet are as they are and everything is just
weird and I'm usually not able to respond and/or grab hold of anything
for a moment or two cause my depth perception is just really weird and way off apparently.

I know, at times, I lose consciousness or I think I have cause I have no memory and time has passed I just didn't know about these other symptoms.

Can folks have 2 auras at the same time? Cause you guys are saying it's kinda like an aura?

I'm sorry, I'm still new to all this and I am wanting to learn what I can about Partial Complex seizures cause I just don't want to be so in the dark, so to speak, about what they are and especially what in the world is going on with me.  It is so disconcerting and unsettling, not understanding.


I'd contact your neuro to see if you need to check your medication levels and also to let him know what you've been experiencing.  Details before, during and after seizures are important. 

Also, I've known people that when they feel the aura coming on, they use biofeedback to ward off the pending seizure. They will go to a quiet place, relax and just sort of meditate.  Might work for you.

Auras come in many different forms so yes, you have have multiple types of sensations, feelings, tastes, smells, etc.


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