Hello everyone... My name is Rob, and I'm 28 years old. I've been having complex partial seizures for a few years now, which at first were thought to be panic attacks and no big deal, and I had my first tonic clonic seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy in September, 2001. This happened while I was stopped at a red light, behind the wheel of my car, which caused me to roll into a telephone pole and hit my head. ( I of course have no memory of this... It's what the person who was next to me told the police and paramedics). I only remember waking up strapped to a gurney, an oxygen mask on my face, two paramedics staring over me and mumbling, A LOT of noise, and being scared out of my mind. When I finally calmed down and snapped out of it, and they told me what happened, I didn't believe them. I thought I was having a nightmare. If it was a bad dream, I still haven't woken up. This is where I'm hoping to find some help... Since that day, I've had a bout of seizures, (mostly complex partial: only once in a while progressing to grand mal), strike me each and every month without fail. OK- At first, when this all started before the car accident, I'd experience the following symptoms once in a while. I'd usually wake up feeling very tired on that day, and once in a while I'd just get this rush of fear sweeping over me. My hair would stand up, I'd get the goosebumps, I'd get the chills and get hot at the same time, and I'd get a very strange feeling, (which I was later able to realize as deja-vu). I'd usually sleep the day away, and I'd wake up feeling great the next day. It didn't happen on any pattern, or too often, so it was really no big deal. I guess I thought it was the stress of everyday life getting to me. Since I had the first "real" seizure in Sept. 2001 though, the symptoms have gotten worse and worse, and it happens more and more frequently, until this point where I'm finding it difficult to face reality each day. First, I was given a catscan and an eeg, (and a bit later, an mri), where nothing strange was found. Last march I stayed in the hospital for 7 days for long term video eeg monitering, where I did have a seizure, and I was told that they couldn't pinpoint the location of the origin. I've been on a few medications, Phenytoin and Depakote, which I couldn't keep in my bloodstream, (even at the maximum dosages), and did nothing for me. Now I'm on 3000mg of Keppra each day, and I'm still experiencing crippling seizures, as well as a slew of side effects. I apologize for this being so long, and I appreciate anyone taking the time to read it and respond. I feel like I need to give as much detail as possible, and I don't know where else to turn. I'm VERY scared and I feel VERY alone. So, since 2001, I've had seizures of varying severity, and with varying fore and after effects every single month. Sometimes it appears to be happening on a time scale or schedule, and sometimes it jumps out of the shadows and sneaks up on me when I'm not expecting it. Either way, this is usually how it goes: I'll usually start having trouble falling and staying asleep a few days beforehand, as well as rise very early, (5:00 am!!!). I'm always overtired, but sleep does not come easy. I notice, (and my wonderful girlfriend REALLY notices), a change in my mood, and not a pleasant one. I start feeling very dark, gloomy, depressed, and nervous. I'm often overly irritable, and just plain grumpy. I become extremely emotional, and sometimes cry at things that wouldn't make me flinch otherwise. Then, the seizures hit... It's been happening in the middle of the night and early in the morning a lot lately, so I'll explain that first. When it does happen at these times, I have no memory of it. My girlfriend tells me that I wake her up usually, and she can tell right away that it's happening. I've got the old "deer in the headlights" look on my face, and I usually run out of the room. I've gone and stared out the front window, started going through things like I'm looking for something, and even ran out into the driveway in my underwear and tried to climb into my girlfriend's car. I'm usually mumbling, drooling, smacking my lips, and talking nonsense. I ask my girlfriend ridiculous questions, and say even more ridiculous things to her. Then, I usually fall back asleep until the next one hits. This usually happens 2 or 3 times before I wake up for the day. I also usually have 2 to 4 while I'm awake that day too. Sometimes I can feel those coming on, and if I remember anything it's that: the first few seconds of the aura. Those are just, I get the chills, I sweat profusely, I get the spacy deja-vu feeling, and I get the taste and smell of salt in my mouth and nose. That's all I ever remember. My girlfriend and my ex-coworkers tell me that I often would let them know that it's about to happen. They say that they can see my goosebumps, they can see the sweat pouring off of me, and they can see th change in my face. Now, as far as the seizures that I have when I'm awake... This is the worst part. I've lost my job and humilliated myself more times than I can tell you. I worked and had a very supportive boss up until September of this year. Why did I lose my job? Because besides the fact that I had to call in sick for a week at a time each month, I kept on having seizures at work. I did things during them like bite my tounge and spit blood all over the wall, floor, and desk, almost beat up a 70 year old man for looking at me, run off for 10 minutes and come back with no shirt on, tried to kiss my boss, screamed gibberish and really nasty things at the people around me, and so on. My boss had to let me go, as I became a danger to myself and everyone else around me, a liability. Since then, I've been at home. I continue to have the seizures, except now my girlfriend and my dog are the only ones that feel the wrath. I've even gotten violent with them during my seizures. After the brunt of the seizures is over, I feel very powerful after effects for up to ten days. First and foremost, my head is usually pounding with pain for a few days. My body and mind feel like they've been in a trainwreck. At first, I have no urge to eat and my senses of taste and smell are pretty much non-existent. As the days go by, I do get hungry and my senses do ccome back to me, but they are not at all normal. Everything tastes and smells awful to me. I don't know how to put the sensation into words, but my senses are way off. I generally lose 10-15 lbs. each time that it happens, in just a matter of days due to my inability to eat. I also feel such a strange, hazy, fog. I'm so depressed and all that I can think about are difficult things. I usually feel like I'm dreaming, or I'm disconnected from reality, or filled with some strange darkness. It's very hard to put any of these feelings into words so that someone else can understand them. For the 7-10 days after the seizures, I'm exhausted, but I can't sleep. I can't fall asleep at nigt, I can't stay asleep once I do, and I'm wide awake way before the sun comes up. I can't fall asleep for a nap either. These symptoms slowly subside, until I feel ok again, but knowing that I've only got 2-3 weeks before it hits again, (if I'm lucky). I remember almost nothing of these days, even the recovery time. Now, I'm on this keppra, and I've lost about 15 lbs. since I started. I only weighrd 150 lbs. to begin with! Add that to the 10-15 that I lose from the seizures, and you can imagine what I look like. People have even been asking me if I've lost weight, and telling me that I need to eat. I've noticed since changing to Keppra, that I don't feel nearly as hungry nearly as often, and that I can only eat a certain amount, (smaller portions than before), at meals. I've also been VERY depressed... I don't know if it's just the reality of having this disease, not being able to drive, not having a job, not having ANY money, waiting and waiting on a disability claim, being afraid of leaving the house because I may have a seizure (and losing most of my friends because of that), being afraid and embarassed of what I might do during my next bout of seizures, etc., or if it's this damn medicine. I really feel that in the past few months, everyday life has become very tough for me to deal with, much less my real problems. I've even been at peace with the idea of ending my own life to stop the pain, and I've always had a healthy fear of death. My girlfriend says that she's watched me sink deeper into this funk over the past few months also, and I've been on the Keppra for a little over two months now. I just feel at my lowest, loneliest point right now. I am going to see my specialist on 1/21/04, with the past six months' activities recorded in a journal, numerous seizures captured on audio tape, and a girlfriend who wants to tell him herself what she's seen me turn into. Does anyone else here share any of these experiences? Does anyone share my symptoms, or take Keppra and feel side effects? Is yor story similar to mine? How do you cope? what have you been told by your doctors? What can I expect, and what can I hope for? What's happening to you, and what's going to happen to me? Can anyone give any advice to my beautiful girlfriend, who is now my provider, babysitter, driver, nurse, and bodygaurd? Can anybody help me? I will be checking back often, and I really appreciate any effort to help. Thank you.