I've been a member and have read the forums for a while, but this is the first time I've actually posted; the fact that I'm only doing now in a moment when I need support doesn't make me feel great, but hopefully you'll bear with the free form - this is a long post - because I simply need to get this out there.
I've had tonic-clonic/grand mal seizures since the age of 13, and right now I'm taking Lamictal + Prozac in the morning, and Lamictal + Zonegram at night. I had gone more than two years without an attack, and as you can imagine I was feeling pretty good about that. But last week I had one standing on the sidewalk, waiting for a taxi to take me to the wedding of a very good, old friend of mine; incidentally, he had been driving the car during my very first seizure. The attack itself wasn't severe, in that the convulsions weren't bad enough to make me sore the next day, but every indication is that I simply fell backward (picture a character from the original Mortal Kombat) and got a pretty bad laceration on the back of my head. My girlfriend is a critical care nurse, so she ran up, got me inside, and apparently I was responsive enough that she would allow me to go sit on the toilet by myself, while she threw money at the cabbie/waited for the ambulance to show up; at this point, we were going to go check for subdermal bleeding on my skull. And of course, I had a second seizure on the toilet, keeling forward into the wall - thankfully it's plaster, not marble. I've lost teeth before, but not here.
I'm pretty proud of this part: it took for firemen/paramedics (and a nurse) to strap me down and finally get out of the apartment. Once at the hospital, I wasn't 100% with the answers I was giving to their cognition questions: for example I thought it was April when it was August, I couldn't remember Obama as being president, but I could recall Bush as being before him - and, oh yeah, I vomited three times before rolling straight into a third seizure of the morning during which I turned blue, and my heart rate jumped to 150. On top of everything, then, it looks like I have a concussion; happily, however, my test results didn't indicate any bleeding/long-term damage.
Now, here's the key point. During the past week, more than any other since I've been diagnosed, I've been obsessed with my status as an epileptic and how to better live my life as one: living a life without ever driving again, famous people/role models with epilepsy, pledging myself to nine hours of sleep a night; essentially, defining myself by the condition, and only by it. I've told myself that this is a good, productive thing, since it was obviously self-destructive behavior that brought on the attack - e.g. staying up too late, too much time on the computer, not eating right - and it was that same behavior that caused me to miss my friend's wedding. Again, it was that last point that really hightened the sense of frustration, moreso than embarassment, that I have when I regain full consciousness after a seizure.
Over the past 24 hours, I've found myself crippled by what are hopefully panic attacks (rather than auras). I did go to the emergency department of a nearby hospital, and while it's impossible to make a conclusive diagnosis, there is evidence That metallic-y taste/smell, accelerated heart rate, seeing lights and what I can only describe as a pin wheel/daisy wheel, all of that; interestingly enough that's actually new to me, compared to my otherwise diminished auras for my seizures, which lends evidence to the fact that they're panic attacks, not auras for partial seizures. On top of that, after I try to control my breath, there is indeed a 'loss of time.'
I'm writing this right now in an attempt to pass a bit of time, get something off of my chest, and hopefully get some advice. What do you do in order to help with panic attacks? I see a therapist once a week, and as I mentioned take Prozac; but both those up until this point been more oriented towards depression, and I can only imagine that given everything it wouldn't hurt me to ask you guys for some advice.