The past few days have been strange and confusing so I decided to come here and ask those who are living with epilepsy if this sounds familiar.
A few days ago I found an old cartoon that I loved to watch as a kid. I decided to watch a few episodes alone, well that is until the cartoon did that stupid rapid flashing thing that the older episodes of cartoons like Pokemon once did (I had forgotten about the cartoon doing this). I became transfixed by the flashing black and white scenes. Seconds before I was fully transfixed, I felt like everything was spinning around me, and my head hurt (a lot!). Yet I could not take my eyes off of the screen. I don’t really remember how long the flashing scene lasted but it seemed like only moments. Afterwards I felt dizzy for a few minutes. Also colors and lights seemed to be brighter than before. After some thought I realized that I may have lost some time during this, as the cartoon no longer seemed to follow the same train of thought? I did’nt think of telling my husband about this because I thought it was normal. As a kid I used to frighten my mother if I did not look away from the screen before the flashing began. Sometime she had to shack me for a few seconds before I snapped out of it... After this happened a few times she began watching the cartoons (all of them) with me and instructed me not to look at the screen seconds before the flashing began. It was a very simple cartoon so as I got older I learned when it was time to look away. Sadly I had forgotten about this until today when it happened again after husband stumbled upon the cartoon and decided to play it. Remembering how sick I felt the last time I watched it, I decided to sit across the room on the couch a good 7 feet away from the monitor. The video was only a small square on the screen so I thought it would be ok. When the flashing scene started sharp pains ran through my forehead and behind my eyes, I started to become transfixed, but thankfully my husband noticed this and stopped the cartoon. As a nurse he went into what I call “nurse mode” only this time he looked really worried as he asked how I felt and other questions. I told him that my head hurt and felt like there was electricity running through my brain (I know that sounds strange but I'm not sure how else to describe it). I saw strange lights in my vision, and colors seemed to be much brighter than they normally do. The lights seemed so much brighter and it hurt to look at them. I also told him about feeling dizzy, and sick to my stomach. He asked me if this had ever happened before, I told him yes as a kid it happened any time I watched that cartoon until I learned to look away right before it happened. I also told him about how I learned to close my eyes in the Halloween haunted houses when entering the rooms that have bright flashing lights, and about having to close my eyes if I’m near a fire truck or police car with its flashing light on. For the next 30 minutes he watched me very carefully and often asked how I was feeling. After I felt better he told me that he thinks I may be susceptible to Petit Mal seizures/Absence seizures, and that most likely I had this type of seizure as a kid only my mother did not realize what they were... When I asked him if this means I have epilepsy he looked very worried and replied “I’m not sure, since you have never had a full blow seizure”. As to said this he had the look he always gets when he hopes something is not true, but knows that it likely is.
Any thoughts or advise is welcomed. Thank you for your time.
P.s I hope this is posted in the right section. I'm new and unsure were this topic should be posted.