ADVERTISEMENT
hdenbec

New to Seizures

Hi, I am 52 years old and just had my first two seizures on the same day, out of the blue. I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else in my age bracket, how you are coping with it, or if there is any advice from anyone that can help me understand this. Thanks

Comments

RE: New to Seizures

I just wanted to say Hi. My son has seizures. To help you understand better you really need to know what the doc sees ... you did have an EEG & MRI? Did he put you on medication? Certain things can spark seizures, like if you had hit your head, could have been years ago. You have to ask your doc what he thinks, like maybe there is some type of lesion or scar? Which lobe (temporal/occipital/frontal) does he suspect or does he know? There are more things but first you need to understand what type of seizures you are having and where they originate and go from there. You can go to www.efa.org forums under adults with epilepsy to try to find more people in your age group. :-)

RE: New to Seizures

Hi, Thank you for your response. I didn't go into enough detail. When the first two seizures occured on Easter, I was taken to the hospital and they did an EEG, MRI, and a CT scan. Everything came back normal. They couldn't find a cause. I have no history of head injury, etc. They diagnosed the particular seizure as a generalized complex partial seizure and I was put on medication (carbamezapine). My family, who was very shaken up about the whole episode, thought it resembled a grand mal seizure. I am trying the best I can to learn more about epilepsy since I am so new to this. Thanks

RE: New to Seizures

hi, i was hoping someone who was new to epilepsy as an adult would pick up on your question. though i'm about your age, i have had epilepsy since i was a kid. a generalized complex partial seizure means that you started out by having a complex partial seizure. which means that you had a seizure that started in one part of your brain. then, unfortunately the seizure spread to include your entire brain..... producing a generalized seizure - a tonic clonic (in all likelihood) and that's the part of the seizure that looked like a grand mal to your family. generalized tonic clonic (GTC) or tonic clonic seizure (TCS) is what used to be called a grand mal. the sort of seizure you had is said to be a "complex partial seizure that secondarily generalizes". at least that's what you will see in much of the literature. you should read the seizure descriptions on this site and that will be useful. you were put on a medication that is effective for controling this sort of seizure. it is also called tegretol - which is easier to spell. what happened before the seizure? or - what was the first part of the seizure like? something happened or the docs would not be saying you had a complex partial seizure that generalized. the entire family would be upset by this i can well imagine! that would be the normal response! 52 is a somewhat random age to begin having seizures unless you are a woman. menopause can cause hormonal changes that induce seizures for the first time. since the doc said this was a complex partial seiuzre there is also the possibility that you have been having simple partial seizures and not been aware of what they were. simple partial seizures can manifest in many ways - but some of the common things that happen during a simple partial seizure are deja vu, odd sensations, visual distortions, feeling big or small, smelling something unpleasant, feeling numbness.... you might want to look at the seizure description for simple partial seizure.... i assume the doctor asked questions along those lines... you might have been having simple or complex partial seizures in your sleep and been unaware of them. teeth grinding, vivid dreams or feeling exhausted are things that would indicate nocturnal seizure activity. normal test results are not uncommon with epilepsy. did you have a complete physical? there are things aside from epilepsy that can cause seizures. the normal scans are very good news indeed. you might want to check with your family doctor and ask if syncope has been ruled out. syncope is a heart problem that can mimic epilepsy and can seizures... so that's something to be ruled out. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4749

RE: New to Seizures

Hi there I went threw brain surgery with a 54 year old woman and we both had it done. She never had seizures her whole life. All of a sudden she said it just happened just like that. But she had brain surgery to and we keep in touch and she never has it any more. So never worry you can get that happen to you at any age. I had epilepsy all my life but surgery helps for many people. I get the odd seizure but it's better than getting 6-7 a day it's better to get 1-2 a month. Hope you do good in life Limeridge.

RE: New to Seizures

Hi, thanks for your response, Yes, before the seizure I had a total of three auras in the morning and afternoon before the actual seizure occured. I was outside working in the yard and I stopped and it felt like a strange feeling of deja vu. I got lightheaded and it definitely a very strange feeling. It happened two more times. I thought that I was just coming down with something. I wish I would have taken these feelings a bit more seriously, but I have never had seizures before and it never crossed my mind. Then, when the seizure actually happened I was sitting in the chair watching TV and I guess I got stiff and I turned my head to the right and started having convulsions. My wife got me on the floor on the back and she said that it looked like I couldn't breathe becasue I was making sounds when exhaling. My family said that my teeth were clenched and I bit my tongue (I knew that the following days). They called 911 and I was taken to the hospital. Then, apparently during the CAT scan, I had another seizure, but they didn't tell my family that (I'm still fuzzy with the details of this time). We didn't find out about the other seizure until I was transported to another hospital in which had a neurology department. I was wondering if the second seizure was just a continuation of the first. I was in the hospital for three days because they ran all of the tests, and it was a 24 hour EEG where I had to try to stay up all night and they did the test the next morning. And, that is when I got the diagnosis of epilepsy. It still seems strange to me because I have never had any history of this happening. From what I have been reading, it can just come out of the blue.

RE: New to Seizures

Wow.. you're so lucky to have had such a complete workup right away! MRI's and CT's can rule out some of the nasty causes of adult onset sz's, but eeg's are really unreliable unless they do 24 hour monitoring. The one thing NO one has mentioned before was toxins. Exposure to certain things cause sudden onset seizures in animals all the time; they can range from insecticides, formaldehydes in carpeting, cleaning agents and things like that. I'm suprised they started you on meds right away though. The other thing worth mentioning is progesterone. I didn't notice if you were male of female, but my sz's were aggrivate when I was put on hormone replacement. Estrogen really caused a problem.. progesterone cream REALLY helped! I'm now on a compounded form of estrogen that stops the symptoms without aggrivating the sz's. Hope all this helps.. Good luck! This should have been posted to you and was to me by mistake.From what you describe, it sounds like the diagnosis remained unknown until after the 24 hour EEG monitoring,through the confusion from being transferred to a hospital with a neurology dept?That to ensure as a safety measure to prevent further seizures you were prescribed Tegretol?And the question that you need answering is did anything else happen during that confusion to give the diagnosis.Questions to ask your neuro possibly are why did they not explain all this and just leave you to find all this information on your own.Especially after your family witnessing all that happened so clearly.Check these links out and see if any help can be found there that can answer your questions,but the best person really to answer them is a good neuro.One that will listen and offer advice as to were and how you procede next.Who has a full workup of that time,and the time to listen to you.Could you take a member of your family who witnessed what happened along with you on your visit to the neuro to fill in the missing blanks,that way you will gain insight into what puzzles you. As this first article says sometimes no cause can be found.Not what you want to hear I know but true all the same.Approximately 70% of seizures have unknown causes. One in 10 people will have a seizure during their lifetime-so all the reading says-for triggers can be many and varied.Tiredness,stress,watching tv,to low sugar thresholds,fluctuating hormone levels.One persons trigger may not be anothers.Good luck with this,and I hope that further talking to your neuro might help understanding better for you as to what happened during a confusing and distressing time.http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/forum.asp?articlekey=24742http://...

RE: New to Seizures

hi, yeah - E can just come out of the blue. funny how the things we weren't worried about can be the ones that catch us! i'm very sorry to hear of this. you are absolutely right - e can just come out of nowhere. i'm really glad you were able to have the scans and rule out anything insideous. so that's really good news! it might not feel like it right now - but that is excellent news and i am happy for you on that count. you don't want seizures + anything.... be sure to cut yourself some slack while you are adjusting to tegretol. you might need to take a nap once in awhile or just go a little easy on yourself until you are used to it. if you feel a little tired or a little "weird" at first don't be too worried about it. you will almost certainly get used to it. i found that it was a bad idea for me to increase my meds just before i had something important to do - that it was better to increase the day after. live and learn. just because you feel an aura does not neccessarily mean that you will have another TCS. once you have enough med in your system it will hopefully stop the seizure from generalizing. if you do have another aura just try to stay calm and get yourself out of harm's way. it's pretty strange stuff some of this seizure stuff. feeling "weird" in ways that you can't really accurately describe. i don't think you could have stopped those seizures the other day..... you didn't know what it could mean. even stopping your yard work wouldn't have been much protection from a seizure. unless, of course, you want to argue with a teenager that yard work is bad for you and they should take over that job ;-)

RE: New to Seizures

Hi .I read with interest that all the tests came back as they did-normal and whilst seizures can and do occur at any age and have no cause as such for the apparent triggering of them.As we are reading from Limeridge's account of the lady who she had surgery with.For peace of mind have you enquired as to diabetes being a cause of your experience.The extract below is taken from the link I've put up. if there was no twitching at all, just a sudden blanking out, as in a faint, then it may have been a faint if the victim recovered promptly after lying down. In an epileptic seizure, it usually takes minutes or hours to recover. Common Causes: Injury or trauma to the headInfectionBrain tumor (30% to 40% of patients with brain tumors have a seizure)High fever or heatstrokeEpilepsy (seizures occur in a predictable pattern)Diabetes (seizures can occur when blood sugar level is too low)http://www.drkoop.com/ency/article/003200.htm

RE: New to Seizures

Wow.. you're so lucky to have had such a complete workup right away! MRI's and CT's can rule out some of the nasty causes of adult onset sz's, but eeg's are really unreliable unless they do 24 hour monitoring. The one thing NO one has mentioned before was toxins. Exposure to certain things cause sudden onset seizures in animals all the time; they can range from insecticides, formaldehydes in carpeting, cleaning agents and things like that. I'm suprised they started you on meds right away though. The other thing worth mentioning is progesterone. I didn't notice if you were male of female, but my sz's were aggrivate when I was put on hormone replacement. Estrogen really caused a problem.. progesterone cream REALLY helped!I'm now on a compounded form of estrogen that stops the symptoms without aggrivating the sz's.Hope all this helps.. Good luck!