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Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

Hello,  My son has simple partial, complex partial, and generalized gran mal seizures.  He's been having more gran mals lately, the neuro says due to puberty.  What I was wondering is do any of you who have gran mals know if you seize with your eyes open or closed, and if closed, are they clenched tightly?  I have never seen him have a seizure with his eyes closed before, but the school says they have.....today he apparently had one and the ambulance was called.  When I arrived, he had his eyes closed tightly, his extremities were stiff, his face was very flushed, he would not answer me, then he began to cry (tears) and tried to tell me that his entire body hurt and did not want to be touched.  He also said his stomach hurt really bad.  After about an hour he began to pass a lot of smelly gas.  During what we thought was the seizure, he was trembling as if he were cold, and continued to do this for about an hour after....this is often normal in his usual post ictal state, but he did relax for a while, but started to tremble again when he got afraid of the needles.....just like the trembling when we thought he was seizing.  I say "thought he was seizing" because I wasn't sure if he was since I've never seen him have a seizure with his eyes closed, especially that tightly!  When I tried to open his eyelid, it looked like his pupil was moving around (not a fixed stare).  I'd appreciate any help you can give me!  We go back to his neuro on Monday, but I need answers now if possible!  Thank you all!

Comments

RE: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

I sure would have that one checked out thoroughly. My son had a grand mal and his eyes were open, and kept rolling back throughout the seizure along with the characteristic body movements (his left arm was jabbing) and he was drooling so much that he was blowing bubbles and was totally unresponsive. I am no doctor but if that was a seizure, it sounded like one that I have never read about (and trust me, I am the reading queen on this stuff now). The body hurting part I can understand from the post rigidity. The crying part sounds like a normal response to either a seizure or something else that traumatized him. Needles sounded like seizure kind of stuff too. Did he lose bowel or urine control? Not always a sure sign but happens a lot with grand mals.I sure will be thinking about you. Write if you want. I am so sorry that this happened to you/him. Diane Lechterdlechter@comcast.net

RE: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

Hi Wendy,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> Sorry for missing your previous two postings. That was the timeframe when I no longer had those little diamond icon to let each person know about the new postings and newest replies you yourself havenÂ’t seen yet. This special feature works for everyone, but disappeared for me, which is the sole reason why I re-registered under the user name of grez-monkey [previously batman]. Ask your sonÂ’s pediatrician what reference does she/he have that proves kids donÂ’t get reflux? How old is that reference. My current neurologist and past neurologist are set that my seizures are not being triggered by anything in my digestive tract, and I am now very set on the fact that it does. I have had the same three seizures as you son has. Started with the simple partials, then grand mal, then complex partials. The cps and grand mals are now under control with the two meds IÂ’m taking [Lamictal & Keppra], but the sps have continued for 18 years. But with the help of computers and the Internet, I searched and found information to ‘Abdominal EpilepsyÂ’. This has everything to do with whatever takes place via the digestive system. By reading over what I found and following the recommended steps to help control it since January 2005, my sps have lowered down in frequency and in strength. So obviously, itÂ’s working with my body. ItÂ’s simple and doesnÂ’t cost huge amounts of money to work with. All it basically is is making adjustments with what you eat overall and what you should and should NOT eat during each meal. Wendy, what IÂ’m talking about may not only be helpful for just your son, but your entire family. Get him, and everyone else in the family, on a more natural healthy food diet. Stop buying the junk food, because if there isnÂ’t any available in the house, then everyone will need to eat whatever IS available. I posted in a previous thread [Epilepsy Treatment Plan] about what I found with weblinks to helpful information and just did an updated status reply yesterday. But IÂ’ll copy and paste all of it on here. Please Wendy, give this a try and if you need anymore help or have any questions, please contact me via email [bruce903@hotmail.com] and or reply on this thread you created right here. If by e-mail, please include the word epilepsy in the subject box so I know it won't be junkmail Bruce IJ Having epilepsy for 18 years now, not only did I believe it had something to do with my digestive system only a few years after the seizures started, I now know it did. For myself, mainly in the location of where the small intestine connects to the large intestine, at the lower right quadrant of my abdomen. Digested food moving and triggering my seizures. I have seen numerous doctors; have tried many combinations of medications, gone through nearly all testing pertaining to seizures and epilepsy, up until the final possibility of pre-surgical EEG with the result and risks of permanently loosing my speaking abilities if further brain surgery were continued. The only other possibilities the doctors explained to me were the VNS and future new medications. With what I felt about the VNS beforehand along all the feedback IÂ’ve seen and heard thereafter, there is no way that IÂ’m going to do the VNS. Plus, belief that the Ketogenic diet would greatly increase my bad cholesterol. The current medication IÂ’m taking of lamictal and keppra are controlling the grand mal and complex partial seizure, but still nothing to control the simple partials/auras. Because of all this I started to wander if there are any other possibilities available but just not greatly known about. I searched the Internet and found a possible connection to Abdominal Epilepsy. All of which I have been working on since January 2005, by following with the information through The Association for Research & Enlightenment, A.R.E. with their Epilepsy Treatment Plan. Think for a moment. The Ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. Are there any possibilities that there could be other diets that may work better and/or just as well, to control seizures in some other people with epilepsy? Then you have the VNS [Vagus Nerve Stimulator], which is designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild impulses of electrical energy to the brain. Could there be anything else that could also send impulses to the brain to prevent seizures and/or shorten the length of time of how long the seizure lasts? Yes everyone, there is. And not only are these helpful for epilepsy, but also for many other medical disorders just as well. Again, because of The Association for Research & Enlightenment, A.R.E. with their multiple Treatment Plans. All based on the Edgar Cayce remedies and research preformed through the Meridian Institute. One lady, Linda Caputi, RN, has a daughter who went through a seven-year struggle and final victory over epilepsy. Her daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was a teenager and she went through the conventional approach of trying various medications to control her seizures, which didnÂ’t work. A tumor was found and removed from her head, the seizures stopped for a short amount of time then restarted. But this time they were coming from a different location in her brain so she eventual turned to an alternative approach and had her last seizure in February 2001. Sometimes, Linda placed an ice cube at the base of her daughterÂ’s neck which helped to prevent the seizures and/or shorten the length of time of how long the seizure would last. With Linda now working full-time at the A.R.E. Library, I spoke with her directly and she provided me one of the two books she wrote herself, title ‘Epilepsy: JodyÂ’s JourneyÂ’ and mentioned that another book is soon to come out around mid-summer with both of her two books combined and additional recorded information of Edgar CayceÂ’s patients with epilepsy. IÂ’ll keep everyone posted for when the book is available. I began the treatment plan in January with the BASIC CAYCE DIET which gave me the results of lowering the frequency and lowered the strength when the simple partial seizures took place. This also helped to lower my bad cholesterol level. With these results I contacted the A.R.E. Health & Rejuvenation Center and scheduled to receive the three days in a row abdominal castor oil packs and the Spa Package #4 - Internal Cleanse on the following forth day. “Cayce insisted that most cases of epilepsy were caused by adhesions in the lacteal ducts of the abdomen.  Treatment is directed at breaking up adhesions in the lacteal duct area which is located along the right side of the abdomen.” The Internal Cleanse focuses on improving the functioning of the lungs and large intestine (the colon). Compared to the foods available 100 years ago with a lot of whatÂ’s around today, it “…can interfere with absorption of nutrients (particularly fats and proteins).  Also, adhesions interfere with the circulation of blood and lymph and cause the nervous system to be thrown out of balance or ‘coordination.Â’ Nervous system incoordination is a primary factor cited in the Cayce readings on epilepsy.”  So maybe you can give all this a try to see if it can be more beneficial, to possibly eliminate the need of the VNS and/or various types of brain surgery. These spa packages and treatment plans can also be helpful and beneficial even if you or someone you know does not have epilepsy. Try it out. But if you do and would like to stay in any of the many hotels and resorts located nearby, mostly within two block from the Atlantic Oceanfront, try to schedule it sometime between November and March because this is when the lowest and best rate prices are available. IÂ’ve listed the websites below and if you have any questions and or comments please let me know either by replies on here or message to my email, just include the words of epilepsy or seizures in the subject if you email me so I know that it wonÂ’t be junk mail.Websites:The Association for Research & Enlightenment, A.R.E. Overview of Treatment Planswww.edgarcayce.org/health/overview_treatmentplan.html Epilepsy Treatment Planwww.edgarcayce.org/health/database/chdata/data/prepil3a.html BASIC CAYCE DIETwww.cayce.com/caycebasicdiet.htm Massage and Holistic Spa Serviceswww.edgarcayce.org/hrc/ Spa Packageswww.edgarcayce.org/products/massage_therapies/spa_packages.asp[For Epilepsy I went through the Spa Package #4 - Internal Cleanse] <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />A.R.E.Health & RejuvenationCenter215 67TH StreetVirginia Beach, VA23451Phone at: 757-437-7202E-mail: Massage@edgarcayce.org Meridian Institutewww.meridianinstitute.com/projects.htm#EPILEPSYMeridian Institute has been engaged in numerous research projects which explore the spirit/mind/body connection. Â“Do not assume that a doctorÂ’s logic or legal standards of practice is best. Question, question, question!” –Linda Caputi, RNFollow-up / updated status [posted June 15, 2005]Now under a different user name, I just wanted to bump this up so it can get noticed for the new people who have joined the group.I am still working and continuing along with this treatment plan and so far, it is working great. I'm still having the simple partial seizures, but not as much and not as strong. Before I started this plan, I would always have a group of many simple partial seizures over around 5 minutes, and two or more groups per day. Now, I very seldom have them in groups, but just one or two, not as strong and more like every two or more days apart.

RE: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

Hi Wendy~I have JME, and althought Myoclonics are the main type, Grand Mals occur more frequently.  I also have Absences.The typical Grand Mal starts with severely increased muscle tone through-out the body (tonic phase).  The person will fall forward or backward if standing, and slump over if sitting, then fall as they stiffen up.  They will arch their back due to the force of the muscle contraction.  The forceful contraction also involves the chest and diaphragm, such that a loud outcry or loud moan usually occurs as air is forced out of the lungs.  This usually last a few seconds, then the limbs begin to twitch rhythmically and together (the clonic phase).  The twitching may become faster and faster before suddenly stopping, usually within 1-2 minutes.  There may be foaming at the mouth as secretions are forced out by the sheer force of the contraction of abdominal and chest muscles.  Urine or Feces is always lost /passed as the body relaxes.  The seizure is follwed by extreme exhaustion, as the over-worked brain shuts off and the person lies still, unresponisve to the world.Because of the forceful contractions of the jaw muscles, the tongue will be bitten, usually along the sides, never on the front of the tongue.  It will be bitten severely, but almost always heals very quickly.The eyes do roll up and back throughout the seizure.  Sometimes they alternate between straight out and up, other times they are up all the time.  Mine are said to be rolled upward.Eyes are always open, never closed, or forcefully closed with pupils that move.  I am not sure what you are seeing with that, but pupils are a fixed object and can't move around off-center.  They can't cry after one, because they will be lying there unconsious to everything around them.  They will be unable to respond.  Stomach soreness is highly unlikely after one, as well.  That is not a typical post-ictal symptom.  This sounds more like NES, than it does Epilepsy.  Try to see if he is continually trying to get out of something at school, try to dig within him to see if there is something bothering him, that he doesn't or can't deal with right now.NES can involve things like side-to-side head rolling, thrashing about wildly, asymetric jerking/contractions, pelvic thrusting, forced eye closure, when a person opens the eyes, the person moves them away from the observer, no urine or feceses passed, able to talk soon after the seizure, is aware of surrounding during the seizure, can talk and carry on a conversation during the seizure, doesn't have a normal post-ictal state with common symptoms, very quick recovery time afterwards and no deep sleep.  Tears are said to be part of NES, and not really occuring in epilepsy (something I read once)My Grand Mals occur unannounced/no warning.  I fall down, hit my head from either direction, let out a noisy cry, get stiff, arch both my back and neck, and quit breathing, so my face turns a bluish hue.  My arms are extended, hands in a fist, and turned backwards, then I start the clonic phase (I don't move much, but I have severe jerking), it isn't fast or anything, it is slow to medium, is symetrical, and usually lasts about 1.5 minutes, then I start to relax and pee myself and pass into a deep sleep for about 15 minutes.  Then I sit up and am totally confused and lost a huge chunk of time and a day.  I feel tired and want to sleep, and most of the time that is what I do, and sometimes for 48 hours.  Sometimes my recovery is only a few hours and then I can continue what I was doing before it hit.Total seizure time: 3.5 minutes.  Sometimes it lasts less than that.When I come to, I can't even recognize my own mother and other family members who are lookety-loos.Sometimes, I will go directly into a second Grand Mal following the first one, but that doesn't happen very often.When I stop seizing, I am sort of out of breath from lactic acidosis from not breathing for 30 seconds or so.  I am sweating with a face that went from being blue to being pallor.  It takes several hours for my pink color to return after having a seizure of this magnitude.  I am soaked from sweat from my head to my toes.I have sore muscles within minutes from the severe contractions.  My back, neck and legs seem to hurt the most out of everything.I get alot of bruises, bumps, breaks, and bleeds (bloody noses, split open skin etc).I would talk to his neuro about the possiblity of NES, and tell him about what you have seen and wha tthe school has seen, because they could be two different things.  Sometimes people with epilepsy can also have NES, and he might be one of those people.It just compounds things and makes it harder for the neuro and both of you.I hope you get accurate results and best wishes and good luck!Nancy EPILEPSY IS A JUST A PART OF MY LIFE, IT IS NOT WHO I AM!!DX: April-2003Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy of Janz2 AEDs   

RE: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

During my seizures my eyes remain open, although I feel them rolling back into my head. The 2 gran mals that I had were preceded this way, then i felt like a veil came down over my eyes.  That was the last thing I remembered before waking up in the Emergency Room .  The "veil"  actuallly felt like such a relief, to the point that during subsequent seizures, I hoped for it.  Good luck to you all!!

Re: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

Hi, I had my first seizure at 17,  a gran mal, in my sleep.  My dad found me, sent me to the ER and I had a battery of tests, with the doctors concluding that my seizure was caused by stress; and they diagnosed me as an epileptic.  I did not want that diagnosis--one seizure did not make me an epileptic.  He put me on an outrageaous amount of Lamotrigine that made me sick.  I have gone from gran mal in my sleep to complex partial, with secondary generalization with tonic-clonic (I'm 25 now).  Sometimes I have just the complex partial, and I can shake it off.  I just had a seizure yesterday, my husband says I was confused and scared then went into the gran mal.  He laid me on the ground to prevent injury.  He says my body grew stiff, my eyes were shut, and was spitting, I was jerking around, and I also lost control of my bladder and bit both sides of my tongue till it bled---it is very painful today.   I cannot remember the moments before or after, just him helping me to the tub.  My body was exteremely sore, and is today, even the tendons in my neck, I was also freezing cold for a few hours after, and today I'm experiencing very painful gas symptoms.  I may be two weeks or so pregnant,  and I was scared I was miscarrying, I've never had a seizure pregnant before.  When I was pregnant with my first, I dramatically lowered  my dosage to prevent birth defects, and have gone from 700mg to 50mg in eight years.  I still do not accept my diagnosis because Lamotrigine CAUSES seizures as a withdrawal side effect---great, right?!  Now I don't know if the seizures I have are because I am truly an epileptic, because I go too long sometimes without taking my med, or if it's the withdrawal symptom.  I'm voting for withdrawal sypmtom.  I have to have faith (seizures can be caused by many things, some people have one freak seizure in their life, and I was under an extreme amount of stress and very depressed at the time.)  Hope this helps.  Make sure your son's school knows what to do to prevent injury.  I do not go to the ER anymore because, I have already had all the tests and there's nothing they can do to make me feel better, just run up the bill.  Mostly, the tenderness of my husband, the love helps the most.

Re: Characteristics of Gran Mal seizures

Hi there,

I had my seizure when I was in the 8th grade. My dad heard me fall out of bed at night and they came and took me to the ER. later that week the Neuro told me that I had had a Grand Mal and that I was diagnosed as an Epileptic even tho I had only one seizure. My dad says that my eyes were open and falling back into my head. My whole face was turning different colors (green, gray, etc). and it lasted 5 mins. I am now 18 and just got word that i am ("better") i dont know what that officially means but i do get to come off my medicine so i am happy but scared to death. I hope everything with your son works out, i know exactly what he feels like...i am so glad that i can finally see the end in sight! Good Luck and God Bless! Happy 4th!