Community Forum Archive

The Epilepsy Community Forums are closed, and the information is archived. The content in this section may not be current or apply to all situations. In addition, forum questions and responses include information and content that has been generated by epilepsy community members. This content is not moderated. The information on these pages should not be substituted for medical advice from a healthcare provider. Experiences with epilepsy can vary greatly on an individual basis. Please contact your doctor or medical team if you have any questions about your situation. For more information, learn about epilepsy or visit our resources section.

Active duty husband, just starting the whole process...

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 15:19
Hi. This thread is about my husband. He is currently 26 and active duty army. (Pilot/Warrant Officer) My husband has about 9 years in on both the enlisted and officer side. For a little over two years he has been having seizures in his sleep. The biggest consistency with them is they happen out of sleep deprivation; i.e. When he works staff duty, any 24 hour duty, or late hours in general and not sleeping enough. The episodes tend to happen at odd hours of the night or when he first falls asleep after getting home from staff duty. There have been a few times where he will have been asleep for hours and wakes up and tells me it's about to happen, that doesn't occur every time. More often than not I wake up to his whole body convulsing. I fear going to bed every night. I've kept a diary of every single episode as it happens. I try to list the time, duration, what he looks like, the noises he makes, what he does afterward, etc. I've looked over and over and there isn't a consistent time table that he will have them. What I mean is sometimes they will be once every other month and other times he can go 4 months without having them. For instance he hasn't had one in two months. The seizures never last more than a minute and more frequently it's anywhere from 25-45 seconds. It's the recovery afterward that takes the longest. After the initial seizing he lays motionless breathing strangely and staring off for about a minute. Then he gets this look in his eyes that kills me everytime. He looks so lost and scared and confused and he just keeps trying to get up and it's as if something is holding him back. That part lasts the longest. After that he will finally lay still and go "back to sleep" in and out. He will sometimes talk to me and act as if nothing had happened. Then he realizes soemething is wrong by the pain in his tongue and usually a headache. He will sometimes be confused by the time and where he needs to be for work. As I said before this has been going on for a little over two years. In the beginning I wanted him to say something and get the help he needs. My fear was and still is that there may be an underlying issue that is more serious. The seizures started in flight school with one random one occurring years before when he was enlisted and severely sleep deprived (he didn't recall and I chalked it up to soemething else). I have always known that this was a serious thing, however I couldn't make him get the help. No matter how much I wanted the answers it had to be him to want to get the answers for himself and us. He was in denial I think, I'm not sure. Now, it has been about three months since he came forward and told his chain of command. They sent him to a school that could help in the outside world or possible help in reclassing him. So the process of figuring it all out is just starting now. So far he has had lab work and a sleep study. He was scheduled for an MRI but that got pushed back. His neuro appointment is next week, not sure if he will be able to get the MRI before then. The lab work said he had high levels of bicarb, and prompted his doc on post to send him for a sleep study. The sleep study results state that the doctor does not recommend a cpap. He has yet to see his doctor to discuss results. I want to know how I can help my husband. I don't want to become annoying or pester him. I'm a woman and instinctively I need to talk about everything. He however doesn't want to or feel like it's necessary because everything works out. The experience he goes through when he has seizures is different than when I watch him have the seizures. When he talked to his job he said he felt relieved. I have yet to feel this relief, it still feels like this heavy secret. I feel like there is nothing I can do for him when he has seizures and there is nothing for me do for him as he navigates his way through work things. His job is not a job, it's a career, his dream. I don't know how he is keeping it together. He has been grounded since he said something. We have no idea what will happen. He's in the process of changing units because his current unit is deploying. I know he wants to deploy. I don't know what to say to him about it. It's kind of like a doctor training to do surgery and never preforming surgery is how he explained it to me. Of course my instinct is to cry because I cannot imagine what that feels like. Has anyone had any experience with seizures and maintain active duty status? How can I connect with my husband on this and not be annoying? I apologize for the length. I just need advice and answers. I appreciate any kind words.

Sign Up for Emails

Stay up to date with the latest epilepsy news, stories from the community, and more.