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Can you remember seizures?

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Unread 12-28-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
wbwo
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Default Can you remember seizures?

My daughter has seizures, possibly complex partial seizures. Apparently they come in two types: one is a "little" one that I never see and that doesn't bother her, and the "bad" kind, that I have seen and really bothers her. The "bad" kind is when she pauses and looks somewhat nauseated and lasts about 20 seconds. She can remember things I say to her during these seizures. Several times she has come to me in an effort to get distracted because the "bad" ones seem to come in clusters and she fears the next one. During the bad ones, she can talk to me but she says it takes a lot of effort. My question is, if you can anticipate a seizure and talk during it and remember what was said, are you losing any kind of consciousness? I thought that I read that people have no memory of their seizures; maybe they remember what they were doing before, or they found themselves on the floor afterwards and figured they had a seizure, but I thought that you had no memory of it.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 07:25 AM   #2
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Hi,
I've had both complex partial and absence (petit mal) seizures for 37 yrs. and what you are discribing sounds like your daughter may be having simple partial (aura) seizures which can lead into a complex partial seizure. This has happened to me many times and they come in clusters especially when the hormones are changing or if I've been sick with a cold or virus. Many times during a absence, and aura seizure I will talk to a person continue working or doing whatever I was doing I just don't remember it. It's like having amnesia for a few seconds. Ask your daughter if she ever gets a nervous feeling in her stomach, sees colors in her eyes, or smells strange odors like gas or something burning if she has any of these signs it's a simple partial seizure.
Here's wishing you and your daughter only the best and May God Bless You Both!

sue
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Unread 12-29-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbwo View Post
My daughter has seizures, possibly complex partial seizures. Apparently they come in two types: one is a "little" one that I never see and that doesn't bother her
what is her perception of this... how does she become aware of it... does she "lose time" or... ?

Quote:
and the "bad" kind, that I have seen and really bothers her. The "bad" kind is when she pauses and looks somewhat nauseated and lasts about 20 seconds. She can remember things I say to her during these seizures. Several times she has come to me in an effort to get distracted because the "bad" ones seem to come in clusters and she fears the next one. During the bad ones, she can talk to me but she says it takes a lot of effort.
this sounds consistent with simple partial szs, as Sue (Porkette) suggests...

simple partials can manifest in infinite ways and everyone experiences them differently. Precisely BECAUSE a person is conscious through them and because of the diverse manifestations, they can be trivial or they can be extreeeeeeeemely unpleasant.

Quote:
My question is, if you can anticipate a seizure and talk during it and remember what was said, are you losing any kind of consciousness?
doesn't sound like your daughter is losing consciousness at all, but it would be hard for her to tell if she were for a few seconds. in absence seizures (also called petit mal), the person is not aware of the seizure. if they have a great many, they may be aware of losing concentration or losing time... in between the events, but not aware of the events themselves.

Quote:
I thought that I read that people have no memory of their seizures; maybe they remember what they were doing before, or they found themselves on the floor afterwards and figured they had a seizure, but I thought that you had no memory of it.
Sounds like you've read mostly about what is known as a grand mal (also called tonic-clonic) seizure. That is the kind where body cycles alternating between tonic (tensing/rigidity of muscles) and clonic ("thrashing") phases. In this type of seizure, yes, consciousness is completely lost and there is no memory of the seizure itself. The person will most likely be aware they have had one due to feeling badly afterwards (postdrome phase) and also physical evidence such as having fallen to the floor and/or sustained physical injuries. This type of seizure is what is often depicted in movies... for better or for worse. But it is by far not the only type of seizure. This is not the kind your daughter is having.

However in some cases, seizures can progress and "generalize". Grand mals are one type of "generalized" seizure (as opposed to a "partial" type seizure). a "generalized" seizure involves the entire brain. It is a good idea to get your daughter diagnosed and treated to avoid any possible worsening, and eventual generalization - involvement of more of the brain - over time.

Already you are one step ahead because you are recognizing that your daughter is having seizures (you'd not believe the parents that just do not deal with this!) May I suggest that you keep a log of your daughter's seizures, the types of experiences she has... any possible triggers which can include
- specific time in her menstrual cycle
- foods she eats (dairy, gluten, wheat, alcohol, caffeine are some frequent culprits - really better avoid alcohol and caffeine if she does not already)
- weather changes - temperature and barometric pressure, especially abrupt. in retrospect, has she seemed to have more seizures with chane of season?
- other neurological symptoms - photosensitivity, visual anomalies, migraine....
- mood and stress
- amount of sleep
- hydration - considering salt intake and diuretics as well

report all this to her neuro/epi (recommend she see an epileptologist rather than regular neuro if possible)... can help to "tailor meds" according to changing needs. clearly, if some foods seem to be triggers - avoidance is best.

also, for further reading may i refer you to the following two threads on this forum:

(sticky thread) Types of Seizures

(sticky thread) Useful Sites & Resources

and finally a wonderful Canadian site chock full of ALLL kinds of information...

http://www.epilepsyontario.org/

hope you will continue to post... things are a little slow right now (holidays) but i will be looking out for you and looks like Sue is popping in too...

take good care. best wishes to you, your daughter, and all your dear ones for a marvelous 2010.



~ waves ~
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Last edited by waves; 12-29-2009 at 04:39 PM.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for posting. My daughter has had two video eegs, and during these eegs, she has had the "little" kind and pressed the button to record it on the eeg, and both times, the eeg has "squiggled" but it was not, according to the report, a"clinical seizure. She has never had the "bad" kind while having an eeg. She is in the process of having her medicine changed, and right now is on Keppra and Lamictal. Plans are to withdraw Lamictal, but today she told me she has had the "little" kind but she doesn't care if that one goes away, just as long as the "bad" ones don't return. I want to balance the amount of medicine she has to take with the benefits. She says that the little ones do not grow into big ones; she can tell from the get-go whether it will be a little one or a big one. I am wondering if most people with seizures tolerate small episodes and only medicate enough to keep major seizures from happening. I know the answer to this would vary with the seizure type, but since I can't even see this "little" type it makes me nervous to keep adding medicine to eradicate it, especially since it doesn't bother her.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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Default hi there

the side-effects of some anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are truly non negligible and in the long term some can be detrimental also. so your care in balancing the need/value of medicating vs. not medicating is certainly well-placed.

the best thing is to keep track of things and over time, if there are changes, meds can always be re-evaluated. medicating is a choice, not a must. there are also several natural alternatives - notably B complex and 5-HTP as well as other minerals - some individuals have managed to eradicate (YES, completely!) seizures in this way.

i am wondering as to the "small" not bothersome seizures... IF they were absences, your daughter would only be potentially aware of something odd after the fact... this is why i asked about what she experiences - whether a loss of time, or what. the thing is, if she gets absences and has learned to recognize that something weird happened, still, by the time she is aware again the seizure is over. so if she is having to press a button to record it, at that point, they may catch a smidgeon of slightly abnormal activity, but not the full spike and wave characteristic an absence...

now, absences can be left unmedicated if the person knows they have them and chooses a certain lifestyle - including not driving. absence seizures are not usually bothersome per se. thing is they involve very brief lapses in consciousness and the person has no awareness during the seizure itself. But a few seconds lapse is enough to land a person in a car accident.

hopefully her "mild" spells are very mild simple partials, and then it is another matter - safer - no lapse in consciousness. however i would encourage you to inquire more specifically of your daughter what these "mild" events are like... what she experiences.

i am glad she has already been through some testing, and that you are wanting to be judicious in the use of AEDs.

~ waves ~
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Unread 12-30-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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Hi,
I found that after taking to many AED's it would cause me to have more seizures, so I had a DNA blood test done to find out what AED would help me the most with the least side effect and this is what you might want to do with your daughter. Absence seizures are easy to handle but if a person has them for a few yrs. and the seizures are frequent it can lead to complex partial or tonic clonic seizures (grand mal). I found that taking vitamin B12 1000 mcg. once a day did a great job reducing my seizures. You also might want to look into getting your daughter on the ketogenic diet. This diet is for people with epilepsy. The diet is high in fat but low in carbs and starch foods. The diet helps build up keytones in a persons body and the keytones stop the seizures. All your daughter would have to do is see a dietician to get started on the diet. It has helped me out a lot. You can also buy the book titled "The Epilepsy Diet Treatment" By Dr. John Freeman at Hopkins University. This diet has been out since 1927 and I had a cousin on the diet during WWII who flew airplanes and he didn't have a single seizure while on the diet. Drs. today like to push the AED's on people to much I feel just to make some extra money for themselves. I've come to the point where I just tell them no more trying different AED's. Here's wishing you and your daughter only the best and May God Bless You Both!

Sue
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Unread 12-31-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
wbwo
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Thanks for all the good advice. She is taking a B-complex vitamin, at the neurologist's suggestion, since she started Keppra. As for how she describes the "little ones" feel, she always says "I can't describe it." She doesn't tell me every time she has them; I usually quiz her before we have a neuro visit so I can get all the facts straight. She writes down on a calendar when she has the "bad" kind. I have read her lists of feelings that people have with seizures from books on seizures, etc but she never identifies with any of them.

I don't think her eeg indicates absence seizures. When she was very young she had some focal motor seizures that everyone in the hospital saw, so that is one type that I know she has had, but what she has now is not the same. Even the bad ones are subtle. I grew up with a family member who had cerebal palsy and seizures, and I witnessed many of them over the years and that is the only reason I think that I catch my daughters,

I guess that I will just not think about it anymore until she tells me that the little ones are affecting her in some way. Thanks for all your thoughts on this.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 11:32 PM   #8
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I had/have both complex partial and simple partials and can with great effort remember most everything (but not all) that goes on during it. I can only muster out a word or two during a complex while during a sp I can talk more freely. Hope this helps some. I do not fall during either type of these seizures as I don't believe most people do, but everybody is different.
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Unread 01-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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I had my first grand mal seizure in December of 2008 at the age of 44. My husband and I were shopping and I remember getting into our truck in the parking lot and him asking me where I wanted to go for dinner. The next thing I remember is waking up with him on the phone. I asked him who he was talking to and he said "911". I asked what for and he said that I had a seizure. I don't think you ever remember them. I had another in the hospital and don't remember that or falling off of the guerney in the ER. The last one I had was in April of last year at work. I remember not feeling well and the next thing I knew, I was on the floor waking up from a seizure. I don't remember that either. I have not had one since then. I started out on Keppra, but it made me really tired so I was switched to Lamictal. This has worked very well for me. My first neurologist said that the only way they would be able to tell why I have the seizures is to do the video EEG. I am not willing right now to have another seizure and lose the ability to drive for another 3 months. Maybe in the future, if I am seizure free on the meds I will want to find out what is caused the seizures. Right now it is not on my priority list.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:35 PM   #10
bbbirdie
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Help Seziures

I have no memory of not seziures....I like it that way.
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