My wife is having what appears to be siezures, they last typically 2-3 hours. She starts with blurred vision which increases to general blindness. She then gets a pins and needle numbness in her left arm. Within 60 seconds she goes into blank stare and i noticed her pupils are fully dilated, she also usually crying with tears of fear. she can not hear or see me. She kind of wakes up from it, but she retains blurred vision and can not form words or even write words down on paper for at least 2 hours after the initial "episode" as I like to call it.
I asked her what she feels when this is happening and she says that she knows something is happening and is aware, but she can not move, speak, hear, smell, or taste anything. She said she just has a deap feeling of confusion and fear.
A few doctors said it could be MS, but the Nuerologist said it was not MS. they think it may be Epileptic Seizures, but even partial or MAl Petit SIezures don't last more than 30 minutes.
We need help.
My heart goes out to you both. I think you need some other input on her condition.Could it be a minor stroke? I had a minor stroke 7 years ago,but had no seizures.I know someone who had daily seizures from meds,for months.Keep trying to get her help.Somebody knows what's wrong. Good luck Bill
That sounds serious. I think you should seek a second opinion from another neurologist. Isn't it a neurologist who deals with seizure disorders? That's what you should do. And don't wait too long. Thankfully no one in my family has seizures but I've always thought they were very serious and you need to find out what's going on so she can be properly treated for whatever is going on.
Ptownpat: How old is your wife? Is she in perimenopause or menopause? If so, and she's having these seizures, she needs to see a neuro-endocrinologist. They deal with the neurological side and the endocrine system, whereas a neurologist won't deal with the endocrine system. She needs to have her hormones tested. When are the seizures happening? Keep track of them on a calendar and see if they are happening right before, during or after her period. Keeping track of them will help the doctor determine what treatment she needs. If it is what I have it's called Catamenial Epilepsy. It can occur either at puberty or menopause.
It is caused by Estrogen Dominance, and she may need to either get some progesterone to help lower the estrogen levels or get another treatment. The progesterone and HRT would be the first thing I'd try. A neurologist is just going to do a Cat Scan and an EEG to see what's going on in the brain and then they will prescribe an anti-epileptic drug (AED). The AED's don't always work because the seizures could be hormonally driven.
I'm in the process of getting Lupron injections to help lower the estrogen on the brain.
Lupron is used in fertility in women and prostrate problems in men. It puts women into a total menopausal state to shut the ovaries down so the seizures can be better controlled. A neurologist isn't going to prescribe it, the endocrinologist will.
You should also look into getting her neurotransmitters tested and see if there is some imbalance there. There are lots of triggers to the seizures. Fluorescent lights, MSG, loud noises, smells like cigarettes, chemicals, gasoline and perfume could trigger them. Also, EMF's, cordless phones, cell phones, TV, and video games. Lack of sleep can also trigger them, and that comes along with insomnia in menopause.
See if the seizures are happening around the moon cycles. I have seizures right after the FULL MOON. It's the electromagnetic pull from the earth. I've been told that this will all go away once menopause is over. When will that be?! 10 years from now? I lost my license because I crashed my car last year and I can't get it back until I'm 6 mo. seizure free. I haven't been 4 years seizure free.
You also have to be careful of any meds that she might be prescribed. I had allergic reactions to some of them and the one I'm on right now, Keppra, has the same side effects as low blood sugar - dizziness, blurred vision, hunger and more. I'm sure it's also contributing to the recent increase in my bad cholesterol. Some people decide to have the seizures and forgo the meds because they all come with side effects.
I don't have any warnings to my seizures. I know that I've had one because I lose track of time and sometimes have bitten the inside of my lower lip. I've also spilled drinks on myself and didn't know it until after the fact. Everytime a seizure happens I'm losing brain cells. They can't be replaced. I'd also recommend to have her toxic and non-toxic elements tested. She can have this done through a hair analysis. I found out from it that I was low in magnesium and selenium. I've also been taking larger doses of Vit B6, B12 and Taurine. I found out I was low in Taurine from the neurotransmitter test.
Does your wife drink alot of diet soda or products with Aspartame in them? If so, Aspartame lowers the levels of the Taurine in you. Aspartame is a poison!!! I have a diabetic son and I won't let him have the sugar free products because they all have it in them. Caffeine can also be a contributor to the seizures. It's a hard habit to break. The seizure meds make you drowsy so then you're looking for a pickup!!! It's a vicious cycle. Caffeine also depletes the magnesium in you. Does she crave chocolate? Chocolate has magnesium in it. Does she have eye twitching or any other type of twitching? If so, that is also a sign of magnesium deficiency.
You need to do your research before you see the doctor because you need to know how to talk to them and get them to understand about the hormones if that is the issue. Once you get on the AED's it's hard to get off of them. The HRT would be the best route if it can be done first. I just told another person on another board today the same thing I just told you. Look up some of the posts on the Epilepsy boards and other posts that I have made on the subject. They're all about the same but you might find something else useful that I didn't mention. Good luck, sorry this is so long!!
When your wife saw the neurologist, did this doctor do any diagnostic testing? EEG, Head CT, Head MRI with and without contrast. The EEG would rule in or out a seizure disorder. The Head CT and Head MRI would rule in or out a possibility of her having a stroke or possibly Transient Ischemic Attacks (these are mini strokes). TIA should be taken very seriously. The Head MRI with and without contrast will also give them an indication if MS is the likely culprit. I do not believe that MS is the cause because her symptoms do not suggest MS.
92261 brings up some very interesting information concerning hormones, so it would be worth your while to start researching this aspect as well.
The other thought would be to have an MRI of the neck to make sure nothing is pushing on her spinal cord. I had a herninated disk that was not causing me any pain, however, I was suffering from arm numbness and extreme weakness. I was given a prescription of steriods and physical therapy.
You may have to seek some help at a larger medical facility. Is Pottstown down by Philadelphia or is it closer to Harrisburg? I recall seeing signs while I travel to Pittsburgh, I just can not recall where in PA your are. If you are closer to the New Jersey side, maybe check out Lehigh Valley Medical Center.
Good luck to you and your wife. Keep pushing for some answers and do not take NO as a response!!
Pottstown, being closer to Philly, consider taking her to Univ of Pennsylvania...
Im from Philly and although I now live in Jersey, I still continue to use the Neuros at U of Penn, as does my mom who has a chronic illness, my stepfather, who has Parkinsons...and a host of close family members. Having a brother who is affiliated with Temple University, even he, suggests U of Penn, unless its a cardiac issue...
We chatted on the MS boards, and I still do not think this is MS related, however at this point, finding out what IS going on takes precedence over guessing! Let us know how you make out, ok??
We are seeing neurologist at u of penn. They looked at MRI and ruled out ms. They have done a standard EEG and have a 48 hour EEG scheduled to start on Tuesday next week. My issue is that in all definitions of types of siezures it gives a maximum length of siezure of 30 minutes. She has them for up to 4 hours some days. We are going do what they ask for now. My next step is to talk with an oncologist to look at possible brain tumors which an MRI may not catch. I am really hoping someone with the same symptoms knows what is going on but have not yet found them
Did this neurologist tell you what the initial EEG showed? Did it show any evidence of seizure activity. What did the MRI report say? Did they do MRI/MRA. This is a MRI with and without contrast. I would think that a brain tumor would be seen on the MRI. You mention a 48 hour EEG--are they admitting her to continously monitor to see if they can catch the event?
My other question is are they checking to make sure that she is not having any type of heart arrithymias (sp?) This can also cause seizure like episodes.
Please let us know how everything works out for you. I will keep your wife in my prayers.