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Old 03-25-2007, 04:31 AM   #1
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A question of little seizures, for the pro's

Hi Everyone,

First I not anyone in my family is diagnosed with Epilepsy, but we do have some seizure issues, and I thought and hoped the good people over here could shed some light on the mystry.

First the one known seizure we have in my direct family, shy of a abscur uncle who had seizures is my son. When he was six he had a scary Grand Mal that sent him to the hospital and left him sleeping the entire day. We thought this might be from a light fevor he had or wellbutrin medication he was on. We took him off the medication, no more seizures.

But my question lies actually with me. You see for the last few years I have been fighting an odd ilness and in the last year is has become almost disabling. First we found out I had Hemochromatosis, and iron loading disease, and am treating that as we speak, but I also had wierd nuerological symptoms that is not usually hemochromatosis and made no sense.

My symptoms being, Tingling hands and feet that come an go, twitches and tremors that come and go, I loose the ability to speak properly, tripping on my words of having a hard time with pronunciation or finding a word, or loosing myself in conversations, zoning out a bit and not listning what is said to me. I am tired most of the time, no energy. Some days I find it impossible to concentrate or remember anything in short term memory. My wife tells me my legs twitch and thrash in my sleep, to the point she has a hard time sleep ing in the same bed. I get sharp pains in my forhead, then my ears ring, sometimes I loose hearing, sometimes an arm or hand might go numb, or foot. This lasts sometims for several minutes or hours, though the pain in the head is only a few seconds long.

I know, this isn't Epilepsy, but its getting to my point. At first I thought I was having strokes, little mini ones, doc thought that might be true too. I take asprin now each day.

But I am also bipolar, recently my doctor put me on Lamictal because my lithium was causing me issues. This is a great med for Bipolars, but I was told there was a good chance it would make me sleepy, mess with my mind and make it hard to think, and might mess with my speach more, ack... just what I needed. But being a bipolar it's not good to be without medication so...

The next morning after the fist dose it was like Bam! suddenly I could think, my memory was clear and sharp, I had all kinds of energy and the funy twitches decreased along with the numbness, ringing in the ears, pains in the head, and sudden hearing loss. It was extrordinary. Oh they were still there a little bit. Now it should have taken weeks to effect my bipolar, and by the way I was not depressed or manic when I started this, so it didn't fix that anyway.

I know they use this med for Epilepsy, so please bear with me because I am really reaching here.

That got me thinking that maybe I am not having mini strokes, but mini itty bitty seizures, and the medication helped with that. wow, lol that sounds silly but I will ask anyway, do you think it is possible? or when you have a seizure do you have to black out and fall to the ground?

Right now my thoughts and concentration is 95% better it seems, my symptoms are still there a little bit, like I get a little tingling and numbing and small twitching now, but then again i am only on the starting dose of 25mg.

Can someone not have Epilepsy, but still get these itty bitty seizures, or is it an all or nothing.

The other thing to mention that might be important, is when I was 10 I took a injury to my head by a board that gave me a sever concusion that left me in a hospital for a week and unconsious for three days. It could be an overstep of that and I didn't know if something like that could cause seisures as well.

Ummm this is long, sorry...

Any well educated seizure people might shed some light I would be grateful, I am trying to piece this together, so when I talk to my doctor about it, I don't sound like an idiot. I have had MRI's on myself, but I haven't had the EEG yet, I think that is what they use for seizures, but I am guessing.
I do have a sleep study coming up where they will be doing a EEG all night for the first time, that might give me a hint.

Thanks for your kindness and time,,, Dave.

 
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: A question of little seizures, for the pro's

Hi Dave...Quite a story there...I was thinking you should have a sleep study done...and then you mentioned that you are...! That's good...I was thinking sleep apnea...and/or Restless leg syndrome...
There are so many different types of seizures...I had simple partial seizures for 20 years befor I had a series of Tonic Clonic(grand mal...the big ones)
With the simple partials I would have a thought or image in my head...a strange feeling...and then usually a odd feeling in my stomach and a headache. These were seizures but I had no idea...if you were to get an answer from everyone here...describing their seizure...there may be a thread through them all...something similiar...but there would be more of a variety than you could imagine.
Good luck with all of your tests. For the sleep study I suggest you bring your favorite pillow...even a blanket that you are used to sleeping with...anything to make it feel more like home.

Laurie

 
Old 03-26-2007, 02:53 AM   #3
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Re: A question of little seizures, for the pro's

Heck, it sounds like they may have found something that works for both ends of your case! Thats GREAT! Also very rare for first med outta the gate. I speak after going through a handfull of meds that didn't work for my seizures over YEARS.

As you already know from reading on here and online digging, Epilepsy is not ONE condition, but a "blanket" term for seizures (in general) that re-occur in a person. It cannot be found (or noticed) by looking at DNA like blonde hair, or other diseases that **can be** inherited.

You mentioned a TBI (Tramautic Brain Injury). Even a concussion to the head may have caused a bruise on the brain, or possibly damage to nerves. Anything is possible, or NONE of the above for the cause.

Less than 1% of epilepsy cases are inherited. I'd have to go to my notes to quote you the details on that. Usually (without going into depth) in those cases it comes from the maternal side (who also had epilepsy) and if their mother also had seizures, or that line of the family had a history that tends to support the basis IF it is the genetic inherited minority type. Paternal (father) contribution of having epilepsy to the child is less of a factor for some reason. If the child/children born are TWINS the risk increases for seizures in the grouping above.

As I said, it gets complex understanding the minute group that does exist of inherited epilepsy.

However, understanding that, take into the picture the *majority* of cases are from "other" factors. Some are from injections (shots, boosters), swelling of the brain, other diseases, car and or other accidents, brain surgery... just a lot of other issues and even unexplained that can cause seizures.

The Brain is complex. They still only know a small amount about it.

Keep your eye on the elbow/underarm and other bends of limbs where skin folds and may become moist. Lamictal **IF** you become reactive will cause a rash like symptom most often in those areas. That is a "red flag" warning to call your Dr ASAP. In most cases it does not show up. But you'll know what to watch out for just in case.

--Travis

 
Old 03-26-2007, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: A question of little seizures, for the pro's

Hi Travis,

Actually I know little of Epilepsy and didn't really know that it was a blanket term. I thought it was a disorder in the realm of seizure disorders, one type so to speak. As BIPOLAR is a type of Mood disorder but its own and unique thing.

So is Epilepsy is to Seizures as Mood Disorder is to Bipolar, does it work like that. I really need to read up more. I still have allot to learn if that is what it turns out to be. SO its one big ol unbrella term.

So is there a Epilepsy I, II, III, like there is a Bipolar I, II, III, or do disorders under Epilepsy have thier own unique name. Under Mood disorders there is Bipolar, Unipolar, OCD, stuff like that.

I think I am understanding what you saying..

Does Epilepsy show up in a MRI of the head at all? I have had two and they haven't mentioned they noticed any area's that look like they might be seizing so to speak.

Or is it a EEG thing only?

 
Old 03-26-2007, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: A question of little seizures, for the pro's

Hi Dave, as far as I know, there is no Epilepsy I, II, III. But there are many types of seizures: such as partial, complex and generalized seizures; frontal lobe partial seizures, parietal lobe seizures, occipital lobe seizures, temporal lobe partial seizures, atonic, myoclonic, absence seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures. You're right, there is a LOT to learn about Epilepsy and seizures! I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 17 months ago and I'm still learning! But you're on a great med. that treats both seizures and bi-polar disorders.

An MRI, unlike a CT scan, may show subtle changes in certain brain areas that could be responsible for seizures. And it will also show if you've had a stroke, as my MRI revealed. (I had a small stroke at some point in my life and didn't even know it.)

A sleep study is a good idea as is having an EEG. Although I think the statistics are something like 60% of people with Epilepsy have normal EEGs. Cuz you pretty much have to "capture" a seizure during the EEG in order for it to read "abnormal." My first EEG after I had the grand mal seizure, out of nowhere at 42, was abnormal and my second one showed no epileptic activity. So either I'm cured---yeah, right---or the medication is working!

I hope you find the answers you're looking for and the Lamictal works great!!

Last edited by dogmom; 03-26-2007 at 10:58 AM.

 
Old 03-26-2007, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: A question of little seizures, for the pro's

In the simplest terms, a seizure is the misfiring of the electrical signals in the brain. Basicly a short circuit that can become a scrambled signal in an isolated area, quadrant, half, or over both halfs of the brain depending on the INDIVIDUAL case.

The seizures can effect a small function from state of mind only, to speach, alteration of vision, stiffining of limbs, loss of bodily functions, confussion, increased strength, even total loss of consciousness.

The person is OFTEN unaware what occurs during and right after the seizure due to the brain trying to recover, depending on the severity of the seizure.

With the same person (me for example) they can have different degrees of seizures.

--Travis

 
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