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Old 06-02-2007, 08:33 PM   #1
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vwbug HB User
I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Hi everyone, I am new to this board, and I have been reading many of your posts. First let me say that I am thankful that I do not suffer like many of you do, and that I am sad that there is so many diseases that cannot be cured. I need however to tell my story because I am just so lost and sad.
I met my husband 19 years ago. He is a kind, loving gentle man who never looses his temper, I have always called him my rock because he is always there for me no matter what happens. He is strong and thoughtful, smart and loving. He had a seizure disorder when we met, it was a side effect of spinal meningitis. He was on dilantin when we met. It did not control his GM sz's so his doctor put him on depakote. For 18 years his seizures were controlled with the depakote. Until last year when he started having simple complex seizures. I used to go with him to his doctors appointments, and his doctor used to talk down to me, and ask me things like How do you know he is having these problems?? Finally the doctor was convinced that my DH was having break thru when he totaled his brand new car. Ran a red light, and hit four other vehicles. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. My DH was flown to a trauma unit for observation. He stayed the day and was released. He had no recollection of the accident. The neurologist decided to add neurontin along with the depakote to help with the break thru's . 30 days later he totaled his second brand new car. He ran another red light and hit a stopped vehicle. Again thankfully no one was hurt. (he has not driven since, I do all the driving in the family now) When we went to his neurologist, we were referred to Barrows Neurological Institute for evaluation. He had the EMU testing which was inconclusive. After 14 days with no meds, he did not have a single seizure. So............ Now he is perscribed Keppra. Titrate off the depakote, titrate up on the Keppra, starting in October. By sometime in late December, my kind gentle husband has started to be paranoid. He is starting to change bank accounts, and life insurance policies. He has accused me of taking everything from him. Which is just plain silly, nothing in the financial end of our relationship changed at all. He wants a divorce. He says I don't deserve anything, and that I will not get anything like house, retirement etc because I am a horrible person. He slams doors, sits on the couch, refuses to speak. I still drive him to work, and back, I still take him to his appointments. I have taken care of all his needs, doctors, labs, all the things that are required when someone is sick... Sat by his bedside at the EMU, brought him food because he did not like the hospital food. All while I also work a full time job myself. And take care of the house etc.
He admitted to his doctor this last Wednesday that he almost punched me, because he was so mad, which he felt was out of character for him. His doctor immediately said, we need to get you off the keppra, and gave him a prescription for lamictal. But he has to titrate up on the lamictal before titrating down on the Keppra. I am not sure there will be anything left at the end of the 3 months. I don't know what to do. I try to stay the person I am, he does not let me talk to him anymore, so I have to write him notes. He is not eating properly, and when I try to tell him to eat he yells at me and tells me I can't talk to him. Can anyone tell me if I will get my husband back or am I just watching this wonderful man self destruct? If there is anyone out there that has some words of wisdom, I could sure use a friend.
VWBUG

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:29 AM   #2
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Sherri5186 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

HI,

My guess,this is just a guess,is that one of the other
medications he was on helped control an anxiety problem
that some can get when having Epilepsy,especially if the
problem is in his temporal lobe.And now that he is off the
other meds the signs are showing through.

I wish you all the luck in the world.A 19 years marriage would
be sad to see it ruined.MY ex started having midlife crisis after
22 years and we are now divorced.Again,Good-luck!!

Let us know how things turn out,if the doctor will cooperate and
change his meds,if not it is worth finding a new doctor.Just a
warning,we are all different,but,when I was put on Lamictal I lost
alot of my short term memory and some long term as well.
Take care

 
Old 06-03-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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vwbug HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Hi Sherri5186,
Thanks for responding. I believe you are right about the other medicine masking some emotional problems.
I am sorry to hear about your 22 year marriage. It just surprises the heck out of me after all those years with someone.
Hopefully I will be around long enough to notice any changes brougt on by the lamictal.
His neurologist is very open and easy to talk to, so if there are other issues I will call him.
Thanks again.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-03-2007, 07:39 PM   #4
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aussie308 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

VW, I think your husbands problems may be medication related. I can tolerate Keppra but it is one of the very few I can. On neurontin I tried to commit suicide, on Topamax I become homicidal, suicidal and psychotic. Different people react to different medications differently. I have put my husband thru hell with seizures, mood swings and everything else. But since I am finally on a medication I can tolerate things are much better. Also dealing with epilepsy and lose of freedoms and driving priviledges is very hard. I'm sure your husband loves you very much and just needs to get the med. out of his system and adjust to lifestyle changes. Please hang in there. I'm so glad he has a good neuro. They are worth their weight in gold. Give him a little time to get the med. out of his system and see if that helps. It might also help to see a coulselor. If he won't go I think you should. It can really help to have someone to talk to that's not involved personally. If he will go that would be great. It may be easier for him to talk to someone else to. And you could consider joint counselling to help you both understand how each other feels.

Wish you the best of luck and hang in there, you are not alone. Laura

 
Old 06-03-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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vwbug HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Laura,
Thank you for your insight. I am sorry to hear about your trials with your medication also. It cannot be easy going through all of the emotional changes caused by the medication that is supposed to help.
My husband is moving pretty fast to get things done and over with. I can only hope that I will be around long enough to see the Keppra get out of his system. I am hoping at the very least the lamictal will stabilize his mood enough to make him stop and think about what he is doing, and realize that it is not at all logical.
Thank you again for your response. If you don't mind the question, when you are having problems, is it better for your husband to just be there for you, or does it make more sense to try and force this issues such as counseling, and side effects of the medication. I never really know which way to approach the subject when my husband so angry.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-04-2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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aussie308 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

When I first started having problems with side effects from my meds. I was having them badly enough I didn't even realize it or denied it. my husband suspected that might be the problem and when I tried to commit suicide we both came to the realization of how badlt meds. could mess you up. Since then I have been able to get my head stable enought to realize when a med is messing with me. It does take a while for meds to get out of your system, but I would if I were you if you can catch him in a calm mood ask him if he thinks his medication may be having bad side effects and tell him you love him with all your heart but you need some one to talk to right now to help you be able to help him with what he's going thru. You know he's having a hard time and don't know what you can best due to help so you were thinking of talking to a counselor to find the best ways to give him support. I wouldn't force the issue on him right now. I know when I was having trouble and my husband first wanted me to go to counceling it "oh, so now you think I'm crazy". I would just let him know for now you're going and if you find someone you like and seems to be able to help you then after a few weeks you might mention how nice it is to be able to have someone you can safely vent your frustrations on and then see if he would like to go with you some time. One thing I would NOT do is ever say to him "my counselor says I should, you should etc," I can almost gaurantee that will not bring a good response. Sorry it's so long and I'm not saying my opinion is exactly what you must do, just letting you know what I've learned from my (our) experiences. And when I was having those problems it was just best for my hubby to make sure I kept myself safe, but not try to push anything on me.
Again best wishes, Laura

 
Old 06-04-2007, 02:41 PM   #7
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vwbug HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Thanks again Laura for your candid response. Of course my friends that have never had to deal with these health issues are just telling me to leave and don't look back. It is nice to be able to share with someone who understands why I want so very badly to stay and help.
I think I am going to take your advice on counseling. After all it can't hurt right?
Thank you again, and the best of luck with you and yours. I am so glad you found medication that helps.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-05-2007, 06:43 AM   #8
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aussie308 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

VW, I'm glad you've decided to try the counceling. And you're very right about people who have never been thru it, they have no idea so they can't understand. You can't just throw out a 19 year marriage because of one bad time. Especially if it's something he may not have any control over. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are a lot of people who have gone thru what you're going thru and are still going thru it. That might also be something a councelor could help you with is finding a support group for family's of persons with illnesses. Please hang in there and feel free to ask any further questions. if I do not respond right away it is not because I don't want to, I'm just going thru a very busy stressful time right now dealing with elderly in-laws and it may be a few days before I can answer. Please be patient with your husband and yourself. You have to take care of yourself so you can help him.

Again, best of luck, Laura

 
Old 06-06-2007, 06:01 AM   #9
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Beth800 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwbug View Post
Hi everyone, I am new to this board, and I have been reading many of your posts. First let me say that I am thankful that I do not suffer like many of you do, and that I am sad that there is so many diseases that cannot be cured. I need however to tell my story because I am just so lost and sad.
I met my husband 19 years ago. He is a kind, loving gentle man who never looses his temper, I have always called him my rock because he is always there for me no matter what happens. He is strong and thoughtful, smart and loving. He had a seizure disorder when we met, it was a side effect of spinal meningitis. He was on dilantin when we met. It did not control his GM sz's so his doctor put him on depakote. For 18 years his seizures were controlled with the depakote. Until last year when he started having simple complex seizures. I used to go with him to his doctors appointments, and his doctor used to talk down to me, and ask me things like How do you know he is having these problems?? Finally the doctor was convinced that my DH was having break thru when he totaled his brand new car. Ran a red light, and hit four other vehicles. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. My DH was flown to a trauma unit for observation. He stayed the day and was released. He had no recollection of the accident. The neurologist decided to add neurontin along with the depakote to help with the break thru's . 30 days later he totaled his second brand new car. He ran another red light and hit a stopped vehicle. Again thankfully no one was hurt. (he has not driven since, I do all the driving in the family now) When we went to his neurologist, we were referred to Barrows Neurological Institute for evaluation. He had the EMU testing which was inconclusive. After 14 days with no meds, he did not have a single seizure. So............ Now he is perscribed Keppra. Titrate off the depakote, titrate up on the Keppra, starting in October. By sometime in late December, my kind gentle husband has started to be paranoid. He is starting to change bank accounts, and life insurance policies. He has accused me of taking everything from him. Which is just plain silly, nothing in the financial end of our relationship changed at all. He wants a divorce. He says I don't deserve anything, and that I will not get anything like house, retirement etc because I am a horrible person. He slams doors, sits on the couch, refuses to speak. I still drive him to work, and back, I still take him to his appointments. I have taken care of all his needs, doctors, labs, all the things that are required when someone is sick... Sat by his bedside at the EMU, brought him food because he did not like the hospital food. All while I also work a full time job myself. And take care of the house etc.
He admitted to his doctor this last Wednesday that he almost punched me, because he was so mad, which he felt was out of character for him. His doctor immediately said, we need to get you off the keppra, and gave him a prescription for lamictal. But he has to titrate up on the lamictal before titrating down on the Keppra. I am not sure there will be anything left at the end of the 3 months. I don't know what to do. I try to stay the person I am, he does not let me talk to him anymore, so I have to write him notes. He is not eating properly, and when I try to tell him to eat he yells at me and tells me I can't talk to him. Can anyone tell me if I will get my husband back or am I just watching this wonderful man self destruct? If there is anyone out there that has some words of wisdom, I could sure use a friend.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-06-2007, 07:05 AM   #10
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Beth800 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

VWBug,

I'm so sorry all this is happening to you. I'm not a psychologist, but I'd like to tell you a little about my feelings and maybe these feelings may give you some insight.

First of all, I was on depakote for seizures as well. I slept for 16 hour days on that stuff. My weight became enormous. A freind of the family was on depakote for depression. She was a nurse and hated it. But, it has been used as an antidepressant for a long time before an anti-convulsant. After being on it so long, do you think that his body got used to the anti-depressant part of the drug? I don't know. I didn't like the depakote, but a lot of people did.

Not driving is really hard for a man, as well as being taken to work. You are in such a bad situation. You are doing all the right things. You seem like the best wife any man could have. I know that lately, I have felt like a total burden. I have two beautiful children who I feel sometimes would be a lot better off without the epilepsy problems I've brought into their lives. I think your husband is scared that things are going to get worse, and the people he adores will be the same people burdened with him. I know that's not how you feel, but it could be how he feels. The paranoia about you taking money etc. is probably him thinking that you feel the same way he feels...that things are bad and that you and your kids quality of life might be going downhill. He doesn't want to be the reason, yet he's terrified you all will leave him. Without the ability to drive, finding work is not easy in some areas of the country. It can be done, but when you're scared, it doesn't seem a possibility. I thought that I would wind up homeless.

My husband is a saint of a man...probably just like you. When the seizures weren't controlled and my husband looked scared and tired from all the extra work, it was terrifying. I asked for a divorce, because I couldn't stand to see him in such a way. I wanted the best for both him and the kids. I wanted to hide and allow him to look for a new, beautiful, normal woman who could mother his children better than me. Of course, this never happened. The thinking is not right, but maybe your husband has all those conflicting feelings too. Your husband probably always saw himself as the provider and the stable "rock". Now, it doesn't look like that. To him, his idea of himself is probably shaky.Your husband is probably so depressed by the lack of control, the brain chemistry change and his idea that "all is not well because of him", that he's acting out. I can only say, "I'm so sorry". I do think your husband loves you. He just wanted to be your knight in shining armor. Try to find something he does and comment on its value. Talk about how much you love him and old times. Talk about your future. Make a plan or two... maybe a vacation for just you two ...you can get good cruise rates and no driving's involved. As an epileptic, the feeling of value is so important. He's got an uphill battle with meds that suddenly don't work. "What if nothing works?" is probably his thoughts. "Where will my family be if I can't have a reliable med" He's also coming onto mid-life crisis time in men. My Dad was horrible during this time...and he wasn't on any brain chemical altering drug or battling an affliction.

I think he's probably not being as loving to you as really he should. Please don't give up on him just yet. He loves you. He just doesn't love himself right now. He's disappointed and aches to think you are too.

Take care and I'm sorry this was so long,

Beth800

 
Old 06-06-2007, 06:21 PM   #11
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vwbug HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Beth800,
I thank you so much for your post. It was so insightful. You touched on things in such a way that it is almost like you are a friend, or part of my family. First, since my husband and I started dating he always signed all of his letters, cards and e-mails "love your kisa" (It stood for Knight in shining armour) I called him that from the beginning.

I had booked a cruise for us to go on in September, but in his current state, he told me to cancel, because he would not go.

I will try the positive reinforcement as you suggested. It is really nice to have an inside view of what is going on. You have no idea how much this helps me understand his actions.

I am truly sorry that your life has been effected by this disease. You sound like a wonderful mother and wife. I am sure your family loves you very much, just like I love my husband. And, I am sure they would do anything for you. Your children especially need their mother. You did not say how old they are, but I can tell you from experience, my daughter is 28 and I still get the calls of help, with boys, college, money, you name it, she knows mom will always be there.

Please take very good care of yourself, and thanks again.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-07-2007, 05:47 PM   #12
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aussie308 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Beth, your reply was very sensitive and personal. You said it beautifully. You do sound like a very good wife and mother. I wish you both the best of luck and I'm glad you've found support, comfort and good advise on the board. I've gotten a great deal of support here as well.

 
Old 06-10-2007, 09:18 PM   #13
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agarcia1 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

VWbug,
Sorry to hear what you are going through. My husband has had epilepsy for almost 20 years now. He used to be on Depakote and Tegretol but was later changed to Zonegran and Keppra. I have to admit, the Keppra really changed my husband. He started changing to someone that I didn't know. He started getting very angry all the time and very cold towards me. When we finally went back to his neurologist, his meds were changed. It was too late. It had caused a chemical imbalance. His neurologist started him on 100 mg of Lamictal. It started helping but not enough. I started doing research on the Lamictal and found out that it was also used to treat Bipolar symptoms.(angry, aggressive to name a few) Anyway, it wasn't until my husband started having hallucinations and not caring for anything that we had to make the hardest decision ever to have him temporaily commited. It was later determined that he had an organic personality disorder due to all the meds. His psychiatrist started him on Zyprexa which has done wonders. He is currently on Zonegran(200 mg), carbotrol(1000 mg), lamictal(200 mg) and zyprexa(20mg). He has gone back to being his old self. The neurologists and psychiatrist both agree that with time they can start weening him off the meds. I am just glad to have my husband back. It took about a year or so but it was well worth it. I know what you are going through and its not easy. You just have to continue trying different things until you get results. Just don't give up because your DH does love you. One thing I have noticed is that during that hard year, my DH does not recall a lot of what had happened. In a way, thats a good thing. Well sorry this was so long. Whatever you do , dont give up. Just keep supporting your DH because it will do wonders. Even though he may say that he doesnt want you around, don't take it personally.

Hope this helps,
Annette

 
Old 06-11-2007, 06:05 PM   #14
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vwbug HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

Thank you for your response Annette,
It sounds like we have experienced the same changes in our spouses due to medications and their side effects. My husband is currently titrating up on the lamictal, but still on the keppra. Unfortunately, I don't think he will allow me to stay long enough to see him respond favorably (hopefully) to the changes in meds. He has gotten so violent and uncontrollable. Who is this person??
Sorry, I am just so sad and hurt to think all this is ending because of a stupid pill.
Thank you again for your response.
VWBUG

 
Old 06-13-2007, 07:21 PM   #15
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agarcia1 HB User
Re: I think Keppra has stolen my husband and ruined my 19 year marriage

VWbug.. Like I said before, just don't give up on him even if it seems as if he has given up on you. I was to the point of leaving because of the violence and anger but I just kept reassuring myself that it was not my husband but a side effect. I am so glad that I did. I know that it is going to be very difficult. Dont let it beat you all. Keep fighting. I'm here if you ever need any more advice.

Annette

 
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