I really need some help/advice. This is kind of a long story, so bear with me.
My husband has epilepsy. He had 2 grand mal (before we were married, I did not know him then) while sleeping, both within 2 months of each other. He saw a neurologist, had MRI, EEG, etc. etc., everything checked out normal. He was put on Dilantin. He has been on the same dose of Dilantin for nearly 5years...no seizures. Then, this past January (2008), my husband had a grand mal seizure in our kitchen. It was terrifying. He managed to hit his head on something on the way down and cut his head open, blood everywhere. I was here and saw the whole thing and truthfully, I was TRAUMATIZED. I was so extremely frightened...it was the scariest day in my whole life. Watching him have the seizure was like torture to me. It was the first time I had witnessed one. Anyway, the neurologist upped his Dilantin and he's been seizure free since. I live in FEAR, however, that he will have another one. I am terrified that he will have one in our bed or while driving or just anytime. TERRIFIED! I think I now have some kind of phobia of seizures?! It takes me forever to go to sleep at night because I am so afraid he's going to have a seizure.
Anyway, since this all happened, I have been getting these feelings once in awhile. I get this intense fear in my stomach, lightheaded, my heart races and before this I have the thought of, "What if I am having a seizure?". For some reason, I have turned this fear of my husband having a seizure into a fear that I am going to have a seizure...I know it's weird and bizarre. When I get this intense fear, I don't have a seizure. I can talk and function and nothing happens to my body, it's just this intense anxiety and fear and after about a couple minutes, it goes away. I just will it away. But I feel awful for these several minutes. Does this make any sense? This has happened to me probably 5-6 times over about a 3-4 month period. Afterward, I feel okay. No lingering effects at all.
I should also add that my 8 year old daughter has Type I diabetes and I am absolutely TERRIFIED as well that she will have a seizure sometime from low blood sugar. I am also somewhat stressed as I just lost my sister (unexpectedly) last month to an accidental overdose/drug interaction (she's had issues for years).
Anyway, I guess my questions are these: Does what I have sound like anxiety? Panic? A simple partial seizure? Please give me your opinion. Is this something for which I need to seek treatment?
I should also note that I am a very healthy 38 year old woman...I don't drink or take drugs and I exercise, try to eat well. I am not on any type of medication except thyroid medication for an underactive thyroid.
I don't think its a simple partial, I think its very likely a specific kind of panic attack..as you know, the mind is a VERY powerful thing! Last week, my boyfriend and I were talking about his asthma, and I "suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe"...think a similiar thing is going on here (my chest feels weird just writing it!)..you're showing a high level of empathy mixed with panic..I feel for you.
I have epilepsy myself, and I've always thought, "at least I never had to watch the grand mals", so I think I appreciate where you are coming from, my family hated to see it. I only have (heh, only! lol) simple partials right now (deja vus, flashbacks), luckily they are not obvious.
You might find some counselling helps you live with uncertainty and the worry that accompanies your family's health problems.
I have also had panic attacks over fears of ME having a seizure, and its rather like how you describe. Now, a simple partial, however..whole different kettle of fish, to use a cliche!
Thank you so much for reassuring me. The last thing our family needs is for ME to have a medical issue..I have to take care of everyone else!! I probably could use some short term counseling...thanks so much for taking the time to reply.