I'm a male in my mid '30's and have never experienced a seizure in my life until this weekend. We were in a very remote area camping, and thankfully someone nearby recognized my seizure (tonic-clonich) and was able to offer assistance. The next day, I suffered another grand mal in my home.
3 days seizure free now. I know that won't last forever, there will be more.
I'm wondering what the possible (common) triggers could be? It isn't stress, it isn't sensitivity to lighting, it isn't drug use... I don't know where else to look. For 35 years, everything has been fine until this last weekend. My poor wife and kids are constantly checking on me, and the doctors I've encountered are offering no help. I was hoping someone here, with more experience than me, could offer some insight that hasn't been seen yet.
RP, don't immediately assume there will be more. Unless you've been diagnosed with intractible e, there may not be. Of course, there may be more but a knowledgable physician/neurologist can help with that. You're right when you imply that your doctor doesn't know much about epilepsy. He or she probably doesn't unless they are a neurologist. That's who you need, and you can ask your physician for a referral.
Anyone can have a seizure; it's simply a matter of the individual experiencing enough stress - physical or emotional. Normal people - those without epilepsy - are not exempted. They simply have a seizure threshold which is high enough that they don't have seizures under normal conditions. Individuals with epilepsy have thresholds which are low enough that they do have them under the same conditions. Seizure medication merely raises the seizure threshold.
One common trigger which you didn't mention is the heat, if there was any. Other than that, I can't think of what it might have been. Triggers are sometimes hard to determine, and some with epilepsy don't have any which are identifiable. Most likely, a good neurologist could find yours.
I don't want to scare you, but about five years ago when I was twenty-seven, I had a severe grand mal. I was rushed to the hospital and ended up in there for weeks.
They have no idea caused the sez. I think they tested me for everything. Now for the last five years I have had epilepsy. I have sez on a regular basis and am on meds.
Even though its been five years, my family is still scared to death to leave me alone to do things.
Does epilepsy run in your family? Sometimes that can be a trigger. If you are worried about it (and I'm sure your family is too) I would suggest seeing a neuro. The regular dr only can do so much for you, but a neuro would be better so see so that they can run tests on you.
You said you were camping... This came to mind. Could it have been the foods (excess preservatives) you were eating, compared to the "normal" foods you eat at home?
By no means am I saying to change your meal planning at home. Just that something on the camping trip was different that life at home. Try to write out a list of what the variables were and see if you can draw any conclusion to possible causes.
If it was neurological or other reaction, that has yet to be seen, however you SHOULD have that looked at for safety reasons. If it was the tent (if it was older, mold/mildew) or something that you can't pinpoint if the tests can't find anything.
Don't give up. Not to make you worry, but you need to keep this event in the back of your mind just in case you are given a clean bill of health and they come back in a few years.
Best of luck in getting this resolved. I'd say get a referral to see a Neurologist just for the sake of argument. That way they can clear you (one time incident), or if there IS something they may find it.
I've read the responses that have come as a result of my post so far, and I assure you all that I do have a neurologist in place. This is all so new to me, and terrifying for my family. My teenaged daughter is actually babysitting ME for a change! LOL!
Heat, stress and diet weren't a factor. I've deduced that much. Neither were drugs (non-factor) or anything else I can think of. I'm missing something here...
As for genetics? I was adopted, so I'll probably never know if that is the cause.
I've had "tiks" for awhile now (years) and it appears they finally exploded into something else. It hurts to find out my little boy runs away and cries when he sees me have a seizure. I don't remember anything, but it's still a knife in the heart to know he's so scared for me. I have to find a way to control this for my family, and for myself.
Thanks for the support, even though you're total strangers. I need it now.
RP, it's good to hear that your doctor is a neurologist.
The stress I mentioned was a very general sense of the word. Your system was under stress of some type, though you were not conscious of it. Dehydration, fever, sickness, and heat are all common causes of non-epileptic seizures. In the case of epilepsy, there doesn't have to be a trigger which is immediately identifiable, though sometimes there are.
For me, it's lack of sleep, too much caffeine or alcohol, too much online time. Emotional stress does it for me, too. These all increase my chances.
I understand your need to think your way out of this and get to the bottom of it, and I don't mean to suggest it's pointless. But, the seizures are going on independently of you and your conscious mind. Just so you know, a sizable percentage of epilepsy patients never learn the reason they have seizures.
Searching tonight, I've found multiple sources which claim the percentage of epilepsy cases where the cause isn't known to be as high as 75 percent. Another source says the percentage is about 35 percent.
I don't have children but I can at least try to imagine what that would be like. Bless you and your family.
Last edited by Mediocrates; 08-13-2008 at 10:43 PM.