It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Epilepsy Message Board

  • Looking for answers about alcohol

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 02-21-2004, 02:59 PM   #1
    hootowlmom
    Junior Member
     
    hootowlmom's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Missouri
    Posts: 14
    hootowlmom HB User
    Question Looking for answers about alcohol

    I had my first and only seizure in my sleep in December (2003). I am 34 years old. Needless to say, this was quite a surprise. I had an EEG and an MRI done. The EEG was done mere hours after the seizure, so of course it came back abnormal. At first look, the MRI showed I had a small tumor on the base of my brain. Two weeks later when I went back to the neuro I had a normal EEG and at a second look they told me the spot they thought was a tumor on my MRI was a gliche or a piece of dust. I get to go through all of the tests again in April. In the meantime, I am on 300 mg of Dilantin.

    I have read and read and read about this medicine. I know you shouldn't drink any alcohol. However, I must be honest. I truly miss a good buzz. It's not like I drank a lot before this happened anyway - having 3 young children. But reading the medicine insert says people who are acute alcohol drinkers will have an increase in their serum level and people who are chronic alcoholics will have a decrease in their serum level.

    While I know most of you have played by the rules, I know there has to be a few out there who have actually tested them. From what I read 2 drinks a day is fine, but 3 and more is not. What I want to know is what happens after drink number 3? How does a person know if they drank one drink too many? What signs or symptoms occur?

    If anyone could provide some insight on this, I would truly appreciate it. I haven't drank anything in 3 months, but I don't feel like I should be punished for a lifetime either.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:21 AM   #2
    gardener
    Junior Member
     
    gardener's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Central Texas
    Posts: 47
    gardener HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Goodmorning Hootowlmom,
    I have recently begun to have seizures in my sleep as well, beginnning last November, and they are quite artful in context. I have a VNS complicated by a temporal lesion that can be picked up by an EEG. I have complex partial and intensen focal motors that sometimes generalize. I take 600mgs/day of Topamax. (P.S.) The implant is turned off and scheduled to be removed (the lead and all!).

    I am 26yrs old and in a Masters program dealing with Criminal Justice and Law. "The Program" is very competitive so, as you can imagine, a glass of wine or 2 fingers of scotch loosens the collar every now and then. I have informed my neuro I have no intentions of stopping my benefit of beverage. I have seizures on the wagon and off. There is no difference. Epilepsy does what it wants to.

    The danger arises not when you are drunk but rather afterwards when the brain begins to process or "detox" and loses alcohol levels. This time frame is when most people, epileptic or not, have seizures related to alcohol.

    I have never, in 11.5 yrs of Epilepsy, had a seizure related to alcohol consumption. I do not drink alone (I like to talk (can't you tell!)) I do not drink to excess, due to my meds I am a very cheap date. I drink with food & it helps that I like to eat. I spread the time period in which I drink out over a large time frame and include water and lots of it right before I go to bed. At bed time I drink O.J. and take Aleve plus I don't stay up late or past my normal bedtime drinking. It is important to give yourself at least 3 hours between drinking and sleep time. This allows oxidization to occur and you a chance to hydrate very well before you sleep (less chance for nightime spookies!). If this is a buzz you are chasing you will have already had it. You will be able to go to sleep peacefully without fear of waking up disoriented or worse.

    After drink three you become very drunk depending on the meds you take. (Ex: while I was on Depakote I was able to consume very large quantities of alcohol partially because my body weight was higher (190 lbs) and partially because my liver was huge and conditioned to oxidize at a faster rate. I could drink anybody under the table. Now is not the case. Topamax has lowered by body weight to 125-130lbs (I am 5'9") and my liver and kidneys function at a slower rate or rather I should say a more normal rate. I am drunk within an hour and a half on 3 drinks at my current weight. So, I drink one drink to feel nice with a meal and sometimes I can't even finish it. 4 yrs ago I would have laughed. I could drink a fifth of scotch by myself and not flinch.

    The symptoms are typically drunkenness of the individual. If you are going to have a seizure they will be your symptoms compounded by your characteristics of drunken behavior. I do not think the one drink can put you over the age. You must remember that a beer, glass of wine, and one shot have the same alcohol consistency. If you are drunken the buzz intensifies.

    Sweetie, don't punish your self for wanting to exceed moderation for it is the hardest path in life to reach and American society doesn't foster such thoughts or actions easily nor do the compulsions of man's Id or desires. If you would like to talk further about this topic the gate is always open. I hope I have helped in some way. This is something that I battled and rebelled against for a very long time.

    Slainte.
    The Gardener

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hootowlmom
    I had my first and only seizure in my sleep in December (2003). I am 34 years old. Needless to say, this was quite a surprise. I had an EEG and an MRI done. The EEG was done mere hours after the seizure, so of course it came back abnormal. At first look, the MRI showed I had a small tumor on the base of my brain. Two weeks later when I went back to the neuro I had a normal EEG and at a second look they told me the spot they thought was a tumor on my MRI was a gliche or a piece of dust. I get to go through all of the tests again in April. In the meantime, I am on 300 mg of Dilantin.

    I have read and read and read about this medicine. I know you shouldn't drink any alcohol. However, I must be honest. I truly miss a good buzz. It's not like I drank a lot before this happened anyway - having 3 young children. But reading the medicine insert says people who are acute alcohol drinkers will have an increase in their serum level and people who are chronic alcoholics will have a decrease in their serum level.

    While I know most of you have played by the rules, I know there has to be a few out there who have actually tested them. From what I read 2 drinks a day is fine, but 3 and more is not. What I want to know is what happens after drink number 3? How does a person know if they drank one drink too many? What signs or symptoms occur?

    If anyone could provide some insight on this, I would truly appreciate it. I haven't drank anything in 3 months, but I don't feel like I should be punished for a lifetime either.

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 02:58 PM   #3
    hootowlmom
    Junior Member
     
    hootowlmom's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Missouri
    Posts: 14
    hootowlmom HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Thank you Gardener for taking the time to truly "fill me in." That is the kind of information I am looking for. I need to know specifics. Knowing that I need have a final drink 3 hours before bed and drinking lots of water is a good thing to know.

    It seems like this is such a hush, hush topic. While I am sure many have views about it, few speak up. While I am sure many are fine with never having a drink again, several are kind of ticked off about it.

    I am glad you took the opportunity to respond back me. I truly appreciate it. I feel a lot better now. I'm living in frustration because they have no clue why I had the seizure and if I even have epilepsy (or a brain tumor for that matter.) Right now I am on the waiting train. My band-aid is a dose of Dilantin. I can only hope some conclusions can be made in April.

    In the meantime, I am searching for answers from those (you all) who have been part of the experience much longer than I. Thanks for your insight and wisdom.

     
    Old 02-23-2004, 08:38 AM   #4
    gardener
    Junior Member
     
    gardener's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Central Texas
    Posts: 47
    gardener HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Goodmorning Hootowlmom,
    It is not a problem. My family introduced me to alcohol when I was a child. It is a part of our culture as a family. We have beverage with every meal beginning with dinner at mid-day.

    The examply I was going to give you today was the person who is trying so desperately to diet and lose weight. When they go for weeks at a time on very strict regime and they lose hope, often times they cave in and eat the 7 layer cake. Instead, they may have better success in have the thin mint after dinner every other day, which is what they truly want, and will suffer less of a set back in the long run, not to mention less health consequences.

    This is only a "hush hush" topic because people make it one. Just like people called epilepsy "spells" or "episodes" and "fits of the devils" at one time, alcohol has a place of moderation for some people. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings for the very reason that those feelings are their own. May every person find their own peace.

    I find my peace in moderation. If I step over the line my brain lets me know it. I like talking to you. Anything else going on?

    It's a yucky day outside. The plants need help today.
    Carry on.
    The Gardener.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hootowlmom
    Thank you Gardener for taking the time to truly "fill me in." That is the kind of information I am looking for. I need to know specifics. Knowing that I need have a final drink 3 hours before bed and drinking lots of water is a good thing to know.

    It seems like this is such a hush, hush topic. While I am sure many have views about it, few speak up. While I am sure many are fine with never having a drink again, several are kind of ticked off about it.

    I am glad you took the opportunity to respond back me. I truly appreciate it. I feel a lot better now. I'm living in frustration because they have no clue why I had the seizure and if I even have epilepsy (or a brain tumor for that matter.) Right now I am on the waiting train. My band-aid is a dose of Dilantin. I can only hope some conclusions can be made in April.

    In the meantime, I am searching for answers from those (you all) who have been part of the experience much longer than I. Thanks for your insight and wisdom.

     
    Old 02-26-2004, 06:20 AM   #5
    hootowlmom
    Junior Member
     
    hootowlmom's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Missouri
    Posts: 14
    hootowlmom HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Gardener,
    While you have been experiencing yucky weather, ours is actually good for a change. I found it ironic you mentioned dieting. I have been a part of a challenge to get into better shape. While I don't eat seven-layer cakes, I must say the mints taste awesome!!! Actually, I think being on the meds has helped in the fitness department. Weird, I know.

    It absolutely amazes me that NO ONE else has any opinions on this topic. I guess that is probably typical. Topics you would think would generate conversation just don't and topics you wouldn't think anyone would care about end up with a lot of response.

    Oh well. Guess I will have to look to other sources to find my answers. I think the major difference between you and I is that you have had the seizures almost half of your life. I have had one in a 34-year time period. You get kind of spoiled (I guess is the word I am looking for) being healthy for that long. When you get slammed with it, it is a total shock.

    Maybe I will get lucky and I won't have another episode for 34 more years!!! (I can only hope!!) Thanks again for your advice. I appreciate it.

     
    Old 02-26-2004, 01:46 PM   #6
    Grumps
    Senior Member
     
    Grumps's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Milton Keynes, Bucks, England
    Posts: 142
    Grumps HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol



    I do - I have had epilepsy for 17 years and I do drink - not to excess but I will share a bottle or 2 of wine with my partner.

    My GP and Nuro are happy with me drinking but have advised against the new trend here in the UK 'Binge Drinking' which apparently girls do more than boys and is basically T Total Monday to Thursday - and then to consume more in 48 hours than you would if you had a couple of glasses a night.

    Never stop this condidtion for letting you enjoy yourself and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a dring whilst on medication - just listen to your body don't do what I have done and get too drunk and forget to take your drugs.

    Also what I tend to do is to have enough to get the feel good buzz but never get as far as the spinny head/room spinning feeling - I usually control this by pacing my consumtion and having soft drinks in between.

    Lots of Love -

    xx

     
    Old 02-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #7
    CH11
    Junior Member
     
    CH11's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Aug 2003
    Location: ohio
    Posts: 15
    CH11 HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Hi,

    I'm a 2nd year college student and was diagnosed with epilepsy a little over a year ago. Right now I'm on Depakote and Keppra. I grew up in a family where drinking alcohol was acceptable at a young age so I've been exposed to it for most of my life, and now that I'm at school, alcohol surrounds me at every weekend party. When I was 1st diagnosed with E, I have to admit, I was a bit naive and thought the meds would simply do their job and I would be free to continue life as usual. At a friend's party soon after my diagnoses, I had a seizure. Although I cannot be positive it was entirely due to alcohol consumption as we had just finished a day of exams and I was up really late that night, I'm sure it didn't help the situation any. My complete disregard for my condition sent me into the unexplainable chaos of a grand mal seizure. That night scared me from touching any alcohol for quite some time. I still am a little anxious at parties, but I know my limitations now and I never exceed 2 or 3 beers. I enjoyed reading your opinions on the topic, but I wonder if either of you is ever frightened of having a seizure due to alcohol consumption?

    Cat

     
    Old 02-27-2004, 02:12 PM   #8
    hootowlmom
    Junior Member
     
    hootowlmom's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Missouri
    Posts: 14
    hootowlmom HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Cat, I am curious to hear from the guys the same thing you asked. If they are ever frightened of having a seizure due to alcohol consumption. I have been good since this whole thing happened in December, but being good for a couple of months and being good for a lifetime are two totally different things.

    I have read that your body can react to the alcohol somewhere between 48 to 72 hours after intake. If it takes that long to react, it seems to me it would be difficult to tell when you should have stopped.

    Again, I appreciate all the responses on this topic and if others have stories to share, by all means share them!!! If we can't learn from each other, who can we learn from?

     
    Old 03-04-2004, 08:28 PM   #9
    Krazykcio
    Veteran
    (female)
     
    Krazykcio's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Apr 2002
    Location: VT USA
    Posts: 446
    Krazykcio HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Hi,
    I have to say that I never was much of a drinker, but enjoyed a buzz or two. Now that I have "E" I am much more cautious. My Neurologist suggested that I keep my intake to one drink or glass of wine a day. According to him it has to do with the liver having to break down and compensate for the toxins from both alcohol and drugs. All I know is that my worse seizures occurred after heavier than normal drinking. I hate when that happens! Kathy
    __________________
    When Mamma ain't happy ain't noone happy!

     
    Old 03-08-2004, 01:25 PM   #10
    gardener
    Junior Member
     
    gardener's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Central Texas
    Posts: 47
    gardener HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Hey you guys,
    Sorry it has taken me a while to get to you but I have been moving. I am happy to say that I am never "good." he he he he he I am not afraid of my seizures just as I am not afraid of riding in a car or crossing the street and being hit by a bus. I can drink in moderation every day, practice proper sleep hygeine and good diet & exercise routines, take my meds, and keep stress manageable and still have seizures every single day or.....I can live like I did when I was 19 and 20 (in my early undergrad days) and party all the time and be seizure free for 18 months and then crash. I can "forget" my medications, eat terribly, drink to excess, not sleep enough, etc....

    My neurologist can't explain it nor can I. I know I feel better overall by taking care of myself. My seizures are more manageable the way I live today. The week long seizure episodes I used to have would hospitilize me years ago and for weeks at a time. Today, they come and go, easy as you please. They are like an uninvited houseguest that drops by for a cup of tea.

    My epilepsy is not debilitating nor is it anything to fear. Does alcohol open up a vulnerability? Absolutely. If I am fatigued does alcohol compound that issue? Yes. Should I consume alchohol in moderation? Yes. Should I consider my medications when consuming alcohol coupled with fatigued issues? Yes. Does alchohol inhibit neurological functions of the temporal lobe? Yes. Are all of these factors that effect Katie? Yes. Should I drink wisely? Absolutely. Would I like to see tomorrow? Yes. If I do not would it be the end of today? No.

    Wish me luck, am having surgery next week (Thursday) on the juju box (VNS). Will be a newly remodeled Cyborg plus added insulation. We are placing gortex in my neck to wrap the leads as to provide added insulation to the vagal nerve.

    xxxx
    The Gardener

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 06:21 AM   #11
    hootowlmom
    Junior Member
     
    hootowlmom's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Missouri
    Posts: 14
    hootowlmom HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    My goodness Gardener,
    I wish you the best of luck with your surgery. That's got to be a little scary, though you would probably NEVER admit it. I hope everything goes well.

    I have been lucky and haven't had any more seizures since I was hit with my first one in December. I am HOPING the streak will continue and that I will get clear test results in April. If that is the case, I am going to try my darndest to get off the meds.

    I feel I was put on them at the time because they thought I had a brain tumor. However, if I don't have the tumor and haven't had anything else happen, what's the point of staying on them?

    None, in my mind. I suppose the hard part will be convincing the neuro that is the best thing to do. Ugh!

    Again, I wish you the best with your adventure next week. Keep us posted of your progress!

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 11:43 AM   #12
    gardener
    Junior Member
     
    gardener's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Central Texas
    Posts: 47
    gardener HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Dear H.M.,
    Surgery is a major event, however, what seems much more final is DNR and medical power of attorney paperwork. Who I am most concerned about is my new husband. He is an absolute champ through all of this. I would not have had the courage or the stamina to have endured the last month without him. Having said this, I do not fare surgery well. I could possibly die next week from a complication of surgery and my dear Cory would be left alone in our new marriage. Worse than this is having a seizure coming up from general anesthesia or going under and having to "pull the plug" as they say. Lots of stuff on the horizon and I hope the plans I have carefully constructed will hold.

    Hugs to all,
    The Gardener

     
    Old 03-09-2004, 06:28 PM   #13
    Krazykcio
    Veteran
    (female)
     
    Krazykcio's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Apr 2002
    Location: VT USA
    Posts: 446
    Krazykcio HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Gardener,
    I will surely keep you in my thoughts. Please keep us posted. Be well, Kathy
    __________________
    When Mamma ain't happy ain't noone happy!

     
    Old 03-10-2004, 08:39 AM   #14
    gardener
    Junior Member
     
    gardener's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Central Texas
    Posts: 47
    gardener HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Thank you. All is well,
    Gardener
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Krazykcio
    Gardener,
    I will surely keep you in my thoughts. Please keep us posted. Be well, Kathy

     
    Old 04-11-2004, 03:18 PM   #15
    Sam44
    Newbie
     
    Sam44's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Posts: 6
    Sam44 HB User
    Re: Looking for answers about alcohol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hootowlmom
    I had my first and only seizure in my sleep in December (2003). I am 34 years old. Needless to say, this was quite a surprise. I had an EEG and an MRI done. The EEG was done mere hours after the seizure, so of course it came back abnormal. At first look, the MRI showed I had a small tumor on the base of my brain. Two weeks later when I went back to the neuro I had a normal EEG and at a second look they told me the spot they thought was a tumor on my MRI was a gliche or a piece of dust. I get to go through all of the tests again in April. In the meantime, I am on 300 mg of Dilantin.

    I have read and read and read about this medicine. I know you shouldn't drink any alcohol. However, I must be honest. I truly miss a good buzz. It's not like I drank a lot before this happened anyway - having 3 young children. But reading the medicine insert says people who are acute alcohol drinkers will have an increase in their serum level and people who are chronic alcoholics will have a decrease in their serum level.

    While I know most of you have played by the rules, I know there has to be a few out there who have actually tested them. From what I read 2 drinks a day is fine, but 3 and more is not. What I want to know is what happens after drink number 3? How does a person know if they drank one drink too many? What signs or symptoms occur?

    If anyone could provide some insight on this, I would truly appreciate it. I haven't drank anything in 3 months, but I don't feel like I should be punished for a lifetime either.
    I am right there with you! I would like to know what happens after drink number three also. I am no saint also.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    1 Year Plus...Still Looking for Answers monarog Lyme Disease 5 01-12-2008 06:55 PM
    Abdominal Pain - No Answers kelbrwn02 Digestive Disorders 14 09-13-2005 07:12 AM
    always looking for answers? blick Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 4 06-24-2004 08:01 PM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:55 PM.





    © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!