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Zaitiev 07-04-2008 12:19 AM

Please help me! Should I go to the doctor?
I’m hoping someone can help me here before I go to the doctors and waste my money.

Since the very beginning of my childhood, I’ve suffered from involuntary movements. It is not a common occurrence—if it happens once a week, it’s highly unusual. I can feel them coming on. When they do come on, my entire body contracts; it’s not just a single limb. It’s almost like a tourettes syndrome movement, although I don’t make any noise. I don’t lose consciousness and it only lasts for one contraction. Nonetheless, it is very embarrassing. It’s happened a few times in public. People have noticed in the past, but never really said anything. It normally happens when I am sitting down.

I’ve never really sought any medical help for it because it never hurt me in any way. It’s just something I learned to accept as something that happens, and my parents have generally ignored it. However, I’ve recently been diagnosed with REM Behavior Disorder. I am extremely violent when I sleep and act out my dreams, which are apparently very interesting. I’m so violent that I will actually wake up with “mystery” bruises that I received during the night. I’m not on medicine for this because I’m not married and do not share a bed, and have found it is something I can live with.

When I was researching these “involuntary” movements I came across epilepsy. (I once described my symptoms to a neurologist at a camp, and she mentioned it, but I never really went anywhere with it because my parents thought it was silly). Apparently REM sleep disorder has been linked to epilepsy. Obviously I don’t have the full scale seizures that epilepsy is known for, so I was extremely skeptical. However, I did come across something called ““absent seizures.”

If I indeed did have “absent seizures” this would explain many things to me. I’ve always been famous for my daydreaming—at least that’s what people have called it. There are times when I will completely zone out for twenty or so seconds and not hear a word someone is saying to me—they don’t even get I’m daydreaming, because I’m looking right at them, but I would jokingly say, “Oh, I didn’t hear what you just said” or something to that effect. I never really noticed how severe it was until now, because I recently started my first job. I’ve “woken” up several times to people yelling at me, assuming I can’t hear them or have my ipod in my ears. I’ve assumed it is just something wrong with me, or that I am lost in thought, but I really can’t say I remember what I was thinking.

My overall question is if I should go to the doctor or not. I don’t want to go there for them to send me away with a “Oh, you are fine, eat some bananas” answer, so I really would like your opinions if I should go or not. The money is coming out of my own pocket. I’m not certain if these random movements are common or not. If they are common, I don’t think I should go just for the daydreaming-like state I fall into, because I am quitting my job, and while at times this has happened during school, it has never affected me academically. They are extremely short-lived. However, if these are all symptoms of epilepsy, I should probably go.

loriy 07-04-2008 05:21 PM

Re: Please help me! Should I go to the doctor?
If it were me I would go. I don't have epilepsy but my son does. I would try to find a nuerologist that specializes in epilepsy..that way you cut right to the chase and hopefully don't waste your money. In our area there are several big practices but when you inquire or look them up on line you find out that this guy deals with seizures but this guy is the stroke guy etc.. Even if you have to wait for an appointment it would be worth it to talk to someone who has studied the condition. Hope this helps. One of these days you may get married and you wouldn't want to beat up the husband! :)

Travis from MN 07-05-2008 01:06 PM

Re: Please help me! Should I go to the doctor?
Having coverage would be nice. I would say to have it checked out by a Neurologist. A lot of the time first round testing is EEG to examine the brainwaves. An MRI is possible suggestion if the Dr wants it done. If you don't have coverage the MRI may be out of the question based on funds and coverage (lack of).

Without being examined you remain in in the dark on what the potential problem/s are.


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