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What happens when they think you have had a seizure?

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Old 10-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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What happens when they think you have had a seizure?

Hi there~
I was just wondering what the next step is after the dr. thinks you have had a seizure? I also always thought that an eeg done within a certain amount of time woudl show that a seizure did occur, is that true?

Here is why... Last Sunday my mom drove herself to the store and passed out. The pharmacist called 911 and all I know is she felt that it appeared like a seizure, the shaking and lack of conciousness.... Plus my mom never woke until she got till the emergency room. Anyway, the ER doc said it looked like a full blown epileptic seizue, but I am not sure how he figured this. I don't feel like an eeg was done right away, it was done 2 days later and showed nothing. She also had an MRI done that came out ok too.

She now has an appt with a neurologist and has convinced herself that all she did was faint. So I am wondering what usually happens now? Will they schedule a sleep deprivation eeg? My niece has epilepsy and I know that is one test they did when they thought she was having seizures. Right now they have told her she can't drive too. So I am just confused! Are they thinking seizures or just fainting? I wish I could go with to appts since my parents don't usually "hear" everything and my dad is an eternal optimist! He doesn't ever want us to worry.

A couple more questions, again I am not sure what testing was done in teh hospital, but how would you rule out stroke vs seizure? Could you develop epilepsy at age 63?

Thanks for any help! I REALLY appreciate it... I wasn't sure where else to go for answers!

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: What happens when they think you have had a seizure?

First off--sorry for that scare and sorry that happened to your mom.

I can only relate what happened in my case; I had a full-blown "grand mal" seizure out of nowhere, was hauled into an ER where a head CT was done in addition to tons of bloodwork, a chest-Xray and EKG. They injected lots of Ativan and Dilantin, gave me a prescription for Dilantin (an anti-seizure med) and told my husband, "Make sure she has an EEG and MRI within 24 hours. Call tomorrow."

Well, he called the hospital the next morning and they were "booked." Two days later I met my neurologist for the first time and he booked the MRI and EEG...for two and three weeks later, respectively. Both tests were abnormal. My EEG showed spiking in the right temporal lobe and the MRI showed that at some point I had a small stroke but it was "nothing to worry about." I could have had that small stroke years ago.

Yes, you can get epilepsy at any age. I was 42 when I had the "grand mal," which is now referred to as a tonic-clonic seizure. Only after a careful history is taken by a neurologist or epileptoligist can the diagnosis of epilepsy be made. Many people have 1 seizure in their lifetime. Epilepsy is defined by more than one seizure. I had seizures as an infant (not brought on by a high fever, like many infants get) and took phenobarbatol until I was 2...then no seizures until 40 yrs. later. Apparantly, after that careful history was taken by my neurologist, I had been having partial seizures for more than 2 years before the "grand mal" that landed me in the ER, unconscious. Due to my history and the severity of the seizure, I was put on anti-seizure meds immediately, and three years later, I am still on anti-epileptic meds. and will be for the rest of my life. But again, LOTS of people just have one seizure and never have one again. If your mom had a seizure, let's hope that is the case for her!

So it's good your mom is seeing a neuro. as he/she will take a history and see if she has been feeling 'strange' of late. I attributed what I had been feeling to being overworked, overtired and most Americans!

Keep us updated and good luck!

Last edited by dogmom; 10-22-2008 at 02:54 PM.

Old 10-23-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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lismark HB User
Re: What happens when they think you have had a seizure?

Thanks! I am hoping that the neurologist will have more information. Most importantly I hope my mom (and dad) take this opportunity as wake up call to take care of themselves! I too am worried that she may have been having partial seizures... we have got to get this figured out
Thanks for your response!

Old 10-24-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
Travis from MN
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Re: What happens when they think you have had a seizure?

I will say this, following up on your post. I will encourage her NOT to drive for safety reasons until they clear her. It's possible the hospital may have informed the state. I do not know IL's policy. Some states the hospital/Dr will report to the DOT if a patient has a seizure. MOST cannot (some ignore the confidentiality clause and report anyway). Think of safety for HER and others on the road.

The common definition of a seizure is "any voluntary OR INVOLUNTARY loss of consciousness" No where in there does it say seizure or epilepsy. This clause also covers diabetics.

I would say expect a round or two of tests. CT's, MRI's, get the family history out. At Urgent Care or Emergency they MAY have had an EKG on (those lovely patches on the chest) to monitor the heart to make sure it was in good condition and not the cause.


P.S. Nice airport in your area!!

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