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Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

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Old 01-19-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, ON Canada
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vvelauthan HB User
Unhappy Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

My Husband gets these periodic sessions at least once every 3 days where he goes into a position that he cannot move. His eyes are closed, but he can hear what is happening around him. He looks as if he has fainted but he is conscious. We have seen many specialist and done numerous tests. All tests came out negative. He underwent EEG, MRI, Potassium blood work (right after it happened), etc. First, the Doctors thought it was Periodic Hypoclemic Paralysis; but as the potassium blood test was fine..the cardiologist concluded that he cannot diagnose anything else. It has been happening for the past 1 ½ years. It looks quite scary when it happens and that he cannot move himself

Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-23-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

If all the physical tests have come back negative, has he gotten a psychiatric evaluation? Catatonia is exactly as you described. Can be brought on by severe stress or other psych problems.

Hope you get answers..............Jenny

Old 06-26-2011, 04:08 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA
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fedde HB User
Question Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

I experience similar symptoms but my eyes are open and I am conscious. I cannot move my arms, legs or neck for 30 to 45 minutes. I check out fine neurologically. I stump the doctors. I have had this for almost a year. I took a month off from work but returned when the episodes slacked off. This week I had 3 of them after 3 weeks without. I stopped taking Lyrica and Effexor for pain. But it is still undiagnosed.

Hope all is well with you!


Old 07-20-2011, 03:43 AM   #4
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Indianmist HB UserIndianmist HB User
Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

It's called sleep paralysis. It happens when someone wakes up during REM sleep. As we go into REM sleep, our bodies become immobilzed or "paralyzed" if you will. His brain becomes conscious during this phase, but his body is still asleep, that's why he can't move, but can sense what's going on around him. I've suffered from it for years. If he hasn't had a sleep study done yet, he needs to.

If these episodes are happening while he's awake, then he should be checked for cataplexy.

Last edited by Indianmist; 07-20-2011 at 03:50 AM.

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fedde (07-21-2011)
Old 07-21-2011, 06:41 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2011
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fedde HB User
Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

Thank you I will look up cataplexy.

Old 08-25-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2011
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svdbygrace HB User
Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

I had much the same symtoms for 4 1/2 yrs. It was AWFUL! Could come on in a split second, no matter what I was doing- just waking, after dinner, twice while driving! During these episodes, sometimes my eyes would shut and I could not open them, sometimes I could not speak, other than slurred speech, but I heard everything. I just couldn't respond. My shoulders and hips would become very weak, and walking would be almost impossible. I could move somewhat during these times, but it took a great deal of effort just to lift my arm. I was basically limp. These episodes would last from 30 minutes to DAYS, in varying degrees. The individual episodes would subside as quickly as they started. Often, with the blink of an eye and a deep breath, I would be back to normal in physical function. These episodes did, however, leave me very exhausted and cloudy in thought process (sometimes for a couple of days).

The first episode lasted approx. 2 1/2 weeks, with only intermittent hours of normal function.
It disappeared, left me fatigued for weeks and in that 'foggy' state of thought.
After the initial episode, I lived a normal life--until 14 months later when it hit again. I then began to have episodes several times a week. All form of 'normal' was gone from our family, as I never knew if I was going to be able to function on any particular day or for any particular commitment or event... Symptoms changed, or advanced, in some ways, and eventually I was aching very badly in my hip joints on most days and had terrible headaches. I also began to have problems with my blood sugar, and gained 40 lbs. over 4 years. (Not normal for me).

I have been to numerous specialists and research hospitals, and have had every test imaginable. We ran the course from suspected stroke, MS, lymes disease, toxic exposure, and, yes- periodic paralysis. My symptoms seemed to match PP most of all. However, all tests
were negative for any medical condition, and I tested healthy in every way.

I could not begin to tell you the numerous drugs, especially anti-depressants that were literally placed in my hands! I refused these, as I feel it foolish to take a drug when a medical condition could not be identified. I feared that I might 'blur' my actual symptoms with any side effects of the drugs, and further complicate diagnosis. Anti-depressants??? You've GOT to be kidding me! The closest I have come to depression was simply not being able to find out what was wrong!
Eventually, I was also told that perhaps I should have a psych evaluation as well! I thank God for my husband who accompanied me to EVERY medical visit and stood firm in his conviction that this was not psychological!

I know that this is a long account, but I want to share as much of a chunk of my story as possible in hopes that it may help just ONE other person enduring such a terrible time.
The good news? I finally found a Dr. who was willing to really listen to my symptoms and think outside of the box! This was all caused by gluten! Praise God for such a 'simple' solution to my illness! It's not really simple for most people to go 100% gluten free, but it is for me. I would have been willing to do anything to stop these episodes and resume a normal family life once again.
The conclusion to this is that I have -0- episodes as long as I remain gluten free!!!
I have made a couple of mistakes in my diet, and I do pay for that with an episode, but I am learning everyday how to be 100% gluten free.

I would be willing to share other details with anyone who may have experience similar symptoms. I know this has been incredibly long, but I hope that someone out there can glean some help (and hope) from my account.

Good luck in your diagnosis!

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fedde (08-26-2011)
Old 08-26-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA
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fedde HB User
Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

Thank you so much. I have had similar episodes and the docs think I have sleep paralysis. I am taking a drug to help. I have sleep apnea and will have another sleep study. Gluten huh? Thank you for your story. Here is a hug for your courage to keep working to get a diagnosis. They thought it was psychological for me too but my mind is not that powerful! Wishing you the best after the worst! Mona

Old 09-06-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Tryin2b40&Fab HB User
Re: Consious with Eyes closed and inability to move

This sounds like something I have experienced. It hasn't happened to me in a while, Thank Goodness. But from what I remember, I would be trying to wake up and just couldn't. I would literally have to shake my head vigorously just to wake up. It was scary.

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