Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My seizures...

I currently experience two types of seizure events (they have changed slightly over the years). I have Gran Mal / Tonic-Clonic seizures without any aurora before them. I simply loose consciousness and fall to the floor. My family says that before I fall, I usually have a strange look about me and many times look up and to the left... Especially if their are bright lights around.

The other type I have now is a very short incident where my concentration is stopped for a second and I am unable to respond (ug. Just had one now). They last only a fraction of a second and tend to occur in situations where I am concentrating on a task (such as writing or cooking or reading). They tend to have three separate types of feelings: a feeling like a "wave" of thought/consciousness that rushes through your head; a feeling like time stops for just a fraction of a second, but that you have consciousness during that time; and a feeling like you are frozen in time, but the world still moves. They are very odd experiences and describing them with analogies in English is difficult at best.

Oddly enough, the experience I have from these smaller seizure events seems to change from one medicine to another. Before I got on Lamictal, I was on Tegretol. Near the end of my treatment with that drug, I had incidents where I would have multiple (2 to 20) small seizures within a short period of time. Each one would completely erase whatever short-term memory/thought in which I was currently engaged. Each one would have about 5 to 15 seconds where I could think again, but I would have to restart the thought process for the activity. Something like this:

ZAP! Oh. I had a seizure. I should get some Sprite and medicine from the ZAP! Ok. I had a seizure. I need to get something. I know - medicine. In my car. ZAP! Ok. I am in the parking lot. Why? Oh, to get some medicine. Don't I have some in the office? ZAP! Ok. Seizure again. Need medicine. Probably in my car. Here it is. ZAP! What am I doing. Oh, got medicine. Need something to drink. From the breakroom. ZAP! Why am I in the hall? Not sure. I should go back to my desk. ZAP! Wait, I had another seizure. I need sprite to take the medicine in my hand. Go to breakroom now. Got Sprite. Take medicine. ZAP! Ug, seizure. Appears I took my medicine. Go back to office. Drink more Sprite. ZAP! What am I doing? Oh, sit down. Rest a second... Feeling better...

Much more fun to write than to experience. I have never spoken with anyone that has had seizures like these. Not sure if it is common at all.


Rusty said...

Well written, I hope others who have such seizures come see your site. What you describe is hard to imagine but I imagine others who have such experiences will understand and feel a bit less alone to read your descriptions.

Reminds me of the movie Memento - a different type of short term memory loss is the central feature of the plot. The way the movie is made you sort of get taken into the world of a person who can only retain 15 mins of short term memory and none of it gets written into long term memory. Seeing it gives me some inkling of an idea as to how this must have felt.

Emeriol said...

Memory is a strange thing, and I'm not sure how much long or short-term memory I should have... compared to a "normal" person (if there is such a thing). I have heard people say, "I remember it like it was yesterday". I don't rember anything like it was yesterday... heck I don't even remember yesterday "like it was yesterday". I can usually remember facts that I have committed to memory a lot better than experiences & events.

What does seem to be consistant is that during times when I have had un-controled seizures for an extended period of time, I remember almost no events, facts, or anything. Same with times that I have been on AED (anti-epileptic drugs) that are too strong or work poorly.