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Stroke or Seizure?
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Stroke or Seizure?

My mother is 77 years old. About 2 years ago she had a seizure during the early morning hours (around 5am) where she bit down on her tongue and had bled throughout her mouth, onto her pillow. I found her breathing heavily because her mouth was closed, and her teeth were clenched shut. I called 911, EMT's arrived and helped her come out of it. She had lost control of her bladder during the episode. While they were trying to get her onto the gurney she became very combative, and could not even recognize me, her son. Well, they got her to the hospital, I followed in my car. When I got there she began talking normally, and all seemed normal. The hospital ran tests and discovered both of her carotid arteries (left side & right side) were blocked. The left side was 100% blocked, the right side was approx. 60% blocked. An arterial surgeon operated on her left carotid to physically unblock it. During the surgery, he bruised the nerve to her vocal chord. After the operation, her voice was non-existent, and her breathing was very breathy. 3 weeks after we got home she had another seizure, but this time it lasted 36 hours. Her symptoms were combative behavior, thrashing herself against anything, tearing her clothes off, at the emergency ward she would pull any & all tubes and wires out/off of her. She was tied down and they put hand warmer gloves on her hands to keep her from grasping things. They tried all sorts of drugs to no effect. Finally, a neurosurgeon came in and gave her Dilantin. It worked. She came out of it and all was normal again. They gave her a prescription for Dilantin, in addition to blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and baby aspirin. But her breathing was still breathy with almost no voice. I took her to another hospital (Cleveland Clinic) and there they discovered her left vocal chord was paralyzed. After they injected her vocal chord with synthetic Calogen, her voice returned, and her breathing was normal. Then we got her a nuerologist, who prescribed her with Lamictal (Lamotrigine) - an anti seizure med. Today she takes Lamictal, Lopressor, simvastatin, Plavix, Ecotrin, and an Iron supplement. As of 6 months ago, she had a stent placed in her right Carotid. After the procedure, her blood pressure wouldn't return back to normal, even after waiting 30 hours. She reluctantly agreed to have a bag of blood transfused. 1 hour after the transfusion, and her blood pressure returned back to normal.

BUT Today, she began speaking in Gibberish, and was wondering around as if she didn't know why she walked into a room. But she doesn't have any numbness or weakness, her coordination is still there, she even corrected the clocks in the whole house. But for some weird reason, her speech wasn't coming out right. She IS still on Lamictal, taken twice a day, and Plavix with aspirin, etc. So I'm just not sure if she had a mini-stroke or another seizure. So that's my question - Did she have a mini-stroke or a seizure (today)? Any relevant info is greatly appreciated.
1711789_tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Thanks for the detailed history. Well, without a detailed clinical evaluation it would be difficult to comment specifically on the situation. Possibilities that may need to be considered include medication side effect, TIA/ stroke, neurodegenerative conditions etc. I would suggest getting this evaluated by her treating neurologist at your earliest convenience for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Hope this is helpful.

Take care!
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