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dealing with Wife's seizure


My Wife had a tonic clonic / Grand mal seizure a month ago at age 34.  We are just getting started in dealing with this disease and could use some help from the community.  Here are the facts:

* She had a stroke (or something similar) when she was six which may be related to the seizure.  When she went to the ER she had a cat scan which showed some "calcifications" which may be left over from the stroke.
* the ER docs did a whole bunch of neurological tests including eeg and all came back negative.
* Because of the previous stroke the ER neurologist prescribed Keppra.  My Wife was not thrilled with Keppra because it made her feel stupid - she only took the meds for a couple of days.
* We just had "the official" appointment with the Neurologist yesterday.  he ordered an MRI.  He seems convinced the seizure was due to the a brain lesion from the earlier stroke.  He also said she must be "in treatment" and prescribed another drug (something mazapine??)
* My wife is a type A and has been very stessed of late due to starting a new medical practice and having a baby.  Due to the seizure she is not driving.

Here are our questions / concerns:

1) Although we still don't know all the facts, we are skeptical of going on a drug that affects your brain when she has only had one seizure.  The doctor kept saying she should be "in treatment" but wouldn't elaborate on what would happen if she didn't take the drugs.  The core issue is that the treament shouldn't be worse than the disease.
2) Concerned that if she does go on the drugs she will be locked in for a long time.  For instance, if you are on AED's and you haven't had a seizure for year the Dr would probably conclude that the drugs fixed the problem.   However, we also don't know if she would never have a seizure again (or could have one several years later).
3) Really concerned about the side effects of drugs.  Are people able to to function at their previous levels?  
4) Does anyone else have a similar situation where a seizure was caused by a brain lesion?  IS there a high chance of recurrence?  ANother big question is "why now after 28 years?"  Will the next seizure be in 28 years?

I appreciate if you read this entire post!  it's been pretty stressful dealing with this issue.

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there, I had a seizure about 7 years ago along the same lines and what it turned out to be was a combination of stress because I was going through a divorce and they had given me some meds to help me sleep and my body didn't like it so the end result was my body had a seizure. Apparently everyone has a seizure threshold and it just is a matter of what might trigger it. I was 35 when this happens. Unfortunately when you have one seizure you tolerance level is higher to having another. I lost my licence to, by law the doctor has to report it. They have to make sure your wife isn't going to have another. I now have to take a very low dosage of Topamax to make sure I won't have another one. It is one of the best meds with very little side effects. They also prescribe it to migraine sufferers, which I also used to get, which now I don't get so much with taking this so it has really helped me. Is your wife's dosage really high, I wouldn't think it would be after only one seizure mine isn't but then I am not doctor and I was told my catscan showed a gray area but I am not epileptic and am just really sensitive to medication and that is how my body reacted. I have also heard tell of a someone falling and two weeks later having a seizure because of it. Has she had an MRI done? You had mentioned a stroke so I was just wondering? When I was hospitalized with my seizure they gave me Advan and that stuff made me stupid and I couldn't remember anything for that entire week so I totally relate to your poor wife so sounds to me like that drug is not for her.  I had been seizure free for 5 years and unfortunately had one this past May because apparently your body can get used to your meds so I just needed a slight adjustment. So I only lost my licence for 3 months because it was considered a medication adjustment. It was a pain but I guess for the safety of others was needed. Your wife should be going for blood work every so often as well because of possible side effects of the drugs to is she? Hope some of this helps...
764912 tn?1322715443
Hi,  So sorry to hear about your wife and your struggle.  One thing I thought of first of, before I forget, :) is that she should have a good Neurologist she is confident in.

Also, an EEG will show if you are prone to have more seizures.  A friend of mine hasn't had one in many years but because the EEG's aren't normal it isn't safe for her to go off the medication, as seizures can be dangerous.  She didn't want to stay on the medications due to side effects either, but she doesn't have a choice and is confident her Neurologist is giving her the best advise.  

I have been on Topamax for migraines, then went off as I thought it wasn't helping and that is when I had the first of many seizures.  Now I am on Keppra for seizures.  I also have a couple lessions we are not sure why, and a small stroke that show on my MRI.  If you suffer some type of injury to the brain that can begin the seizures.  I hope this helps.

There are many good websites, www.epilepsyfoundation.org, epiliepsy.org.uk (this one is really good)  You could also call the local Epilepsy support center and they may be able to answer both you and your wife's questions.  I sure can agree it is scary and I hate taking medication when it is not needed!!  But it does sound like the need/risk out way the side effects of medication.  
Best wishes
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