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Old 05-20-2009, 07:43 AM
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Seizures and neck conditions


Hi There.

I am new to message boards so you will have to excuse me if my etiquette is not up to scratch!!

I was wondering if anyone could help me or give some advice regarding my partner. He has been suffering from seizures since January 2007. He has no previous history of seizures or epilepsy and the seizure he suffered was classified as "Grand mal". Since this date he has suffered 3 more seizures. He often has spells when he becomes vague and distant. Since his first seizure, he suffers from excruciating headaches and migraines and is generallynot the same person he was before this happened. He has become withdrawn and is suffering badly from the fact that we are still not sure what is causing these seizures. Fortunately, all of his tests have come back negative for brain damage or injury. However, after his last seizure approx a month ago, a nurse has suggested that a problem with his neck could be causing the headaches and seizures. Could this be true? I am in the process of trying to research as much as possible on the net regarding this theory and would be grateful if anyone could shed some light on this theory or guide me to a site that could help.

Many many thanks for taking the time to read this and any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Best Regards
Sarahd21
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:58 AM
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Hi Sarah - Welcome to CWE
Your post was perfect. I hope it is one of many.

My daughter is the one with the seizure disorder. She had not had any before the age of 14. Many do begin later in life, and for no reason (at least no reasons that are noticable). I personally think it is worth looking into your partners posture, and neck. Seizures are a direct result of a problem with the nervous system. There are many reasons and that could be one of them.

There is also information that damage to the intestinal tract can also cause siezures. Food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, mineral deficiencies etc can also cause them. As an example I was a long term sufferer of migraines. Tried many medications, and then a doctor suggested I try ionic magnesium. I have not had a migraine in over four years, since beginning this.

My daughters seizures seem to be food allergies, and hypoglycemia. I am still working through the nutritional changes necessary to heal her body. But she has not recently had seizures, where a year ago she had been having six a month.

There is a lot of information here and I hope you make yourself comfortable. If your partner needs support send him on over as well.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:16 AM
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Many Thanks


Dear Robin

Many many thanks for your reply. It is much appreciated. I will look into all the suggestions you have made and try to work from there. Scott (my partner) is becoming very despondent with the whole situation and it is getting him very down so anything that will help a little will be a bonus.

I can sympathise with you regarding your daughter. Scott is always saying to me that I shouldn't get so worked up about his seizures as he is the one is is suffering from them. I have to constantly tell him that while I can understand that it is not a nice thing to have to go through and that it causes him distress, that he must remember that it is me and his family who have witnesses him having a seizure and also live with the after effects of this, i.e. short tempered, irritable, mood swings. Scott was the first person I have seen take a grand mal seizure and it frightened the socks of me!! I have suggested that maybe he could watch a video of someone having a seizure as this might make him understand a bit better what we witness and may make him more aware of what he has to go through and maybe help him make a move to try and seek more advice about his condition, rather than becoming withdrawn and sometimes shrugging it off! I know that suggestion might sound rather harsh but sometimes facing a problem head on is the best way of starting to resolve it.

Sorry for blethering away so much and again, many thanks for the reply. It is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards
Sarahd21
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:30 AM
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It is a fine balance between helping and overprotection. Use this site as a place you can let go of your frustrations, and concerns. My daughter use to say the same thing to me. I think it has helped that I have taken her to a therapist since they began, so she could have someone other than mom to talk to about them. They discuss all the iritations it has produced in her life, and yet she is now more thankful of what I have been doing to find answers we can use.

The video idea might backfire on you. If he is very despondent, and he sees what a seizure actually can look like, he might not be able to handle it. Perhaps use the energy to turn over every stone around you to figure out what brought this on. Even something as supportive as taking a yoga class together. It is shown to help with reducing stress.

I can't stress enough how nutrition can play into this disorder. We have posted a lot of information here, so put on your reading glasses and take notes. It isn't a quick fix, but it can be a long term solution.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:30 PM
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Hi Sarah --

One neck-related cause for seizures/migraines: A neck injury and/or a vascular problem can affect blood flow to the brain. If the blood has a hard time getting up to the brain it can trigger a seizure -- it's similar to if you stand up too quickly and get dizzy. I have a leaky carotid (neck) artery, and sometimes putting my hands above my head has caused a seizure. I also had a seizure when I was carrying a little kid on my shoulders (compressing my neck). In my case the neck thing is not the only cause (I also had a head injury when I was a kid), but it is a contributing factor.

Hope this helps,
Best,
Nakamova
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:13 PM
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Hi Sarah! Welcome to CWE. Please remember that not all seizures are caused by head injury. Many of us here, who have been diagnosed with epilepsy also have perfectly normal test results. In the 30+ years that I've had grand mals, I only had one abnormal EEG. All the other tests came back normal. The tests are designed primarily to see if there's any physical abnormality. The EEG's only record seizure activity if you actually have one while the test is happening.

The doctor's don't know exactly what caused mine...or if it's a combination of causes.... What I DO know is that anyone can have a seizure. Everybody has what's called a seizure threshold. Now, for most people, it takes quite a bit to cause them to have a seizure. For some of us, it doesn't take as much. The danger of leaving epilepsy untreated is that the brain can teach itself to respond to certain stimuli by having a seizure. Without treatment of some sort, this can be fatal in the long run. so whether your SO chooses to treat with diet, meds, vitamin supplements, weed, chiropractic, EEG neurofeedback, or whatnot...he needs to deal with the fact that he has a condition that needs treating. He can't just stick his head in the sand and hope that it goes away...because the chances are it wont'...and in fact without treatment, they can get worse.

It sounds as though your SO is in denial. And is also depressed about the seizures. That's normal. In fact, for people diagnosed with epilepsy later in life, it's actually quite common. I mean, just think about it...you go from leading the average life to all of a sudden being betrayed by your brain. And it's not just a small thing...it's obvious. And to make it even worse, you end up with people changing how they interact with you. Some people just walk away from you forever, while others act like mother hens. So make sure that you don't mother hen him. It's HIS medical condition...NOT yours. Yes, it effects you, and yes, it's good to learn about it and be supportive, but in the end it's HIS decision and HIS health. Don't push him so hard that he just quits listening to you altogether.

There are many different things that can cause seizures. For example, a high fever as an infant can trigger seizures as an adult. so can hormone shifts, low blood sugar, thyroid problems, vitamin and mineral deficiensies, as well as genetics. So, HE needs to go to a doctor and see if they can rule out any of the other causes. Just know that he may never discover why. Many of us don't know for certain why we have seizures, we just do. For example...my great uncle had 1 seizure when he was in his 40's. I had a head injury as a child. I also have hypoglycemia, and hypothyroid. I probably also have sleep apnea (my dad did...and yes, it can trigger seizures). I also used to drink 9 cups of coffee a day. Now, the doc can't say for certain whether my seizures are genetic (due to my great uncle) or my bodies reaction to hormone/chemical levels (thyroid and sugar levels), or the result of the head injury. Instead, we work together to control the seizures and quit worrying about the why. So now, I take a med as well as magnesiums (it's a muscle relaxant), watch my diet (due to the hypglycemia), take thyroid med, don't drink anything caffeinated, and try to make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

IF he's wiling to, have your SO keep a journal. If he's not willing to...then back off for a bit. Remember it's HIS brain, HIS body. Yes, it effects you and his family...but you can't Force him to do anything. His main emotional need right now is probably to feel normal again. So if your like my once-overprotective hubby...don't talk about seizures or epilepsy or his medical condition for at least 2 weeks. My hubby, before he calmed down about it, used to be very over-protective. He'd call multiple times a day, refused to let me drive, check up on me at night or have his mom check up on me, wanted me to sleep with our bedroom door open so that he could easily look in on me, and always ask me if I'd taken my meds. He didn't even want me to go anywhere without someone in his family. I finally told him that he was overdoing it. It was one of those, if you don't back off, then you're going to kill our marriage. And so he did....he backed off. You see, by being mother henned by him and his family, I was starting to get really angry and resentful. I'm not 5 and I don't like being treated like it. None of us do. Many of us wish to be treated like we did before. we are NOT our seizures. We still have the same feelings, hopes, and dreams as we did before we got diagnosed. And the one thing I hated the most, was always being reminded of my medical condition...so if you examine how you act around him...and you realize that you talk about his seizures or his condition more then once every 2 weeks, then you might want to back off a bit. Just my 2 cents.

Other then that, you are more then welcome here. Feel free to ask questions, vent in the padded room, chime in, and check out the library here. It's got some fantastic info in it. Hope this helped.

Last edited by skillefer; 05-20-2009 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:08 PM
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Sarah,

Welcome. I would definitely explore the neck possibility, especially if he has suffered any head or neck trauma in his lifetime. I would just manage your expectations. Finding a silver bullet cause of his seizures, while certainly possible, is uncommon. As Skillefer aptly pointed out, the source of the seizures can be a single, many, or a combination of things.

Skillefer offered some great suggestions on dealing with the emotions. My only addition (or reinforcement) is just to give him space when he seems to need it, and listen when he's willing to talk. Hopefully he'll open up more about it over time.

Good luck and hang in there! And welcome again to this wonderful community.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:00 PM
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Hey...


I am 55 years old and began having seizures in July of 2010... I've had 6 now, all grand mal... All kinds of tests have been done and there has been no determined cause... I have suffered from neck pain for years now and have recently wondered if there might be a problem inside my neck that is causing the seizures. I might add that all but 'one' of the seizures has been while I have been asleep in bed.

Gotta tell ya, I am afraid as all get out. I don't like the side effects of the seizures and I am wondering about the rest of my life and my career as a bus driver... is it all over?
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:34 PM
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Humm, I have a buldging disk in my neck. The doctors actually found this while I was in the hospital for a 3 day video eeg. The doctors keep telling me I have non epileptic seizures they think caused by anxiety. i wonder if the disk could be the cause.
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