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  #1  
Old 07-20-2012, 10:34 PM
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Strange Behavior


Hi there,

Has anyone experienced this before?

My husband has been acting so strange since he started having seizures four months ago. In particular, he is acting strange towards me. Like everything I say and do gets him angry and I find his emotions are all over the place.

Here's an example. Mike has had 3 nocturnal seizures between 1am and 2am. The other day on the way to the neurologist's appt. I joked around about how I should wake him up between 1 and 2 and then maybe he'd never have another seizure. Mike said 'Yeah, maybe I should just go to bed at 2:00am.' We even joked with the neurologist about this. Meanwhile, Mike has always gone to bed at 10:00pm his whole life.

Anyhow, we get home that night and Mike goes into a rage of yelling and screaming at me. This behavior has been going on for a few months - it's like everything I say or do makes him angry. And last night he went to bed at 2:00am. Now that's hard on me as I can hear the TV going from the other room and I can't sleep. So tonight I asked him if he was going to bed at 2:00 am again and he said 'Yes, because it will stop your bitching.' Sheesh - I have no idea whatsoever what that even means!!!!!!!!! I asked him for an explanation and he didn't respond so I said 'I don't know what you mean by that. Yesterday we were joking but I have never bitched even once about your seizures.' Then he said 'And you don't want me taking saunas'. Mike takes an infra red sauna every night and when he was in the hospital he had low sodium levels and I asked the doctor if he should be taking a sauna everynight. So basically Mike's going to bed at 2:00am to stop my bitching and he's stop taking saunas for the same reason.

I don't get this at all. I love him and will do anything to help him and he's not even making sense. I don't even know what's going on.

Any suggestions?

Sue
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:09 AM
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Is he on medication? If so, what is it?
($5 says it's Keppra.)
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:37 AM
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Suzanne, you are in a difficult situation. I remember your thread about how to be supportive. You are so sweet to try so hard for your husband. He is very lucky. If I remember right he's only been on meds for a short while..??? From what my doctor told me, the bad side effects of the meds wears off after a few weeks. His outbursts may be a side effect. I also read about these types of outbursts as another type of seizure. Does he remember having these "discussions" ? If not it may be another type of seizure. It may also be another issue altogether.

You are doing the right thing in searching for information. Its hard to know what to do since you don't want to get him upset and you're only trying to help. If it were me, I think I would document everything. Then set up a meeting with his doctor. I would also not take everything he says so personal. Let some stuff slide. There may be way more going on than you realize. Seizures, the medications and the new lifestyle are just an incredibly hard thing on a person. Cut him a little slack and try to ignore some of this behavior until you get it figured out. Your description makes it sound very our of character for him to act this way. Which is such a bummer. I'm so sorry you are dealing with not only the diagnosis, but extra issues as well. hang in there because I know he really needs you.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:39 AM
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If silat is right about it being keppra, please ask for a change in meds.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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Anger bursts


Thanks for your kind responses. My husband is on Apo- Divalporex - 750mg in the morning and 1000 at night.

Mike has a lot of health issues starting with an enlarged heart 8 years ago that led to quadruple bypass surgery. He worked hard to get his heart back in shape and it is now in good/excellent shape as stated by his cardiologist. Then 2 years ago he had prostate cancer and elected for surgery. They got it all and said he had a 95% chance of it never coming back again. A year ago he had what might have been a seizure when he was driving alone. He felt funny, pulled over, and remembers shaking so hard he was afraid of hitting his head on the windshield and having a hard time breathing. He thought he was going to die. It passed and he drove home and I called 911. His doctor thought it was his heart so did no seizure tests.

A year later almost to the date, he had a nocturnal seizure that I witnessed and since then he's had 2 more nocturnal seizures. His tests revealed an old head trauma from when he was a kid and the neurologist is not sure if the first one was a seizure.

He's always been overwhelmed with his illnesses and frustrated that he works so hard to take care of himself but always gets something else. He has been moody from time to time but this past year he's been horrible and the past 4 months he's been the worst ever.

Every time I utter a word it's like I'm in an oral examination. He critiques everything I say, everything I do and then all of a sudden he'll go into rages where he's yelling and screaming at me. He keeps saying that he 'doesn't know how much time he has left and doesn't want his time wasted.' An example - we were watching TV and I made a comment about how I was amazed they were advertising the Fall shows already. Mike exploded saying 'Why would you waste my time saying that.' It's like he hates my guts and maybe his rage has nothing to do with his seizures - maybe he really does hate me.

I love him and will do anything for him. Everyone - his doctors, nurses, friends, family etc always say that he is lucky to have me because I'm always by his side but Mike certainly doesn't feel lucky. He got mad at me because he was having sodium issues and I asked the doctor if an hour long sauna was a good thing. He got mad because he wrote on a sheet of paper that he gave to the neurologist that he had 4 seizures and when the doctor questioned the first one, I said that when Mike gets really cold he shakes so hard that it looks like he's having a seizure so maybe it wasn't a seizure because it was a cold winter day that day. Mike got mad because he doesn't want to lose his license and with nocturnal seizures you don't lose it but he felt I was drawing attention to the first seizure WHEN he was the one who put it down on the paper in the first place.

I couldn't believe that he would disrupt our whole household and stay up watching TV loudly until 2:00 in the morning (when he always goes to bed at 10:00) saying that he was doing that to 'stop my bitching'. As I mentioned before - I have absolutely no idea what 'bitching' he's talking about except that I did tell his doctor that his seizures were between 1 -2am and we joked that maybe he should stay up between 1-2. That was a joke.

I lost count over the years and stopped counting at calling 911 twenty-five times. I think he's been taken by ambulance over 30 times now to the hospital with heart issues, arrhythmia issues, seizure issues. Our whole life revolves around going to the hospital or doctor's office at least 2-3 times every single week over some issue.

But in the last 6 or so months, he's been having these outbursts of rage right out of no where.

I really don't know what to do, what to say etc. I'm so upset, can't sleep and I'm exhausted. To be honest, I just want to leave him - move away - and let him just do whatever the hell he wants.

Anyhow, sorry for venting. and thanks for listening.

Sue
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:48 AM
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It sounds like he may be suffering from depression. Has he seen a therapist? Having to deal with E itself is depressing, but added health issues and then seizures on top of it is very overwhelming and depressing. Maybe if he won't go, you can go and seek therapy for your sake and how to deal with him. When someone in the family has a chronic health issue, it effects the whole family. Believe me, I've been there, too.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Cint View Post:
It sounds like he may be suffering from depression. Has he seen a therapist? Having to deal with E itself is depressing, but added health issues and then seizures on top of it is very overwhelming and depressing. Maybe if he won't go, you can go and seek therapy for your sake and how to deal with him. When someone in the family has a chronic health issue, it effects the whole family. Believe me, I've been there, too.


That is a LOT to deal with. Each time I had tonic-clonic seizures (twice) I was dealing with bad moods/depression for awhile afterward. I don't necessarily think it was the SEIZURES causing it, but the complete interruption in my life. I have no aversion to therapy, so I went, and I'm actually still going (though it's seeming less and less necessary), and it has helped a lot. They also put me on Celexa along with continued therapy for a little while to help normalize everything. It's helped a lot and I'm finally feeling like myself again for the first time since April.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:17 AM
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Sue,

I am so sorry for what you are going through and even sorrier for Mike.

I do understand your frustration as my husband has similar issues. Especially the yelling at those who are closest to him. We divorced to save our friendship (long story - won't go into it) and he is now married to a wonderful woman and she and I are good friends. And Ron yells at her and she has said to me things like you've said in your post. How could he treat her like that, maybe she should just leave etc.

I now have the advantage of being able to step out of the situation, get away from the yelling. I realize that Ron is doing it out of fear and frustration, trying to get someone to listen, thinking at the time that no one cares or understands him.

He is why I've come to believe that no one can truly understand how someone else is feeling because they can never truly experience a situation in the same way the other person is experiencing it. Our lives are filled with baggage - both good and bad and sometime terrifying. And all that previous baggage adds up to how we deal with the moment now.

I know you are trying to be there for Mike and help him. But you also have to accept that what you say may trigger something in him - irrational fears - that you weren't expecting.

I wish I had grand words of wisdom for you.
All I can really say is you are not alone. Some times all the little bits of shit in a person's life suddenly becomes a mountain and they feel like Sisyphus and that damn boulder keeps rolling back down. So they take it out on the person closest to them, the person they feel safe with, their loved ones.

I do understand the truth in the saying "You only hurt the one you love"

But I also know you can't let Mike's actions tear you apart - you have to figure out how to mentally and emotionally deal with them. I've figured out a way to deal with Ron's outbursts. Even though we aren't married we can still fight as if we were - I had to figure out why it was happening and how to disarm the situation. I am still in love with Ron, being divorced didn't change that, it's just a piece of paper.

I do believe you can figure out a way to deal with and understand Mike.
Venting here is a very good thing to do as it allows you to get your frustrations out and you can also hear from people who are dealing with situations similar to Mike's and maybe help you see his situation from a neutral point of view.

I do hope at least some of that made some sort of sense to you and maybe helps.

Wishing you and Mike all the best - know that you are both in my prayers.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dolores View Post:
I do believe you can figure out a way to deal with and understand Mike.
Venting here is a very good thing to do as it allows you to get your frustrations out and you can also hear from people who are dealing with situations similar to Mike's and maybe help you see his situation from a neutral point of view.
I left my husband, but I was/am the one with chronic health issues. In addition to E, I have Diabetes, depression, thyroid issues and female issues to deal with. My husband was either in denial of it all or didn't want to deal with it. He wanted to yell and scream/blame all the wrong things on me because I was the one suffering from depression. When one is depressed, the whole world seems doomed, ugly, and nothing seems right. It can be from E or the meds or the multiple medical problems. So seeing a therapist or a counselor would be a great way to see the situation from a neutral point of view.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:30 PM
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Thanks!


Hi there,

Thanks for your kind, kind words and advice. I made an appt. to talk to a counselor next week.

Today I'm basically staying away from Mike. I've taken my dog for 2 walks and sat outside most of the day. Tonight I'll have to face the hell again when he stays up with the TV blaring until 2:00am. I'm just hoping I can sleep as I'm exhausted. I still can't figure out why he said 'I'm staying up until 2:00am so that you will stop bitching.' Last week we went to 3 doctors and they had me repeat the story about his last seizure and I did say that it was between 1 and 2. Maybe Mike took my telling the facts as bitching or he took my joking around that I should wake him up between 1 and 2 seriously and figured I was bitching about his seizures. Who knows????? But after 17 years of going to bed at 10:00pm, the 2:00 time is horrible - especially when he's saying it's all my fault. And he refused to listen when I tried to talk to him.

So as of now, I'm not speaking another word to him. I'm exhausted from it all and I'm so tired of feeling that it's an oral exam - with Mike critiquing every thing I say. I'm just so tired of loving a man and being with him every step of the way and being so hurt. I really do want to leave him and I'm looking at how I can make that happen - especially since I took early retirement at a third of my salary so I could take care of him and get him to all his appts.

I think eight years of this is enough. Nothing ever seems to get better - just worse. And the seizures seem to be the catalyst to set him off again. And I've had it with crying and trying to reason with him and being puzzled over his words and his blaming me for everything.

I guess he doesn't want my help -that's for sure. Like he shouldn't be driving now and his license might be taken away. He's waiting for the final result of that and here I am willing to drive him everywhere and is he grateful? No way. All he does is bitch about my driving instead of being grateful that someone will drive him.

So I've had enough. I have no more to give. These yelling and screaming sessions have done it for me.

So I will plan to leave by September unless I see a chance of some kind of peace between us.

So that will leave him alone. All alone which is his choice. He has managed to alienate everyone in his life - including our daughters - and now me. The only one he listens to is his family doctor who thinks he's wonderful and to be honest - even flirts with him. Well she can have him all to himself. He's miserable and yes, I am compassionate to all he's gone through - I've gone through it with him - but no more can I take his abuse.

Thanks so much for listening.

Sue
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:12 PM
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Sue,

Does seem to be that u have lots love for your hubby

You cannot help him in this state, he needs REAL and SERIOUS professional help (therapist and more, AND MED check to boot) and to slowly introduce 'the reality' in which he must learn to live too - not only you. he must learn to accept (I tell my Son if I see him wandering down lonely/selfish path to buck up but IS hard to point out - but I do and I am consistent and I wait for right moment, never do on spot..make him at the very least aware/acknowledge behavioral patterns...this can be long journey but a worth while journey....

there are so many alternatives (that may help) to be explored, like omitting all stress from his life - but I hear you, easier said than done, maybe one week u could let him rip/bitch, just to monitor the paterns..
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:36 AM
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Sue,
Don't neglect your own need for real support, as well. You sound like you could use your own support system; reach out to friends, even a support group/ therapist who could give guidance, if you think that would help you.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:19 AM
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I'm thinking that rather than a long-term separation, you might just want to take a break for a week or two. Go visit your kids or your Mom or go on a fun trip with your girlsfriends or something like that.

My personal experience (after 26 years of marriage) is that sometimes our guys get so wrapped up in their problems that they vent at at the person closest to them, and overlook all the stuff we do for them (like you driving him to his doctors, etc.). Your husband is facing mortality, and not liking what he's seeing, and that's probably where a lot of his irrational rage is coming from (and probably helped along by seizure meds).

Don't keep dwelling on his irrational statements, and trying to make sense out of them.

If you leave for a week or two, it might make him appreciate you more. I was able to do this gracefully with my own husband when my mother became terminally ill. I actually lived away from him for a few months, traveling home on the weekends, and it did wonders for our marriage. For one thing, it helped him realized just ALL the stuff that I did that he was taking for granted. And he's communicating much better now (we've been living together again for 4 months). Of course...he doesn't have seizures -- just grumpy old man syndrome.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:03 PM
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Hi Sue, sorry you are having such a difficult time. I have similar issues with my husband and it's hard to live with. His problems are caused by multiple sclerosis (it's my daughter who has epilepsy). Nevertheless, I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

Firstly, I think you do need (if you are so minded) to explore the possibility this is a medication side effect as from what I've read that can happen with the meds he is on. You could do a bit of Googling for starters and take it from there.

Cint's suggestion about depression is interesting to me - in fact, I'm about to haul my husband off to the docs to see if she thinks the antidepressants he takes might have stopped working and whether it might be worth trying a change. Outbursts of rage were a thing with my husband before he went on ADs and I think we seem to have gone back there.

Until recently, I was seeing a mental health nurse on a monthly basis. It really did help to be able to go and vent to someone - and getting some space for yourself is really important (I look forward to going to work).

I hope you don't mind me saying all this when or situations are different but I hope it might help.

Finally, earplugs are a wonderful thing. Hope you manage to sort out your situation x
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:12 PM
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Thanks everyone, for your kind words, advice and thoughts.

Surprisingly enough, things are much better at the moment. I've done a lot of thinking and figuring stuff out and I'm feeling so much better. The moment I hear even the tiniest bit of agitation or anger in his voice - I either leave the room and do something else or I just shut up. I'm not ever opening myself up to one of his rages again and my strategy seems to be working. There is no fuel to light his fire. I just don't get into it. I really do think the drugs and all his health issues have done a real number on his mind so I'm compassionate but also refuse to put myself in his line of fire.

So I'm finding myself relaxing as well - for I have a plan of what to do when he gets into his screaming moods.

Thanks so much for listening.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:09 AM
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doctor!I hear a doctor calling. My son has High sodium so that's opposite, but I have a friend Bill who lives in this complex who has low sodium. I sent him to the doctor and the doctor told him that some other meds were mixing in with the ones he was already taking. They were all natural. So He has to drink water with food with higher sodium.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:12 AM
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My alex also has intermittant explosive disorder. you can just get angry at the simplist things. If that is not learned to be controled by a counselour pretty soon, It can be a fight. Let me know what's going on.Teresa
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:50 AM
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So happy to hear that things are better, Suzanne, and that you have come up with a strategy to deal with the rages. And it makes a lot of good sense. I'm sure it takes self control on your part not to get engaged in a battle, but stick with it!
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:58 AM
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It will work. Just find the right Dr. and it will work.
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