1st Complex Partial, Recovery Time

After a Complex Partial Seizure, how long before you usually fully recover?

  • Within 8hrs

    Votes: 7 77.8%
  • 8-24hrs

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 24-72 hrs

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Longer than 72 hrs

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .

LLStew

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Hello!

I'm female, 52, and had my 1st ever seizure 5 days ago. I'm told it was a complex partial.
After a bit of reading, I'm just wondering about my recovery time.

I took a day off work(thinking that was sensible) but when I went back 48 hrs after the seizure thinking I was fine, I felt woolly headed and couldn't function, incorrectly processing work, couldn't even find the icon I needed on the computer.

Now 5 days later it's a bit better, but still feels like I'm thinking through glue and I'm nowhere near ready to return to work (Seeing GP tomorrow).
I take other medications which I'm thinking are compounding the problem: Lithium, Lamotrigine, Topamax, Thyroxine (& Nexium & Estrogen).

So, just wondered if a long recovery (?a week or more) was not uncommon for a 1st seizure?
And does anyone have a medication history as well, affecting it?

Thanks All!!
 

Cint

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When I have a CP seizure, my recovery time is usually 15-30 minutes. It's those damned TC seizures that the recovery time is much longer, sometimes several days.
You're already taking two AEDs, Lamotrigine and Topomax, so they need to be checked out. Lithium could lower the seizure threshold, too, as well as estrogen.(Hormones could effect seizures). Since this is your first CP seizure and you're having such a difficult recovery, I would suggest you see a neurologist.
 

masterjen

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Since this is your first CP seizure and you're having such a difficult recovery, I would suggest you see a neurologist.

:agree: If your family doctor doesn't suggest you see one, then ask to be referred to one - preferably one who has experiences in dealing with seizures. Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

qtowngirl

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what is the reason you're on two seizure drugs yet had never had a seizure? i get that they can be used for other reasons, however aed's are extremely heavy on the body, nevermind being mixed with a number of other drugs. it's not totally uncommon either that 'too much' seizure med in the body will actually cause one.

don't wait to get this looked at, or it could happen again. once a seizure threshold has broke it needs immediate attention. like jen said get a referral, or, if you have one more go straight to emergency and tell them how many drugs you're on.
best of luck my dear.
 

LLStew

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Hi all,
Thanks for your input.
Lamotrigine/Lamictal is routinely prescribed as a mood stabiliser and Topamax is routinely prescribed as a migraine preventative. According to my GP the doses given in those situations are too low to prevent seizures anyway.
I do have an appointment to see a neurologist in the public health system but typically it will be 13 or 14 weeks after the event, so I will pay to see someone privately and that will be in about three weeks.
Thanks again I appreciate everybody's involvement.
 

AlohaBird

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I'm told it was a complex partial.
Did someone witness your seizure or is what you are being told based on your somewhat fuzzy recollection?

I'm thinking that it is possible that your seizure could have been more generalized than you or anyone knows.

I agree with Cint that the length of time and severity of your feeling what I call "oatmeal brains" sounds more like what I have after a full tonic clonic.

I also agree that that is is heavy med cocktail and that aspect really should be looked at by a neurologist. Even at low doses you could be having a reaction to any one of the six things you are taking or a cross reaction between them.

My gut feeling, that is just too many meds for any one person. (Opinion only, I'm not a doctor.)

Best wished for getting this solved.
 
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resaebiunne

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I can't speak to complex partials, but my last seizure it took about 3 days to recover plus or minus a day. It wasn't so much cognitive slowing as general weakness throughout my body (nevermind the fact I broke my shoulder) and psychosis. Also, it might be worth pointing out that at least a day of that recovery time was me lying on the floor unconscious. I suspect the seizure was a tonic clonic, but nobody was around to witness the seizure.
 

LLStew

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Hello!
Thank you. Still grateful for all of your help!
Alohabird, I work in a laboratory and some staff I work with witnessed the seizure and then called one of the nearby doctors from her office. It was other people's descriptions of my behaviour and my own account that made her suggest it was a complex partial seizure.
She then took me to the Emergency Department. I'm so lucky it all happened that way.

I think you are all right. it's a lot of different medications.
Topamax had started to give me a lot of side-effects and so when I decreased my dose two days ago (under the guidance of my GP) I felt a lot better more clearheaded and more well, less anxious, more able to eat then I had done in weeks. And within 24 hours of reducing the Topamax dose I had stopped having bizarre thoughts which had been constant since the seizure. Can't help thinking that snow coincidence.
I think you've all helped me work out why it is that it's taking me so long to get back on my feet. I think it's all or some of the medication.
Thank you all very much for that!
 

MouseyMouse

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what is the reason you're on two seizure drugs yet had never had a seizure? i get that they can be used for other reasons, however aed's are extremely heavy on the body, nevermind being mixed with a number of other drugs. it's not totally uncommon either that 'too much' seizure med in the body will actually cause one.

I work for a company that deals with Deep Muscle Tissue Injury and Recovery. I write web pages for different ailments.

One of the tasks I had was on a Back Injury page - Herniated Disk/Sciatica/Piriformous Etc.... The reason this is relevant is because I was researching different treatment modalities and it was then that I realized that certain seizure medications that work specifically at "numbing the nerves" in order to stop seizures are the perfect medications to get rid of chronic back pain.

On all of the pages that I researched it says that you have to be very careful with your doses as it may cause seizures to happen (do not double up if forgotten etc).

Is it possible that you are on these seizure medications due to Fibromyalgia or another chronic pain issue? If so, it would be good to research a safe alternative as gtowngirl has mentioned.

If it's your first seizure it could be a fluke, but if they become recurring, it might lower the threshold of your seizure tolerance, which is very very bad!

The worst TC I had in recent memory happened at night, and it took me about 4 days to fully come back to "normal".

I wish you luck!
 

valeriedl

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After a complex partial or grand mal, depending how bad it was, I'm usually out of the seizure with in around 15 minutes. That's when I'm aware of what's going on and can answer questions. I might be very tired for a few hours, maybe for a day or to, and sometimes have a headache for hours.

If I'm having a simple partial seizure the seizure time is usually the same. I will know I'm having it because I'm 'awake' and my lips and fingers will tingle and I'll feel light headed. These are some of the things that happen to me during a simple partial seizure. If there's no one there to see me have a complex partial or grand mal seizure I usually don't know I've had it, because I black out, unless I've got a bad headache.
 
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LLStew

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Aah.... That's interesting Valeried.
I was conscious the whole time and I wondered if I was going to have a stroke because my mouth felt funny and so did my right hand.
Probably a simple partial seizure.thanks.
Thanks also MouseyMouse, In fact the makers of Topamax issue their CMI with complex partial seizure listed as an uncommon side-effect 'Undesirable Effect' of the drug (Section 4.8)
(won't let me post the link here)
 

AlohaBird

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OK. Given that you were with lab co-workers, doctors were called right away, and you were conscious the whole time, I would say that the "complex partial" analysis sounds right.
It is sometimes hard when nobody is there or if you are trying to tell a doctor about it the next day. Sometimes you can have lost consciousness and not known it.

So, if this is a complex partial, that really does sound like a long and severe period of post-ictal fog.
That does re-inforce the drug reactions/interactions/intolerances theory.

Just as an example, I take phenobarbitol and valproic acid. However the VpA potentiates, or makes the effect of the pheno stronger. Even though I'm not taking more pheno pills, my body thinks I am.

There are all kinds of possible interactions like this and when you multiply that by six, the possibilities go up exponentially.

Get thee to a neurologist or just get in to see your GP or whoever prescribed all those meds if a nuero is going to take a long time and/or be expensive.

I think you have a good case for walking straight into the emergency room holding your bag full of prescriptions. Dump it out on the reception desk and say, "I'm taking all of these and having seizures. I need help." Seriously.
 

LLStew

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AlohaBird, You're Gorgeous!

Seriously though, I told the ER doctor the list of medications and she said "I think you fainted, you'll be right for work tomorrow."
"I said I don't think so, please call this doctor from where I work"
She begrudgingly made the call and then conceded that I had had a seizure, saying "I'm only going by what I have been told"
What does that even mean?
I just tell myself that they are busy and trying and worse things happen.
Anyway thankyou very much again.
I've gained more from these few questions than I have rom the ER or my GP sadly.
 

AlohaBird

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Forgive me if I'm not surprised.

Check in and let us know how things go getting this sorted out.
 

valeriedl

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First time's not always the charm when it comes to meds.

When I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2003 my neuro had tried several different meds at several different dosages for a few years. If the med and/or dose wasn't working or making things worse he would take me off of it and try something else. I don't think my neuro just dumped a ton of meds on me right from the start like you are taking though, he added and subtracted as the years went by.

I'm taking 4 different meds now and have a VNS. This has lowered my seizures from over 20 a month to about 6. It took a little while to figure out what meds and dosages I needed to be on with the VNS too. The seizures I'm having now aren't anything like I was having at first. My neuro is always trying to lower my dosages and possibly get me off of some of the meds. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

One of the tasks I had was on a Back Injury page - Herniated Disk/Sciatica/Piriformous Etc.... The reason this is relevant is because I was researching different treatment modalities and it was then that I realized that certain seizure medications that work specifically at "numbing the nerves" in order to stop seizures are the perfect medications to get rid of chronic back pain.

I had a herniated disc for years. When I took pain meds, no matter which ones or the dosages, they didn't seem to help at all. I think my epilepsy meds had something to do with that. I didn't have any seizures while I was taking them though.

When I started taking steroid shots for my back, which a back specialist said would help, I did start to have more seizures. I stopped taking them after a few months because they weren't doing anything. When I stopped talking them the number of seizures went back to normal, that's when I realized that it was the steroids that was causing them.

I had very bad poison ivy a few years ago. My dr told me that I could use a cream that would only help with the itch but it would probably take a few weeks for the poison ivy to go away or I could take steroid pills and it would be gone in a week. I knew if I took the pills I'd start having seizures but I decided the seizures would be better than scratching my skin off, which I was actually doing. I did take the pills and have seizures but it was worth it.
 

resaebiunne

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OK. Given that you were with lab co-workers, doctors were called right away, and you were conscious the whole time, I would say that the "complex partial" analysis sounds right.

I have to disagree. The complex component of "complex partial" implies a loss of consciousness. If she didn't lose consciousness, it would be a simple partial seizure.

Edit: On re-reading this thread, I don't see anything that implies consciousness during the OPs seizure, so I'm not sure how you even came to that conclusion.

Edit 2: I see it now, "I was conscious the whole time and I wondered if I was going to have a stroke because my mouth felt funny and so did my right hand." So I have to restate my disagreement. It could not have been a complex partial seizure if she was conscious.

I would also like to add that you should be cautious with the ER doctors prognosis. I actually wound up in the ER twice in a week because of the generalized seizures I was having. The first time I wound up in the ER, they didn't put me on any medication, even with a history of seizures. I was simply told that if they put me on meds, it would interact with whatever was causing the seizures and prevent an accurate diagnosis. I would recommend speaking to a good neurologist about your medications and the seizures and seeking a more accurate, non-emergent diagnosis.
 
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AlohaBird

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According to WebMD:

Complex partial seizures, by definition, include impairment of awareness. Patients seem to be "out of touch," "out of it," or "staring into space" during these seizures. There may also be some "complex" symptoms called automatisms. Automatisms consist of involuntary but coordinated movements that tend to be purposeless and repetitive. Common automatisms include lip smacking, chewing, fidgeting, and walking."

Impaired awareness =/= loss of consciousness.

From LLStew: "I work in a laboratory and some staff I work with witnessed the seizure and then called one of the nearby doctors from her office. It was other people's descriptions of my behaviour and my own account that made her suggest it was a complex partial seizure."

Then in response to Valeri : "I was conscious the whole time and I wondered if I was going to have a stroke because my mouth felt funny and so did my right hand.
Probably a simple partial seizure.thanks. "


So the jury could still be out on the simple vs complex point. I was really more focusing on the distinction between partial and generalized in re the length of time it takes to recover from the brain fog afterwards.
 

resaebiunne

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According to WebMD:

Complex partial seizures, by definition, include impairment of awareness. Patients seem to be "out of touch," "out of it," or "staring into space" during these seizures. There may also be some "complex" symptoms called automatisms. Automatisms consist of involuntary but coordinated movements that tend to be purposeless and repetitive. Common automatisms include lip smacking, chewing, fidgeting, and walking."

Impaired awareness =/= loss of consciousness.

But it does. I'll quote Wikipedia:

Wikipedia said:
A complex partial seizure is an epileptic seizure that is associated with unilateral cerebral hemisphere involvement and causes impairment of awareness or responsiveness, i.e. alteration of consciousness
 

valeriedl

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Here is a Simple Partial

While awake some common symptoms of simple partial seizures are:
preserved consciousness
sudden and inexplicable feelings of fear, anger, sadness, happiness or nausea
sensations of falling or movement
experiencing of unusual feelings or sensations
altered sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, and tactile perception (sensory illusions or hallucinations), or feeling as though the environment is not real or dissociation from the environment or self a sense of spatial distortion—things close by may appear to be at a distance
 
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AlohaBird

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Call it "impairment of awareness" or call it "alteration of consciousness". Those are pretty much the same thing but neither is passing-out-on-the-floor LOSS of consciousness.



I'm not saying that the OP did or didn't have a simple or a complex. The details shifted and became more clear during the thread.

I am just saying that your definition of ALL complex partial as characterized by LOSS of consciousness is incorrect.


But I think this is a moot point. You could also call it a dead horse.
 
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