Absent Seizures

xUmabu

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Hello everyone, I have been diagnosed with absent seizures in October of 2017 after my first grand mal seizure. After this event, I had an eeg test and it was pretty obvious that I am experiencing multiple of absent seizures; however, they were so short that no one has ever witnessed (and I am 23 years old male.) I have never had any issues at school, and I was pretty active kid (engaged in many team sports.)

Right now I am on Lamotrigine 200 mg a day, and till last Saturday I everything has been OK. I was out for Friday evening and I did not drink more than for regular outs. I missed the pill that evening (but it happened in past already.) After the party I was sleeping around 7 hours, and on the afternoon I went for a ride. This was the first time in my life when I felt that something is *not right*.

Then after that feeling I lost consciousness and I got seizure, the grand mal one. That was the second time in my life. There wasn't any accident and no one was hurt. I was taken to the hospital and I called my doctor about that seizure, she wants me to stay on the same doze of Lamotrigine and I will have another eeg test the next week. Of course, I will not be driving for a bit.

I just don't understand why this happened, basically after 2.5 years, and when I am taking medicine. It doesn't make any sense to me. Now, I am afraid that this might start happening more often. Was anyone in a similar situation?
 

Nakamova

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Hi xUmabu, welcome to CWE!

Everyone is different, so it's hard to know exactly what brought on your grand mal seizure. Seizures and seizure threshold often change over time, due to things like aging, or external factors like stress or activities. It's possible that your metabolism is faster now and that you have less "safety margin" with the 200 mg dose than you have had in the past. Things like dehydration and fatigue, combined with missing a dose could have been triggers for your grand mal seizure, even if those same things might not have been problematic in the past.

I was on 200mg Lamotrigine for my seizures, and they were fully-controlled. But then after several years I noticed I was experiencing very brief absence seizures or partials, and my neuro upped my dose to 225mg, which has done the trick.

You might ask your neuro about having a blood serum test done to check your lamotrigine levels. If they are low, then it might make sense to increase your dose slightly. If you're currently taking a single 200mg dose, another possibility would be taking the Lamotrigine in two 100mg doses, one in the a.m. and one at night.

Lastly, it's always risky to miss a dose of a seizure medication. If you can, try and set reminders so it's less likely to happen again in the future.

Best,
Nakamova
 

Porkette

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Hi xUmabu,

Welcome to the forum! Just like you I have absence seizures along with complex partial seizures. There have been times when my drug
level was to low and then it triggered seizures for me. Also if I was on a seizure med for a long time and my body got used to it
I would have to change the med for the seizures to stop. One thing my neuro found out is that I have "seasonal seizures" which means
I have more seizures in the fall and winter compared to the spring and summer because there's more serotonin in the spring and summer.
Keep track of your seizures and if you notice more seizures in the spring and summer this could be what's going on. Also the best thing
that ever helped reduce my seizures after 48 yrs. of seizures was cbd oil (med. marijuana) My neuro ordered me to take it and now the
seizures are the lowest in my life. You may want to look into that . Also if you use a cell phone they have found that sometimes a person
can be cell phone sensitive meaning the frequency the cell phone uses can trigger seizures. If you notice you are around a lot of people
in a store and have a seizure this could be what's going on.
I wish you only the best and May God Bless You,
Sue
 

Sabbo

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Hello. Seizure frequency & the type a person has can change over time, and I speak from experience. I've had simple partials since childhood. At the age of 14, I had 3 or 4 tonic clonics--none since, thankfully. Twenty years ago, though, I suddenly began having complex partial seizures. They occur without any aura, & have put me in many dangerous situations. Even though I take my meds, I still average 1-3 breakthroughs/month.
 

xUmabu

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The most important thing for me is the ability to drive. I love cars & driving and this gives me a lot of joy in life.
I do not think that I will try with cbd oil; I am just a bit scared because of this. Tomorrow, I am going to do another eeg test, so I will see what is going on with me. What was the shortest time after you started driving? In my state doctors or paramedics are not reporting a person with seizure to DMV so I hope that my license will not be suspended.
Anyways, thanks for answers. It is nice to know that I am not the only one with this condition.
 

Sabbo

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I chose learned how to drive, but never got my license. At the time, I only had simple partials. In school, right before my final behind the wheel practice session, I had a simple partial, I decided right then & there that I didn't want to risk anyone's life while driving.
 

Clovis

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Hello and welcome to the forum. Like others have said everyone is different and there is no certain answer as to why you had the second gran mal. That being said, I had similar experiences after I started having seizures. I had the first absence one, not knowing what it was, then a few days later had the first gran mal.

Why are you afraid to try CBD oil? There is nothing in it that should hurt you and is THC free. As for driving, I am sorry to tell you this, but you may not be driving for a very long time. Since you had a gran mal while driving your doctor may notify the DMV about your seizures. Some do. And as long as your seizures aren't controlled you are a danger to yourself and others.

Please understand I am not trying to be snarky or depressing to you, just telling you the truth. I truly hpe you can get your seizures under control and get back to your normal life.

Bless you.
 

Sabbo

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Now that I have complex partials as well as simple partials, I'm glad I chose not to drive--especially since the CPs occur without any aura. I only know that I have had one if I do something to myself/my surroundings or if another person witnesses it & tells what happened.
 

xUmabu

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Thank you all for responses.

Why are you afraid to try CBD oil?
Mostly because I do not want to have any issues if the company sends me for medical examinations.

I had the eeg exam the other day, and I had a *peak* on the graph while hyperventilating. The nurse said that it was not a seizure and it is very common for people with absent seizures. Maybe my neurologist should increase Lamotrigine to 225 mg a day?
When it comes to driving - my quick recovery is very important, because otherwise I might lose my job. Without a job, I have no health insurance, and without health insurance - there is no way that I can be seizure free.
 

Nakamova

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I had the eeg exam the other day, and I had a *peak* on the graph while hyperventilating. The nurse said that it was not a seizure and it is very common for people with absent seizures.
The peak may not have been a seizure, but it's a diagnostic marker for epilepsy (particularly absence seizures, as the nurse said). An EEG can register a seizure if it occurs, but it can also show brainwaves that are "epileptogenic" -- that is, showing an interictal (between-seizure) pattern that means you are vulnerable to seizures. I've never had a seizure during an EEG, but my EEG has shown the "spike and wave" brainwaves that are a "classic" interictal pattern for people with epilepsy.
 

Sabbo

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I've actually had an simple partial seizure occur during an EEG. During other EEGS my neuro said there were patterns that showed epileptic activity.
 

xUmabu

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I still remember that my doctor was really surprised when I told her that I have never had any issues with learning etc, because she believed that I had these absence seizures since I was a kid. I think my case is quite interesting because no one has ever seen me being out or just absent. I got driver license when I was 18, and I was doing fine for whole my life.
I got my first grand mal seizure when I was 22. I really hope that all my issues will be resolved by some higher doze of med, or maybe a different medicine because I had to let go too many things in my life because of my disease. I am still waiting for the eeg result and I have the MRI exam in the following week.
Is there anyone here who had a really bad case, but everything was under control after being on meds and is a driver? Or even better, is there anyone who was in such a case and then was able to stop taking medicine?
 

Porkette

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Hi xUmaba,

My case was a very weird one I've never been able to drive in my life but in regards to meds. I had a DNA test done and my Dr. found
out I was drug resistant to all seizure meds out on the market and that's when I was told to start the cbd oil (med. marijuana) it has
amazed me how that has stopped most of my seizures along with taking 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with mother in it
once a day. I started to use the vinegar to lose weight but then I noticed a decrease in my seizures and I found out that sometimes
the vinegar can help people who have seizures. There's a video on YouTube of a girl who had seizures and now they have stopped
completely do to the vinegar with mother in it. Give that a try if you want to but do it in the morning and be sure to drink some
juice or any type of fluid right after you drink the vinegar because vinegar can effect a persons teeth.
Wishing you only the best and May God Bless You,

Sue
 

JSinger

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The most important thing for me is the ability to drive. I love cars & driving and this gives me a lot of joy in life.
I do not think that I will try with cbd oil; I am just a bit scared because of this. Tomorrow, I am going to do another eeg test, so I will see what is going on with me. What was the shortest time after you started driving? In my state doctors or paramedics are not reporting a person with seizure to DMV so I hope that my license will not be suspended.
Anyways, thanks for answers. It is nice to know that I am not the only one with this condition.
Eh
 

JSinger

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I am currently trying to get my license back from the DMV in NJ. I have only had three seizures my last one was in 7/16/2019!! Any suggestions?
 

Nakamova

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New Jersey requires a 6 month seizure-free period -- which you've passed. So at this point you may need to get your neuro to certify that you are now seizure-free, and submit that info to the NJ DMV.

More info here:
 

Sabbo

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Illinois is the same, too--it require 6 months seizure-free. That's one thing I've never been, especially since the complex partials began.
 

xUmabu

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The neurologist is not reporting you to the DMV in illinois, so basically once you got your driver license--you are fine to go after six months.
Also, I think that three months of seizure free are enough to drive (like in Arizona).
I was reading once that the probability of getting seizure after three months is basically as lowest as after six.
 

Sabbo

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I never got a license. I decided not drive when I was in high school, & only having simple partials. I still remember the day I made that decision. It was in driver's education class, right before my final behind the wheel practice, & I had a seizure. I went to the nurse's office even though I didn't need to by pretending to have cramps. That's when I decided not drive--I didn't want to risk anyone's life.
 

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I never got a license.
I'm the same but mine was because I never had an interest. My Dad tried to encourage me to get a licence when I was in my late teens or early 20s but I had no interest so he didnt push it. At the time I was seizure free.
The seizures returned in 2002 when I was 24 (after being 21 years seizure free) and I was put on restrictions including no driving.

I had surgery in 2011 which helped with the seizures and I went 2 years seizure free. My neurologist gave me the opportunity to get my licence in 2012 after I went 12 months seizure but I wasnt interested but then the seizures returned again so again back to restrictions including no driving.

I dont miss driving and make it work, I live in an area where I can get buses or can walk. My neurologists is in the city so I used to get the train to see them but now our appointments are teleconference so don't have to leave the house.
 
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