Complex Partials?

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Hi all -

So over the past year I have come off of Dilantin (seizure free since 2001) only to start having complex partial seizures. My family doc said they were panic attacks at first but after the third one, which my wife witnessed, I went to my neuro. He said they were definitely complex partials.

My symptoms are:

  • They happen suddenly without any cause
  • They begin with a very odd feeling or aura
  • I have the feeling that I am going to die
  • My right eye begins to twitch
  • I become very confused and cannot formulate sentences well
  • I will pick at my fingernails constantly
  • I swallow a lot and very hard
  • My pulse and BP go way up
  • I am very disoriented and feel like I am in a "dream" state
  • Afterwards I am completely exhausted and sleep for 10 or more hours

I was put on Keppra but had terrible mood side effects. Now I am on Lamictal (100Mg 2 times per day). Today I had another episode. This time it wasn't accompanied by the picking at my fingers or swallowing but I got the whole sudden "I'm going to die" feeling and my heart rate went way up.

I consider myself very rational and for the life of my I can't come to terms with these. I know in my mind that they will not kill me, yet each time they happen I know "this is it". Strangely enough I have one every 5 to 6 weeks.

Does anyone else have this feeling of impending death when they have a seizure? Obviously the Lamictal isn't working. Has anyone had any luck with lamictal?

Thank you all for everything. It's nice to know I'm not alone.
 

Nakamova

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Lamictal works for me. 200mg a day is a relatively low dose, so there's room to up it and see if that helps.
 
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Thanks for the info. I actually was able to look back and log my episodes. They seem to happen fairly consistently. After going on Lamictal the time span between episodes dropped by about 20 days.

The only side-effect I have from Lamictal is the almost constant twitching of my right eye. Weird.

Here's the log of my episodes:

1st one - November 1, 2010
2nd one - December 17, 2010 (45 days since the last)
3rd one - February 7, 2011 (51 days since the last)
4th one - March 31, 2011 (51 days since the last)
5th one - May 25, 2011 (54 days since the last)
6th one - June 26, 2011 (31 days since the last, not as sever as the rest of them)
7th one - August 3, 2011 (37 days since the last, 68 day since the last major one on May 25)
 

Nakamova

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So the seizures/symptoms seem to be increasing on the Lamictal? In that case, you may want to talk to your neurologist. The symptoms could be changing in frequency due to the Lamictal, but there could be other factors involved like the heat, or your metabolism. Can you find any other patterns in the seizures? Do they happen at a certain time of day?
 

epileric

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I had a similar experience. I was recently put on a small dose of lamictal (50mg/day) and my seizures just went through the roof. Most the day I'd feel like I was on the edge of having a seizure and the amount that I actually did have increased as well. One day I actually had 10 seizures in an 18 hour period.

I'm slowly weening myself off but I did find a lot of emotional upset due to what I think is withdrawal.
 
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Nakamova - The only thing I may be able to link each event is slight sleep deprivation and stress.

epileric - I too feel on the fringe of having these complex partials more often on the Lamictal. I don't have "full-blown" ones but there are several times that I'll tell my wife that I think I "almost" had one.


I have an appt with my neuro on Monday. I've gone from Dilantin to Keppra and now Lamictal so I'm not sure if he'll throw another med my way or not!
 

Endless

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Garfield,

Do you know where your seizures originate? Do you have temporal lobe epilepsy? The feeling of impending doom is a common aura for people with temporal lobe epilepsy.

How long does it last?
 
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Endless-

Yes I believe my neuro said that my seizures originate in the temporal lobe. I am SO HAPPY for you to say that the "impending doom" feeling is a common aura. To this point I was questioning my sanity and thinking that perhaps it was all just some sort of massive panic attack; although I don't really have much anxiety. After these "episodes" are over I feel okay (just tired and have a headache).

They usually last about 5-10 minutes and then I slowly start to feel better.
 
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I get that same feeling, Garfield. Many of those times anymore I feel as if my RNS seems to stop the seizures as they suddenly quit before my body starts tensing on the right side.

Some of these seizures I was able to get tracked with my RNS scanner for the doctors to review and they confirmed that the RNS started going off and stopped the seizure.
 
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Hi Garfield. I have right temporal lobe epilepsy and have mainly complex partial seizures. When they first started about three years ago, I thought I was going crazy! I start to feel flushed and detached from my surroundings. This is followed by a very strong feeling of impending doom!!!! Most of the time (especially in social situations) I feel like I have to escape and a real urge to pee. From this time on, I have no memory. I'm often found on the toilet. The result now being that every time I go to the toilet, I have to announce that I'm OK :) . Physically, ( from what I'm told) it's the same every time. I'll sit down, lean toward, hold my left wrist with my right hand, opening and closing and squeezing til it turns blue. During this, I'm chewing really hard and swallowing like I have a really bad taste in my mouth. About 30 seconds to 1 minute later, this finishes and I'll look around, not recognizing anyone, even family. I have know idea where I am which lasts up to ten minutes. Then I'm exhausted, have a massive headache and just want to sleep. Also, lots of the time, I lose memory of that day. Anyway, that's my story. They average about 6-10 per month. In terms of meds. Lamictal has been the only one with the least side effects for me. Serious vertigo though when I was on 300mg twice daily. I was sliding around on my bum the first half of the day and I was still having seizures!!! Phew, that was long. A long winded way of saying YOU'RE NOT ALONE :)
 
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Thanks CarpeDiem13. I honestly thought I was kind of alone in the types of seizures I am having. It's nice to know 1) I'm not crazy and 2) there is some hope.

I saw my neuro today and he doubled my Lamictal to 200 mg twice a day.

We'll see what happens!
 

mspang

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Hi Garfield,

At the moment i'm still on Lamictal after being on it since 2000. Unfortunately though it stopped working in 2007 until another a drug was added along with it. So possibly taking another drug with it might help out.

-Mike
 
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Hi all-

It has been a few weeks since my last "episode" and since then I haven't noticed much change. I do find myself very anxious about having another one of these complex partials. They are so darn terrifying and I can't even express how scared I feel when they happen.

I am approaching the 5-6 week mark which is about the time span between seizures. I have noticed a few "close calls" where it feels like one may be coming on and then the feeling dissipates rapidly.

I guess time will tell. If anyone else has symptoms similar to mine above I would love to hear your story. Finding others with similar problems is a real comfort to me....
 

jyearta

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I don't know if this will be of help to you, but I thought I would share, just in case.

I was having alot of anxiety , but come to find out here in this fourm (NOT A DR.) I was doing this to myself, without realizing.

Reading some of the post here I found the way I was (for many Years) taking my medic. was affecting me in some many ways.
I changed to every 12 hours. that alone made a major diff. with my anxiety.

If this is no help to you, just keep looking into the diff. forums and I hope you too will come across some helpful infor.
 
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Hey Garfield!

First, let me tell you that you are very normal. All of the symptoms you mentioned are similar to those I have. It is scarey especially if you can't pinpoint the trigger. I've felt the same concern at different times in my life when I experienced a seizure. My seizures have changed over the years. I had to be aware when going through puberty and most recently with my menopause. Yep, my hormones did me in. Also, when I was in college I came to realize what would trigger my seizures - often when stressed, lacking sleep, and when not eating right I was more prone. I had to be careful around finals and I learned to monitor these areas of my life and be careful and take care of myself. I used to take Lamictal yrs ago. I've since changed meds often. Are you going to have an EEG/MRI any time soon just to do a chech? You're growing and aging. I think all this might be expected. Just continue to communicate to your doc. Even when my levels are good and I'm taking my meds sometimes we just have breakthroughs. Try to become aware of life stressors/triggers personal to you. Good Luck!
 

momof3boys

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The symptoms of the complex partial sieuzres is exacly what Ive experienced when I have one too. Its been since March since I had one. I have epilepsy in my left temporal lobe. Ive had it all my life, and through out my youth years, Ive always had complex partial and grand mal seizures. I would pick at my clothings, my hair, be all confused after it was over and dont recall anything that happened during the seizure. My mom would tell me what happened after I woke up, after sleeping for hours after the seizure was over.

The Keppra and Carbatrol together controlled them very well for me.
 

Blue Cat

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It's been interesting reading this thread. I have had the impending doom panic attacks. I have generalized, not temporal lobe epilepsy. The thing is that I did not have auras with the two seizures I've had since being diagnosed. In talking with my doc they are what they seem to be - panic attacks because I have the fear that I'll have a seizure, yet don't. I don't have any of the other symtoms, and since moving off the Indian lamotrigine generic to Teva, it's rarely happened, and I move back to brand Lamictal as soon as the current prescription is finished. I hope the increased Lamictal works for you, I know how scary it feels.
 
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Here's the log of my episodes:

1st one - November 1, 2010
2nd one - December 17, 2010 (45 days since the last)
3rd one - February 7, 2011 (51 days since the last)
4th one - March 31, 2011 (51 days since the last)
5th one - May 25, 2011 (54 days since the last)
6th one - June 26, 2011 (31 days since the last, not as sever as the rest of them)
7th one - August 3, 2011 (37 days since the last, 68 day since the last major one on May 25)
I hope I didn't accidentally mess up any of the links below, but I thought I'd have some fun. I may even go back in my seizure diary and compare them to yours...

1st one - November 1, 2010

October 31, 2010
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=31&month=10&year=2010
HALLOWEEN FLARES: After two days of quiet, big sunspot 1117 is once again crackling with solar flares. Magnetic fields around the active region became unstable on Oct. 31st, unleashing a C2-class flare at 0318 UT and a C6-class flare at 0431 UT.

November 1, 2010:
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=01&month=11&year=2010
New sunspot 1120 is growing rapidly, quadrupling in area since yesterday.

2nd one - December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=17&month=12&year=2010
UPWARD BLAST: Magnetic filaments have been erupting on the sun with uncommon frequency these past two weeks. The latest event occurred On Dec. 16th around 0800 UT when a filament lifted off the stellar surface and propelled a coronal mass ejection into space.

3rd one - February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive/archive_01Feb2011.html

February 7, 2011
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=07&month=02&year=2011
Earth is exiting a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole.

4th one - March 31, 2011

This is from March 30, 2011, but...
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=30&month=03&year=2011
PURPLE AURORAS: A minor CME hit Earth's magnetic field yesterday, March 29th, at approximately 1500 UT. The impact sparked a display of green and purple auroras around the Arctic Circle.
SOLAR RADIO STORM: Did you know sunspots can make noise? Consider the following: "Over the past few days, I have been recording a sustained solar radio storm at 180 MHz," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico. "It consists of Type I radio bursts and sounds like ocean surf. Here is an audio sample from March 27th at 1930 UT. The sun seems to be entering a new phase of dynamism." Radio emissions like these are caused by plasma instabilities in the sun's atmosphere above sunspots. With the sun becoming 'radio-active,' it's no coincidence that sunspots are emerging in abundance. Leading the way is behemoth active region AR1176, shown here in a photo taken by Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas:

March 31, 2011
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive/archive_16Mar2011.html

5th one - May 25, 2011

http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=25&month=05&year=2011
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive/archive_16May2011.html

6th one - June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=26&month=06&year=2011
Big sunspot 1236 will soon disappear over the sun's western limb.

June 26, 2011
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive/archive_16Jun2011.html

7th one - August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011
Wow!
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/archive/archive_01Aug2011.html

August 3, 2011
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=03&month=08&year=2011
Sunspots 1261 and 1261 have "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-class solar flares.

You might want to check out this thread...

http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/seizures-solar-geomagnetic-activity-11768/
 
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