Using your VNS and not coughing

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valeriedl

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I'm not sure how many people have a VNS and can relate to this.

If I use my VNS when I'm not having a seizure I'll get a really bad tingle in my throat and start coughing like crazy. This is something normal.

I very rarely have an aura but there are times that I get a feeling like a seizure might be coming on. When I use the magnet for the VNS I don't notice the tingle and don't have any coughing. I may have to use it once or twice, no tingle either time, but the seizure feeling goes away.

Does this happen with anyone else? Is it possible that a seizure was coming on and I stopped it?
 
I have a VNS. Fought with the VA for 1.5 years and finally got it. At first I had it on a low setting. The next level made me feel like someone karate chopped me in the throat. I would cough and couldn't breath all too well. The magnet was set at the next level. I moved and started to see another neurologist. He was surprised at how low the setting was. He had me swipe the magnet as if I was going to the gym. He told me to swipe it throughout the day and grow a tolerance for it. I've been back a few times and he was able to go up every time without me choking.

I usually have an aura and swipe the magnet. Sometimes I feel it and sometimes I don't. It depends on how long it took me to swipe it (ie how far into the aura it was). My memory suffers and I can't remember what happens if it progresses. I had two episodes yesterday and things happened that I don't remember. I was given a check and put it in my pocket. When it was time to donate it I didn't even know I had it. My mom swiped the magnet, but I don't recall anything. She then told me I had it in my pocket. Surprised me.

The main thing with the VNS is that it helps me come out of the seizures quicker. I would stay in a blank stare for 2 or so minutes and not respond whereas I only do it for 30-60 seconds now. So to answer your other question about if it stops seizures or not, I would say no, but it does make it have a smaller impact and ends it sooner. If you feel the need to swipe the magnet then you've already started a seizure (in my opinion). Look at it as a fire extinguisher. Fires can still happen, but the extinguisher helps put it out before it spreads and the fire department has to come out because it got out of control.
 
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