It was a week after my first anniversary of my stroke when I was standing in my kitchen looking in my pantry deciding what to eat for breakfast when I suddenly fell straight backwards convulsing on the kitchen floor. The ambulance was called and rushed me to Harborview. It brought back horrific memories of that day nearly 2 years before in Hawaii. An hour or two later while in the ICU I had another seizure that seemed to only stop with very high doses of Dilantin (IV).
Since that day, I have seemed to have a re-occurrence just about every three months to the day. They have consistently happened in the very early hours of waking, usually either in the kitchen or dining room and never outside the house. One huge factor definitely seems to be been behind on sleep, which once again illustrates how critical sleep is to one’s health-more here and here! All of my seizures have followed some sort of lack of rest. According to my neurologist, the early morning hours are the most common. These seizures have been what they term Tonic–clonic, where the entire body is affected (used to be named Grand Mal), where the victim often loses consciousness. Sometimes I seem to even stop breathing. Except for the very first one, I’ve had a very important warning sign where my left (affected side) hand and fingers begin to twitch and move like they normally never do! I now know to immediately sit down(so I don’t fall). After the episode, I truly feel like I been run over by a truck. They have always occurred on the weekdays, and I end up taking off work that day, because I’m so wiped mentally and physically. Good times.
I’m now on a drug named Lamotrigine which seems to be helping, but obviously not stopping the episodes altogether. I have had the dosage raised each and every time since, but my neurologist might put me on another drug or a drug in addition to the Lamotrigine. Lamotrigine is much better then Dilantin was as it doesn’t have near the side effects, which has been good. I have also heard that having seizures post stroke, while common, they don’t necessarily equate to epilepsy, thank goodness. But from the sounds of it, I may very well be on anti-seizure medicines for a good part of my life. I seem to really dread looking at the calendar at the three-month interval coming closer.
Another annoying part is that in most states one cannot drive a car and less they have not had a seizure for six months. So my six month clock has now been reset several times wanting to get back some independence of being able to drive again and do things like I can help out Jeanie running to the store or other small errands. I guess for now I will continue to rely on my trike as all long it’s been my single mode of independent transportation.