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Seizures (Epilepsy)


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Comment from: D.J., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 02

I am a 60 year old woman. I was diagnosed with seizures at 18 months when I had a grand mal seizure. Not sure which drug I was given, but by the time I was 4, I had suffered some kind of renal failure and was hospitalized for about 8 months. When I was in elementary school, I was prescribed phenobarbital which I continued to take (eventually, with various other drugs) and my grand mal seizures continued albeit at a less frequent rate. I also developed a secondary condition, another type of seizure, partial focal. Even though my grand mal seizures have decreased significantly, this type of seizure continued to plague me, regularly. I took Dilantin, Mysoline and Valproic acid in several combinations. I was 15 1/2 and only taking Dilantin when I had my first grand mal and fell down a flight of stairs. It was a common occurrence to walk into walls and have compromised stability and sometimes blurry vision. Some time in my late teens I was given valproic acid, but I have problems finding it and often went without if I was required to go to pharmacy at the hospital. Since it wasn't helping the partial focal seizures, I returned to Mysoline which I tolerated well but was fairly ineffective on the partial focal seizures on its own. I continued to have both kinds of seizures at a rate of approximately 1 per month and I attributed it to ovulation as they appeared cyclical. Eventually I took a variety of other drugs with it and it was decided in my mid to late 20s that Tegretol was introduced and Mysoline discontinued. At age 29 I entered a program for brain surgery. I had an excision of 75 percent of my right temporal lobe where I was suspected of having scar tissue at the point of birth, despite having a non-forceps birth. The only reason I had only 75 percent removed, was because, if they had removed totally, I would be left with tunnel vision. I had my last grand mal at age 29 within 2 days post-surgery. I remained in the hospital 1 week and was released to my parents (though I lived on my own), not tolerating food or drink for a week, and was on chewable Tegretol. I continue to this day to have partial focal seizures, less frequently. I am now 60 and recently suffered a myocardial infarction where a stent was implanted in my left upper quadrant. And after a severe memory loss and personality disruption I was taken off Tegretol (believed contraindicated with my Plavix) and put on lamotrigine. I still have focal seizures, but again, at much improved rate.

REFERENCE: Ko, DK, et al. Epilepsy and Seizures. Medscape. Updated: Oct 08, 2018.


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