Dealing with epilepsy

Attention deficit, concentration and my epilepsy

I read today 1 in 5 adults with epilepsy also present ADHD (Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. Here’s the link to the article: http://bit.ly/ADHDandEpilepsy. Another article I read a while ago (sorry, but I don’t have a link) stated that attention deficit in people with epilepsy is an adverse effect of many anticonvulsants.

I guess this briefly explains my attention deficit problems, if I choose to believe them.

To explain:

In primary school, I was a straight A (10*) student. I had no problem learning, being attentive or memorizing stuff -> no problem concentrating at school. Continue reading “Attention deficit, concentration and my epilepsy”

Dealing with epilepsy

My medicine so far

Since I had my first seizure on January 1st 1999 (at 5am), I’ve been through a number of medicine. Each time the problem was that my body got used to them real quickly and doses increased, medicine changed.

I started of with Phenobarbital in 2000 and reached the maximum dose of 400 mg/day in 2002 in a single dose per day. I had quite a few adverse effects: dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, continuous headaches among others.

In 2004, when I started my Bachelor studies (in another city), I changed my neurologist and, of course, she changed my treatment. I started Carbamazepine and reached 1600 mg/day (in two doses) in 2008. Among the side effects were: dizziness, headaches, trouble sleeping, sudden mood swings, ataxia and I could go on. Continue reading “My medicine so far”

Dealing with epilepsy

Realizing what epilepsy is to you

One year later, when everything was forgotten and I moved past what happened that New Year’s Eve, I had another seizure. In fact, two more seizures coming three weeks apart: one in February just after my birthday and one in March. All I remember is that I woke up with my mom and my sister hovering over me.

I was then officially diagnosed with grand mal epilepsy aka generalized tonic-clonic seizures. It seemed that the EEGs showed that I have something “different” in the left-side of the brain waves. No one explained what that meant exactly.

I realized what epilepsy is to me after I was prescribed Phenobarbital and had to set up a routine for taking them. It was a game-changer for a 15-year old high school kid.

Note: Epilepsy occurs when 2 or more seizures occur unprovoked by any immediately identifiable cause. In order to be diagnosed with epilepsy, these seizures must occur more than 24 hours apart.