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Old 11-18-2005, 09:11 AM   #1
Daniel Overvoll
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I know this is not a WOD related injury, but if Lynne will permit this to be up for a day or so, I would appreciate it.

I have been gone for the past month as we were moving into our new home. The first weekend we were unpacking, my wife had her first Grand Mal seizure of her life. I was able to get her gently to the floor (thanks to WODs) and monitor her, and an hour later her memory was better than mine. We have found a great neurologist who has a plan, and we hope we are in that 40% of people who are "one and done" w/ seizures. She is on meds now while they look at all of her test results. She is not driving for now and I am busy as cannibal at a missionary convention between chauffering, our two daughters, and researching everything I can about seizures.

Does anyone here have any Personal experience with seizures and working out, seizures and diet, etc.? I have come to really respect some of the people here at CF and would like to know if anyone has any practical, real world advice or infromation from family, close friends, or their own exeriences w/ seizures.

BTW: my wife is 43, no head injuries, completely healthy (heart, no seizure history, no diabetes, BP is awlays good, blood and urine work were fine, etc.). She is overweight and she has been working on that and wants to really take care of it now.

Any help is appreciated!!

Best,

DanO
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:59 AM   #2
Jason Erickson
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Dan -

I have extensive experience with grande mal seizures. Causes tend to vary, and that is often the most frustrating part, as like volcanoes it's not always possible to predict when (or if) another "eruption" will occur.

In my case, the top two factors in controlling the likelihood of seizures are 1) sufficient sleep and 2) medication. There's a lot of medications prescribed to control seizures these days, some cheap and some pricey. It is likely that your wife's doctor will gradually taper her off medication to see if she returns to a seizure-free state without it. If she's one of the lucky 40%, that would be GREAT! If she's a repeat, her doctor will likely recommend a longer (or permanent) course of medication. If so, don't think it has to completely alter your wife's lifestyle or exercise.

To my knowledge, exercise and other fun activities do not increase the likelihood of seizures. If anything, the extra activity will help maintain good blood pressure and circulation, plus alleviate stress and promote better sleep. 99% of those who know me would never suspect that I'd ever had a seizure if I hadn't told them at some point, as my lifestyle doesn't reflect any limitations.

Stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and such don't seem to have a great impact. Reducing your wife's intake certainly won't hurt, and will help with the weight/overall health issue.

Here's a few handy tips for dealing with the possibility of another seizure:

1) DON'T PANIC. It's a pain in the *** and kinda scary at first, but in time it's just another part of life and no big deal. You and your wife have dealt with bigger stuff (having kids!) and you'll handle this fine too. :happy:

2) Learn basic First Aid. If another seizure were to happen, you'll feel better about knowing how to handle it as a basic emergency. Teach your kids about checking to make sure mommy won't hurt herself and calling 911. If old enough, have them take First Aid training too.

3) Learn about her medication(s). Most medications should not be mixed with alchohol or certain other substances. However, some are forgiving if she has a beer or glass of wine (or more). Proceed VERY cautiously in exploring this. Intelligent selection of the place and circumstances of any consumption will enable both of you to continue having great times without unpleasant surprises.

4) If a seizure happens, pay attention to location, duration, and severity. Have her note what she did in the last 24 hours, how she felt beforehand (especially in the 30 seconds just prior) and how she feels after. In most cases, she'll probably just come out of it feeling tired and a bit sore, with her mental clarity rapidly clicking back up to normal. In most cases calling 911 isn't necessary, but follow your own best instincts and do what feels right. She may bump her head or something, so monitor how she's doing for a few hours afterward if you don't take her in. Expect her to be irritable, both from having the seizure and from being checked on afterwards. She may have a headache too, and once fully cognizant she should drink plenty of water and rest for a bit. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be fine if she wants a mild pain-reliever for any reason.

5) Educate family/friends that she spends time with. Let them know what it may look like. Have a very simple action plan for them so they know how to handle it if need arises. They may worry at first, but most people will just be glad to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

6) Keep your kids involved! Kids are sharp and resourceful if you keep them updated on developments, and can follow an action plan if they know what is expected. You will also be teaching them the importance of open communication within the family.

All of the tips given above apply equally to both you and your wife. Aside from #1, they are given in no particular order.

Again, I want to assure you and especially your wife that life is not about to change for the worse. All of the coolest/greatest things I've done/experienced in life happened after I started having seizures. I have gone a long time without one now, but the possibility of another is always with me. It's one thread in the tapestry of my life, and by no means the most important. I get my sleep, take my meds and have a great time living!

Good luck!

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Old 11-18-2005, 09:54 PM   #3
Brian Mulvaney
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I'm just going to put this out there for consideration Daniel. Are you sure it was a Grand Mal seizure? Vasovagal syncope can look like a seizure, but is far more common in adults who have no history of seizures.
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:12 AM   #4
Andy Shirley
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I'll preface this with: I have no "personal" experience with epilepsy, but I am a healthcare provider in a Neuro-Critical Care Unit. I have treated and cared for many patients in Status Epilepcticus. Also, this should not be taken as medical advice, always talk to your neurologist regarding these things.

1. I would avoid aspirin after a seizure, particularly if there was a head injury during the seizure. Aspirin increases risk/severity of any bleeding tht might or might not be occurring in the head

2. If she's gonna lift heavy, use a rack/spotters. That just would be pretty. This would also cover her for vasovagal syncope.

Otherwise very good info from Jason
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:37 PM   #5
Rob McBee
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A cousin of mine suffers from frequent seizures and for a time her parents tried a strict ketogenic diet. They found they were able to reduce her seizure medications. They stopped because they couldn't keep to the diet and I'm not sure how widely this is still recommended if at all. I'm all about meds as a last resort so I think it would be worth the effort if there is some efficacy behind it.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:31 AM   #6
Daniel Overvoll
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Thanks to all who replied!! Cynthia is feeling much better, and has had no recurrences. The Dr. has a plan and is going to do a Petscan next week. If that looks good, he will switch her over to a different medication which has no side effects and is more like a "vitamin". He will wean her off this over two years and if there are no seizures in that time, we'll consider this a "one and done". She has been doing her workouts and feels fine during and after. Once again, I appreciate the responses.

Best,

DanO
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Old 12-01-2005, 06:00 PM   #7
Brad Hirakawa
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Daniel,

Which medication is her doctor considering. If it is the one I am thinking of, my company makes it, and I can provide you with a ton of literature on the product.

You can e-mail me anytime.

Brad
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:06 AM   #8
Robert Wolf
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Possibly interesting:
http://www.stanford.edu/group/ketodiet/
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