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06/05/2009 11:03 PM

Bipolar? Sure. Seizures? I didn't sign up for this

sinisterspackle
sinisterspackle  
Posts: 149
Member

Hello Smile

I'm Leslie, 28 years old, diagnosed with Bipolar I in 2005 - After a four month long manic high >_<

My medications have been doing it for me for the most part. I'm on more than I'd like to be (seven) and I know when some are to off set or augment the others it's gotten a bit out of control. But for a while I had been doing well and didn't question.

But I had two seizures three weeks ago (what the doctors think were seizures - one of them I was at home for) and I've had seizure like symptoms for the last several months (I've just discovered.. little stuff like blinking out for 10 seconds or forgetting simple words. Like 'box'.)

The past few weeks have been stressful. I had an EEG done on Wednesday and I'm hoping to see a Neurologist no matter what the results - and my psych agrees I should see one. Although he is making adjustments in my medications as well.

The past few days have been even more stressful because I'm not sleeping. Even when I'm tired I don't want to sleep. The idea of sleeping is unsettling to me. I was told to take 2mg of Klonopin at bedtime tonight - that was about three hours ago. Nothing. It usually knocks me out through to the next day.

I don't know what's going on with my body or my mind. And I have no idea what to do to fix it. I'm in a constant state of stress. It must be a strange form of mania. I don't know what to do though - how to sleep easy - or get true rest. Or how to get through my days without being in a constant state of tension.

Wow - okay, very long first post. Sorry about that. But there I currently am - in a walnut shell.

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06/06/2009 01:21 AM
Kaiki
Kaiki  
Posts: 7
Member

hiya and welcome, and hugs. The possibility of seizures can be scary, I know. My half-brother has had severe epilepsy since I was a kid and for months a few years back, the doctors were thinking I might have epilepsy also, before that was ruled out. I know epilepsy can feel very threatening, especially the thoughts of losing privileges like driving and such, but it's not the end of the world either.

That said, til a doctor gives you a firm diagnosis, I wouldn't recommend assuming you have epilepsy. I've had periods where I space out, times when I can't remember a word, times where I'm trying to say one word and another comes out instead, other times where my motor skills suck, and I can't even pick up a dime, and it can get to the point where English--my native language--becomes entirely incomprehensible to me. I don't have epilepsy tho, that was ruled out after a week's stay in the hospital for an extended EEG. What I do have are severe migraines, which can have symptoms that resemble epilepsy.

So, be aware, while you should see a doctor and find out what the problem is, there are plenty of other possibilities besides epilepsy, and migraines for one seem to have a higher rate of incidence among those with bipolar from what I've read in my research so far.

Again, hugs. You'll get through this, I have no doubts.


06/06/2009 02:13 AM
JLeeKenser
JLeeKenser  
Posts: 307
Member

Klonopin is not always the best med for manic phase when I took it my dosage was a bit higher and I was allowed an extra one if I was truly having difficulty sleeping at night. You should talk to your shrink and see if he/she might suggest a different sleep aid or adjust the dosage on the one your using now.

Above all else even if your only getting three hours a night that is better than no sleep in a manic phase trust me. I have been fighting with this wonderful gift for over twenty years and have taken many a medication that doesn't always work for everyone.

When you take your klonopin be sure to turn off any stimulus such as a tv, radio, lights, etc. the idea is to give your mind the opportunity to shut itself down with the aid of the sleeping pill. The more you struggle against it the more aggressively it won't work. Part of any medication working is your not only believing but, giving it a fair chance to help you. Find whatever relaxes you before you take it and lay down for the night...


06/06/2009 04:26 PM
sinisterspackle
sinisterspackle  
Posts: 149
Member

Kaiki

Thank you for your post Smile

I do also have Migraines - and without Topomax they are pretty severe (many times a week, nausea and vomiting, and the pain!) I am very fortunate to have found a medication that has brought them down to such a manageable level. Maybe because of my history it could still cause the problem? I don't know - the "seizure" symptoms are kinda new.

That said I definitely want a negative on the seizure diagnosis. I guess I'm just nervous and it's not helping my stress level >_<

*hugs* Thank you very much. I know that this to shall pass. I'm just being too anxious about it.


06/06/2009 04:36 PM
sinisterspackle
sinisterspackle  
Posts: 149
Member

JLeeKenser

Thank you for replying. I know you're right - to let the medication work. To just take it and lay down in a quiet room and encourage it's purpose/sleep. I've just been so adverse to sleep lately, even when tired, that I'm reluctant to even lay down. But I need to overpower that. I really do.

Also I have Seroquel if the Klonopin keeps with the fighting. (But I know not to mix them). I did get to sleep at a decent time last night (For me - I went up to bed around 12:30a) but have been tired today. Though I do have sleep apnea and did not wear my cpap either at all or I took it off at some point in the night - I'm not sure which.

I am going to try to take control of this - all of this, the stress, the meds, everything. I really do appreciate your reply.


06/06/2009 04:49 PM
JLeeKenser
JLeeKenser  
Posts: 307
Member

Your welcome of course it takes time and if your able to take something besides klonipin I would actually rather take the seroquel. That is what I am on now and I didn't sleep last night at all but, I chose to skip it because on Thursday I went to Ann Arbor for a Gastro exam and when I got home I went pretty much right to bed and slept into Friday for more than 12 hours.

I honestly understand that desire to just not want to sleep for like 12 hours and wake up tired only to have it time to go back to bed in like nine hours. I have been dealing with this issue for over 20 yrs. and it honestly never is an easy choice. I also suffer from nightmares and they were supposed to be reduced by the Seroquel only the more I sleep the more I get them. It is a catch 22 and definitely sucks at times.

If ya ever need a shoulder I am always available to answer questions or just to chat with say someone in your life that maybe doesn't quite understand your issues...J.


06/06/2009 05:51 PM
YorkieLove
YorkieLove  
Posts: 7033
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

I also take seven medications and am getting frustrated with the side effects. I forget things, space out, shake, heart races, jaw clenches or locks up. I think that it is me meds, because all of this started when I started taking meds and/or they increased the doses.

For sleep - reserve your sleeping place for sleeping. No TV or computer, etc. Also make it as soothing as you can. Water running sounds, incense, etc. A hot bath, hat as you can stand it, always relaxes me. Yoga, meditation or deep breathing also help me relax. I even set up a meditation room when I was having extreme anxiety.


06/06/2009 06:43 PM
Kaiki
Kaiki  
Posts: 7
Member

You're welcome. If you're under a lot of stress, that could be part of what's causing these symptoms. My worst migraines only happen, at the most, once or twice a year, and their symptoms are horrid and make me feel terribly ill, plus they don't come with headaches at all. I know most people assume migraines are headaches, but they're not, and that's part of what confused the issue for me and my doctor for a while, that and the family history of epilepsy.

Sometimes, I think the worst thing is not knowing, you start fearing the worst. Once you know, even if it's horrible news, at least you know. So I totally understand your fears in this case, plus I went through the same experience myself, fearing I might have epilepsy. Epilepsy tho, while it can hinder your life in some ways, doesn't need to stop it your life. But then again, I've seen a family member who has the condition and regularly had gran mal seizures.

Epilepsy isn't the end of the world, but the point is, til the doctor says otherwise, there are so many possibilities, and if you do have migraines, well, my neurologist said at the time that epilepsy and migraines are related.

Anyhow, if you're already stressed out, and I suspect you are, I agree with JLeeKenser, it's time to stop and take time to relax and reduce your stress, get enough sleep. Regardless, whether it could be migraines, epilepsy, whatever, stress and lack of sleep most likely will only worsen your symptoms and episodes, so it's time to start taking gentle care of yourself.

*hugs* It's tough and scary, but the fear of the unknown is always worse than the fear of the known I've found.

Post edited by: Kaiki, at: 06/06/2009 06:46 PM


06/06/2009 07:50 PM
iscah
iscahPosts: 32
Member

Hi there! I have bipolar and epilepsy. I started having seizures a few years ago but my doctors suspect that they were there for awhile, because I didn't recognize my symptoms (spacing out, confusion) as seizure activity.

I've heard of people having stress seizures and not having actual epilepsy and I hope this is the case for you. Bipolar and TLE (temporal lobe epilepsy) are alike in a lot of ways, and to be honest, as much as I was upset at my diagnosis it did answer a lot of questions. After talking to different neurologists (I didn't believe them and I went for a second opinion) I realized that most people wouldn't know the difference between seizure activity and say, a panic attack or a migraine. It's so confusing.

Anyway I hope your neuro results put you in the clear. If you have any questions feel free to message me. Good luck!

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