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Old 11-04-2019, 01:08 PM   #17
BookCat
C L J
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Posts: 2,260
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Birmingham UK
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I had meningitis when I was 3, survived, but remember often feeling 'odd'. At 7 I "passed out" while getting ready for school. It took years to diagnose, but I have complex partial epilepsy. When in my 20s many neurologists doubted I had the condition because most of the EEGs showed a normal Alpha rhythm; apart from one. During one of the many EEGs I had, I responded badly to an "overbreathing" test, in which you basically have to hyperventilate for several minutes. The test was stopped, I was quizzed about what I'd eaten that morning, given a glucose-like drink, then the test was repeated. The neurologist later beamed over the print-out, telling me that I had "beautiful brainwaves" (pointing at the tight, even waves) "but look what happened here," (pointing at the part where they became deep, loose and erratic).

Only when MRI scans became prevalent was I finally believed! The scan apparently showed scarring on my right temporal lobe.

I've had seizures almost weekly all my life. Luckily, it hasn't affected my intellect or memory. They last only a few moments if generalised (loss of consciousness) or just seconds if partial (very strange sensations of de ja vu and jamais vu and general terror).

The drugs have given me osteoporosis and neutropenia. The first is severe, the latter mild. The former is caused by the way most anticonvulsants induce the liver to produce an enzyme which wipes out vitamin d. It annoys me that people are still put on these drugs without vitamin d supplementation.

On the whole, I'm secretive about my condition until someone gets to know me well or is likely to witness a seizure. Otherwise people call ambulances etc when I'm perfectly fine within five minutes. Because I don't have convulsions, strangers assume I'm diabetic. Once, while waiting for someone in town, I 'conked out' and found myself surrounded by young student-types who gave me a (sugar free!) lolly. I appreciated the comfort Soon, my friend turned up, as did an ambulance whose personnel insisted on taking all my details.

Some boyfriends in the past have vastly misunderstood the condition, thinking it progressive, and fearing becoming my carer. I live happily alone with my cats. An old friend from over the road comes to sit with me when I have a bath - I have a natural fear of drowning.

Not being able to drive has been a bugbear, but one I totally understand.

Last edited by BookCat; 11-04-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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