There’s a broken circuit somewhere


Photo credit: a.drian via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

So, as you’re all aware (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while at least) I’m bipolar I. What you may not know is I also have an unnamed seizure disorder. It literally says in all my charts “Seizure disorder, generalized convulsive, intractable”. What that means is they have no idea what causes it, it doesn’t have a fancy name, and they don’t quite know what to do to stop it.

I had my first seizure in January 2012. That was scary. I woke up after convulsing – something I was told after the fact by my husband – with a dislocated jaw. The doctors got all the information from my husband and put together I had just had a seizure.

This was very unusual since epilepsy is rare in my family, and is usually child onset and not adult  onset. My younger sister has grand mal seizures from time to time and one of my cousins had a seizure and drowned in her bathtub several years ago when I was still fairly young. So I have no idea what started them or what keeps them going.

I was put on Lamictal, a rather common anti-seizure medication, and it seemed to be working. The seizures stopped. Except they didn’t. They kept happening. So my dose was increased. And then the seizures finally stopped and I was able to live my life without fear of convulsing and having issues.

In the past year though, my seizures have come back. I’ve been taking my medication as prescribed faithfully but I’m now averaging 2-3 seizures a month. That may not seem like many, but when I go from two years with only maybe two seizures in that entire time to 2-3 seizures a month, something is really wrong.

So I talked to my primary care doctor about it back in July. He gave me a referral to the neurologist. The neurologist called me and set me up an appointment for September, as they’re very busy and that was the first available slot. I took it and saw him yesterday.

He’s an interesting man, with an accent I find fascinating. He did a bunch of tests and asked me questions, one of which was “what is today’s date?” I cracked up laughing because I honestly couldn’t remember. Not because my memory is overly faulty, but because I rarely pay attention to the date or even the day of the week. Every day blends into the next. I finally remembered my appointment was set for the 6th and was able to tell him that. He also asked me the capital of Wyoming. Um…yeah, I needed all the hints he gave me for that one.

He ordered blood tests to check my Vitamin D level, my cholesterol level, and to screen me for lupus since no one’s ever looked at me for that. He also sent a referral for an EEG, which I now have scheduled as well. That’s in October. I did the blood tests yesterday. My follow up appointment with him is in December, though I imagine he’d find a way to squeeze me in if something came back looking bad. I now just have to wait and see.

I find doctors to be an interesting breed of professionals. Some you like. Some you dislike. And some you wonder where the hell they got their degree because it couldn’t have come from a real institute of higher education. Yes, I’ve had a couple of the latter and I was ever so happy to stop seeing them as soon as I could. Like the moron who kept upping my lithium until it was to the highest adult level by the time I was eighteen.

I’m looking forward to hopefully learning what’s causing this particular short circuit. One of these days I’ll have all the answers. At least that’s what I hope.

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