Day 3 Chronic Illness Challenge

Day 3 How did you get a diagnosis?

When I was 17 years old, I was having a bout of insomnia.  My jaw kept twitching uncontrollably.  At the time, I did not know that this was a myoclonic seizure.  Soon my ability to walk straight and talk coherently diminished resulting in a tonic-clonic (or grand mal) seizure.  This happened at around midnight or so.

My parents took me to the hospital.  When I woke up, I had a difficult time responding to people’s questions.  It has always taken me a few hours to recover from a tonic-clonic seizure.

Just because you have had one seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy.  That seizure could have been caused by something else.  My doctor, who was my pcp at the time, ran a few tests to try to find out what was wrong. He requested an EEG and a CAT scan.  The CAT scan was to rule out other possibilities.  The EEG was performed to see if I had epilepsy.  I don’t believe that I had one at the time, but sometimes an MRI is also performed.

The EEG that I had indicated that I had epilepsy and CAT scan did not show any other possibility for the seizure.  They put me on dialantin, but I soon found myself in the ER a few months later when another tonic-clonic seizure happened.  I wasn’t the happiest patient, but my mom was making sure that I took my medicine regularly.   My doctor said this only reinforced my epilepsy diagnosis.



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