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First seizures at age 57?
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irishroots posted:
I'm a 57 year old woman with no history of any sort of seizures. I was hospitalized a few days ago after falling off a kitchen chair and not being able to respond to my husband. I have no memory of the fall and the time shortly after. I have partial memories of the EMTs talking to me, but I was unable to answer, and I was shaking all over and unable to control my limbs. I was given a battery of tests looking for cardiac arrhythmia or blockages in my carotid arteries, my entire head and torso were x-rayed, blood work done, all normal. My husband tells me I've had 4-5 of these "spells" in the last 6-8 months I have no memory of them Can a seizure disorder suddenly begin in someone my age? Sorry this is so long - thanks.
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dancer86442 responded:
Hello irishroots,

Your post wasn't long at all. You should see some of my Replies.


Fact: Epilepsy occurs Mainly in Children & Senior Citizens. That is what Researchers say. History of Seizures? Not Necessary! Although History of Possible causes are Extensive. My Mom started having 'episodes' when she was in her 60's. A Homeopathic Specialist MD did blood work & found she had Mercury Poisoning. My Brothers Seizures started at 58. No conclusions as to why. I Suspect: Post Traumatic Disorder. It may have occurred while growing up or after he had matured.

Fact: 2 or more incidents after a 24 hr or more span are considered Epilepsy AKA Seizure Disorder.The fact you have 'no recall' is not uncommon. In fact, to be expected.

Have you been referred to a Neurologist? Did your Husband tell the Drs about previous incidents? Please have him think about those incidents. What occurred prior, during & after them. Write it All down! If he doesn't recall that's OK. Just note them. But, do try to Recall everything b4 your last incident. Chek Page 3 under Tips for Info about What you should Note. You or Hubby:Try to Note all of it Daily until you see your Dr. Then continue the Journal, as it will Help!

Your Neuro will/should require More tests. An MRI &/or MEG EEG &/or Portable EEG &/or Video EEG. (EEG's can come back 'normal', for numerous reasons. That does not mean you Don't have a seizure Disorder! ) Tests don't Hurt, but are Necessary. Please keep us posted & Keep asking Questions. We are here to Help you as well as Support you thru all to come. You are not Alone. Know we Care!

Love Candi
 
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irishroots replied to dancer86442's response:
Thanks so much Candi! From reading this board I think I've picked up the fact that seizures can occur when sleeping? Is there a way I would be able to tell?

I did get a referral to a neuro, took his first open appointment which is 12/13. I think I had an EEG done in the hospital (I don't remember parts of the first afternoon/night).

My husband tells me that he thought I was aware of him telling me about these "episodes" that I don't remember. He asked me if I wanted to go to the ER and (stubborn person that I am) he says I always told him I was ok, no ER. Obviously I don't remember that, but it sounds like something I would say.

He's going to come to the neuro appointment with me, to fill in the gaps, and I've asked him to do what you advised, to write down all he remembers about those times.

He was talking to our insurance agent and mentioned my hospitalization and the agent said it sounded like his wife's symptoms, which have been dx'd as epilepsy. The agent also mentioned that after a seizure, his wife's whole body ached (I guess due to the rigidity of the muscles?). Mine did too, but I didn't put the two together because I also have fibromyalgia and 2 failed cervical vertebrae surgeries. The agent told my husband his wife is more likely to have a siezure when she's stressed or fatigued.

I know I can't be dx'd on this board, but I've read so many of the posts and I feel you (and others) give very good information. Does any of that sound like it could possibly be accurate? I know even the docs aren't sure sometimes, I'm just so confused and frustrated by this, I guess I'm trying to gather as much info as possible.

Also - I'm bipolar/depressive/anxiety disorder and I take a fairly high dose of lamictal, among other meds. Lamictal is an anti-seizure med, isn't it? I know everyone isn't helped by a single med, just curious.

Thanks for your help, Candi.

Bobbie
 
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dancer86442 replied to irishroots's response:
Hello Bobbie,

I'm glad you have taken time to read some of our posts & Info. Yes, seizures can occur during sleep. But, it is supposedly Rare. My Family is 'Rare'. So, how do You Know? Well, if it was a Gran mal your Hubby would have Noted it! What I suggest, is a baby monitor w/ sound & video. It has been noted that the majority of seizure activity occurs in Bathrooms. So, it would be wise to have a Monitor in there, too. No More Baths! Showers Only & be sure Someone is in the House & Knows!

Bobbie, I don't want to confuse you More, but, did you know that all your other pre-existing disorders are co-morbid with Epilepsy? In other words they are Common to People with Epilepsy. Your Hubby talked to a Very good Insurance person. His Input was Helpful. Yes, stress is the leading Trigger for Seizure activities. But, Triggers are Not the Cause of seizures. Seizures are caused by electrical mis-firings in parts of our brain. Yet, A Lot of people find they can control their seizures if they Avoid the Triggers. You will note a Pattern, if you keep up w/ the Journal & thus figure out What your Triggers are. Stress, food, &/or so much more.

It's possible your DR will order another EEG. Tip for getting the gel out: Olive or Veggie oil, Straight or Mixed w/ fav conditioner. Plus, an MRI will be done, too. An MEG is the Newest test to determine seizures, but, not many areas have these machines/tests, yet.

Tell Hubby that Unless your seizure lasts for more than 2-3 minutes Non-Stop, there really is no need for the ER unless you have injured yourself. Yes, everything you have mentioned is accurate. But, keep in mind, we can be 'unique'. As I have learned over the YRS not everyone experiences Epilepsy in the same way. I'm Glad Hubby is going with you. So, my next suggestion: Look under Resources for Questions for your DR. Print or write up what you want or need to know. He won't be able to Answer All the questions. He would need a Lot more Time to do so. But, he may be able to answer some. BTW: IF you don't like your Neuro, Seek another! Plus, If there is more than 1 neuro in your area, definitely seek a Second Opinion!

As for Lamictal: Yes, it is a seizure medication. Your Dr may suggest an increase in Dose or ad another med to it. Either way, keep up w/ your Journal after you begin your new regimen. Ask your Pharmacist or use our Drug/supplement tool to Learn all about any/all meds. But, talk to your Pharmacist, for sure, about any interactions between other meds. Even over the counter & vitamins/supplements or Herbal meds.

I hope this helped some. I'm always Listening, if you have more questions/concerns. HUGS!

Love Candi
 
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irishroots replied to dancer86442's response:
Again, thanks for all the valuable info, Candi. I'd read that seizures could happen during sleep but didn't know they were rare, so thanks for telling me that.

I had no idea some of my other health conditions were co-morbid with Epilepsy. That's good to know and something I'll definitely make sure to tell the neuro. The baby monitor is also great advice, as sometimes hubby and I sleep in different rooms (the bedroom is much too hot for me since menopause, he snores terribly, etc.) so especially at those times (and when we're in the same room) a baby monitor could be very valuable.

I understand that triggers are not the "cause" of epilepsy. Having had fibro for many years, I know there are triggers for that too, and they can possibly bring on a flare, but are not the underlying cause. Thanks for that info though - it's good to remember.

You mentioned the journals (I talked to hubby last night and we're both going to keep one), which I think might be one of the most important pieces of information for the neuro.

Also, thanks for the info on the tests. I found out that I did not have an EEG at the hospital. I wasn't understanding very much of what tests they said they were going to give me, and hubby's not familiar with a lot of medical terms, so he couldn't remember exactly. You know how it is, they look at the computer and say "Ok, we're going to send you for an ABC, DEF, GHI, PET blah-blah....etc." very quickly and if you don't know to ask for the information to be repeated slowly, sometimes that's all the info you get. But he's sure they didn't mention EEG, it must have been a cardiac test because that was what all the tests were centered around. I got release papers of course, and they list some of the information but not all so I'm going to request a copy of my records from the hospital just for my own information and to have on hand to bring to my appointment. The doctor is in the same medical group as my other docs and they all have access to the computerized records from my visits with all of them and also the hospital records, but I'd still like the hospital record for myself, in case I have to go to a doc out of my group who doesn't have the information.

I'll let hubby know about not needing ER services for a short seizure. I think he called this last time because I fell off the kitchen chair (somehow bringing the chair on top of me) and my glasses made minor injuries to my face. He also got scared because of the rigidity and the trembling, and said he thought I'd stopped breathing because I didn't respond when he yelled right in my ear. I think, not having seen something like that, that he was in full-on panic mode, which I can understand. Maybe an unnecessary ER visit, but at least it got the ball rolling, because apparently in the past I refused to let him help me follow up with medical treatment.

I'm glad you emphasized that there are many seizure disorders and that individuals present differently. My dad had Alzheimer's, and the saying went, "If you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've only seen ONE person with Alz.". This sounds the same, very individualized, as I understand the meds to manage it are. I'll make sure to check interactions both with my doc and pharmacists, and do research myself (I've noticed some docs and pharmacists may gloss over info they don't think is "important".).

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your information and advice, Candi. I feel as if you're my anchor in this, and though I'm sorry that anyone has to have a seizure disorder, it really helps to know I'm not alone and others will share their experience and knowledge with me.

I'm sure I'll be hanging around here a lot, if not posting, I'll be lurking, reading a lot.

Big HUGS to you too, and thank you so much
 
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irishroots replied to irishroots's response:
Candi, I just thought of something that may or may not have anything to do with this. At age 14 (when seatbelts weren't mandatory) I was in an auto accident where my head was thrown against the windshield. No injury showed up on hospital tests (I can't remember what tests where taken) except the "usual", whiplash, which may be why I developed the cervical disc problems later in life.

I also remember that at some time in my younger life (possibly in high school, maybe a bit later) I was taken to a neurologist (can't even remember the symptoms) and given at least one test that I can remember - electrodes all over my head, a very bright light shining in my eyes, then the light was made to flash at different intervals, then I think I was told to try to become drowsy - that's all I remember. Would that be an EEG, maybe an old-fashioned one?

As I said, I don't know if this has anything to do with my current situation, it all happened so long ago, and the only people with the information, my parents, are deceased and I have no idea what doc did the tests (he'd probably be retired after all this time).

Just asking for your thoughts, because I've read that in some cases head trauma is a possible cause of some seizure disorders, but it seems weird to me that so many years have passed between that event and now (unless I was having mild symptoms I don't remember and weren't very obvious?), and I can't figure out why my parents would have had me see a doc for tests on my brain.

Just thinking out loud. Thanks again, Candi <3

Bobbie
The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet To Learn
 
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dancer86442 replied to irishroots's response:
Bobbie,

I know we have Lots of Lurkers. Haylen reminded me of that the other day. So, it's Ok if you do. I Know someone is Listening. Just keep me updated.

OK, it sounds like you are following all my advice & that is good. So, Let's jump to your last post. Head Trauma can definitely be an issue. I've known some who didn't present any problems until Yrs after the fact. The fact that your parents took you in (Yes, that was an EEG & still same Test!) says Something must have occurred, due to their concern. You are app. same age I am & I know My Mom &/or Dad were Hush-hush about seizure activity under our roof. I didn't learn about my Sister's activity till we were both in our 20's. I had no clue I even had seizures as a babe till I was in my 40's.

But, this is something you need to tell your DR, too. They may or may not consider it as a possibility. Like our meds & disorders, DRs opinions will vary, too. And they do make it hard to understand. Good thing Hubby is going w/ You! Tell him I'm sending Big Hugs to Him!

Hugs to you, too. BTW: I like your signature. Oh So True!

Love Candi
 
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saxofone1 replied to irishroots's response:
Hi Bobbie,

In addition to want Candi has already said, I would like to wish you much luck on this new journey.

You wonder if that car accident might be the cause. I think it's a strong possibility. I had meningitis before I was 2 yrs. A dozen or so yrs later, I had my first seizure. BOOM, out of nowhere, no warning.

My initial eegs came back w/o any obvious seizure activity yet the episodes had been witnessed by family and a few of my doctors. Don't be discouraged/frustrated if your first eeg comes back clean. As Candi has said to others, timing can be essential when it comes to finding results.

Welcome to family. Please let us know about that EEG you have scheduled for later this month.

angie
 
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irishroots replied to dancer86442's response:
Candi, all your advice seems logical and sound, and a lot of it was stuff I wouldn't have thought of so, yes, I'm going to follow it.

I will mention the car accident and prior EEG to my neuro, even though I won't be able to give him many details, it'll still be important for him to know. My family sounds like yours. I'm sure it was my mom who pushed for the tests. My dad was one of those men (especially with women) who said "It's all in your head" (no pun intended). He thought most health problems, especially ones that had to do with the brain (including depression, etc.) were "made up" by doctors to make more money. Unfortunately he ended up being a victim of his own opinions, as he died of complications due to Alzheimer's disease. And my family was also hush-hush - there were things you could only talk about with family, things you definitely didn't talk about with "outsiders", and things that no one ever discussed. Maybe it was because it was a different generation. Fortunately some health conditions are more accepted now and some stigmas are (hopefully) disappearing.

I think hubby is a dear, too - he's even going to take notes for me so we won't forget things due to medical talk or a too quick appointment. Glad you like the sig. I got it from one of my FaceBook friends and it made sense to me
The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet To Learn
 
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irishroots replied to saxofone1's response:
Hi Angie, and thank you for your good advice too. The car accident was also suspected in my neck problems, even though they came up years and years later.

Your situation must have been scary, to have a seizure come out of nowhere and have no idea what could be causing it.

When I was in the hospital getting all my cardiac tests, the doc did tell me they could call a neuro in and have him/her test me, but it was highly probable that the results would be normal. She said that's why it's preferable to see the neuro as an outpatient in their office. I'm hoping the neuro who I've been referred to both knows what they're doing, and also had a good "bedside" manner, though asking for both of those might be a bit much, as I've found out with other doctors.

Well, I haven't had any more episodes/seizures since writing my first post here (at least, that I know of), but hubby and I are keeping track of everything that might be of the slightest interest to the doc. I do take several meds/vitamins, so of course will bring in a complete list,

I know it's not easy to dx this group of disorders, so I'm not really looking for a miracle on the first visit, just a sign that the neuro knows what he's doing and will listen and persist in trying to find an answer.

Bobbie
The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet To Learn
 
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dancer86442 replied to irishroots's response:
I'm sure there will be More to tell you as we Journey along. I Like your Profile Pic! Did you write in your Profile, also? I'll be watching.

I'm not sure what my Dad thought. As an Army Career Man he was gone (or so it seemed to me) a Lot! When he Was with us, I Don't recall! Except 2-3 Flash pics/events with Him. My History growing up w/ my Siblings is Psssht out the Window. I can recall Mom talking, telling us girls to do our chores, but, I can't see Her! I think this may be due to a Seizure Activity that was recorded on my Portable EEG. Seems I have 'Silent' seizures while asleep. All in my Head (no pun intended )

Unfortunately, Epilepsy is Still Unaccepted & Stigma Abounds! It seems the Only Ones who Want to Learn More are those Afflicted or have family members with Epilepsy. There are a Lot of Organizations using Face Book to Increase Awareness. Seeking Sponsors is the Hardest. Although they do agree we need help. Funding & Awareness is 10 (maybe a bit exaggerated) times Less than Breast Cancer. Yet, is More prevalent in Medical Costs & death occurrences. Plus, more Common than 5 certain Disorders put together! This is what those who are trying to Spread Awareness are emphasizing. There are a Lot of Famous People in Past & Present with Epilepsy. Recently, A Football Coach Refused to discuss his Journey. Did you know David Axelrod Shaved his Mustache for Epilepsy? He raised $1,000,000. Why? A Family Member is Diagnosed with Epilepsy. Sorry on my Soapbox.

Good Thinking on Hubby's Part. HUGS!

Love Candi
 
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saxofone1 replied to irishroots's response:
Hi Bobbie,

I guess I should've been scared, but I was more curious. The first one freaked out everyone else. I was mad that my parents didn't want me to return to school. You see, my first seizure was during spring break when I was in the 8th grade. I was the nut who loved going to school.

Anyway, my ep wasn't a problem for me. It was the sudden of so-called friends that immediately left me alone once they witnessed one.

I found all my tests fun except for one. That one was a sleep-deprived test. I had to stay up all night prior to that eeg. My brother and a school buddy fed me coffee all night, and kept throwing cold water at me. "WAKE UP, ANGIE!!!"

They slept in shifts and had a ball.

All of us have some problem to overcome. Some of us give in because we expect immediate resolve, whereas others continue to fight and search for solutions. I think you're a fighter cause you came to this site seeking answers and support.

Keep that list handy. Note everything that you can think of, no matter how small it may seem to be.

I think you'll know when you have the right doctor for you. Continue to be patient. Don't give in to fear or dispair. We are here to go through this with you(and your hubby.)

angie
 
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irishroots replied to saxofone1's response:
Thanks Candy and Angie. Everything you both mentioned is noted (in writing, so I won't forget) along with a few things I remembered or noticed that may or may not be of use to the doc.

Yes, I'm a fighter (at least I think I am). When I first got my fibro symptoms many years ago, I absolutely knew something was wrong, and I had to see several doctors before one of them dx'd me. I even saw a pain specialist for a while who then added a psychologist (partly to see if patients were "drug seekers"). In the course of one of our sessions, the psychologist called me a "sloth". Ok, they went right out the window, and when I think of that I still kick myself in the head for not making a big deal of it either with the psych or the doc (along with the hush-hush family, I was also taught to be very polite and "civilized" in public, especially with "authorities" like docs, so I blew that chance). I'm going to get this thing figured out, whether it takes me 100 docs over 100 years! It's just too upsetting to be in the dark, especially if there is any kind of treatment that can manage whatever's going on with me, just like my bipolar disorder and fibro are being managed. Not cured, just managed so I have a better quality of life, which what I'm sure you're all looking for.

Another question. I've woken up in the past with full-body pain that lasts 1 or 2 days. It seems more severe than my fibro, and the fibro doesn't usually affect my whole body at the same time. I had the same all-over muscle pain after the apparent seizure that sent me to the ER. When hubby spoke with the insurance agent, the agent said his wife had the same thing after a seizure, because of the muscle strain from the rigidity of her muscles during a seizure. I'm not comparing myself to that woman (I don't even know her or her dx), just wondering if that sounded familiar to anyone? Since my ER visit I've woken up (I don't mean the pain or anything else wakes me up in the middle of the night, just when I wake up in the morning) with that same pain, like I've been training for a difficult sport using every muscle in my body. I'm wondering if that may be a sign that I'm having seizures in the night (I'll mention this at my neuro appointment) or if no one's heard of this and it might be my fibro just acting up because of weather changes, sleeping funny, etc.

Anyway, thanks so much for all your help and clarification of the lingo, what's important to tell my doc, and many other things. I appreciate having you both to help me through this, even if it turns out to be something else.

Bobbie
The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet To Learn
 
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irishroots replied to irishroots's response:
Wish there was an "edit" function on the replies, I hate to make a new reply.

I forgot to mention that all the times I got the severe body pains, I also have a headache that can last for 3-4 days. They're not just annoying headaches, they're bad enough that NSAIDs and my fibro meds don't help, and sometimes I just have to lay down and hope I doze off (they interfere with my sleep, too - which doesn't need any more inteference!).

Thanks, ladies. It's a comfort to know you're there.

Bobbie
The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet To Learn
 
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dancer86442 replied to irishroots's response:
Bobbie,

I know I'm not a Dc, But, it does sound like you may be having some form of seizure activity at nite. Yes, after a seizure you feel bruised from head to toe. You may not be comparing yourself to the Insurance Wife, but, guess what?? He hit the nail on the head. We don't feel pain (or at least most don't) till afterwards. And yes, it's like you did a full workout, when ya haven't done so in Yrs! Headaches/Migraines co-exist w/ seizure disorders to. Sleep is the Only remedy I have found for Body aches & headaches. Another thing to write down for your Journal/Dr. HUGS! Merry Christmas

Love Candi


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