Medical Update

I saw my neurologist yesterday, the first opportunity that I’ve had to see him since my most recent seizure in September. We don’t know why I’m having seizures so we don’t know how to treat them. We simply have to try a variety of things and, if I don’t have seizures, we go with that. I’ve been on a heavy dose of Keppra since May but when I had another grand mal seizure in September it was clear that the Keppra alone was not going to work. We added Lamictal, in addition to the Keppra and yesterday my doctor asked me what I’d like to do….continue on with Keppra + Lamictal, go back to just Keppra…..or ????. I’ve chosen to take Keppra alone…..and be very careful about minimizing things that might trigger my seizures: alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, fluorescent light, estrogen. That isn’t easy! I love wine and I’d already limited my intake of alcohol but will now cut it out entirely. I’ve already given up coffee….another love. Instead, I drink tea and had lately been drinking more black tea which contains more caffeine than the green tea that I ordinarily drink. But….giving up tea entirely…..that will be difficult. My stomach surgery has already greatly limited what I can eat and drink.  Giving up tea would leave me with water, vegetables, whole grains, chicken and fish. Sleep. That’s been difficult for years. I will often sleep just two or three hours each night but lately my medications have made me sleepy, often needing a morning and afternoon nap but I’ve also sleeping more at night. I’ve known for years that I’m photo sensitive so I try to avoid fluorescent light and dappled or flashing lights. Hormones…..well, those are out of control as I go through menopause and my doctor says that even after I’ve made that transition, the seizures are likely to continue, perhaps even get more frequent. At the urging of friends, I’ve gotten a referral to the University of Washington Medical Center and I hope to see a neurologist there soon for a second opinion. For now, I’ll continue to take my meds and minimize seizure triggers.

I also found out about my aneurysm yesterday. At just 3.45 cm, its not a concern right now but something to keep an eye on. The CT scan has also shown that the cyst on my liver has perhaps grown slightly (just over 7 cm) but it, too, is not a concern.

Is there anything else? I think that’s it. It’s enough, isn’t it? I’m doing OK, unable to drive until March (if I can manage to not have a seizure between now and then) but I’m doing alright….and getting lots of reading done! 🙂


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