FAQs




Q:  What are seizures?
A:  A seizure is a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. Twenty-five million Americans (1 in 10) have had, or will have, at least one seizure at some time in their lives.
Q:  What is epilepsy/seizure disorder?
A:  Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder is a condition caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which results in a sort of of short circuit in brain activity, generally for a short period of time. It is NOT a disease. Epilepsy is actually a broad term which covers about twenty different types of seizure disorders. I am classified as having "seizure disorder," not epilepsy. I am not sure the exact difference, but that is what they told me...so I believe them.
Q:  What causes seizures?
A:  In about 70% of cases there is no known cause, but doctors do know that seizures can be related to:              
  • Head trauma: especially from automobile accidents, falls and blows, gunshot wounds or sports accidents. The more severe the injury, the greater the risk of developing epilepsy.
  • Infection--meningitis, viral encephalitis, and less frequently mumps, measles, diphtheria and others
  • Brain tumor and stroke
  • Poisoning, such as lead or alcohol poisoning. More than 5,000 persons each year are reported to suffer seizures caused by alcoholism.  Maternal injury, infection or systemic illness affecting the developing brain of the baby during pregnancy.
Q:   How many kinds of seizures are there?
A:   Because seizures include muscle spasms, mental confusion, a loss of consciousness and/or uncontrolled or aimless body movements it is hard to put an   EXACT number on the total number of different kinds of seizures, but... 
There are two MAIN types of seizures, as well as several sub-categories under those:       
-Generalized- begin with a discharge of neurons throughout the brain. They include:            
-Tonic-Clonic seizures or "grand mal" (loss of consciousness, stiffening of body, jerking of limbs        
-Partial- begin with a discharge of neurons in just one part of the brain. They include:            
-Simple Partial seizures (uncontrolled body movements, brief changes in sensory perceptions)            
-Complex Partial seizures (confusion, loss of awareness, aimless movements)            
-Infantile Spasms - These fall under either partial or generalized seizures (babies have sudden, jerking seizures)
There are also many less common types of seizures.
I want to add a side note here to let you know that the type of seizures I have, which you see in the videos posted here, are the "Generalized, Tonic-Clonic Seizures." They had formerly been known as "Grand Mal" seizures, but are now known as "Tonic-Clonic Seizures."
Q:  Is it possible for a person to have 2 different kinds of seizures.
A:  Yes! This is entirely possible, and actually quite common. Many people who have seizures have more than one kind of seizure. For instance, at times they will experience a tonic clonic (grand mal), while they may occasionally have an absence (petit mal) seizure.
Q:  Can you work a normal job?
A:  I do work a normal job, but because of the time in my life when I had the most seizures, I was unable to finish any formal education, so I have a hard time getting a decent paying job. I am currently working in the construction field, but it is hard to find a good paying job in that field. I have worked a lot of jobs doing odds and ends, but recently come across something that is changing my life, by allowing me to use my limited education, and STILL make a good living. If you would like to know more, please check it out. I PROMISE you it will change your life forever!!!
Q:   How can I help someone who is having a seizure?
A:   -Stay calm- don't try to restrain or revive the person.
-If the person is seated, help ease him/her to the floor.
-Remove hazards such as hard or sharp objects that could cause injury if the person falls or knocks against them.
-Don't move the person unless the area is clearly dangerous, such as a busy street.
-Loosen tight clothing and remove glasses.
-Protect airways by gently turning the person on one side so any fluid in the mouth can drain safely.
-Never try to force something into the person's mouth!
-If you know this person has a history of seizures, don't call an ambulance unless a seizure lasts more than five minutes, is immediately followed by another one, or if the person is pregnant, ill or injured.
-When the seizure ends, let the person rest or sleep.
-Be calm and reassuring, because the person may feel disoriented or embarrassed.

Q:  What does it feel like to have a seizure?
A:  I don't really "feel" anything, because I am unconscious the whole time. If you watch the video, from the time my hand stops moving, I am unconscious. So I really don't feel anything. I do have the after effects of being VERY tired, though, and maybe having a sore tongue if I bite it. Also if I hit myself on something during the seizure, I have that to worry about, but other than that, I don't feel anything during the seizure.

Q:  What kind of medication do you take?
A:  I take 1200mg of Felbatol twice a day, and 50mg of Topamax twice a day. I take both medications in the morning when I wake up, and at night before I go to sleep.
Q:  Have you ever tried medical marijuana to control the seizures?
A:  No, I have not, and I do not intend to. The medication I am on is working fine, and I do not intend to change it, because of the risks involved with having seizures.
Q:  Do you still have seizures?
A:  As of when this is being posted (April 18, 2014), I haven't had one for just over 4 years. Does that mean I'll never have one again?...I don't know.
Q:  What caused your seizures?
A:  There is no specific reason the doctors can come up with as to why I get them. I had no abnormal childhood trauma, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs. There is nothing in all the tests they did that showed why I should have them.
Q: Can you tell when you are going to have a seizure?
A: No, I cannot. Some people can tell when a seizure is coming on, because they will experience something called an "aura," which is different for different people, and may be a light, a certain feeling or numbness or a distinct smell.
Q:   I've started having seizures. How often can I expect to have seizures?
A:   Seizures may be very frequent for some people as well as very rare for others.        They may last a couple seconds or several minutes. They may be severe or very mild. A person may also have more than one type of seizure, and the pattern of seizures may change with time.  
Q: How can I help in the fight against Seizures?
A:   -Know the facts!
-Explain the facts to family, friends and co-workers.
-Support legislation and policies designed to give people with epilepsy a fair chance.
-Contribute your time and money to organizations providing assistance and research funds.

-Be a friend - don't discriminate!


Q:  How do you pay for all of the tests and everything?
A:  When I had the tests done, I was on medicaid, and it covered the cost of my tests. Unfortunately, I am no longer on medicaid, but FINALLY have insurance that can cover the cost of seizures and medicine. For several years, I paid over $800 each month for my medicine so I ran up credit card bills just to get my medicine each month. Also, during the time when I was uninsured, I had several trips to the hospital, and still have thousands of dollars in hospital bills that I have to pay off somehow. The hospitals are relentless in their pursuit, and I can find no way to get them paid.
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