Monday, July 13, 2009

Possible Minor Seizure Activity

So I was scraping paint on the doors to Ian's workshop late this morning, prepping them to repaint to match our gorgeous repainting job that was just completed on the house, and I was feeling pretty darn good. I felt energetic and was pleased to have the strength and interest to do this small home improvement task. I called Ian and we talked briefly about what color the doors (French, with lots of windows) should be painted, and decided white to match the bulk of the trim, instead of navy blue (little trim) or green (doors on the main house). I got off the phone and realized that I was beginning a migraine—annoying, but I've had them enough that I wasn't really alarmed—and so I pretty much ignored the fact that I was seeing increasingly less well and continued scraping.

I finished the scraping about 10 minutes before my brother was due to join me for lunch, and went in to lie on the couch with my eyes closed. Deane arrived around the time that the visual part of the migraine was going away. As usual, there was no pain and virtually no nausea, and I felt that the fact that I could "feel" my stomach was as much related to the fact that I hadn't eaten much yet today (a latte and a peach) as any migraine activity. The thing was, though, that I was stupid.

I took Deane into my office to show him some pictures from our recent San Juans trip, and I had a really hard time remembering a lot of words for a lot of things I was showing him—basic things, like "campsite" and "composting toilet." I could eventually get most of the words out, but it was distressingly, alarmingly slow. It helped a bit that Deane kept talking about people we both know and whom neither of us could remember the names of—not just me—but it was still weird.

We walked down to the Essential Baking Company and ordered our lunch, then, while we were waiting for it to be delivered, all of a sudden my right hand went numb, like it did about 3 months ago out at Mom's. Frankly, combined with feeling a bit dopey, it made me very alarmed and so we left and walked back home. As soon as we were on the road, I called Ian, who told me that he had also been having numbness in his hands, and generally helped me to relax a little and not worry. By the time Deane and I reached home, my hand was normal and I could remember my (generally quite extensive and colorful, I like to think) vocabulary again.

I paged Dr Jason, who I had to talk to anyway about my last MRI, and told him what I'd experienced. He thought it sounded like it could be minor seizure activity, and recommended that I get an EEG this week to scan my brain activity. Based on what the EEG says, I may begin antiseizure meds again (I was on them for a few months last year). The main side-effect of antiseizure meds is a sort of mental fogginess, which in my experience faded after a couple days. My MRI continued to be good—that is, lesions showing no change or shrinking, so whatever was causing my experience today was probably not tumor-related. It may very likely be a radiation-related injury, though. The symptoms seem to match the symptoms of an occipital migraine (thanks, Witch Doctor) . . . but google also has some articles about how occipital seizures mimic the migraine aura.

Dr Jason promised to get me in for my EEG by Thursday this week, as I said that I was hoping to be in Idaho taking care of his parents' place by Friday. He did not say "Oh my gosh, you should definitely stay home!", which I take to be a good sign.

Nevertheless, I don't think I will drive anywhere this afternoon, after all.


Laura said...

You better not stay home! Those horses won't ride themselves!

Shelley said...

I thought a horse had ridden itself in the past, though not the ideal scenario.