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Interview EP18

Age at interview: 35
Age at diagnosis: 1
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with epilepsy in 1967, at a few months of age. Tried various anti-epileptic drugs and had neurosurgery in 1997 which reduced the frequency and intensity of seizures. Current medication' lamotrigine (Lamictal) and sodium valproate (Epilim).
Background: Care assistant; married, no children.

More about me...

 

Wonders whether an episode she had was a panic attack.

Wonders whether an episode she had was a panic attack.

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But its only since I had a lot more stress that in the last, I think the last year was dreadful, it was a terrible year I had a, I also had a bad attack. I don't think that's so much to do with the epilepsy but it, whether it affected it slightly I don't know. But I had a, what kind of an attack, it was a mental attack where I just suddenly one day I was just all over the place. And I didn't know what I was doing and I was acting, well like a hyena laughing. I was doing a lot of strange things and I was absolutely loopy. 

Do you remember any of this yourself? 

Sorry? 

Do you remember any of this yourself or?

Yeah I remember actually doing it. 

OK. 

But I couldn't stop it, my brain, it just wouldn't let me stop it. And since then I've been having you know a few more seizures. But you see this is where, you know is it seizures or are they anxiety attacks, I just don't you know. 

Did you discuss this with your doctor? 

I did, but he seems to say, he is one of them that says its anxiety attacks.

 

Explains how her drug dosage was altered because she felt tired and looked pale.

Explains how her drug dosage was altered because she felt tired and looked pale.

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Have you continued on the same medication since then?

No you see, not the same dosage. I've been on the same tablet, you know type of tablets but not the dose. I was on the combination of Epilim and lamotrigine and I was on a few more Epilim than that I was and only a little lamotrigine. That was after the operation and that's when I was well and we thought well just a little of the lamotrigine is fine. But then they increased the dosage of the lamotrigine and lowered the dosage slightly of the Epilim, and I was still OK for a while. And then of course last year, early last year I think it was, when he changed the medication again, he took me off Epilim altogether, just kept me on lamotrigine. And then that was also when I was told I was looking terrible, I was really pale, I looked tired and ill, just not you know, not myself at all. As soon as I went back on to the Epilim again I'm looking brighter, even though like I'm tired and I don't feel too great, I'm told that my eyes are so much brighter and I'm more sort of you know with it. 

 

Recalls her feelings after having the operation and recommends surgery for epilepsy.

Recalls her feelings after having the operation and recommends surgery for epilepsy.

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Yeah well as soon as I woke up from it the most terrible headaches, very, very, very painful, you know absolute constant, you know every other hour. It was awful, I could hardly sleep at all, constant. You're so tender aren't you on the side of your head.  You know embarrassing to look at yourself in the mirror as well. It was terrible when you're head was obviously all swollen out but it took some time you know to get used to it. But those were the main effects afterwards, but I do remember feeling better as far as the seizures were concerned.

Well I do consider it being a good idea, for anybody who actually has got it, to ask their doctor or you know if they've got a neurologist to ask if they can have some of these MRI scans to check and see if theirs is temporal lobe. And if it is, if theirs is temporal lobe epilepsy, then I'd recommend that they go ahead and have the operation. I really do.

 

Explains that she felt the Bach Rescue Remedy helped her.

Explains that she felt the Bach Rescue Remedy helped her.

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It's a Bach Rescue Remedy. Its a liquid, its to comfort and reassure, its to, what's it say? Its on the box it would say actually, but its to help you feel more calmer and you know whenever you feel a bit anxiety or uptight or stressed or anything, just quickly take you know either a few drops in some water and just sip the water on odd occasions. Or if you're busy working like I have been, I carry it around in my pocket at work and have a few drops on my tongue at a time. And its, I was told again, that was from my foster mother, that sort of thing helps. And it does, I do believe it does.     

And when you take this Remedy do you feel relaxed almost straight away or after half an hour or something, how does it work? 

I suppose it doesn't take that long at all. You sort of feel it sort of within five, ten minutes, you do feel, it makes you feel a bit more sort of calmer too. You know I feel more positive and, a bit more, I've taken something, in my mind I say to myself I'm going to feel a bit better now you know. 

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