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Recording your Seizures

 

Is important because:

1.     there are many types of seizures; clear description of a seizure require for differentiation. 

2.     few doctors ever see their patients having a seizure

3.     diagnosis often based on the account of an observer - parent, partner, relative, friend or colleague.

4.     on-going recording of seizures allow doctors to if the best anti-epileptic drugs have been used and the possible need for alternative treatment.

5.     it is likely one would miss important details if they do not understand their relevance. 

 

First Seizure

1. What was the date and exact time of the day?

2. Has there been any traumatic loss of consciousness in the recent (or remote) past?

3. Has there been any recent illness (fever, "flu")? 

4. Did the seizure comes slowly or fast? How long did it take (the onset of seizure may take a few days with a build up tension or in just a few minutes)? 

5. Did the person seem to have a feeling that something was about to happen before the episode?  Was it even more specific than a 'feeling' like odd sensations such as an unpleasant smell, tingling feeling or 'butterflies' in the stomach?

6.  What was the person doing at that time? Had the person just woke up or fallen asleep?

7.  What brought your attention to the seizure (a cry, fall, stand or head turn)?

8.  Was there any alteration in awareness or even loss of consciousness?

 

9.  As the seizure began, what did you see first? Which parts of the body were involved? Was one side of the body more affected than the other?

10. Did the body become stiff, jerk, twitch or go into convulsion?   

11. Was there any color change in skin, lips or nail-beds ( clammy, flushed or blueness)?                            

12.  Were there movements of eyes to one side? If so, which side? 

13.  Was there passage of urine? of stool? Any vomiting?

14.  Was there any bleeding in the mouth?

15.  Did the person talk or perform any actions during the seizure?

16.  Did breathing change? 

17.  Was there any injuries from the seizure?

18.  How long was the seizure itself ( the period when the person lost consciousness or without any response to when he could response appropriately again)?

19.  After the episode, what did the person do? Can the person recall anything before or during the seizure?

 

Recurrent Seizure

Apart from the points above, other points to consider are:

1. Was the seizure same as the previous one in term of onset, frequency, duration and nature? . 

2. Was it longer or shorter than the average in the person?

3. If the person takes medication, when was the last dose taken?

4. Have there been any recent medication changes or missed doses of medication?

5. Has there been any recent change in sleep habit (e.g..- up all night preceding the day of the seizure)?

6. When and how much (if any) recent alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, or cocaine has been used?  

7. Are there any new medications (prescription or non-prescription) being taken? Any herbal remedies?

8. Have there been any unusually stressful events in life recently (exams, moved house, death of pet, menstrual period)?

9. Has there been any major change in weight since the last seizure? [Occasionally, a significant weight change may be associated with a change in blood anticonvulsant level in an individual who had long shown a stable blood level]