After my first three grand-mal seizures it wasn’t clear what type of seizures that I had. There are a ton of different seizures, and I am still learning all the different types myself. If you want to check out the different types check out the Epilepsy Foundation
What we did learn in the first few months was that I had been having pedi mal seizures my entire life. I would periodically have my eyes flutter while I was talking or while someone else was talking and I had no idea what was being said. My pedi mal seizures would last roughly 2-3 seconds, but they would happen fairly often. My family and I never really thought anything about them.
Shortly after I had my first shoulder surgery I went to a primary care doctor that ran an entire blood panel on me. When we got the results back my vitamins and minerals were at rock bottom, but that wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that my testosterone and estrogen levels were super low. My testosterone was at a 23 when it needed to be at a 75, and my estrogen was a 47 when it needed to be 150. As my best friend said, “I was not a woman or a man at that point.”
Knowing these numbers helped the neurologist to figure out what kind of seizures I had – catamenial seizures. Catamenial seizures are only present in women, and the statistic I was given was less than 10% of women have this type of seizures in the world. With catamenial seizures they are present before, during, or after ones menstrual cycle. What happens is ones hormones change drastically which causes one to go below the seizure threshold and induces a seizure. Mine happen to occur before my menstrual cycle begins.
It has taken me some time to be able to get to figure out what works for me so that I don’t have another seizure. Medicine helps for day to day, but does not come close to controlling them. The week leading up to my menstrual cycle I make sure I get plenty of sleep, drink A LOT of water, and just take it easy. People think that I am crazy because normal days I get between 9-10 hours of sleep, but during that week I average about 11 hours of sleep. I have also added Pedialyte to my morning routine that way if I have lost any electrolytes I can add them back in.
I still have my pedi mal seizures from time to time, and when those occur I get sent straight to bed. That is a sure sign that I am exhausted, but I am too stubborn to admit that I am tired. So far it’s been 11 months since my last grand mal seizure, but I have also been pregnant for 6 of those months. The body protects itself when one is pregnant, and the numbers are pretty slim when it comes to one having seizures while pregnant.