Today I had something strange and kind of scary happen. I had a seizure. I've never had one before and my family doesn't have a history of them so this was truly uncharted territory for me.

The overall time frame of this event was about 20 minutes. Luckily I am able to remember most of it. I'm going to give as detailed of description of the events and what I was feeling and thinking for a couple of reasons. One, to help chronicle it for the future and two, to possibly help anyone else that has had one or to help others possibly understand or recognize it.

I was sitting at my desk at work. About 11:05, a co-worker stopped by to chat, as we were chatting I took a drink of my diet Pepsi and it went down the wrong way, I had that burning sensation, kind of like it feels its running down all over your lungs. I was still able to breathe and talk but wasn't stressed about it. My co-worker and I continued to talk and I suddenly felt as if my BG had dropped. I was light headed, I felt numb and tingly all over. My vision was all sparkly. It progressed for about 10 minutes I would estimate. During this time as it intensified, I felt really bonkish, I could hear and see everything going on around me but I was unable to speak. I could talk to myself in my head but couldn't do the same externally. I didn't have enough motor control to write anything down. I also felt as if I was going to loose some biological control. (Luckily I didn't!) When it reached its peak my vision went white and I would say this would be equivalent to a "black-out". I'm sure if I was standing I would have went down. The estimated time of the "white out" was probably 20 seconds. I say white out because it never really went dark.

When I started to come out of it, I was leaning on my desk supporting myself with my left arm. My co-worker was asking if I needed to take my shot. I told him I don't do the shots but I was going to test my BG. I was still feeling the numbness, shakyness and confusion as to what happened. I didn't have a sense of time at that moment so I really wasn't sure how long I was out. When I tested I was at 100 which is around my ideal range of 97. I was shaky but didn't feel tired or sore as some people do after a seizure. I noticed my vision was light sensitive as everything seemed brighter. I would estimate the recovery took about 5-10 minutes. When I was fully recovered it was 11:30.

After speaking with my co-workers whom witnessed this they said that when I was out of it, my arms and hands were away from my body but I was jerky, arms, head, hands and upper torso. I don't know about my legs though. They also said my tongue was at the roof of my mouth and I was making a gurgling sound. The moment they told me that I immediately thought it was a seizure.

I called my doc and they wanted me to come in. After talking to him for a bit and giving him the details he also feels it was a seizure. We both believe it wasn't diabetes related as I was feeling fine before and my BG was in the normal range after. I have some more tests scheduled (cat scan, EKG, ect.) and will keep this updated as we discover more. I'm feeling fine except for some slight irritation and light sensitivity.

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Comment by Steven R. Hulse on April 20, 2009 at 5:54pm
Yes it was and thank you. I'm still a little weirded out by it. I'm hoping that maybe others whom have never experienced it will learn from it and be able to tell or recognize when someone is having one and help.
Comment by snowangel66 on April 20, 2009 at 5:59pm
wow scary, glad you're alright, and thanks for the description, I have always wondered what a person may experience when having a seizure and this gives me something to look out for.
Comment by Steven R. Hulse on April 21, 2009 at 5:50am
Thats a good question. But do your co-workers know what to do or know how to recognize a seizure? The answer is probably not. Most people are never trained or learn these symptoms. I'm not upset at them for not calling but I am going to educate them some on it as I learn more myself. They do know what to do as I am type 2 and don't have to take insulin. If I bonk they know to get me the Mt. Dew Storm out of the fridge (the new stuff) that is high in carbs and sugars. plus we have two other diabetics on the team so they are also familiar with what to do. It happened relatively quickly plus this wasn't a hypoglycemic seizure as I was fine before and after it, so doing anything related to diabetes probably wouldn't have helped. Also when a person is in the middle of a seizure there really isn't much anyone can do other than make sure the person having the seizure is safe from harm. As I learned some last night there are all types of seizure, have you ever heard of a "walking seizure"? I hadn't, but apparently a person experiencing one is up and walking around and exhibiting no outward symptoms that they are having one and people around them (the untrained eye) probably have no idea it's going on. There was another thing that it could have been but I can't remember what it was called. Basically it's a nerve that runs from your brain all the way through your body and if that gets stimulated it can pretty much knock you out cold. The best description (until I can find the name again) is when you see in movies the guy karate chops the other on the back of the neck and he passes out. Basically he is hitting that nerve. From the information I was able to gather plus recall and give to the doctor, he feels it was a seizue as well. From what it sounds like you're describing, it sounds like you were having a major bonk and not a seizure. (Although you could have been I can't really say for sure) I've had those two and what I feel determines that is what your BG is at after it happens. If it's extremely low. Now if it's low enough I believe it can turn into a seizure. I'm not sure on that and is on my list of things to study up on. These are just some of the things I've got to research and understand.

This may be the only one I ever have and then again, I could have many more. I have to wait until the tests are done to see if I'm a candidate for future ones. I'm going to try and get more information from them today as my GF is trained on seizures and has a list of questions for me to ask them. The more intel I can gather the better I will be able to deal with them in the future (provided I have more).
Comment by Steven R. Hulse on April 21, 2009 at 5:49pm
One thing I did forget to add was that I did not have a headache before or after the seizure. Apparently headaches are a sign of a seizure. I also gathered a little more info, my body was pretty straight and rigid and my fists were clenched.

Aliya, I hope I didn't come across and discounting what you were saying. I didn't meant that in any way shape or form. it was bugging me all day and I wanted to let you know.

Thanks Debb, I was able to get my CTScan and EEG scheduled today, It looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be busy! I'm sure we will never know what truly caused it but hopefully we can at least see if I'm a candidate for future ones. It does have me a little concerned as I do carpool 38 miles to and from work. there's four of us and we take turns every week driving. I want to make sure I learn as much as possible so i can hopefully foresee any future ones and possibly keep them out of harm. This also bugs me because it may affect my storm chasing hobby. Man that would really suck if I can't go chase the awesome weather we have out this way and take some great weather photography.
Comment by elaine peterson on April 23, 2009 at 11:03am
Good luck Steven, and keep us updated. At least your episode did not raise your BS. Perhaps it was just a freak reaction to your drink going down the wrong way......related to that nerve in the neck.
Comment by Steven R. Hulse on April 23, 2009 at 11:52am
Thanks. I had the CTScan done today. Didn't take long as there's not much up there anyway. ;-) now I have to wait for the doc to look at it and give me the results.

I'm hoping it was related to the neck in the nerve thing. But if not then i'll need to start working on evaluating my future and how to deal with the fact it may happen again.
Comment by John on May 3, 2009 at 4:32pm
Is it possible it was called a vasovagal episode? I had one last monday about 45 minutes into a flight from Phoenix to Chicago. Unfortunate for me I did lose biological control (nice way to put it) both DR's in the ER and my own came to the same conclusion. I just made a blog post about this today.
below is a bulletized description that my wife's cousin gave to us to bring to my Dr when I got home

About 45 minutes to an hour into the flight - John had what looked like a big sneeze, but with the sneeze he gulped a big breath of air and lunged forward. [I remember him taking his jacket off a few minutes before this]
After lunging forward he abruptly sat straight up with his head upright and I looked over at him and he was staring at the ceiling. I called his name and nothing....
John's jaw dropped and he was looking at the ceiling...he did not respond to me. His breathing was very odd - he was gulping air reflexively, not consciously. His jaw would drop, and his lungs would inflat, sucking air into his lungs - I would not say it was conscious breathing. It looked like a reflex. Sounded like you were inflating a whoopi cushion - forcing the air.
I said, John....John....and there was nothing - his affect was completely flat aside from his breathing. [Jaw still dropping to let air in] Then I shook his shoulder and looked at his eyes, his pupils were 100% dilated - fully blown. I looked down at his hands and they were curled but flaccid - slightly shaking.
I shook him again, his mouth was wide open, back arched slightly. This is when his hands started to shake - that's when I tapped Uncle. And then Uncle shook John. When nothing was happening I grabbed Johns arm and felt for a pulse, and then looked back to his face which was blank, grey and drawn, mouth still open. I touched the back of his neck to try and get him to look at me, and thats when Uncle tapped you - and then he and you switched places.
At this point you grabbed John's chin and shook his head and his eyes were closed. His hands were now moving up and down.
The rest is sort of blurry - I remember when he finally "came too" he was extremely frightened, shaking, didn't know where he was, very scared, gasping for breath, eyes looking around quickly - his pupils were back to normal.
He looked very tired, didn't look like he could hold his head up anymore. This is when things started calming down slightly - total elapsed time from when he "lunged" forward to when he "came too" maybe 5 minutes...3 minutes is probably closer. It felt like slow motion, like it was going on for an hour. But I'm pretty sure he was only non-responsive for 3-5 minutes.
The only other thing I remember is John being completely whipped after, barely able to stay awake.


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