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EEG and MRI- what to expect


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My pdoc suspects temporal lobe epilepsy, so I'm going to have an EEG and MRI and was wondering what to expect.  How long will they take, is there any discomfort involved, is there anything I should know that the techs might neglect to tell me, etc. 

Also, I wanted to know if this weird episode I had in the hospital a couple of years ago could've been a seizure.  I'd had some blood drawn and was feeling fine (I sometimes get light-headed because the procedure is very anxiety-inducing for me), so a friend of mine who'd accompanied me that day and I were trying to find our way to the elevator when I suddenly felt faint.  We happened to be in an empty corridor and grabbed a couple of chairs. I thought if I sat down for a few minutes I'd be fine.  My friend said that what happened next is the scariest thing she's ever seen.  She said I went completely rigid and slumped sideways, my fingers curled, and my eyes were wide open.  I remember feeling faint, getting funky psychedelic tunnel vision and then passing out.  And I dreamt (which is another oddity of mine: I always dream when I pass out).  Very vivid dream of being at funeral with shadowy figures in the background and a little girl in an amish-style dress with jet black hair, blue eyes, and pudgy cheeks standing in front of me, looking at me in this resentful, abject sort of way.  My friend started screaming and a nurse came running, then the ER crew showed up just as I was coming to.  I was soaked in sweat and my blood pressure was way low.  They hooked me up to an IV, did the oxygen thing, took me down to the ER were they wrangled me into to a heart monitor and all that good stuff.  They kept me there for several hours until satisfied that my bp was all right and wasn't going to fall again. 

The doctor on staff said I might want to mention this to my GP and that was that.  Weird, weird, weird.  I've mentioned it to a few different doctors, all of whom shrugged and didn't say anything else about. 

Any thoughts?  I hadn't thought it about it for ages, and then my pdoc mentioned the possibility of epilepsy (he doesn't know about this weird hospital episode), and now I'm wondering if there might be a connection.

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Thanks for filling me in, Kass.  I think I'm going to try to arrange for an open MRI because I am a little claustrophobic.

My pdoc suspects temporal lobe epilepsy, so I'm going to have an EEG and MRI and was wondering what to expect.  How long will they take, is there any discomfort involved, is there anything I should know that the techs might neglect to tell me, etc. 

EEG: You'll probably have to stay up all night, then theyll stick a bunch of electrodes in certain spots on your head (first they measure and draw X's--they said I have a really little head). None of this hurts. Then they plug you in and have you lay down. THey flash lights at you in different patterns and have you breathe deeply and forcefully for a few minutes. They will probably also ask you to go to sleep. After that, they take off the electrodes, and you have a funky hairdo.

THe MRI, you lay in a tunnel and mine took..um...45 minutes or so. I got to listen to music, but you might just get to listen to earplugs. If you are claustrophobic, I highly reccomend asking them to put a washcloth over your face. WEAR NOTHING WITH METAL THAT DAY. No snaps, zippers, etc. If they have to do contrast...well...needle. Sorry. But its not that bad. They did a butterfly needle for me, I specifically told them not to wake me up for it, and I slept right through it (yay for music and the EEG sleep deprivation).

Also, I wanted to know if this weird episode I had in the hospital a couple of years ago could've been a seizure.  I'd had some blood drawn and was feeling fine (I sometimes get light-headed because the procedure is very anxiety-inducing for me), so a friend of mine who'd accompanied me that day and I were trying to find our way to the elevator when I suddenly felt faint.  We happened to be in an empty corridor and grabbed a couple of chairs. I thought if I sat down for a few minutes I'd be fine.  My friend said that what happened next is the scariest thing she's ever seen.  She said I went completely rigid and slumped sideways, my fingers curled, and my eyes were wide open.  I remember feeling faint, getting funky psychedelic tunnel vision and then passing out.  And I dreamt (which is another oddity of mine: I always dream when I pass out).  Very vivid dream of being at funeral with shadowy figures in the background and a little girl in an amish-style dress with jet black hair, blue eyes, and pudgy cheeks standing in front of me, looking at me in this resentful, abject sort of way.  My friend started screaming and a nurse came running, then the ER crew showed up just as I was coming to.  I was soaked in sweat and my blood pressure was way low.  They hooked me up to an IV, did the oxygen thing, took me down to the ER were they wrangled me into to a heart monitor and all that good stuff.  They kept me there for several hours until satisfied that my bp was all right and wasn't going to fall again. 

The doctor on staff said I might want to mention this to my GP and that was that.  Weird, weird, weird.  I've mentioned it to a few different doctors, all of whom shrugged and didn't say anything else about. 

Any thoughts?  I hadn't thought it about it for ages, and then my pdoc mentioned the possibility of epilepsy (he doesn't know about this weird hospital episode), and now I'm wondering if there might be a connection.

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I'd think if they thought it was a seizure they'd have EEG'd you then and there. MAJOR orthostatic hypotension, or just plain fainting, are more likely.

Kassiane

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I did a little research and came up with vasovagal syncope (sp?), which can apparently cause seizure-like behavior.  When I faint, and that's a rare event for me, it's the way you'd expect, going limp like a rag doll.  It was the eyes-open-muscle-rigidity bit that confused the hell out of me, but it hasn't happened since that I'm aware of.  Something else I came across, in the MERCK manual, said that syncope can cause seizure, and seizure disorder can cause syncope.  So, who knows, and whatever.  At least I'm getting my EEG now.

Thanks for filling me in, Kass.  I think I'm going to try to arrange for an open MRI because I am a little claustrophobic.

I'd think if they thought it was a seizure they'd have EEG'd you then and there. MAJOR orthostatic hypotension, or just plain fainting, are more likely.

I did a little research and came up with vasovagal syncope (sp?), which can apparently cause seizure-like behavior.  When I faint, and that's a rare event for me, it's the way you'd expect, going limp like a rag doll.  It was the eyes-open-muscle-rigidity bit that confused the hell out of me, but it hasn't happened since that I'm aware of.  Something else I came across, in the MERCK manual, said that syncope can cause seizure, and seizure disorder can cause syncope.  So, who knows, and whatever.  At least I'm getting my EEG now.

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*nods* Vasovagal synoscope is actually a differential diagnosis for seizures in some cases.

Good luck with your EEG.

Kassiane

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