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Dr. Hive Any experience with absense seizures in adults?

Jann in TX

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My middle dd has more than her share of health issues (she was a preemie...)


She has had a lot of anxiety lately-- she just finished her dissertation for a Master's degree, moved back to the US and back in with us, had a huge ovarian cyst rupture (she has PCOS and her thyroid does not work) and then a tumor on the bottom of her left foot (on fascia)...


Last week I took her out to eat (to celebrate her dissertation being finished) and she totally spaced out-- like FROZEN at least 4 times during our meal.  We (whole family) started noticing more and more of the episodes.


She said the last month of her dissertation work in the UK she felt 'weird'-- pencils would jump out of her hand and time seemed to move too quickly...


When she has an episode she is frozen for 10-15 seconds and then continues on like nothing happened-- but if someone/something is around her that moves position she notices and it looks like 'teleportation' to her and she gets scared/nauseous.  She has no sense/feeling of lost time they feel 'instantaneous' to her.


Yesterday she had several (at least 4) in a 30 minute period when we were at a restaurant-- one while the server was handing her a hot plate!! (scared the server big time!).


Of course we are not letting her drive and will be making an appointment with a neurologist...


Caffeine may be a trigger--she overloaded during the push to finish her dissertation, but she had several episodes last week on days with no caffeine...


Any experience or thoughts out there?

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I had them up until I was about 38. I would feel like I was dreaming, and it seemed like I had been in the situation before and could tell everything that was going to happen. It was scary, actually. They seemed to happen to me more when I was tired, stressed, or exposed to weird lighting and sounds (like at a fair at night). I was on epilepsy meds from the time I was 17 till I was 38. They controlled it well, but I didn't have insurance, so would spread them out to make them last, which would make me have the seizures. I also had grand mal seizures (or whatever they are called now). I guess I actually did "outgrow" them, like the doc said I might. Just took much longer than expected. 

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My sister has them, although they are almost completely kept at bay now with meds.  She will just freeze and space out.  She doesn't remember them happening.  Once we had just gotten off of a ski lift and were about to ski down a mountain when it hit.  She just stood there gazing off at the distance, completely unaware of everything, like she was in a trance.  Someone in the lift booth brought her a chair, and we had her sit down and just wait it out.  Once it passed, she could ski down the mountain. 


Over the years, she learned to feel ahead of time when it might happen.  She gets some sensation.  She also gets a metallic taste in her mouth right before it hits.

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I've known two people who got these.  One started getting them after doing psychodelic mushrooms, and got them intermittently for about 6 months afterwards, gradually tailing off in frequency.  She once saw herself in the mirror coming out of it, and her pupils were so tiny she could barely see them.  They were unpredictable and actually fairly dangerous--she got one when she was driving on a mountain freeway, and was glad it happened during a straight stretch.  (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  I heard about these after she was over them.


The other one had longer ones, quite alarming to watch.  We thought they were TIAs, but they were actually a type of seizure related to a benign brain lesion.  The first one was set off by a camera flash after a band performance.  Epilepsy meds controlled it.

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