What Happens After A Seizure?

As many of you know I have epilepsy and with having seizures it can sometimes be frustrating because they can be unpredictable and you could be doing everything right and still have one. If you are taken your medication on schedule and have proper nutrition the chances of having one are much lower than if you skipped a couple doses but it still a possibility and sometimes I have seizures and I don’t know why they occurred. Sometimes I do know I had them because I skipped a couple doses or I wasn’t eating regularly but other times I was doing all those things and I wonder why? My seizures aren’t painful and my eyes just flicker so it just looks like I am sleeping but what happens after a seizure can last much longer and be more annoying than the seizure itself. People often don’t talk about what happens after a seizure and although I can’t speak from experience from all types of seizures I will talk about what it’s like for me.

Fatigue for days– I have had seizures last five minutes and ones that last almost up to two hours but the ones that last five minutes don’t really affect me that much and after it’s over I can just get on with my day without consequences or feeling like anything happened. If they are longer it is usually because I am in a room that is too quiet and can’t come out of it or I am too stressed and anxious which also is a major seizure trigger for me. Short seizures don’t really affect me and I can go about my life when it’s over but after a longer one I am sleeping around the clock for at least the next two days until I can sleep it off and my brain can fully recover. Sometimes that is only twenty-four hours but not always and it can take up to three days and this all depends on the length of the seizure that is why I always try to time it so I can get a gauge on how long it will take to recover.

I can’t sleep-  If you have ever pulled an all-nighter you might be able to relate to this in some way. Sometimes when you have a seizure you are constantly sleeping for two or three days but other times the opposite happens and you can’t fall asleep if you are life depended on it. Sleep deprivation from studying for a test is different from being sleep deprived from a seizure because you are making the choice not to sleep and could crash whenever you want but after a seizure, you literally cannot because of the intense electrical changes in your brain that are preventing you from getting proper rest. You feel awful after a seizure but you can’t do anything to help yourself!

People ask so many questions- When I first started having seizures people used to bombard me with a hundred questions right after I came out of one that I didn’t feel like answering at that moment. Did you take your medication? Why do you think you had a seizure? I get people are concerned and are curious as to what happened and why but asking me right after I come out of one is probably not a good idea if you want honest answers. I will tell you what you want to hear if you ask me questions the second I come out of a seizure so if you want honest answers, wait a few hours or if it was long a few days! I am fuzzy after I come out of a seizure and the last thing I want to do is answer your questions.

I forget important things about my life-  Sometimes for really long seizures, I have a very difficult time remembering important things about my life like I have four sisters or what I did an hour ago. If I can’t recall who you are or what relationship you have to me I am not trying to be funny and actually don’t remember! This is short term memory loss and doesn’t happen with seizure less than thirty minutes but it does cause a lot of anxiety when you have to be in a room full of people you know but don’t remember who they are.

Sensitive to noise-  I have always been bothered by loud noises and the sound of a balloon popping makes my heart skip a beat but if you have Hydrocephalus it is common to be more sensitive to loud noises especially if you live with a migraine or headache disorder. When I have a seizure I am more sensitive to loud noise and what I can usually handle on a normal day I can’t after a seizure because the noise sounds ten times louder which will cause me to have an unbearable migraine. I always wear my noise-canceling headphones after a seizure to block out noise when it gets really loud which sometimes helps but not always and sometimes the pain is just too much and I just need quiet and to shut everything off.  If you want to help me get better after a seizure be considerate of how loud your music is because even though I might not usually enjoy your loud music when I am not seizing I can tolerate it whereas after a seizure I cannot and it just worsens the pain.

Worst migraines you will ever have-  You don’t really experience this with short seizures but with long ones you do and the migraine pain you experience is unreal and would probably be like a hangover if I have ever had a hangover which I have not! I don’t think I have ever had a worse migraine than after a long seizure because my brain is fuzzy so I can’t think straight and my head feels like I took a hammer and as hard as I could whacked myself in the head with it.  Migraines are something you have to prevent before they start and to do that you can use some headache remedies such as Excedrin and peppermint or whatever else you can find to lessen the pain. If you have a seizure you won’t be able to prevent it because it will come on so suddenly and the pain will be so unbearable it’s too late to stop it in its tracks.  It will just be lights out and you can only hope the pain won’t get too unbearable or last long!

Sensitivity to smell-  If you have migraines which I do it is possible you could be triggered to some smells. These last couple of years I have noticed I am bothered me a lot more smells that I never used to be bothered by like scented candles which I have learned to cope with but after a seizure these smells are more heightened and I can’t handle it. Something that doesn’t seem that strong smells either smells incredibly bad or like a very strong perfume which makes a migraine that I probably already have much worse and unbearable. If you can avoid bringing scented products around me for at least two days while I recover so I don’t have to deal with me more pain.

Reading and writing is nearly impossible- I have dyslexia so sometimes I struggle with helping people understand what I am thinking especially when it comes to reading and writing. When I have a seizure it takes my normal struggles to a whole new level and when I would normally only struggle with the spelling of a few words I struggle with it all after a seizure and not just one thing is backward but everything and I am incapable of reading a simple sentence for at least twenty-four hours!

Luckily I haven’t had a seizure in many years and when I do have them the good news is they are painless when they are happening.  The worse part of my seizures isn’t the seizures themselves but what happens afterward because when I am having one as far as I am concerned I am just sleeping.  Usually, the after-effects of my seizures don’t last more than three days or nothing happens at all if it was really short but it can still be frustrating when things happen when they shouldn’t. You can’t control when or if it will happen but if you know your triggers and take your medication as recommended by your doctor you can prevent them before they start. All seizures may not be preventable but even if you can reduce the number you have that is forward progress and will feel much better when you don’t have to recover from as many seizures. It can get annoying when you have to put your life on hold to recover from a seizure but it can be even more frustrating when you have to do it several days a week. Take care of yourself because what you do on a day to day basis can have a change in your seizure or cause more of them. Take note of that and if there is something you are doing that could be a trigger then stop doing it! If you have epilepsy what effects do you have after a seizure? 

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