Keppra- Grape Flavored Brain Drain and Mood Swings in a Bottle

Grapes on a vineThis post is going to be relatively short as as I’m Keppra-ed.  In fact I’ve spent the last week plus Keppra-ed and I have no plans to let up.  Soon I’ll probably be increasing my efforts. What’s Keppra-ed?  Well, let me describe it a little for you.  I sometimes slur my words.  I’m extremely dizzy.  I’ve dropped several things.  I sometimes stumble.  I have trouble thinking straight. (I’ve been trying to write this post since last Friday).  I pass out all over the house several times a day.  When I am awake, I spend much of my time blankly staring at the television.  My mood is concurrently volatile and unfeeling. (Impressive, no?)  Starting to get a picture of what Keppra-ed is?  Are you thinking:

  1. I’ve said screw it and decided to just be drunk all day every day?
    Hmm…a good thought.  I won’t rule it out for the future.  But I prefer a bit more variety in my swill than is afforded by my grape flavored two-teaspoon-a-day Keppra habit.
  2. I’ve been lurking around the high school near my house and hitting up the kids for their new designer drug.
    Another good thought but also incorrect.  Although I’m sure there are drugs making the rounds at the high school, just like there are at any high school, I only leer at the kids at this one during their music and arts’ performances.
  3. I’ve had to start a new seizure medication called Keppra.
    Ding, ding, ding!  Johnny tell them what they’ve won!  Well my dear friends, it’s not that trip to Cancun you were hoping for, but you do get to read a post written by a mush-brained lady.  Woo!  I know, even better than the Cancun trip right?!

Wearing my ambulatory eegAround Halloween I got to sport the stylish Ambulatory EEG.  It was all the rave and is predicted to be the most copied costume for next year.  As all of the data from the 24 to 72 hour test has to be analyzed, it generally takes a few weeks before the neurologist gets the results.  Lucky me though, a few spots jumped out at my tech while he was glancing through and he immediately contacted the epilepsy specialist who had ordered my test.  This wasn’t exactly shocking news to my family as I’ve been experiencing these “episodes” since I was about fourteen.  We were never able to catch one on an EEG but we knew they were related to my migraines.  For lack of a definitive term, we called them “episodes” and tried different epilepsy drugs throughout the years.  What did surprise us was the summons to the epilepsy specialist’s office.  The very over-booked epilepsy specialist.  “Just come on in.  No, you can’t wait until your scheduled appointment next week.  You need to start a medication as soon as possible.  Just tell them at the front desk that I told you to come in.”  Yikes.

So, in one phone call I went from having “episodes” to having “partial seizures” on the left side of my brain.  There might be others initiating from other areas of my thinking-bean.  We’ll know more once my Ambulatory EEG results get completely analyzed.  However, I left my audience with the great-and-all-powerful epilepsy specialist with a diagnosis of partial epilepsy and a script for what my husband and I thought was kapal (The Epilepsy King has a very thick french accent).  Due to my Inflammatory Bowel Disease, surgeries, and absorption problems, my script wound up getting switched from the pill form to the liquid version.  And the rest is Keppra-ed history.  Although, it’s not really Keppra since it’s the generic version; which is unfortunate because the generic versions tend to be less stable, decreasing their ability to manage seizures and increasing their crazy side-effects.  Such is insurance reality.

Doris Leachman as Maw MawMy husband says I’m now like Maw Maw from Raising Hope with my small moments of clarity during the day before I take my next shot of Keppra.  Hopefully after about a month the heavier sedative effects will have dissipated.  Although the mood issues aren’t purported to go away.  In fact they might increase.  You know you’re in for a fun ride when besides the regular fact sheet from the pharmacy, the medicine also comes with a two-sided sheet about monitoring for suicidal thoughts.  Irritability, anxiety, and depression are some of the most common long-term side-effects of Keppra, often needing their own medications for management.  Oi vey.  Happy Holidays here I come!

Related Articles from this Site:

Related Articles from Other Sites:

  • November is Epilepsy Awareness Month.  On the two.people two.dogs blog, there is a great post outlining basic information about epilepsy and seizures.  The author’s sister and father both have epilepsy.
  • In 2009, one epileptic, Rita Marcalo, pushed the boundaries of education and awareness by incorporating her seizures into performance-art.  Read about the controversy on The Guardian’s Theatre Blog.
  • Still want that trip to Cancun?  Me too!  This underwater sculpture park is definitely going on my travel wish-list:
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14 thoughts on “Keppra- Grape Flavored Brain Drain and Mood Swings in a Bottle

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Sometimes the coherency is a secret from even me, so I’ll keep surprising people with that one. I do think I need to get better about warning people about the moods though…maybe I could put feeling stickers on my forehead or something….

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  8. I too am an epileptic, diagnosed at 30 with a grand mal that terrified my family. Since then we’ve learned a lot, and I’ve been through many medications trying to find what works best. I found your page while researching ambulatory EEG, and I’m taken by your wit, attitude and insight. Hang in there – some days hope & love of the people around us are the best medications found.

    • Thank you for your comment Brenna. It is good to hear from other people who have been through this roller coaster and lived to tell the tale. Did you also get to sport the stylish ambulatory EEG? I hope that your current medications are doing the trick.

      Thank you also for your sweet words about my writing. And I agree, many days hope, love, and laughter are better than anything found at the pharmacy! I hope you had a nice Purple Day last month and that you feel supported and loved!

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