I just realized that I said I would blog about my doctor visit and never did... so here it is
Last week I sent to my new neurologist at the Strong Epilepsy Center, which is awesome because now I get to see an epilepsy specialist instead of a general neurologist.
Before arriving, they sent me a questionnaire about my medical history and whatnot. It was like 10 pages, and I actually didn't know a decent amount of it. "At what age did you take your first step? ...walk on your own? ...say your first word? ...say your first 3-word sentence?" That's just a few of the ones that I didn't know, which my mom didn't know either. (Mom knew some of the other stuff that I couldn't answer)
So I get there, the doc (Dr Bonno) is reading the book that they call a questionnaire, and asking me questions along the way. About 30 minutes later, we're pretty much done with those questions and move on to more questions. Then the usual neuro exam... walk on your tip toes, walk on your heals, walk in a straight line, touch your nose then my finger, etc. etc. etc. (I've done it so many times now that I could administer the test myself.) After the test more questions. Then the reflexes thing (hitting the knee with the hammer, rubbing the hammer on the bottom of the foot, etc.) Then more questions... I think you see where this is going. Lots and lots of questions and conversing.
After much of this, about 1.5 - 2 hours in, she starts talking to me about epileptic vs. non-epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are caused by over-activity in the brain, non-epileptic seizures are often caused by the mind - stress and whatnot that creates a physical reaction. She started telling me that epileptic seizures are not usually more than a couple minutes, so these are likely non-epileptic seizures (which is funny because my previous doctor said that it's not uncommon for partial seizures to go on for a long time.) Thinking about this, I come to the conclusion that such a thing is very possible considering my family's history of depression and other such conditions.
After a while, she decides she's going to consult with Dr Berg (who I somewhat know from the epilepsy foundation.) At this point I've been there at least 2 hours. they come in and Dr Berg is asking questions, a lot of which were similar to the previous line of questioning. Asking mostly for a brief history of my seizures (mostly the more current ones) and my auras, rather than most of the other stuff that we talked about. After about 5 minutes, the two of them leave the room once again to chat.
A few minutes later, Dr Bonno walks back in by herself. She tells me "alright, you're complicated." Great, I kinda knew that already, but thanks. Dr Berg thinks that since I often get the same aura with these partials as I did with the tonic-clonics, they may in fact be epileptic seizures. However, Dr Bonno thinks that they may start as such, then continue on as non-epileptic, or may be non-epileptic entirely. We don't know for sure right now, but 3 hours after walking in, I'm finally walking back out.
So where do we go from here? To the hospital. For about a week. They're sending me in for "long term monitoring," where I will be hooked up to an EEG and monitored 24/7. Dr Bonno told me to expect 5-10 days, the lady on the phone (who made my appointment) said 3-5, so I'm going to say 3-10 days that I will be in the hospital. They will be taking me off of my meds (or at least lowering them) and waiting for me to have a seizure, so that it can be seen on the EEG.
They have wifi so I can have a laptop or "handheld gaming devices," I can obviously have visitors, and can have someone spend the night with me if I want, I can bring my own clothes - as long as they don't go over my head... because of the wires connected to it. But overall I get to sit, bored as all hell, in the hospital, waiting to have a seizure for up to a week and a half.
I go in May 6th at 2pm, so you better come see me :-P