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Monday, September 1, 2014

Treatment Options

As I sit here, having yet another seizure, I have to think about my future options.

I started on Vimpat last week, bringing the medicine count up to 3... Keppra, Lamictal and Vimpat. I am currently on 100mg of Vimpat and will double that to 200 a week from today. If that doesn't help (which it currently isn't) my doctor wants to do a long term EEG. For those who don't know, a long term EEG means that I would sit in the hospital for up to a week with wires connected to my head, waiting to have a seizure.

I think that his thought process is to see if I'm a candidate for a VNS. Again, I'm sure that a lot of you don't know what a VNS. Without going into a lot of detail, and doing what I can to explain while seizing, VNS stands for Vagus Nerve Simulator. It is implanted into your chest (around where they put a pacemaker) and it occasionally sends an electrical pulse to your Vagus nerve, which connects up into your brain. The electrical stimulation to this nerve can prevent seizures. If you do have a seizure, it can be activated by swiping a special magnet over the device and effectively stop the seizure, or at least lessen the duration of the seizure.

So after all of that, it sounds like a great idea. It would potentially help with my seizures (if I'm a candidate) so why not? Well, it is a surgical procedure to implant it. From what I hear it's outpatient surgery, so it's not incredibly intense, but it's still surgery. As a coworker pointed out to me, removal of wisdom teeth is also outpatient surgery, but that hurts like hell for about a week.

Not only that, but it requires a new battery every 4 years. So that means another surgery every 4 years to replace the battery.

The question I have to answer for myself: Am I having enough seizures to do this? Is it worth it in the end? I know none of you can answer that for me, but I need to think about it. Before I try the VNS, I'd like to wait until the medical marijuana goes into effect and try that. We'll see though. It's been a long battle so far, and I'm not about to stop fighting.

PS - it's been about an hour since this seizure started, and it's still going.

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