Hello Everyone. I really hope this is the right place for posting this topic. Im going to go ahead and apologize for the length of this post and if its a bit hard to follow- some of this is very hard to put into words, but I will do the best that I can. I really need some advice, as this could be a very serious situation for myself. YES, I know that I need to get into the neurologist ASAP and I plan on doing that, but at the moment money is very tight. And YES, I fully understand that it wasn't very wise on my part to put this issue off- but I have because I guess I always felt other issues with my children or DH was 'more important'. Moving on..
While I was pregnant with my second child ( over 4 years ago ) I experienced something that I never had before: A migraine 'aura'. It was in my left eye and faded out after about 30 minutes, with a period of maybe 30 seconds where I was pretty much blind in that eye ( everything was blurry and it was impossible for me to focus on what I was looking at), During this I had NO pain, sickness, dizziness- nothing but the aura. It happened a few more times, but I really wasn't that concerned since there was no pain or other symptoms. I wrote it off as a simply migraine due to pregnancy hormones. I also had an unassisted pregnancy and didn't want to 'draw attention' to that by going on a visit to a doctor.
After my son was born, all of that subsided and didn't happen again. About 2 whole years later, as I was sitting on the front porch talking with DH- I suddenly had a very strange feeling come over me. Its very hard to describe: I felt 'out of body', tingly, and my thinking seemed to slow way down. DH was talking away, not aware that I was feeling any of this. I noticed that when I tried to respond to him in conversation, it was very difficult for me. My speech seemed slightly slurred and thought I could understand what he was saying, it was hard for to me really grasp it ( if that makes much sense). It was also difficult for me to find the words to respond, though I knew what I wanted to say. It was scary and lasted maybe 20-30 minutes total before I was back to normal, though I did note afterwards that I felt very tired and simply drained. This experience shook me up and I began doing research right away- the most I could find was information about strokes or TIAs. Much of what I had experienced did match many of those symptoms, but much of it did not. I had no negative long lasting effects from this 'episode' ( other than having the crap scared out of me ).
After that episode, I would notice at times that I would begin to feel 'strange' and get a touch of the scary, 'out of body' feeling but it wouldn't progress any further other than me shutting down for fear of it doing so. I also noticed that certain things seemed to trigger these episodes. For example, If someone would be talking to me and use alot of repeat words such as 'ya know' or 'um', it would trigger one of these episodes and ( and this is the strangest one of all ) if someone points out to me that I forgot something ( Hannah, you forgot X!) or even 'Hannah, you already said that..' it will also trigger this. The majority of the time, they are not 'full blown', I just begin to feel very strange and out of body and maybe have a difficult time finishing my sentence. They also tend to happen most often when I am talking to someone ( especially if I'm excited ) and I begin to pay close attention to my own voice, or 'how' I'm talking- and suddenly Ill have a massive 'brain fart,' as DH would say, and cannot remember for the life of me what the heck I was talking about in the first place and sometimes this also leads to me repeating myself a few times- which is also very odd. These episodes can also be triggered by others talking as well.
Anywho- a little over a year ago my DH lost his job on the same day that we where experiencing some pretty nasty weather here in GA with the main issue being tornadoes- which I am absolutely terrified of thanks to a very scary event when I was a child. In other words: I WAS SUPER STRESSED. I began having another major episode that lasted all day, complete with me repeating sentences, difficulty finding words and a very very strong 'out of body' sensation and even some very mild hallucinations ( stayed on my front steps calling my cat for atleast 5 minutes before I relized it was actually a small bush )- but there was no aura, no pain. This episode continued on into the night before I called my mother and told her that I was scared and wanted to go to the ER while DH stayed home with the kids. She took me to the ER where the doctor also pointed out that my pupils where unevenly dilated ( one was much smaller than the other ) and sent me back for a CT ( CAT?) scan which turned out to be perfectly normal. The doctor also helped me to notice that I often have quite a bit of blurriness or a small aura in my left eye in the mornings when I wake up- I also recalled, from his conversation, noticing myself that my pupils tend to be unevenly dilated when I first wake up and stay that way for atleast 1-2 hours after waking. The doctor suggested that I was having a severe 'silent' migraine, sent me home with migraine medication ( one dosage ) and then gave me a lecture about getting to the neurologist as soon as I can to really figure out what this could be.
This episode continued to last then slowly fade over the next 2 whole days- the migraine medication didn't help.
Up until this past weekend, I have had no more major episodes like that one. I will have what I call 'mini episodes' maybe 2-3 times a week at the MOST and they only last 30 seconds to 3 minutes at the most, have no aura, no pain and only the 'out of body', scary feeling is present and then suddenly they stop before progressing any farther. However, last Friday I was in Panama with my kids, DH and his family for a 3 day family vacation. I was feeling well, no issues ( other than maybe a little more stress than normal ). We went out to eat together at a restaurant and as we where all setting down I started to feel a bit drained, but thought nothing of it since I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. Suddenly, as I was ordering my food ( in mid conversation) I began to feel that strange, creepy 'out of body' feeling along with a bit of a tingling sensation. Everything around me seemed to change, yet stay the same. When people would attempt to talk to me, I would hear what they said- expect altered slightly ( Example: My SIL asked if I wanted an Advil- I heard her say abalone. It made since in my head since we where all having sea food. ) I tried to stay calm, ride it out and act normal. At one point, I 'come to' with a family member tapping my arm because the waitress was back, asking me questions and apparently I was just staring into space, which I had no knowledge/ awareness of. Once this happened, it seemed to make it worse-the very fact that I looked over at this family member and could see that she noticed I was 'out of it' made it progress- kind of like how when someone points out that I've repeated myself or I've forgotten something triggers it. The last thing I wanted was to mention how I felt and then everyone freak out and insist that I was having a stroke and rush me to the ER in a strange place. It eventually progressed to the point of me asking DH to take me and the kids back to the place that we where all sharing just so I wouldn't have to be around everyone and talk to anyone ( which always feels like it makes it worse). I ended up taking some Advil migraine and crying myself to sleep for a 2 hour nap. Even when we had made it back to the room, everything still seemed 'different' or altered slightly in some way that I couldn't put my finger on. These episodes are so strange- its very difficult to describe how I feel during them. After I woke up, I felt much better, not normal at all and very drained, but atleast felt like I could function and carry on a short conversation without fear.
I'm very aware that stress is also a huge trigger for these episodes. It almost seems that just sitting down and thinking about them long enough will trigger one. And stress definitely will cause the episode to progress- but that's unavoidable because the moment I feel that strange, out of body, almost indescribable feeling it scares me, and of course, I become very stressed and start worrying about how I must look while this is happening, whats going to happen next, and I'm really hearing people correctly, do I look/sound insane, etc. It really does make me question my sanity during and afterwards and is nothing short of totally bizarre and terrifying.
I was talking with a friend on FB who mentioned what I'm feeling sounds alot like an epileptic seizure. At first I was thinking 'no, it couldn't be that.' but after a bit of research I am starting to ask the same thing myself. I really just want answers. Along with my anxiety issues, this strange mystery illness makes me feel trapped in my own body. I'm afraid to to go out, go on trips- even a trip grocery shopping can be scary. I cant remember the last time that I was really, truly able to relax and have fun.
In case you're wondering: I am 24 years old, eat good, work out. Really fairly healthy.
If you've read this- THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. ANY advice or BTDT stories would be so so very comforting to me right now. Since what happened this past weekend, its all I've been able to think about and I feel like I'm having to consciously put in effort NOT to have another episode. I'm sure alot of that is the stress/fear talking, but that's truly how I feel and its exhausting.
I will be going to the neurologist as soon as I possibly can ( hopefully by the beginning of next month ) but until then, I would love some comforting advice or ideas. If I didn't explain something clearly enough ( its very hard to do with this situation ) please let me know and Ill clear it up the best that I can for you.
Hope to hear from someone very soon.
Thank you so much for your time.
Big hugs to all of you. XXXXXX