My Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizure Diagnosis

Well. I’ve been diagnosed with Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizure after a three-stay stint in the hospital under EEG Video Monitoring.

Okay, that’s getting ahead of myself. Lets start at the beginning.

I started Certified Nursing Assistant training at the end of May, because I’ve been unemployed for over a year, and it was time for a career change. I love it. It was a hybrid class, so it was one day a week at school, the rest was online. It lasted four weeks, plus six days of clinical, so it was an accelerated class. This meant I was studying nonstop every day.

My husband said I needed a break, so we decided to go for a drive to visit some friends for a day. It was the boost I needed, and I felt refreshed and ready to hit the books again.

Then it happened. On the way back home, we were involved in a three-car car accident (not our fault) where we were rear-ended. The impact sent my body flying off the seat, and I felt the seat belt jerk me back really hard. I had on one of those big plastic hair clips to hold my hair in a bun, and it dug into my skull as my head hit the headrest. At first, I was in shock, I felt nothing but, “What just happened?” My head started to throb like a constant headache. The police arrive, and they take our statements. Then EMS arrived and checked out my head. The clip did scratch up the back of my head, but it seemed fine otherwise. I was diagnosed with a mild concussion due to the throbbing headache. The other person in the 2nd car ended up having to go to the hospital, but I felt, on the advice of the EMS, I didn’t need to go to the hospital.

So we went home. By the way, the paperwork for a car accident is insane. Just saying.

A few days later, I felt really weird and nauseated. Then suddenly, I was fine, but not really. I felt disoriented, and my tongue was bleeding. I told my husband, and we just shrugged it off as a passing thing. The next day, it happened again, except this time when I felt fine, I was on the floor instead of the couch that I was sitting on. I told my husband that it happened again, and we decided to go the Emergency Room.

There they were wondering if it was seizures that I was having, possibly Epileptic seizures. They mentioned that a head injury can sometimes develop epilepsy as a result if the brain was traumatized and screwed things up. I was scared out of my mind. They sent me home with Keppra and told me to follow up with a neurologist.

I kept having a seizure every day. My husband said I was like a fish, just flopping around. We saw the neurologist who said I needed to be checked in a neurology unit under video monitoring with an EEG. This helps them see when you have a seizure and they can look at your brain waves while it happens. I stayed in the hospital for three days, and I had two seizures. It ends up I don’t have Epilepsy, but in fact, it’s Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures.

I felt crazy. It’s in my head?! There is not a whole lot of information about PNES out there, but from what I could find, explained it like it’s my body’s form of a panic attack in reaction to stress. Whatever’s stressing me out is making my body react like this. So it’s not in your head, it’s a real reaction your body is having, but there’s still a stigma attached to it because it’s considered a psychosomatic disorder. Which means, psychologists and therapy is involved. And we all know how society view mental illnesses right?

I start my therapy this coming week, and he actually specializes in PNES, which is rare to find, apparently, as most psychologists don’t know how to treat them. I was also told to find something that I can do for an hour to relax myself and de-stress. So I decided to pick up piano again. I’m waiting for my new keyboard to arrive so I can start playing it.

Anyways, I’ve had a few seizures since I’ve gotten out of the hospital, and I wanted to start this blog to document the daily thoughts and activities of somebody with PNES. I wanted to be that source for somebody else who tries to search online and come up empty. I know I’m not alone out there, but it sure seems that way right now as I’d never even heard of this condition before.

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