I can't understand written words or spell them - I would be watching tv and it will be like someone is speaking a foreign language to me - I can't understand a word they are saying. If I am on the phone and I start having one I won't be able to understand the person speaking to me again sounds like they are speaking a foreign language. I also get very irritable as in I want no one to touch me and no one to talk to me - just want to be myself when it is happening. They can last up to 5-10 minutes before my head clears completely. At night when I'm tired they are very bad whether on meds or not. Before the meds I was getting them 20-50 times a day - started off very slow once or twice a month then over the next 5 years increased up to 20-50 times a day. I had to quit work as I worked on a computer support helpdesk and was on the phone a lot so you can imagine why I couldn't work. I work at home now doing a job that I can do any time I want to - 24/7 (writing) so works out for me perfectly. It is very hard to live with and it makes me mad that doctors just pass it off as it's no big deal - one said to me "at least you aren't having grand mal seizures". I looked at him and said "do you realize if you had this you wouldn't be able to be a doctor - they would take your license away from you". I had another doctor tell me that my kind of seizures are harder to control than someone with grand mals. When I'm really tired and having one I couldn't tell you what my kids' names were. It's like these pill are now messing with me and taking so much away from me as in memory problems now. I will see someone I worked with years ago at a store or something and have no clue who they are. I act like I do but I don't. Lamictal is the only thing I have found that works tho - I have tried everything almost. I still have them but only a couple of times a day - never go a deay without one though. My doctor has told me basically I am the best I can get and I tend to agree with that.
I get the same thing as you, my Neurologist calls it a "speech arrest"
I've been on anti-convulsant medications since 1979. (I also have ulcerative colitis which I also take medication for).
For the last few years, I have these staring episodes and speach arrest. I'm aware of what is going on around me but I can't respond. My neoro. says they are petit mal seizures, brought on by stress. It usually strikes after a stressful event, when your defenses are down. If I wasn't on the meds then these would be full blown gran-mal seizures.
I have been on the same meds for 28 years (dilantin and pheonobarbitol) and because of the long term use, It would be risky to change meds because I could have lower brain stem damage.
When I have these staring spells, everybody looks at me funny.
One thing that would happen is if I'm reading, all the words would be garbled for a few seconds.
In my case it's just something that I have to accept.
It got to the point where my employer of 30 years had to let me go b/c they were getting worse and affecting my work by slowing me down, not responding to callers on the phone, getting confused easy, not being able to multi-task any more, etc.
I totally understand what you're going thru. Ppl. look at you like you have 2 heads.
The actual petit mal seizure only lasts a few seconds but I get "Post ictal" after, irritable and confused for about 10-15 mins.after before my head gets back to normal.
Diagnosed with Epilepsy & Ulcerative Colitis.
Current Medications: Diantin 275mg, Pheonobarb 150mg, Asocol 3,000 mg.