difficulty with son who has epilepsy

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Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 5/29/2007 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
My 33 yr old son has epilepsy.  It first started when he was 19.  about 2 yrs ago his seizures went out of control.  He is on 3 meds 500mg Zonegran, 2000 mg Keppra and 500 mg Lamictal.
His seizures are now under control - seizure free for the past year.  He is also learning disabled but he does have a full time job as a teacher's aide and he did go to college.  He still lives at home with me and he can be very difficult  He gets angry so easily and constantly has to be reminded to do his chores and pay his bills.  I just have days when I can't stand him yelling at me for nothing.  He thinks I am just starting fights with him.  I want to move to another state to a retirement community I found but I don't know if he can live by himself.  I have another son who is 28, very successful and has his own apartment.  He also has a girlfriend and they have discussed marraige.  I don't want to burden him with my older son's troubles.  They are my only family.  I have been divorced from his father for 24 years so he is not of any help as he has a second family.  I wonder if the meds are what is causing my son to be so angry and hostile.  I feel has if I can't go on with my llife as I am so tied down to take care of his problems.  Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

djdaz_1985
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 5/30/2007 5:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
 
Certainly there is a possibility that the drugs are causing the problem. The effects of mixing 3 meds together may be the root. Some anti-convulsants do have an effect on memory. I take carbamazipine (Tegerol) and I dont have any issues so maybe this is something to consider? I am not sure how it would react to being mixed with Keppra AND Zonegran. YOur doctor would best advise you about this. However there may be other reasons as well. Has the doctor considered changing one of the meds to see if he can keep control and solve some of the problems?
 
I hope you manage to get things sorted out and keep us posted
 
Best Wishes
 
Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
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PaulM
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/18/2007 11:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on 1500mg Keppra and it has made my moods swing badly so it is highly possible that is the cause. Epileptics tend to try to be as free as possible, it's a hard disease to deal with and the drugs you constantly have to take and you feel like for no reason but still take them because you know you have to. It is a very difficult thing to deal with at times.

Find him a hobby possibly and help him be as self reliant as possible. Talk with his doctor about getting a license if he doesnt already have one. Set goals and expectations. Its not easy having to live with mother for so long. It makes things a lot harder when he is living with you because he looks down upon himself.

Possibly have him look for another job, maybe a dependable roommate and move out. Make him feel more like a man and the swings will decrease I am sure.

Epilepsy is only as dehabilitating as you let it be. Find the right medications to control it and then do what you can after then.

Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 6/23/2007 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Darren,

This post about my son is a good example of not getting any replies. 117 poeple looked at it and only 2 replied. How can so many people read something and not help?

Another Day
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 6/24/2007 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Aurora, I, for one, did not know how to respond to help you.  I am 56 and was diagnosed with epilepsy last August.  I have not dealt with an adult child with epilepsy as you have.  Maybe that was the reason you did not get many responses.

Reading back over your post, several things do jump out at me.  If he is able to hold down a full time job and he did go to college, are you sure he is not able to live by himself?  Have you spoken with his doctor about this?  If his doctor thinks he can function on his own, remember, we aren't responsible for our children for their entire life.  Has he possibly become too dependent on you and maybe takes his anger out on you because you are there?  I'm frustrated with epilepsy at my age so I'm sure it has to be much worse for someone his age.  Does he date, have friends and have a social life or does he just stay home?  I haven't found that any of the medications I have tried so far have made me feel angry.

If it helps to bounce any of it off me, I'm here.

Take care!

Carla

 


djdaz_1985
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 6/24/2007 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Hiya,

I think Carla has hit the nail on the head with this one. Because it is with reference to a child, people often are unsure of how to respond incase they offend. Also, of that 117, many of those will be people looking for advice. It could be that they are in the same situation ar elooking for the answer and are waiting for it just like you. Dont get down-heartened. Epilepsy can be a very quiet forum (Thank god... Otherwise I couldnt MOD depression as well!) and sometimes it can take a few days for a reply. I know there isnt always a MOD around (Depression is better since Shy is in the US and I am in the UK so we are on at different times) especially since I am the only one (Other than Admin) who MODS epilepsy. Its not that we think you are less worthy, many times it is because people dont know what to say and anything they feel they can say, they feel is not helpful so they dont bother. Its certainly no reflection on you.

BEst Wishes

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 6/26/2007 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Carla and Darren for your repllies.  My son is very introverted and doesn't like to do anything if he has to initiate it.  For instance, if we go out to eat he will never make a choice of what he wants - say mexican or chinese food.  He always says you choose.  He has a couple of very good friends that he gets together with and that helps and he will go to a movie or the bookstore by himself.  I am starting to work with a group that teaches life skills such as cooking and paying bills.  It is going to be a slow process but in the long run I think I can get him to be on his own.  His father is not in his life very much - since he was 5 yrs. so that is one reason he is dependent on me and his brother.  I wish his dad would help but he has a second family and only sees my 2 sons occasionally - sad but that seems to be the way of divorce.  Again thank you for helping me.

Aurora


Juliaa
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 6/26/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Some Side effects of Keppra:

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.


Sleepiness (somnolence) Weakness or loss of strength (asthenia) Dizziness or loss of balance
Headache
Unstable moods (emotional lability)--Hostility--Nervousness--Loss of appetite

Loss of memory (amnesia)--Shaky movements and unsteady walk (ataxia)
Hyperactivity--Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor)--Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
Depression--Personality disorders--Abnormal thinking or behaviour

I would ck out the other meds he is on and best of luck to you and your son. My heart goes out to you, I have a simular situation.
DX:  Migraine; SLE; Diverticulitis;HB;neuropathy and renal issues:seizures; sjogrens


Another Day
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 6/26/2007 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Aurora,
 
It sounds like to me you are doing the right thing for both you and your son.  Getting him the life skills sounds good.  I think you are doing him a favor by teaching him to be out on his own, otherwise he probably would never learn until you are dead and gone.  I think the two of you will have a much better relationship when you are not living together.  Hey, you might even like each other, just kidding.  You deserve to enjoy life a little more.
 
Take care!
 
Carla

Rooz
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/7/2007 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Aurora - Your post made me feel like I was reading about the way I was until several years ago. I don't know the details about your son, but I will tell you about me. By the way, I have a grand mal seizure disorder.

I graduated highschool when I was 19. I was far behind academically. I finally finished college at 26 with a degree in sec ed/social science. I had been so preoccupied with playing catch-up for 7 years, that I failed to realize that I wasn't meant to teach. One of the many jobs I had when I graduated college was being a teacher's aid in a classroom for severely emotionally disturbed elementary school kids. I had many other jobs that I couldn't hold down for any more than months at a time. Might I add, the first two years after college was spent living with my parents and watching TV.  I had the brains, but couldn't hold down those jobs for two main reasons.

First, due to having spent most of my time studying in college, I hardly had any job experience at all. Second, I had received a degree in something I wasn't meant to do.  This was extremely frustrating for me, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. Two years ago, I held down a job as a hotel bellman for about a year. It was a positive and a negative experience all wrapped up in one.

The negative side was that it was another dead end job that I knew would lead nowhere. I still felt so empty inside. The positive side was that this job helped me wake up. I realized that I was great with the guests/customers, and the regulars even requested my service whenever they came back. I considered staying, but learned that I would never have a chance at getting into management without a degree in hotel management. When I quit, a friend of mine suggested the grocery business as an option.

Here I am having worked for a major grocery operation for a year, and I absolutely love it. I spoke with the store director 5 months ago about wanting to get into grocery management.  He felt I was meant for it, and is having his head grocery manager train me to become an asst grocery manager.  At 31, I finally found where I belong when it comes to a career.  Actually, the grocery business found me.

On an end note, your son has a chance. It's not too late! Just like my parents did with me, you have to let him go so he can find his own way. Until my parents let me go, I didn't have a chance at growing up and taking on adult responsibilities. My parents help me out a little due to not being on salary yet. Speaking from personal experience, it's time to let him go so he can start to make a life for himself. If you don't, it will never happen.

On an end note, I have a younger sister who is very successful and is working on her masters/phd. Now that I have a professional career in the making, the jealously is lessoning more and more. I suspect that your son feels a bit of jealousy toward his brother.  Anyway, I wish you and your son all the best life has to offer!

                                  Sincerely,

                                     Rooz

                                   

 


orangelover77
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/12/2007 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/13/2007 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Rooz,

Thanks for your post.  I am glad to hear you are doing so well.  I am ready and willing to let my son go - he just doesn't want to be on his own as he is afraid.  He too has grand mal seizures. He was put on dilantin at age 19 because that is when the seizures first appeared.  he was on it for 12 years and it worked pretty good for that time.  Two years ago it stopped working and his seizures went out of control and he was haviing dozens of absence seizures as well as grand mal.   I found a new neurologist who is wonderful.  He takes so much time with my son and such a detailed history.  He has frequent EEGs and now they are all good.  He is on 550 mg zonegran, 2000 mg keppra and 550 lamictal.  This combo works great for him.  One of the problems with him living on his own is he doesn't earn much as a teacher aide.  He loves the job and the kids and the school.  He is very resistant to change.  He thinks of himself as "different."  Yes, he is jealous of his younger brother who has a very successful job, his own condo and a great girlfriend.  His brother is also very outgoing and meets people easily and has many friends so you can understand the jealousy.  I am working with and organization now that helps people in my son's position who has not been on his own.  I am hoping they can get him independent.  They have life coaches and can teach him what he won't learn from me.  He is very resistant to me.  They can also help him to get grants for expenses.  I think this will take some time but I think it will work  Just keeping my fingers crossed.!!  I appreciate your input and will keep everyone on this forum informed. Aurora. :-)


Rooz
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/15/2007 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Aurora - I commend you for putting so much energy into helping your son. You obviously care very much about his well being. Unlike you and my parents, many parents tend to give up quickly. Based on my own personal experience, parents' love and affection can make all the difference in the world. - All The Best, Rooz

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 7/17/2007 1:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora,
 
Im pleased to hear that the doctor has found a combo that works for your son! Unfortunately teachers aids dont get paid much but it does give him time to get extra skills that other jobs wouldnt give him. Perhaps he is interested in computers and wants to do an IT course? I think it is only natural for him to be jealous of his brother. If my sister was out there earning more money than me, with a house and a great boyfriend I would be jealous too! (Except for the boyfriend thing maybe!) But his time will come. He will get a chance to stand on the centre stage. Its a shame he is so resistant to change... Is there a way round this? Has the doctor got any ideas? Perhaps the suggestion that the change would benifit him in some way (Financially or whatever) would work?
 
Like Rooz, I think its great that you have done so much for him. A mothers love is like no other and he will appreciate this in years to come. Thanks for keeping us up to date
 
Big British Hugs
 
Darren 
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 

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