First of all, don't be afraid of the seizure monitoring unit. Are they planning to keep you for three or four days? I'm not sure if you are male or female, but take gowns or pj's that button up the front because after they get your head all wired, you won't be able to pull anything off over your head. It will not be painful, just annoying. You will not be able to take a shower while they have you wired and videoed. I had it done last summer for four days when I was diagnosed and then went back in for one day recently.
It is really the best test you can ever have as far as epilepsy. Most likely, if you don't have a seizure the first day or two, they may do some thing to try to bring on a seizure, such as sleep deprivation, holding back your food for a couple of hours on top of that. Those are just a couple of things they did with me, just things to make the body very uncomfortable. I started having the myoclonic seizures right away when they got me wired, but after a couple of days they wanted to see if they could provoke any other type of seizures while I was there. I know it may sound a little harsh, but you want to learn all you can while you are there. I am telling you all of this in the event they suggest any of this to you. The night they made me stay up two hours later was, of course, the first night in a long time I had been able to go to sleep. But, they are watching you on that monitor and they woke me up every time I dozed off. Then I had to get up two hours earlier and wait two hours later to have breakfast.
I would advise you to take books, a DVD player and some movies and even a laptop because it does get pretty boring, but there is nothing painful about it other than what you go through at home with your seizures. But, like I mentioned, it is the best test you will ever have as far as getting information on your seizures.
As Carla has said, there is nothing to worry about. She has given you some good advice in terms of what to wear (Something I probably would not have thought of!) and what to take. I think the most annoying thing is not being able to shower if it is a 3-4 day one as my hair gets very greasy very quickly. If you do not have a seizure, and they cannot induce one, I would say you are unlucky and they may want to repeat the test. More likely, you will have a seizure. Even if it is a small one that you are not aware of, it still gives them some information.
The other thing that struck me about your post is the use of Dilantin as an AED. When you started taking it, it was probably the drug of choice, but these days Dilantin is considered very old fashioned and is not used very often and Epilim is starting to go the same way. Lamictal and Carbamazipine are the 'cool' meds at the moment but if Dilantin works for you, there is no reason why you shouldnt have it.
Good luck and let us know how you get on! If you have any questions, please ask. If you dont know the answer, its not a stupid question.
In case you login again before going into hospital: As Darren said, the monitoring unit is nothing to be scared of. It's just dull. Make no mistake, you will be bored. On the other hand, it's a chance to read trashy books or watch rubbish TV or just do nothing at all and not feel guilty about it. Make the most of this rare opportunity. It's also the best place in the world to actually have a siezure. You'll most likely be sitting or lying down anyway so you won't injure yourself. There'll be nurses on hand to take care of you. As there's nothing to do for the rest of the day anyway, having it wiped out will only be mildly unpleasant. And there's the thought that this seizure, unlike all the others, is actually beneficial. Believe me, it is a comfort.
How often do you have seizures at the moment? If it's every other day or something, you shouldn't worry about spending your time in vain. You should also discuss with the doctor whether any condition - stress, sleep deprivation or whatever - brings them on and try to reproduce it. I personally just had to be deprived my pills for a while to bring on what I affectionately remember as Super Seizure Wednesday. Which wasn't much fun at the time, but let them finish the test and release me a day early. Re. washing: you're given a basin and that's it. But they don't tape you in the bathroom so you can go mad with it.
It does sound like you should be moving off Lamictal. I found it to be nothing better than a sugar pill. Not sure what your neice thinks of Tegretol. Some hold it to be the work of the Devil; I praise it for turning my grand mals into milder, more manageable types of seizures. But this is a conversation you need to have with your consultant when the results from your test come back.
Best of luck,
Post Edited By Moderator (djdaz_1985) : 11/24/2007 6:32:36 AM (GMT-7)