pain & seizures

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   Posted 12/4/2013 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree, it sounds like syncope to me. I used to faint occasionally for no discernible reason. I did it one time when I was up for the first time after surgery. I was in a wheelchair with my leg extended in front of me, so I couldn't fall or lie down. As I regained consciousness I was aware that I was having tonic-clonic seizure activity. Simply put, we faint because for whatever reason our brains aren't getting enough blood; if we can't get our heads down to remedy the situation we convulse. I've never had a seizure in my life except for that episode.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. Currently in 7th year of remission with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
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Eczema, darn it!
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Date Joined Jan 2014
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   Posted 1/5/2014 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had about 20 or 25 fainting/seizure/convulsion episodes all together I think. As a child, my mother told me that I frequently suffered from convulsions.

As a teenager and adult, these episodes were always triggered by extreme pain (broken bones etc - I have always been a keen sportsperson).

The latest one was two days ago and I am still feeling ill. It was very frightening as I awoke not knowing who I was, where I was or who was in the room with me. I had been undergoing a procedure to drain fluid from my knee after skiing which the non-english speaking doctor was doing it without anaesthetic as I had tried to explain that adrenaline in local anaesthetic caused me heart palpitation.

As she drained the fluid the pain became worse and worse to the point that I couldn't bear it and started to see the flashing lights that signal the onset of a fainting episode. I was laying down on a bed with the back-rest raised. I told the doctor to stop and that I was going to faint and I don't think that she understood me as the last thing I remember was her saying "almost finished".

Apparently I suffered a bad siezure because when I fainted only myself and the doctor were present but on coming round, there were about four people in the room, one was putting an injection in my right arm (adrenaline I think!) and another had already attached a drip to my left arm and they told me that they had summoned an ambulance as I had had a seizure.

At the hospital the doctor talked about an abnormal sinus trace on the ECG and advised me to get checked out with "at rest", "under load" and "long-term" ECG tests. He suspects a heart issue. I am 53 and very fit.

My blood pressure is always very low but at the hospital, over an hour after the seizure, my blood pressure was still only 70/45. I was also vomiting in the ambulance and felt incredibly sick for the next 12 hours.

If anyone has any advise or similar experiences plus treatment I would be really interest to hear!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/28/2014 1:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I have been reading some posts about people talking about pain induced fits ( not blackouts ) they're called anoxic seizures
My little girl use to have them still does on the odd occasion

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Date Joined Apr 2014
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   Posted 4/17/2014 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
My granddaughter has had 3 pain induced seizures over the past 2 years. She has had 2 MRI of the brain, and no seizure activity was identified. Her pediatrician called these episodes Reflex Anoxic Seizures, which are paroxysmal, spontaneously-reversing brief episodes of asystole triggered by pain, fear or anxiety. Anoxic seizures are non-epileptic events caused by a reflex asystole due to increased vagal responsiveness. They are often misdiagnosed as epilepsy. He told us if she had another event, leave her alone. She usually passes out, starts shaking, eyes roll, and then she rolls over and throws up. She does not really remember the event. All 3 times she was having stomach pain, most likely caused by constipation, so in other words cramping. Her mother said she does the same thing when she has pain triggers. Doctor said as long as she is not biting her tongue and the events are not causing brain dysfunction that she will likely outgrow it. He does not recommend medication as these events are spontaneous, 3 over a 2 year period. He said if they were happening every day, every hour, etc. then the events would probably be a real seizure event. Hope this helps!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
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   Posted 1/30/2015 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter, who is now 39 years old, had 1 seizure at the age of about 6 years old. We were several hundred miles away from home at some friends house. She had gotten a tiny cut on a finger. The man of the house put some mercurochrome (monkey blood) on the cut and the pain caused her to go into a seizure. That was the only one she has ever had, but from that experience, I think that sometimes seizures can be caused by sudden sharp pain.

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Date Joined Mar 2015
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   Posted 3/6/2015 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I'm a 24 yeard old female.

August 5, 2014 i had my first and second tonic-clonic seizures. I was asleep during both of them and don't remember much except the confusion and pain from when I woke up. X-rays and MRI's showed i broke 8 vertebrae T3-T11 as well as 4 compressed vertebrae T5-T9, hairline fractures througout all my ribs, and tore muscles. On August 12, 2014 I had kyphoplasty surgery on T5-T9 to help repair their shape. It took me 6 months to finally be out of pain and I still experience some to an extent daily.
I spent 12 days in the hospital because I had to learn to get up out of bed, walk, and have surgery. My EEG, MRI, and cat scan results of my brain all came back normal and healthy. I was under a lot of stress and not getting adequate sleep and the doctor's and I believe thats what caused my seizures.
As for breaking my back, doctors are very concerned. I saw a neurologist and endocrinolist as well. The Neurologist cleared me to drive 3 months after my seizures, saying i'm healthy. The endocrinologist took blood samples and said everything was normal and healthy.
I also had a dexa-bone density test done. Note dexa-bone density tests are commonly done in post-menopause women age 60+. The results came back that I have osteopenia which is pre-osteoperosis. My spine surgeon is concerned so I'll be seeing more specialists this upcoming month.

Any words of advice or caution for on how to take care of myself and my bones?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 3/8/2015 4:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't read this forum before but wow, what a lot of interesting stories and some very sad ones.
We have some similarities in our Family.

My Mom started having "seizures" in her 50's. No one was with her when they happened but she would end up around 5 feet from where she fell. The only way that could have happened would be by seizure movements. She said she would get a severe pain, like in her side for example, and she would lose consciousness. My Dad found her a couple of times passed out on the floor. She has had 5 of these "seizures" but has never gone to the Dr. for them. She “outgrew” them since she hasn't had one in 30 years.

Myself, I have had Juvenile(Type1) Diabetes since I was 3 years old. I have had countless seizures due to low blood sugars(Hypoglycemia) especially when I was younger. There were 5 times that I bit my tongue, out of them all. I haven't had one in many years. Aside from that, when I was about 10 years old, I had a sharp pain in my right side and passed out on the lawn. I was told that I had a UTI/kidney infection. Three weeks in the hospital. Then, when I was about 11, I got hit by a baseball in my left side. I woke up to my teenage neighbour carrying me on his back to our other neighbour's house. I guess they didn't want to get in trouble with my Parents. I didn't mention it to my Mom or Dad. No one mentioned a seizure either time, so I guess I just lost consciousness. Haven't had any of those since then.

My Daughter had her first seizure(that I know of) when she was 3 months old. Scared the heck outta me. We were told by the Doctor that she had had a feveral seizure and we were to cool her body off in a tub of cool water, if she seized again and if we noticed she had a fever other times to administer Tempra drops and cool her down. She had about 7 of those. When she was 3 years old, I went to kiss her good night and found she was seizing. Automatically thinking she had a fever, we put her in the cool water but this time it wasn't working. After 20 minutes with no success, we speed to the ER. Altogether she had been in that seizure for 1 hour and 50 minutes. After the jerking would stop, she would just stare and be unresponsive to me and the Doctors, then she would start the jerking motions again then the unresponsive stare and this continued. Talk about scary. We all thought that she wasn't going to make it. They used 3 different drugs to get her out of it. They did the usual tests and she was dxd. with Epilepsy and put on Phenobarbital.

She had caught her ankle in the bottom of the screen door when she was 4 and the pain sent her into a seizure. She was stung by 2 wasps when she was 6 while on our camping trip. She was running down the hill screaming and terrified and rolled into a seizure. At age 7, they took her off of the Phenobarbital since she was having trouble learning her lessons. She did better on Tegretol with the learning process. She had another seizure when she was at her Friend's place, at age 9. Her Friends didn't know what happened, nor did my Daughter....or they weren't saying.

At age 10, she and her Friend wanted to go biking but I said, "Not now since it's near supper time". She was so upset that she went into the staring with no response. She was standing up and I saw her leaning towards the right and I caught her before she fell. There were a few other times she would just lean on the table looking at nothing, just staring, no responses to stimulation again but then she would start blinking after a few minutes and come out of it, lay her head down and have a nap.

At age 11, the Doctors wanted her off the Tegratol to see if she had grown out of the seizures. A few months later, I walked into the livingroom and she was on the floor seizing and then she stopped breathing. I immediately called 911 while my Hubby tended to her. The Firemen were in our area with oxegen, so they were at our place within minutes, then the Cops showed up and then the Ambulance, as usual. They put her back on Tegretal until she was 12.5 years old. This time happily, she had grown out of the seizures and didn't need the Ativan that she was given, for just in case.

Sorry this was so long but I noticed the similarities in some of our stories and just thought I'd add another one. I wish you all much luck in "growing out of it" or better treatment for much fewer seizures.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 3/8/2015 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
This is not the appropriate forum to talk about Osteopenia but just a short:

Goodness Rochelle, I'm sorry to hear of all the damage to you discs and bones. I would think that one of the Doctors would have given you info about the thinning of your bones.

Here are a couple of good sites concerning Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. You will need to copy and paste them since the links don't turn out right for me when I apply them.

Read them both carefully. I hope that you have been eating/drinking adequate amounts of calcium, plus Vitamin D. I take the tablets also and spend 15 minutes in the sun with face, arms and legs exposed in the spring, summer and fall. Doing weight bearing exercises is important also but be careful not to fall.

I've had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 24. Not many of the drugs work for me, so I've had to use Prednisone and Cortizone for the last 9 or 10 years. No choice. I also was dxd. with Osteo Arthritis about 10 years ago and have Osteopenia in my left hip and probably in other joints, probably my back. I forgot to get my bone density scan report when I was there. Best Wishes to you Rochelle.

Post Edited (msOuchie) : 3/8/2015 6:32:15 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/24/2015 7:25 PM (GMT -7)

I found something you all might be interested in.

My son has this issue as well and from what I noticed over the handful of times I witnessed it, he gets afraid, starts to panic and his breathing slows down. This is when he gets an overwhelming nausea and he can tell when he is about to faint, knowing he will probably have a seizure next makes him more anxious and then there he goes. His breathing stops, preventing oxygen to his brain and the seizure hits. When he was 4 it happened when he grabbed a hot curling iron - he just fell into my arms but didn't have a seizure. Then whenever he would get sick and vomit he would also pass out - not wanting to be present for all that gross stuff. Now giving blood, shots, any medical act of any kind that even mildly hurts or is uncomfortable takes him through the dance again. I believe he has mentally conditioned himself out of fear, protection or whatever, but it's real, it happens and there is no talking their way out of it.

sychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), or pseudoseizures are paroxysmal episodes that resemble and are often misdiagnosed as epileptic seizures; however, PNES are psychological (i.e., emotional, stress-related) in origin.

Paroxysmal nonepileptic episodes can be either organic or psychogenic. Syncope, migraine, and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are examples of organic nonepileptic paroxysmal symptoms. This article covers only PNES.

The terminology on the topic has been variable and, at times, confusing. Various terms are used, including pseudoseizures, nonepileptic seizures, nonepileptic events, and psychogenic seizures. PNES has been the preferred term in the literature, but in practice, the term "seizures" is confusing to patients and families, so that it is probably best to replace it with more general terms that so not imply epilepsy, such as "attacks" or "events."

PNES are common at epilepsy centers, where they are seen in 20-30% of patients referred for refractory seizures. PNES are probably also common in the general population, with an estimated prevalence of 2-33 cases per 100,000 population, which makes PNES nearly as prevalent as multiple sclerosis or trigeminal neuralgia.
Diagnostic Criteria (DSM-5)

By definition, PNES is a psychiatric disorder; more specifically it is a conversion disorder, which falls under the diagnostic category of somatic symptom disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). According to the DSM-5 classification, neurological symptoms that are found, after appropriate neurological assessment, to be incompatible with neurological pathophysiology can fall under conversion disorder, factitious disorder, or malingering.

The specific DSM-5 criteria for conversion disorder are as follows :[18]

One or more symptoms of altered voluntary motor or sensory function

Clinical findings provide evidence of incompatibility between the symptom and recognized neurological or medical conditions
The symptom or deficit is not better explained by another medical or mental disorder
The symptom or deficit causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning or warrants medical evaluation

PNES falls under the symptom subtype of “with attacks or seizures.”

Factitious disorder and malingering imply that the patient is purposely deceiving the physician (i.e., faking the symptoms). The difference between factitious disorder and malingering is that, in malingering, the reason for the deception is tangible and rationally understandable (albeit possibly reprehensible) such as avoiding military duty, avoiding work, obtaining financial compensation, evading criminal prosecution, or obtaining drugs. In factitious disorder, the motivation is a pathologic need for the sick role.

An important corollary is that malingering is not considered a mental illness, whereas factitious disorder is. As such there are no specific diagnostic criteria for malingering.

A generally accepted view is that most patients with PNES have conversion disorder, rather than malingering or factitious disorder.

Although the DSM-5 classification is simple in theory, knowing whether a given patient is faking it is nearly impossible. In some circumstances, intentional faking can be diagnosed only by catching a person in the act of faking (e.g., self-inflicting injuries, ingesting medications or eye drops to cause signs, putting blood in the urine to simulate hematuria).

Malingering may be underdiagnosed, partly because the diagnosis is essentially an accusation.
Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) in perspective

The neurology and epilepsy literature on PNES often implies that PNES is a unique disorder. In reality, PNES is but one type of somatic symptom disorder. How the psychopathology is expressed (PNES, paralysis, diarrhea, or pain) is different only in the diagnostic aspects. Fundamentally, the underlying psychopathology, its prognosis, and its management are no different in PNES than they are in other psychogenic symptoms. Whatever the manifestations, psychogenic symptoms are a challenge in both diagnosis and management.

Psychogenic (i.e., nonorganic, functional) symptoms are common in medicine. By conservative estimates, at least 10% of all medical services are provided for psychogenic symptoms. These symptoms are also common in neurology, representing approximately 9% of all inpatient neurology admissions and probably an even higher percentage of outpatient visits. Common neurologic symptoms that are found to be psychogenic include paralysis, mutism, visual symptoms, sensory symptoms, movement disorders, gait or balance problems, and pain.

For several neurologic symptoms, signs or maneuvers have been described to help differentiate organic from nonorganic symptoms. For example, limb weakness is often evaluated by means of the Hoover test, for which a quantitative version has been proposed. Other examples are looking for give-way weakness and alleged blindness with preserved optokinetic nystagmus. More generally, the neurologic examination is often aimed to elicit symptoms or signs that do not make neuroanatomic sense (e.g., facial numbness affecting the angle of the jaw, gait with astasia-abasia or tight-roping).

Every medical specialty has its share of symptoms that can be psychogenic. In gastroenterology, these include vomiting, dysphagia, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In cardiology, chest pain that is noncardiac is traditionally referred to as musculoskeletal chest pain, but it is probably psychogenic. Symptoms that can be psychogenic in other specialties include shortness of breath and cough in pulmonary medicine, psychogenic globus or dysphonia in otolaryngology, excoriations in dermatology, erectile dysfunction in urology, and blindness or convergence spasms in ophthalmology.

Pain syndromes for which a psychogenic component is likely include tension headaches, chronic back pain, limb pain, rectal pain, and sexual organ pain. Pain is, by definition, entirely subjective; therefore, to confidently say that pain is psychogenic is essentially impossible, and the term psychogenic is all but discredited in the pain literature. One could even argue that all pains are psychogenic; therefore, psychogenic pain is one of the most uncomfortable diagnoses to make. In addition to isolated symptoms, some consider certain syndromes to be at least partly and possibly entirely psychogenic (ie, without any organic basis). These controversial but fashionable diagnoses include fibromyalgia, fibrositis, myofascial pain, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity.
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