A Day In The Life Of Scott

If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion

Keppra: The Follow-up

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Well, James is full swing into his new Keppra prescription; the first week will be completed tomorrow. In good news, there has only been one seizure since we started the new meds. I am pretty sure that was because I slept in and he missed giving his meds on time the morning of the seizure. I’ve got to say, it been a blessing in that way, because it is the fewest seizures he has had in a one-week cycle in a long time. Plus, for the first time in a long time, he said he doesn’t even have that “seizure-y” feeling anymore. This is awesome.

Currently James has one more week of 500 mg twice a day then he starts on 1000 mg twice a day. I can only hope that doubling the dose does not double the side-effects, and here is why…

I’ve done a lot of reading, and asked around to a number of sources about the effects of Keppa. In my last post I mentioned that some of the main side effects were aggression, mood swings, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Two of these have surfaced in the last few days, and it has been very frustrating.

James is not an overly aggressive person, and 90% of the time he is pretty decent to talk to. After this weekend, I was about ready to strangle him… not really, although in my mind a few times it seemed like a good way to deal with his new behaviours. Moody would be the understatement of the year because he would go from being best kind of person to downright obnoxious with no respect at all. At one point he got absolutely furious over a can of soup. Following this incident I calmed him down and two minutes later he was laughing off how silly it was that he got mad over soup.

There were several events similar to this one during the course of the weekend. Never mind his newfound blatant disregard for me; I spent a good part of the weekend getting ignored and avoided. I kept my cool, because I am aware that this new aggression and moodiness could be caused by the Keppra.

However, this evening I could not handle it anymore. I took him for a drive so he could not escape my talking and I had a long two-hour chat with him. I have to admit that I broke down. I couldn’t help it. After 3 days of being ignored and avoided by the person whom I’d done so much for, I was beginning to get worn down, and I felt like I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

While much of my chat consisted of me asking what I had done to deserve this kind of treatment after 8 months, deep down I know it wasn’t him (as such). I told him we need to work through these “feelings” before one of us ends up going nuts. I am afraid it might be me, and I am too young to be in an asylum.

Upon returning home I told James to lay of the video games for the remainder of the night. Much to my surprise we had a good evening watching some TV and talking.

I have nothing but confidence that James can overcome these obstacles (side effects), even if we have to work on it one outburst at a time. However, I’ve already told him that it is not worth misery and frustration just to be seizure-free. We will be returning to the neurologist to try something else if we need to.

In short, Keppra stopping seizures = good; Keppra causing aggression / mood swings = bad.

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Author: Scott Oosterom

I live in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, Canada. I teach high school math/ science at Chief Little Pine School in Little Pine, Sk.

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