This may seem odd, then again... I have a hole in my head!

Maybe this is an isoleted thing, but I want to run it by you guys and see if anyone has experienced the same thing.

I have a 2 1/2 year-old son whom, for the most part, is a good kid, but likes to whine and cry A LOT. For example, more often than not, when he wakes in the morning, from a nap, in the middle of the night, etc., he cries. He’s slowly starting to have the occasional “I’m awake and in a decent mood” type thing, but he also has many nights where he will wake, cry, scream, yell, etc. Those that have kids will probably verify that there is no such thing as a “good” time for this to happen, but there are certainly some times that are worse than others. In my case, sometimes I will be awakened by his crying and I’ll be able to keep a level head and handle it just fine. Oher times, (last night, for example) I will be awakened, be rather disoriented, and as the situation continues, I start feeling physically jittery and weak and will feel almost as if I am on the verge of a seizure. I am on Keppra and have not suffered a full-blown seizure since my neurologist prescribed it to me, but I know that seizures can still sort of peak-through the medication, but the medication will keep it from getting beyond a certain stage.

My question to you is if you have ever had a similar situation where some type of stressor has been enough to trigger seizure-type symptoms. If so, is it something that you have had happen more than once and have been able to specifically trace the trigger? My wife gets frustrated when our son is screaming in the middle of the night, I try to help for a few minutes, but then complain that I “can’t handle it”. I can understand her frustration, but I don’t know what she understands exactly what I am dealing with. I want to help, but sometimes feel that the best way to help is by removing myself from the situation and trying to relax, rather than getting to a point where I may end up needing to be rushed to the emergency room.

My wife had a few seizures following very stressful issues with our child at college. I think it was a combination of skipping lunch and not eating well for a coupla days, losing sleep, and fretting over the situation, and it triggered some seizures.

So yes, I’d say stress can trigger them.

Ron, KS

Jake, I’m not sure about your seizures altho is certainly makes sense with all that seems to be going on at the time! Our doctor said that lack of sleep is a HUGE seizure trigger and my husband and I feel that my son’s seizures this summer were triggered by stress at work.

But I wanted to mention about your son- do you think it is possible that your son is having something called “night terrors”? Both of my kids had them around the 2-6yr age, especially when overtired and it was very difficult for my husband and I. It appeared that they were awake, eyes wide open and would literally scream and thrash around and appear really frightened and not recognise me. It actually made it worse when I tryed to hug and comfort them as it seemed to scare them more.
Anyways, once you understand what is going on, it is a tiny bit easier to handle it. You should read up on it and see if it fits what your son seems to do. They do grow out of it eventually but it can take a few years. Just a thought for you since I know how stressful it is for the parent. My husband could not handle it at all!
I can tell you what I did if you think this is what your son is having. Let me know.

Hello, Joy! Yes, I am familiar with night terrors. While I have no recollection of it happening, my parents say that I used to have them when I was a youngster. Parker (our son) has also had some night terrors. It’s true that they can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t understand what is going on, but these don’t seem like night terrors. During the night terrors it’s been one of those “lights are on but no one is home” type things amd we’ve found that if we cover him back up and give him something to snuggle with, he’ll calm down fairly quickly, but the more recent situations (last night included) have been different. He will answer questions and tell us what is bothering him but will still be very defiant. He’ll ask us to stay in his room with him and often tells us that he has bugs on his bed, so it would seem as though he’s just been freaked out by a bad dream. We’ll turn the lights on, show him that there are no bugs and put him back to bed. It’s sort of 50/50 though… Sometimes he’ll go right back to sleep, other times he will refuse and continue crying and yelling for sometimes an hour or longer. These are the situations that usually get me the most stressed out because I am pretty sure it is not a night terror, but he is a little freaked out and starts taking advantage of the fact that we are up with him.

Thank you for your input! My first (and hopefully only) grand mal seizure took place a few months after my craniotomy and being weened off of the meds. We were spending some time with my in-laws (which is always a major cause of stress for me!), I went one night with minimal sleep, then spent the next day with my large extended family, spent another night with less sleep than I needed, and then ended the day by carrying a bunch of heavy gifts upstairs and had the seizure just minutes after finishing unloading my truck. So I have no doubt at all that stress is a major factor. I also think that the fact that I am being awakened in the middle of the night and dealing with a screaming child is just enough of a trigger to start causing problems. The tricky part is figuring out how to help reduce the chance of it happening.