Posted on May 21, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 8 of 36 in the series Michael

Petit Mal Seizures: Part Eight

Seizures are typically thought of a dramatic events where the sufferer is lying on the floor, shaking, foaming at the mouth. While these kind of seizures do occur after brain injury, seizure activity covers a broad spectrum of abnormal brain function all the way to staring spells to other peculiar phenomenon such as smelling things that aren’t there. See  Michael’s seizures are petit mal seizures.

You also mentioned that you did have seizures.

I had petit mal seizures.

When did the petit mal seizures start?

Pretty much right when, right after I regained consciousness.

Are you on seizure medication for your petit mal seizures?

I was on, yes, Tegretol for a long time.

Until just recently?

Actually I went from Tegretol to Depakote.  I got off my Depakote about eight months ago.

Did you ever have a grand mal seizure? 

They said I had one when I was in my coma.

My parents and friends and everybody called them staring fits.  All of a sudden I just blank out, I wouldn’t hear a thing and I’d be staring off in oblivion.  I would come out of it on my own or someone would either touch me or pat me on the shoulder and I would come out and then like, are you okay?  Okay, what were you doing?  I have no clue.

Do you remember what’s happening right at the moment at the beginning of the seizure?

Well, mostly no, but when I went to work for the government at the Census Bureau I had a hard time with the computers and I finally had to quit because of all the light problems.

Now the old fashioned computers, the cursor used to blink more.  Still I’m looking at mine and it’s blinking right now.  But it used to blink in a much more overt way.   Do you have as much trouble with a computer made today as you did?

No, actually the cursors for when I’m using are a lot different but then I don’t write a whole bunch on my computer.  But I do use the internet and it’s a lot different because it’s usually just a line.

That was  sort of like a flashing – – a strobe light?

A flashing.  About two years ago, if I remember right, the transformer in front of my parents’ house blew and we had all, we had cops, police officers, we had emergency units, we had fire units. It affected me so bad I just had to go downstairs and lie down and get out of light and get away from everything.

Now you’re in a room with fluorescent lights, do they cause you any trouble?


Next in Part Nine – Dealing with Noise and Distractions After Brain Injury

By Attorney Gordon Johnson




About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447