Training with Epilepsy
I was recently daignosed with epilepsy not long after starting my training in Shootfighting. I had my first seizure a few weeks ago and another one today and was given a prescription for a medication to suppress it. I was wondering if there are any other martial artists in this forum who suffer from epilepsy who may have any good information on how to go about it?
Well im sure you know more about it than me, but what i would be worried about is going into a seizure when doing something like applying a submission because it's be pretty easy to hurt your partner. But as long as your medicated you should be ok. Just be sure to let your coach know.
Last edited by Method2Madness; 7/24/2007 9:13pm at .
what medication are you on? Obviously some sort of neuroleptic like Valpro or Tegretol... If you train heavily, the more fatigued you get, the more likely you will have a seizure, and neuroleptic information makes you tired and dehydrated.
With your seizures, do you get any auras? i.e. can you tell when it's coming on. Do you hear a strange noise or smell something that isn't there, or see funny colors? If you are going to be training and have a propensity towards seizures, it would be important to know when they are coming on.
Also, what is the cause of your epilepsy? If you are suffering from an acquired brain injury you should avoid anything that could lead to you being choked or struck in the head.
Overall, shootfighting is something I wouldn't recommend. look at Sakuraba.
I can only speak from family experience - I have a relative that suffered from epilepsy. I said "suffered" since she has had it under control for more than a decade due to the medicines. I'm not sure what type of meds you have been prescribed, but at first, they knock the **** out of you. You may be drowsy and tired for a while, until your body adjusts itself to the meds.
But, from what I've witnessed, your seizures will be under control. They can only come back when you do not take your meds as prescribed AND you are not sleeping well AND you are under a lot of stress. Other than that, you should be fine.
However, echoing what M2M said, talk to your coach, and go light. Also, talk to your doc if it's ok to engage in strenuous physical activities. Not all forms of epilepsy (or the meds for them) are the same.
Don't tell him that you'll be doing BJJ or wrestling, just tell ask him if you can exercise vigorously (.ie. competing in a marathon or something). Most docs automatically flip when they hear one of their patients is doing that savage "cage fighting" thing from Spike TV.
-- EDIT --
Actually, Deadmeat is even more correct. Some epilepsy patients, like my relative, can see/feel it coming. Hers is a acquired brain injury, and she can feel it when one its coming (though she hasn't had one episode in over a decade.)
Last edited by Teh El Macho; 7/24/2007 10:09pm at .
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I've only had 2 seizures so far, and the drug I'm taking for it is called Keppra. Both times, the only hint that it was coming was being a bit tired, but it's hardly noticeable. I know that getting enough sleep and eating breakfast seem to be important factors. I'll keep the information about not mentioning shootfighting to my neurologyst fresh in my mind for my next appointment.
Just make sure you take your meds - there's a lot of good ones out there. You'll be okay.
I once witnessed a (new-ish) student collapse with a seizure. My colleagues and I thought it was a blood sugar problem and we questioned him as to when he eaten etc. I got him some Coca Cola and he seemed to come around albeit shaken.
He had not declared his Epilepsy on our Med form so we were a bit caught out. Thankfully it wasn't a major attack. It was probably embarrassment that made him keep quiet and keep it to himself. Understandable and human. I haven't seen him since (and it was some time ago) so I don't know of his progress or whether he just decided to stop training.
Anyway, let your instructor and your doctor know and hopefully all will be well. Good Luck.
I hope it works out so you can keep training.
To echo above comments - talk to your doctor, and let the instructors know, so they won't be freaked out if you have a seizure, and so they can give the paramedics good information if it ever comes to that.
while i'm very aware of how doctors have a tendency to be reactionary idiots... this is not the time to **** around. if you will be taking blows to the head, he needs to know. if you're going to get choked, he needs to know. how you explain this to him can be fudged - i'd lean towards saying amateur boxing and judo, myself - but only saying "vigorous exercise" is not terribly wise.
I have PSVT, a form of it that effects the heart. You need to let everyone you train with know. You need to research it all you can. You need to know yourself and what sets it off (lack of sleep and stress are two likely things, and my mothers curried mince and cabbage on rice). Other than that, get all the professional medical advice you can and feel it out for yourself.
I only get problems once or twice a year and rarely in training, but what I get usually allows me to stay alert and active, at least enough to get myself to safety. Only twice in my life has it left me unconscious. Once when I was 14 where I was convulsing on the ground so hard I somehow chipped a tooth, and once a few years ago when my heart just stopped.
Some people only get a seizure every decade, others every hour. Keep asking questions and feeling it out for a while before you think about jumping in the ring. Part of that for me was thousands of dollars in medical testing that's occured since I was about 15.
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