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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes fainting after headache?

I’ve been having two types of headaches.
First Type: This is a really fast one, it starts like a funny/fizzy pain in my stomach as if I’m going to get sick and then it shots straight up to my head, it’s really sore and complete stops me in my tracks for the few minutes. I’ve had these for at least four years and very often say about twice a month. I also got this before each of the seizures.
Second Type: This one is more long lasting and I have been getting these for a long time. I thought it was my eyesight - I got my eyes tested and I did need glasses and I needed to get anti-glare coating as my eyes are light sensitive. I have my glasses a little over two years and the last appointment I did have to get a stronger prescription so they are getting worst. These headaches are like a throbbing pain at the front and top of my head. Some days it can be quiet painful and others days it like a low throb, however since the first seizure on 13th Sept I’ve had this headache every day.
Weird smell sensations – about two years ago for two weeks all I could smell was burnt toast everywhere, home and work etc.
Also I get numbness in my hands every couple of weeks.

Stress factors -
In the last six years – I’ve went back to college, which I’m doing part time currently on my last year.
I’ve gotten married, built our house three years ago.
I also changed jobs last year.

First seizure: 13th Sept at around 3.15pm at work. I was in a whiteboard meeting with my two managers. What I remember is I was talking and then I got the first type of headache and I remember I wonder do either of them notice me acting weird as these headache completely stop me for a few minutes and I had my hand to my head. They said the following happened, that I went complete straight in the chair – legs and arms out straight and head complete back and my whole body was shaking. They moved me off the chair on the ground into the recovery position. They said that my eyes were opened for it all and that after a few minutes on the ground I was talking. They went and got the HR manager and one of the guys from the office that is trained as a paramedic – I don’t remember seeing them or speaking to them. They were asking me questions, like if I knew my two managers I said I knew Shirley but not Peter. They said they tried to explain to me what had happened and that I couldn’t believe they were talking about me, I don’t even remember this either. They rang an ambulance and it arrived at 3.55. It’s now I start remembering things – the paramedic brought me out of the meeting room and down the elevator into the ambulance – I remember asking him what had happened and he said I fainted. I felt really scared and strange. I then texted my husband and he said I was on my way up but these texts that I sent were a bit confused, I was asking him to get the spare key for my car, which doesn’t really make any sense as I had keys.
So by the time I got to the hospital and seen my husband I felt fine. I was brought to St James in Blanchardstown. I was signed out at 12 that night saying it was a faint. I just felt tried and I even drove home. As I didn’t remember anything that happened I had presumed that I had fainted I rang them at work the following day and told them and then they explained everything that happen and they said to go into my own doctor to get this checked out. I didn’t get into the doctors until the Monday so the whole weekend I was stiff and unable to walk – it was like every muscle in my body was stretched.
So on Monday I went to my local GP – Dr McKevitt and she sent me to MAU unit in Navan hospital. They did full bloods and sent me for CT scan and then organised for an EEG – which I had in the Mater Private. I was then advised in Navan that it was a seizure and that I wasn’t allowed to drive until I had appointment with neurologist.
So I then started to work from home.

Second Seizures: So I started working from home and on 2nd October at around 1pm I had the second seizure. I was at home on my own; again I really don’t remember anything. I got the headache again type one and then all I remember is getting up off the floor. When I got off the floor I felt really straight and I just Skyped my manager and said I didn’t feel well – that was around 1.20pm so I came down the straights and went to bed. I woke up at about 5.15 just before my husband came home; my whole body was really stiff like the last time and really sore I got it really hard to get out of the bed. Then I saw I had bruises on my legs – I went to the bathroom then and here I seen I had bruises on the side of my head, on my nose, lip and inside my lip and had bitten all my tongue – I had taken a big chuck off the side of my tongue and I couldn’t speak properly for a few days. I went into my GP the following day and again she sent me to Navan Hospital – here they did more blood tests and looked at my bruising here they prescribed KEPPRA I’ve been on 250mg twice a day for two weeks and now have started on 500mg three times a day .
I was sent for a MRI which I got down in Cavan Hospital on 11th Oct – report and scan attached.
Mon, 30 Jun 2014
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Neurologist 's  Response

Thank you for posting your query.

I appreciate the detailed description provided by you, as it was helpful in analysing your case.

The diagnosis in your case is generalised epilepsy with episodic migraine.

Epilepsy is the cause of fainting in your case, and migraine is the cause of headaches.

Your MRI report is not attached here, so, I would request you to upload it again.

You are on keppra, which is an excellent anti-epileptic medication.

I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information.

Wishing you good health,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
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