Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Week 4 after clipping

Hi everyone,

Today is 4 weeks post surgery! I am not going to sugar coat it…I have been on a rough ride. But nothing I can’t handle! Honestly, I don’t think it is the actual surgery giving me a hard time, I think it is the anti-seizure med (keppra) that I was put on. I never had a seizure before or after surgery, but it is used preventatively. I have been on it since day 1 and it has made me an angry person! Very low tolerance, mean, aggressive…ect! I just called my surgeon today (waiting for a call back) to see if I can start weaning off.

Other then that, my incision is looking very good, rarely have headaches, walking and caring for my family again. I am having a hard time sleeping though, which is odd, since the keppra makes me drowsy! I am also waking up recently with some swelling around my eyes. I am sleeping with my head propped up, so I am unsure as to why 1 month after surgery I would be experiencing this…but it is on my list as well when the doc calls me back!

I am longing for the day I can drive again! I know it may sound a bit selfish, but I am so sick of depending on other people to drive me around. And shockingly, I really miss work!

Thank you all for the support! :slight_smile:

Michele.

I was on keppra for two months and I can say it made me a bit grumpy for a while

I am not the best resource person for you, but can share that I have been on Dilantin for more than 50 years and have an unclipped right PCA aneurysm, based on a second opinion from Mayo Clinic several years ago.

You are where you are, and it sound like your post surgical issues are drug related and that either a change of dosage or to another anti-seizure med. will resolve your issues.

Prayers are offered for you!

Michele

I was on keppra for two months and I can say that thinking back it made me feel a bit grumpy.

I had my clipping just Over a year now had a few issues with the odd pain here and there but on the whole not to bad.

I drove my car 3 months after the clipping but I could have driven earlier

I have been on Keppra for 8 years. My aneurysm ruptured and I was in extremely serious condition. My recovery took a very, very long time. I am still on disability and will never work again. I didn't drive for almost 7 months as I did seizure on life flight and was put in a drug induced coma. Know that Keppra can make you sleepy. Don't know about grumpy as I had so many other physical issues to deal with. Hope it gets better. Sounds as though you are recovering well.

My prayers that you keep recovering well.

I was on keppra for 9 months after my 2 coilings the best part about it? I lost weight!!!

I have been on Keppra for two plus years. Like Tenaj, my aneurysm ruptured and I was on life support for several months. My experience with anger has been more related to depression than medication. Counseling is helping with dealing with the anger.

Hi Michele,

I've been on Keppra for 9 months, long story short, I had a clipping about 10 years ago, then had to have a P.E.D December of 2012 and I began having mini strokes and what they think were mini seizures. I would get a funny taste or smell and would zone out for about about 30 seconds. They said I was having aura's which is a precursor to seizure. I never went unconscious during these episodes and no one ever thought it was serious enough to medicate. Well, about 8 months ago without warning I had a MASSIVE seizure. My son found me on the floor not breathing and called 911. I fractured my spine in 7 places and fractured my left arm at the shoulder. They put me on keppra and for the first 3 months, I was a wreck emotionally and had mood swings daily. I couldn't tell what were my real emotions or were from the keppra. Good news is I haven't had a seizure since but keppra was horrible until about 3 months in. Now I'm fine but I understand a rough ride.

I've never heard of pre-treatment with keppra and they swear that my seizure is unrelated to the aneurysm and pipeline (P.E.D) but the seizure was located in my T-3 frontal lobe, EXACTLY where my aneurysm is. So if they won't wean you off now, hopefully you will adjust quickly. I also suffer from insomnia..... Try benadryl before bed or there's a prescription antihistamine called Vistaril that has helped me. I didn't want to go down the path of sleeping pills.

I wish you all the best as you recover!! I know it's hard but don't rush it!!!

I got put on Keppra when I had a set of grand mal seizures a few days after successful and otherwise uneventful clipping surgery. I am sure some of my problems right after that were from the seizure(s), but I am not a fan of Keppra. I could feel myself returning to more like normal as the dosage wore off every twelve hours, and then I'd go back into the fog after I took the next round. At first it reduced my appetite, but that side effect didn't last long. Mostly it makes me a tired zombie; my thoughts are cluttered. I'm not really crabby or what I think of as depressed, but I haven't been in a great mood since I started it, that's for sure.

I will say I have adjusted to it over time (months, not weeks!), and cutting down on the dosage helped a great deal; I was at 1000mg twice a day and now it's 500mg twice a day. I am hoping to be "allowed" to taper off it entirely after a follow up EEG soon. I truly feel the seizures were an isolated, post-surgical incident, and I hate being on anti-seizure medication, but I suppose it's better to be careful.

Your swelling sounds pretty normal to me, and I bet it will be going away soon. Why can't you drive yet? My driving was restricted only 1) when on the heavy duty pain meds, and 2) after the seizures (by state law). Not being able to drive my kids around and get myself to my own appointments was the worst part of the whole thing. Good luck!

I've been taking Dilantin 400 mg. daily for 23 years and so far, thank goodness no seizures. I had one and that's what alerted me to annie 2 & 3. I take it at bedtime as it makes me groggy. It's just one of those things like my paralyzed left arm that I learned to deal with. I'm too close to driving again to argue with the neuro. Good luck Michele.

I have been on Keppra since 09' and I haven't had any issues at all with it, I can't even tell

Hi Michele,
I am 2+ years post clipping. I didn’t take keppra and was still grumpy. I had a lot of head aches. It does get better! You’ll be driving in no time. Take it easy - you’ve been through a lot.

I have heard of others who did not do well with Keppra. I have been on Carbemazepine for about 16 years, and tolerate it very well. You might mention it to your doctor - of corse everyone is different, and drugs also affect us differently. Stay with it, but tell your doctor how you feel, and don’t be brushed off. It is your life and your head. All the best to you.

David Andrus, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hi Michele, I am glad you are doing well. I had my clipping 2 yrs ago. I also am on keppra they tried to take me off and they did and a few months I had a seizure which they did not want to believe. but you may be different. Just keep talking to your doctor.

keppra at first can make you that way or I was that way also no patients at all zero. It may also have been my brain adjusting to the new me.

I think you are a lot like me try and take it easy and slow down that was a terrible issue for me,,and still is after 2 yrs,,you are only 4 weeks out. It is a long road but you are in the right place to get answers. People like us can help each other better we understand each other, you will be driving in no time hang on.

Let me know if I can help.

Sarah

I had craniotomy almost 18 months ago for clipping of aneurysm and removal of AVM. I was started on Keppra immediately after surgery, along with clonazepam. My symptom that alerted all to check for neurological issues was what I call "episodes". They last about 20 to 30 seconds and during that time I can't speak. I breathe and know what's going on around me. Anyway, they didn't stop after the surgery and continue to occur. Neurologist has adjusted meds quite a few times but they still occur, maybe not as frequently as previously. I don't feel grumpy or irritable, but I'm lacking in energy a lot of the time. I continue to be as active as possible, playing tennis 2 or 3 times a week and walking when I feel like it. I see Neurologist again in about a month and want to suggest trying a different medication. I feel good, everyone says I look good, so...I consider myself very lucky! Hope you are able to get your doc to work with you on the side effects! Don't give up - it is your life! Chilly

I was ok on Keppra after my clipping but I’ve heard others have problems. Maybe the neuro will say there is something else you can take instead. As I understand it, they prescribe it when the feel there’s a risk of seizure or vasospasm but you won’t take it forever. Take it easy on yourself. You’ll get back to things. I’m driving, working, and taking care of my kids again but it can all wait until you’re ready.

Hi Michelle, I suffered similar side effects of keppra, had to take it for 1 month after crainotomy clipping surgery. I have not had any seizures, it was preventative. I added it to my bad reaction, allergic list and hope to not have to take it ever again! I felt much better being done with keppra and hope you will too!

My dad is on Keppra and all he does is sleep all day. He had a large rupture in the left side of the brain and clipping. I am not sure if it is due to the keppra or the brain injury. He was angry and agitated until they added risperdal.

Hi Michele, I am glad to hear the procedure went well, that is great!

Talk to your doc about the medication, he can recommend a substitute if it is not agreeing with you.

Wishing you the best as always and please keep us all informed of you progress.

Kind Regards

Martinc

I have no issues with Keppra. In fact, I was so happy to find an anti-seizure drug that worked for me. I've been seizure free since Nov 2012 and I'm driving now, so I'd rather not try anything else. My neuro did mention something about being in a bad mood for a while, but that never happened to me. Initially I was sent home showing no seizure activity, and just given something as a precaution.After 3 seizures I was put on Keppra - thank goodness I wasn't driving when those seizures happened! They were unexpected, and I did get hurt.

You've been through a lot. Tell your doctor about the eye swelling.

Alice