Should I have an ECG?

I had what is being described as idiomatic seizures. I got floored a lttle over two weeks ago. CT scans + blood tests = no explanation. Scared the crap out of poor Mrs FirstAmongstDaves who thought I was having a stroke. Bad nightmares and headaches for a week or so afterwards (I’ve never had a headache in my life, so that was new). I had last week off to rest my brain and get some sleep, and feel much better now. But my planned holiday in December to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia has been put off to next year just in case. I don’t want to need to go to emergency when I’m in the North African desert.

The doctor in emergency said “idiopathic” means “we have no idea”. He recommended ECG tests to determine if I am epileptic. But he also said that they were unlikely to reveal anything unless I was actually having a seizure.

Two weeks, no sign of another stroke, and I haven’t bothered with the ECG tests. Should I?

It’s EEG, and it can be abnormal even if you are not having a seizure at that moment.

IMHO, new onset seizures in adults which are not related to acute alcohol/drug ingestion/withdrawal merit an EEG.

Keep in mind that in over half the cases, no abnormalities are found on CT/MRI scans or EEGs, and the cause is never identified.

Good luck.

Nope, its not an EEG. I am not certain what the difference is but when I said it was an"EEG’ in conversation the dotor corrected me. Perhaps it just has a different acronym here?

OK, I will get it checked out.

ECG (or EKG as we oldsters say) is the electrical pattern of the heart. EEG is a similar graph of the brain.

The doctor may think you’ve had a cardiac event that caused disruption in the circulation in the brain.

I think asking the doctor why the test is necessary may give you the best answer.

I assumed you were talking about an EEG because an ECG cannot determine wether you have epilepsy.

If the doc wanted an ECG, I’m surprised it wasn’t done right then and there. It’s a simple test, and most primary care physician’s offices can do one in minutes. And if you were in an ER or urgent care clinic, I’m surprised you got out without one being done almost automatically.