Toddler epilepsy - help!

Priscilla - posted on 02/19/2015 ( no moms have responded yet )

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Hello all,
Our darling son who just turned 3 is having unusual jerking of arm and leg, and has been in "spaced out" / "drunken" episodes with a shy smile, lip smacking, swallowing, fingers fumbling. My hubby and I at first thought these were signs of a nervous tic since he did have many changes in his life in the last 6 months (e.g. moved house, moved up a class to more structured learning, long-term nanny emigrated, daddy went back to work after 9 months of redundancy), but having research more it appears he must be suffering from partial seizures a form of epilepsy. He does not have any convulsions nor lose consciousness, but he cannot talk sometimes during an episode. He can have as many as 7-8 a day, mostly lasting 2mins each though the longest recorded was about 5-6mins.
We saw a paediatric neurologist and an EEG was carried out with abnormal activity detected (although the doc said up to 30% of children could have abnormal EEG without any seizures). We are having an MRI next week.
My hubby and I are devastated. I for one started to wonder if I might have caused him permanent brain damage for not having spotted this earlier - perhaps he has been suffering from it for a long time but his seizures if they are what they are are so gentle and look almost like daydreaming or he being shy.
I would so love to hear from any one of you on the following - if you can find the time to help me:
(1) seizures / fits had been mentioned - any one with my kind of seizures / fits i.e. without convulsions and still be diagnosed with epilepsy and treated as such?
(2) the paed neurologist is recommending epilim or keppra, stating his preference for the latter. We googled on the side effects for keppra and the aggressive / depressive mood changes have been so often reported I am freaking out. Our boy is such a happy little chappy and it would kill me for him to lose that sparkle in him and his joy of childhood due to drugs. Anyone with such dilemma?
(3) Anyone chose not to medicate? If yes, any fear of permanent brain damage due to the seizures?
I am so sorry with this lengthy message - guess you all out there can sense my desperation.
Hope to have your support. Thank you ever so much.

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