Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Rough Week

Playing with one of his favorite toys during a brief
awake time this week.

The title kinda sums it up.  It's been a rough week.  On Monday, I reached out to both his regular ped and his special needs ped.  Between the two, we got things moving quickly.
EEG fun

Tuesday morning, he was fast-tracked into neurology.  Wednesday morning, he was having an EEG.  Wednesday afternoon, I saw the report. 
This was an abnormal EEG, awake and asleep, because of excess posterior slowing and sharp waves.  The record suggests a degree of encephalopathy and an underlying, likely focal, seizure tendency.
Yeah, seizures.  And a tired, non-smiley child.  A little boy who usually breathed on his own for eight hours or more a day, who couldn't go without the ventilator for more than ten minutes.  A child who slept for hours upon hours, not waking well, and needing more and more oxygen.
Friday evening found us in the ER at Primary's.  I was concerned that there might be an underlying illness or infection driving the seizures.  On the way up, I got a call from neurology.  They wanted to put him on a seizure med, half dose for the first week and then a full dose.

He had to be sleep-deprived for the EEG, so we were
doing everything we could to keep him awake. He
does love the piano.

We spent seven hours in the ER.  It took an hour to get an IV.   Five pokes, and they weren't quick.  Each one involved a tourniquet and looking, and several minutes each time trying to thread the needle and catheter into tiny veins that are scarred and roll.  It wasn't an hour of just hanging out.  It was an hour of pain, and all I could do was hold him, and pray that this time they would be able to get it.  Please don't get me wrong.  These were experts.  They're the ones that can get his IVs.  He's just that hard.

Doesn't everyone hope to spend the start
of spring break in the ER?
Then the x-rays and waiting, and trying to figure out just what the labs meant.  I mean, some of his numbers were screwy, but not by much.  His heart numbers were elevated, but they reached out to his cardio who checked some other values and wasn't too concerned.  

I did get to meet with a friend of mine, one of my "posse" whose daughter takes the same seizure med and has for a long time.  What a relief to talk to her, hear how it works in "real life," what it's like and so on.  I was so nervous, scared, stomach-tied-in-knots before.  I'm still not thrilled that he needs it, but she was heaven-sent on Friday.  I went from "no way, can't do it," to "okay, well, here we go again."  That's a gift that no medical professional could have given me.  Only another mom could do that. 

Leaving about midnight.  At least one of us
got some sleep.
Are the seizures driving his pulmonary hypertension higher?  Is the pulmonary
hypertension pushing his seizures?  We just don't know.  The only way to really look at his brain would be an MRI, but that carries significant risks as well.  He would need to be put under for about an hour.  He recently had pneumonia, which makes anesthesia riskier.  Plus there's the whole thing about him and anesthesia not getting along real well anyway.  I don't think we'll be looking at that, at least not for quite a while. 

He is doing better.  He's still sleeping a lot but not as much as before.  I'm suctioning his trach quite a bit, but it's still manageable.   And when he's awake, he's smiling again.  He still can't be off the ventilator much at all, but I'm hoping we get there.  He's still recovering from the pneumonia.  It's going to take time.  That's okay, he's got it, as much as he needs. 

Twice in the last little bit boys with Trisomy 18 have passed on.  One was almost 12, the other was four.  A reminder of what we will face.  Fielding questions from his siblings.  "How bad is it?  What's happening?  What does it mean?"  Frankly, I really don't know.  I think it's just another bump, pretty sure we'll get through this just like so many other challenges.  But it weighs on me. 

Which brings me to today:  Easter Sunday.  What a blessing, what a lifting of a burden.  Because of Him, I can do it.  Whenever we face it, I know death is not the end, but a necessary step in our eternal progression.  Because of Him, goodbys are not forever.  Because of Him, I am strengthened, upheld, loved.  I am His child, a woman of faith, a beloved daughter. 

 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Philippians 4:13


  1. So beautiful and such a strong family. He is such a sweetheart and you are a great mom. He definitely was sent to the right family. Big hugs.

  2. I feel you about going from, "nope, can't do this to here we go again." I hope the new meds are effective ♥

    1. He is such a trooper and lift so many people with his smile even when he's not feeling well! My prayers are with him and I hope the meds are effective too!❤