We've been delaying our Christmas update, as were waiting to see if there would be good news to report. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Sadie had a pretty rough holiday season. Her seizure activity began to increase a few days before Christmas. We've been slowly tapering one of her seizure meds, Topomax, in the hopes that we could get her off of one of the three medications and increase her alertness. She's been on Topomax since she was first diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome, and we haven't been entirely convinced that it is working. Additionally Topomax is not an ideal medication in combination with the ketogenic diet as it can cause kidney stones. So, a few days before Christmas, we started to decrease her dosage. A few days later, her seizures increased 7-10 clusters of a day to 10-15 clusters a day.
We didn't want to jump to the conclusion that Topomax was working. Unfortunately in children with seizure disorders, so many other factors can play a role with seizure increases. For Sadie, it could be the change of routine with traveling, the fact that she was running a low-grade fever around Christmas, coming down with a slight cold around New Years, etc. Our New Years Eve was spent on the phone with her neurologist, and we're working on tweaking the Depakote dosage to see if we can get more seizure control while keeping Topomax at the same level for the time being. Needless to say, we're frustrated and continue to hope that someday soon we'll see an improvement in Sadie's seizures.
While experiencing trying days and nights over the past few weeks, our holidays were also interspersed with a few moments of pure Sadie happiness and joy. She had many moments where she would talk, squeal, giggle, smile...were it not for these moments, we'd be having a much harder time. Of course, our little girl was also showered with love and affection from a host of friends and family. It will take three trips to get all of her gifts and clothes back to our house! Her closet continues to expand.
In addition to the seizures, we've also been battling with some bowel movement issues with Sadie. Warning to readers who may get squirmy when hearing about poo, you may want to skip this paragraph. I feel like the topic of poop has come up way too much in our household lately. It's been about 2 months since Sadie has pooped on her own...that is, without the help of a glycerin suppository. We actually had to give her an enema last week to get her to go, after three suppositories didn't work. Talk about stress. We're not sure what to attribute it to - the ketogenic diet, which can be constipating or the fact that she is taking three sedating seizure medicines, or a combination of both. We've tried everything - miralax, milk of magnesia, prunes, senna, baby massage, reflexology. Day four after reducing her Topomax doseage, Sadie had a bm without help of a suppository. Adin called it a "Christmas Miracle."
Because of these issues, we've added yet another doctor into the mix. Sadie had her first appointment with a GI specialist at Children's Memorial. This month will be a busy one for little Sadie. She'll have another MRI to monitor her choriod plexus papilloma tumor. We also have an appointment at Easter Seals to get her fitted for a specialized stroller and potentially a special car seat.
So, we'll stay hopeful that 2011 will bring Sadie better seizure control, more moments of pure joy and happiness, and the knowledge that she is loved and adored by many people.