Friday, July 1, 2011

It Gets Better?

When Sadie was a newborn, she and I would take daily walks around our neighborhood. There was a local park we'd circle every day with a playground, pool, and softball fields. After Sadie's diagnosis, there were some days when making that loop was just too painful. Every child jumping off monkey bars, running by the pool, pitching a ball - was a vivid reminder of my own child's limitations.

As Sadie is our first baby, Adin and I have no previous experience in typical child development. We only have the children of friends and family with which to compare. Now that summer is into full swing, we find ourselves at friends' barbecues, pool parties, and family gatherings. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, it's quite difficult NOT to compare your own child to others.

Friends of ours, parents of another Aicardi girl, compare it to "the bends." A feeling you get when resurfacing from a deep sea dive. You are thrown into an alternate reality, then just as quickly, you're catapulted back into your own reality. Psychologists call it "chronic sorrow," a pervasive grief experienced by parents of children with special needs. There is no "It Gets Better" campaign for parents of children with special needs. You're simply handed a copy of a poem about Holland and sent on your way.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE seeing our nieces, nephews and friends' children, and am fascinated with how quickly they grow and develop. But will there always be a twinge of pain when seeing a child do something that Sadie might never do? Does this mean our friends and family should feel guilty for having healthy children? No - absolutely not. We simply hope they cherish every healthy, typically-developing moment.

And while I hate hanging out in the land of "I feel sorry for myself", perhaps I've been thinking more about this lately because Sadie has been experiencing one of the most rocky seizure periods she's ever had. Her Dilantin levels have been all out of sorts - high one week, low the next. We also started a new medicine, Ospolot, a few weeks ago. Since then, she's been having periods of time where all she does is twitch. Sometimes it's mild - just the foot and hand twitching in a synchronized pattern, other times, her whole body twitches. This can go on for over an hour. We tend to err on the conservative side when it comes to administering Diastat (her emergency med), otherwise, we'd be giving it every day. We have given it three times in the past two weeks.

Just when we thought things were starting to calm down, the seizures spiked again for no apparent reason. We also noticed that Sadie's heart rate was extremely high and she was running a temperature. Come to find out, Sadie had a urinary tract infection (UTI). We started her on antibiotics, but the fevers continued to spike. Back to the pediatrician a few days later and they gave her an antibiotic shot - to which she had an allergic reaction. Hives all over her arms and legs.

And, while we thought we had gotten rid of the nasal cannula, she's needed to be on oxygen for the past week. According to her pulminologist, this can happen when kiddos get sick. Grrrrr...the girl simply can't catch a break.

So, I'm patiently waiting for things to get better. Patiently.


  1. I want with my entire being to take the burden off your shoulders, and carry it myself. Sadie has been brought into our world for a reason...she doesn't know what is going on around her, but she does know she LOVED, unconditionally!! I love her more than life itself...hugs and kisses to my beautiful granddaughter! Grandma S....XXOO

  2. Cathy, I am sorry you have had to be stronger and more corageous than most moms, but thank you for being such an amazing example of true love to all of us watching.

  3. We love you all very much. I wish I lived closer...I'm sure you could use a shoulder to lean on...

  4. Send Sadie our love and kisses. We miss you guys!
    Love Aunt Theresa and Uncle Paul

  5. Jackie KronewitterJuly 5, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Ditto to what Sarah said. You are more amazing than you realize. Hugs and kisses to beautiful Sadie. We hope to see you all soon!
    Love Aunt Jackie & Uncle Doug

  6. oh, cathy...there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think of you. your strong spirit is such an inspiration (always has, always will be). sadie is so very lucky to have the LOVE of you and adin, you are both so special.