Monday, April 9, 2012

A Spring of New Beginnings (and Hats!)

It has been three weeks since Sadie returned home from her stay at Cleveland Clinic. We have been enjoying getting back into our regular routine. Sadie's scar from surgery is healing up well and her hair is growing back slowly. She received an assortment of spring sun hats from her Grandma. We joke that it is the "Spring of Hats," for Sadie. Being the trendsetter that she is, I'm sure that soon everyone will be wearing them.

The seizures have been holding steady. They are still less intense and frequent than before surgery, but she still has multiple episodes per day. She continues to be quite vocal and active...even a bit hyperactive at times. She particularly likes to kick around and talk around 3:30 am. Once she awakens, it's fruitless to try to get her back to sleep, so we typically pull her into bed with us and just endure the yelling and swatting until one of us gives in and gets up for the day. It's really quite comical...and tortuous. I now understand how sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture.

We have one more week until she is completely weaned off Phenobarbitol, so we are hopeful that the hyperactivity and sleep issues will settle out once her body has adjusted. Anecdotatally speaking, Phenobarbitol is notoriously difficult to wean and can cause all kinds of withdrawl symptoms in kids. We've spoken to many parents who have experienced similar difficulties during their child's wean.

Her doctor mentioned that we have the option of increasing her sleepy medicine (Neurontin) to try to get her to sleep a little longer. But, my mind was having a hard time making that leap...given that she just went through surgery in the hopes of weaning her OFF some of these meds. So, we decided to endure the sleep deprivation for a few more weeks until she is completely weaned off Phenobarbitol. Let's hope we can both keep our sanity until then...

Sadie's therapy schedule has been keeping us quite busy lately. Three days a week she is in the Day Rehab program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). She receives Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy in Day Rehab. She also sees her regular therapists through Early Intervention (EI), but we have scaled back a bit with EI until she completes Day the program at RIC. Presently, we think she'll be in Day Rehab for at least two more months. The duration will be based on how well she is doing and how close she is to her pre-surgery baseline.

We've already seen HUGE improvements with her head and trunk control. When she left Cleveland Clinic, her muscles were quite floppy - a wet noodle. Now, she is managing her head quite well. She still needs to be supported while sitting, but that has also improved immensely. The therapists at RIC have ordered a Benik Vest for Sadie to help with her trunk control. Of course, Sadie's will be hot pink!

A bit of good news - we've heard back regarding Sadie's diagnostic testing for a mitochondrial disease, and so far, everything has come back negative. There are still a few tests outstanding, but this is great news.

In the meantime, we are beginning to plan for her two year birthday! It's hard to believe that Sadie will be turning two at the end of the month. Of course, we'll be on the hunt for the perfect hat for the occasion.


  1. Think of you often Cathy...can't believe she'll be TWO so soon!!!

  2. So overjoyed to see how well Sadie is doing!I hope to be able to visit if you come up for the Epilepsy reunion.
    Donna Kebbel R.EEG,T.