Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Better Place To Be

Recently, Adin and I were looking at a few older posts on Sadie's blog. Two years ago, Sadie was hospitalized emergently to start the Ketogenic Diet after having hundreds of seizures per day. One year ago, she was hospitalized again to start ACTH after having seizures every five minutes.  This year, she's recovered from two brain surgeries. Reading those posts was a stark reminder of everything she has been through in her short life. And how, as soon as you think you are in a better place, reality can knock you back down.

Sadie and Daddy enjoying pool time.
Now that she is finished with the Day Rehab program at Rehab Institute of Chicago (RIC), she is continuing with her regular therapy schedule, which includes weekly Physical, Occupational, Speech, Vision and Developmental Therapies. I'm pleased to say that despite recent setbacks, she continues to do well in therapy. Moving at a much slower pace than typically developing kids, obviously, but making progress nonetheless. Recently, her Physical Therapist has been working with Sadie in a Lightgait over a Treadmill, getting her to walk a few steps at a time so her body begins to understand what this feels like.

Additionally, I've been looking to enroll her in aquatic therapy. Aquatic therapy can provide valuable movement for kids who are low tone and struggle with holding up their own body weight. We tried Sadie out in a pool, and she seems to really enjoy it, so we are hopeful we can get her in aquatic therapy soon!

Sadie and Olivia contemplating
the Modern Art.
In spite of a busy therapy schedule, we have found time to do a bit of traveling this summer, as well as getting out and enjoying some Chicago sights. Sadie and her friend, Olivia, recently visited the Art Institute of Chicago to take in the new Modern Art wing. Sadie didn't quite grasp Modernism, she was much more drawn to the Impressionists - Monet, Seurat, and Van Gogh in particular.

We also recently traveled to St. Louis for the 2012 Aicardi Syndrome Family Conference. The Aicardi Syndrome Foundation holds this biennial conference for families with affected daughters. It was such a great opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones - quite a different experience than our first conference, which we attended four weeks after Sadie's diagnosis. This time, we found ourselves to be much more social with the other families, rather than just deer-in-headlights

Medically speaking, Sadie is still being fed the majority of her meals via NG tube. She is allowed a little bit of pureed food each day, which she eats with varying degrees of success. Sometimes she chews well and swallows, other days, the food sits in her mouth and she spits it out. We continue to work with her speech/feeding therapists to improve her eating skills. She was originally scheduled for a repeat swallow study in August, but we've decided to hold off until we find out the results from her recent brain surgery.
As I mentioned in my last post, the cyst fenestration surgery has a 50% change of being successful at alleviating Sadie's hydrocephalus. Sadie is scheduled for a CT scan in mid-September, which will show whether or not surgery was successful. If the fluid is building up in her brain again, she will have to get a shunt (an artificial drain) placed in her brain. We are saying lots of lots of prayers that the surgery WAS successful and she will NOT need this.

Prior to her recent surgery, had switched some of her seizure meds to see if we could gain more seizure control. She is finally completely off Dilantin (yay!), and we had begun a taper of Sabril (Vigabatrin). She also started a new medicine, Zonisimide, which we are still hopeful might provide some seizure relief. However, in light of the recent surgery, everything is on "pause."

Speaking of a better place to be, Adin and I booked our first "alone" vacation since before Sadie was born. We are looking forward to getting away for a few days and know Sadie will be in good hands with Grandma and her Aunt Megan.

We look forward with a mixture of hope and trepidation as we await the results of her brain surgery. She needs your prayers now more than ever.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cathy,

    I've been penning this in my head for about two weeks as I don't know where to begin
    and am not too familiar with blogs so here goes....

    It's only now I'm doing some in-depth on-line research on AS and recently found your blog (in the middle of the night)!

    Our baby girl Chloe-May was born on 9 May 2011. Six weeks later (on Father's Day) she had her first seizure. Three days later (on my birthday) she was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome... we've been on the AS roller-coaster ever since!

    Your blog is amazing, inspirational, informative and so honest

    Sadie is a little beauty and a credit to you both

    We look forward to reading all about her adventures and updates

    Big hug from Ruth, Daragh and baby Chloe-May (we live in Ireland) Xx