I was hoping to have Chuck write this blog because he is better at all the technical stuff but the man is BUSY! So here goes from my perspective!
First, it was a very good visit. Everything ran on time and the staff did not seem frenzied or rushed like they have in the past 🙂
Gabriel has gained almost 4 pounds since his hospital stay in January, which would have been a concern expect he had lost a couple pounds while sick before entering the hospital and he has grown 1 1/2 inches since late Dec. (explains why all of his shoes and pants suddenly didn’t fit!)
Everytime we go to a visit I have a secret hope that “THE” treatment will have been discovered and that we will leave with definative answers. While that did not happen, we do have a plan moving forward. Sometime next week we will be adding one more medication. It is one that we asked about after reading other families having success with it. When we asked about it this summer, we had got a solid NO. Several months later and still having seizures the doctor said he was willing to write a prescription for it. This particular drug can react badly with one of the other drugs Gabriel is on, so we will be doing additional blood tests every 2 weeks to make sure all of organs and other body systems are doing well with both. The chances of this additional drug giving long term help are tiny like .5% but we are planning on moving at with it. The hope is it will give us a few good weeks while we prepare for Gabriel to recieve something called a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS).
The VNS is a small device, sometimes called “pacemaker for the brain”, that is surgical implanted in the chest, with a wire that runs to the vagal nerve (in the neck). It is then programed to send very low impulses to the brain. (There is a lot more involved but I am still learning and don’t want to get the wrong information out there). The VNS comes with a magnet that can be used to slow down or stop seizures once they start. Our hope is the VNS will help especially with the periods of stacked small seizures that we keep seeing every month. The Doctor said the ketogenic diet and the vns have been shown to work well together.
It is pretty crazy and amazing stuff. I was very skeptical and nervous about possible surgery before the visit but not so much now. The Doctor gave us a thorough pros and cons list then gave us the choice to move forward or not. The doctor also said just because we start the process of consults and scheduling the surgery doesn’t mean we can’t put it on hold if we decide.
Hope this makes sense….didn’t get much sleep last night so my brain is a little more fried than usual.
How you can be praying for us:
1. Rest…it is a busy time of the semester for Chuck and Gabriel has had several middle of the night seizures this week.
2. Discernment in decision making , specifically in regards to surgery