Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

another ACTH update

Emily is on day 17 of ACTH injections.

This time around is much different.

The first time she was on ACTH Emily swelled quite a bit pretty quickly and had no increase in her blood pressure or blood sugar.

This time she has not had much swelling and her blood pressure is higher.We have had to decrease her dosage once because of her blood pressure. She is also SO fussy. She can scream for hours on end. We have found a few things that help-a warm bath and eating. We do lots of baths and eating around here!

Here are a couple hospital pics.

Her first non-keto meal, mashed potatoes!! Her favorite now.

Totally wore out! (notice we go no where without her weighted cat and her puppy violet)

She has definitely regressed in all areas. She does not make eye contact and is not looking at things or the tv any longer. Smiles are very few and far between. She is just overall grumpy. We are praying that all of this will come back pretty quick!

A rare grin! Food on her face because eating makes her happy!

It has been a huge change coming off the ketogenic diet. She was on it for 11 months. The first time I gave her liquid Tylenol I freaked out. She has not had liquid medicine for such a long time.
I am so very thankful that we tried the ketogenic diet and if needed (I pray she does not) we will go back on it.

Just to make things a tad bit more complicated, Emily has had a bad uti again (on antibiotics) and it teething.

So I guess I should get to what everyone is wondering.

Is it working?!?!?!?!

Well today has been the 8th day with no spasms!!!
Days 1-5 she continued to have clusters of spasms and then a couple days with none and then 2 days with just a few single spasms and none since.

As far a seizures go we are not seeing an actual seizure the past few days. There have been a couple of "movements" we are questioning but nothing noteworthy.

We keep a daily journal on Emily. It has been a lifesaver! It has every medicine she has ever taken in the front and daily we write down her meds, food, vitals, diapers, and seizures/spasms (or lack thereof!)
Joe suggested we do this in the hospital when Emily was first diagnosed and we have not missed one day since. We can go back and see trends of what meds worked better than other and when she had appts an tests. It has made our life so much easier.

Keep praying friends! I can not begin to tell you how amazing it feels to watch your daughter fall asleep and not have a seizure or wake up and not have a spasm. I watched a video the other night of Emily having a spasm and it hurt to watch.

I have had so many sweet comments and messages and I am so thankful for every one of you! Emily is lucky to have so many people praying for her.

Friday, February 11, 2011

update on ACTH

Emily is on day 8 of her ACTH injections.
She just had 3 whole days of no spasms, only seizures, and then this evening she had a couple single, weak spasms.
It was a heart wrenching feeling.

We are pumping our little girl full of steroids that make her cry, swell, elevate her blood pressure and blood sugar and make her have an insatiable appetite.

She screams for hours on end. It is hard to not be able to help her.

She is just starting to swell a little and her blood pressure is just starting to climb, we are watching it very closely.

Her very loose muscles are getting increasingly tighter, we stretch her daily to combat this.

All of these things are what we are doing in a desperate attempt to stop her infantile spasms.

Infantile spasms are that bad.

Emily is having seizures but only when she is falling asleep or waking up and they are pretty manageable.

I am praying so hard that all of this is worth it.

It is hard on Joe and myself also. We are stressed and tired. Our only nurse has been off all week because of a back injury and like I said before we have no one else that knows how to take care of Emily so it is just us.

Joe had a death in the family and had to travel out of town for the night so it was just me and Emily. I was never so glad to see Joe come home.

I am trying so hard to pray and be faithful to God and trust that His will is best for us. I am not going to lie, it is hard. I know that God loves us and He loves Emily more than we do. I know that. Some days I just don't feel that.
Some days I feel so incredibly alone.
A sweet friend sent me a psalm she has been reading a lot lately and I have read it and reread it. Psalm 27.
Also 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 has helped.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This life is temporary.

I can not wait until the day comes when I can meet Emily in heaven and she will walk up to me and hug me and tell me she loves me.
One day she will be healthy and without seizures.
One day we WILL defeat epilepsy. It will not control us forever.

Until then we will fight.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


We are preparing for the hospital tomorrow. Emily will be admitted for a day or two and have an overnight video eeg so see whats going on with her seizures and to start ACTH again.

Emily is weaned off the ketogenic diet now because we have decided to do another round of ACTH.

If you remember it was the very first medicine we tried when she was diagnosed with IS.

This is what it did.
She got very swollen, stopped smiling and well stopped pretty much everything else.

We are very aware of the risks but we also are VERY aware of the risks of uncontrolled spasms and seizures.

We have postponed her surgery until the swelling has gone down, so probably some time this summer is when she will have it.

So I ask you tonight to please pray. Pray that we can get our miracle. Pray that we can control these horrible, life altering, life ending seizures.

We are desperate for a cure.