Tag Archives: Onfi

A trip to the ER and other medical hassles.

And of the medical hassles, the ER was the most pleasant one.

Our Christmas Eve tradition for the last few years is to have family over for Christmas Eve dinner. We stuff ourselves with appetizers and leave a ton of leftover ham, mashed potatoes, pasta salad and green bean casserole. Within three minutes of our guests leaving, hardly even giving us time to complain about the bottle of wine that we opened and was hardly touched (it was one of those mondo size bottles that leaves me torn between not wasting perfectly good wine and the fear of sleeping through Christmas Day in a stupor), Connor was fussing for his iPad by the kitchen table and went down with a loud thunk. I picked him up and set him on the island, hoping for his standard forehead bruise. It’s a constant battle to keep his forehead a normal skin color, and that is why he frequently wears head protection. I realized he was bleeding and called to Chris for paper towels. One swipe and I knew we had a problem. This was deep.

We headed to the Kennestone Hospital ER where Connor received three stitches. We were in and out in just under two hours. It was impressively simple and undramatic, but I guess when you’ve already done the NICU and brain surgery, three stitches ain’t no thang. In fact, Connor had spent the entire day being royally uncooperative as far as smiling for photos, giving me the first in the waiting room with a hole in his forehead.

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Getting the stitches in was easy. Getting them out turned out to be the pain. The ER doctor informed us that while we could come back after the holiday, the wait would go back to standard long waits and suture removal is bottom priority. He recommended getting them removed at his pediatrician. I love his pediatrician. I do NOT love the office staff that stands between us. I called to make an appointment and was told that she’d have to check and see if anyone would do it on a young child’s face. “It’s just three!” I tried to persuade her. Two hours later, a nurse calls me back and says it’s okay. She transfers me to the scheduler. “Well, they don’t usually do this on kids under three. I need to check.”

“We just went through this,” I explained. “I was transferred to you by the person who got the okay.”

“I still need to check.”

WTF.

After a long hold, she comes back. “You’ll have to take him back to where you got them.” I don’t think a doctor was even consulted. It was just “office policy.”

I was pissed now. I informed her we would not be going back to the ER. I did not inform her of how wasteful of time and money this was, or what a burden this kind of crap is on the system. I asked if an urgent care would do it. She thought they would. But after careful consideration of the all the germs floating around in waiting areas and the fact that the flu is reportedly raging through Georgia, we opted to Google stitch removal and do it at home. If there were a lot, we wouldn’t, but three seemed doable, and it was actually pretty easy. So take that, idiotic office policy.

I also handled the fact that last month’s paperwork glitch regarding Connor’s Sabril (vigabatrin) prescription was apparently never resolved. Typically, if there is an issue filling this prescription, a group called SHARE works with the manufacturer to make sure prescriptions go out. I learned that this is not the case if you are marked non-compliant with the eye doctor paper work. They had sent us last month’s prescription in spite of the screwup. Thanks to the FDA, they couldn’t do it again.

You see, Connor takes a seizure med that carries some risk to peripheral vision. The FDA, when they finally got around to approving it in 2009 — 30 years after initial clinical trials — decided that if you wanted to use it, you had to have eye exams every three months. They also recommend ERGs every three months. An ERG requires Connor to be put under for 45 minutes to an hour. We stopped those a long time ago. He had one come back indicating a change. But nobody could tell us squat about what that meant, or if it was even more than a fluke. Not even all eye doctors recommend it. Some bend to the fear of the FDA and others flat out tell you it’s a waste of time and they can tell you very little with young children.

The regular eye exams (at which the eye doctors also acknowledge they can’t tell you much and it’s just an empty requirement) are very mandatory. Paperwork must be submitted to keep the meds coming. Some parents speak of obtaining waivers for these, but those waivers seem like unicorns to most of us. Something wasn’t submitted properly. Then it didn’t get fixed properly. And then it was decided by all parties (other than me) that the best option was to not give my child his seizure meds and status seizures, brain damage, even death was a better possible option than some minor impairment of his peripheral vision. The FDA is apparently well aware that one needs 20/20 vision when on a ventilator fighting for life. I did not inform the manufacturer or pharmacy that I was able to obtain some for Connor so that he was not at risk for the terrible dangers of cutting a med cold turkey. Eventually the kickass assistant at his neurologist’s office was able to fix the situation, further proving that they are the only medical office I have ever been able to count on.

Sabril was not the only source of my fun with pharmacies. I tried to refill his Onfi. When I called to do so I was informed they were out and I could fill it locally if I had the local pharmacy call to transfer it. Annoying (don’t you plan for your regulars?) but okay. I had filled it at CVS before. First I tried Walgreens because it’s closest. No pharmacy in the area had it. Then CVS. Nope. Then Kroger. Nope. I called the mail order pharmacy, Optum Rx, back and asked what was I supposed to do now.

“Well, you may have to call his neurologist and get a prescription for something else.”

Something else? Just replace his highly addictive benzo?

“I don’t understand how you just run out of something you are supposed to mail on a regular basis. I want a supervisor.”

Three people later, we were able to piece together that by “out” what they actually meant was that they could have it to me by the following Wednesday, but they didn’t have it that day (Friday). It apparently took three people to get this vital piece of information that took a major issue to a non-issue. In pissed relief, I told them that was fine.

Have I mentioned I have three different pharmacies for Connor? So much for safeguards where the pharmacist can be that extra set of eyes watching for interactions and issues. I have to get Sabril from CVS Caremark (which is great as long as the FDA stays out of it), Onfi is from Optum Rx (their motto is “At least we’re not Accredo”) and all others from a local CVS.

So now we’re stocked back up on meds. It’s 2015. Despite all the venting in this post, I think it will be a good year and I hope it will be a good year for all my friends in the epilepsy community that spent the holidays in hospitals. I will leave you with some pics of Connor’s Christmas (three times in three homes!) to cleanse the palate.

Emptying the stocking.
Emptying the stocking.

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With Aunt Donna.
With Aunt Donna.

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Checking out the turtles with Grandpa John.
Checking out the turtles with Grandpa John.

 

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CONNOR

NICHOLE MONTANEZ

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CONNOR

Connor was born in March of 2012. Ten weeks prior — at the 30-week ultrasound — we were told there was an irregularity of some sort on the heart wall. The explanation was vague. It might be nothing, or it might be <insert a bunch of big words we had never heard before>.
Tuberous sclerosis complex was mentioned as a possible cause, but it was such a vague maybe that we dismissed it when we Googled the stats. One in 6,000 live births. Well, it couldn’t be that. I was monitored carefully until Connor was born, but whatever was in his heart never grew or affected the heart function. Everything seemed normal until a few hours after delivery. That was when a nurse in the nursery realized he was having seizures. The next 37 days were spent in the NICU. The seemingly benign heart abnormality was confirmed as…

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Waiting for a seizure to happen is no way to live.

Second Annual “Blogging for TSC Awareness Month” Day 9

by guest blogger Jamie Perry  (Deltona, Florida)

At the end of August 2011, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. My husband Joe and I had been married for 10 years and decided to have one more child so my 3-year-old daughter would have a sibling as we didn’t want her growing up an only child. I got pregnant quickly and we were thrilled. At the end of 2011 I found out I was having a boy. I had no problems during the pregnancy and the doctors said everything looked good.

image-1My c-section was scheduled April 18, 2012. On that day I had a beautiful 8 lb 3 oz boy and we named him Cayden George Perry. He was the most beautiful little thing and I was immediately smitten. There’s just something about that mother-son bond. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. The birth went smoothly and ,other than a weird red mark on his forehead, he was perfect. My husband and I asked several doctors about the red mark on his head and they would always tell us it was trauma from when he was inside of my stomach or it was a birthmark or it was a bruise. No one actually seemed to know what it was. No one seemed concerned either. Aside from the red mark on his head, he had several large white patches on his legs and arms. And again, we were told they were birthmarks.

After we got out of the hospital, we saw our regular pediatrician. We again asked about his white spots and red mark. We were told the exact same thing. Everyone felt comfortable guessing but no one could give us a definite answer. They said he was fine and we shouldn’t be worried. At 4 ½ months we figured out exactly what those ‘birthmarks’ were. As a mom, I notice everything. I noticed when I would cuddle Cayden sometimes, his body would stiffen up and he would scream out as if he were in pain. I called the pediatrician several times over the course of a week and each time I’d call, they’d tell me it was likely teething, give him Tylenol and that they didn’t feel it was necessary to see him. I told them I saw no bumps in his mouth but they insisted he was fine and I was overreacting.

After a week of dealing with this, I was extremely worried. Tylenol wasn’t helping and nobody seemed to believe me when I told them I suspected something was wrong with Cayden. I got the “you worry too much” speech from nearly everyone.  On the Sunday before Labor Day, he started having one of the episodes and I yelled for my husband to please take a closer look at him. I knew it wasn’t normal. “I think he’s having a seizure.” Those words from my husband will stick with me forever. He scooped up Cayden and took off to the ER. I got my daughter ready and we hopped in my car and followed. The ER doctor agreed with my husband that Cayden was definitely having a seizure but he didn’t know why. He was on the phone with a neurologist when the nurse came in to ask about the red mark on Cayden’s head and the white spots. We said we had asked several doctors and were told they were birthmarks. At that time, I was so confused. Why was my son having seizures? What could white spots have to do with it? A few hours later, Cayden was life-flighted to a larger hospital an hour away. The doctor felt the  white spots and the red mark were genetic markers for something called Tuberous Sclerosis, which I had never heard of. I made the mistake of looking it up online. I was terrified of what was going to happen to my little boy.

The next day, they did a full body MRI on him and confirmed the diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis. They mentioned a drug called Sabril that they’d order for imagehim and they were confident it would be helpful in stopping the seizures. He spent 10 days in the hospital and while the seizures didn’t come as often, they were still happening multiple times a day. Joe and I made the choice to move his treatment to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. From our research, this was one of the best hospitals to treat Tuberous Sclerosis. We started there at the beginning of October 2012. Much to our surprise, on our first visit there, Cayden was also diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. It seems the old hospital, while they did do a full-body MRI, never read the results. We had brought the MRI on disc with us for the new neurologist to review and the nephrologist reviewed it as well because after taking Cayden’s blood pressure and seeing it was through the roof, he suspected PKD. My husband and I were devastated. We were just getting over the shock of Cayden being diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and now this??!!! It was just so much to process. They put him on blood pressure medicine and the neurologist made some changes to the dosage of his Sabril. Even at the max dose, Cayden’s seizures still continued. And from that point, they continued another four months until a miracle happened. For four months multiple meds were tried. Nothing seemed to help my son. Watching your son have multiple seizures daily is simply heartbreaking. I sunk into a depression and I dimage-2idn’t think I could pull out of it. I shut everyone out of my life. I was devastated that nobody could seemingly help my son. In January 2013, we discussed Afinitor. The doctor decided to take him off of Onfi (as the side effects were too harsh for Cayden). We began to wean Cayden off Onfi  and we were to start a medicine called Dilantin while waiting to get approved for Afinitor.  After three days on Dilantin, something changed with Cayden. When we woke up on a Sunday morning we heard Cayden in his crib moving around and making noises. I was baffled when I walked into his room. He smiled at me! Then he laughed! And then, of course, I cried! I hadn’t seen that beautiful smile in five months. He was so happy and I can’t describe the feeling I felt seeing him smile. I felt my prayers had been answered.

I felt like for the next few weeks I was waiting for the bottom to fall out. But waiting for a seizure to happen is no way to live. So I tried my hardest to just enjoy the seizure-free time that we got with Cayden. Prior to starting Dilantin, he was set up for brain surgery in April of 2013 at NYU Medical Center. The surgery wasn’t successful and while that was extremely disappointing, I was glad that we at least had Dilantin to help with the seizure control. Cayden just turned 2 April 18th of this year. He’s just learning to crawl and stand, he’s saying a few words and he’s sitting on his own. Six months ago, he was doing none of that. I have such a tough, strong, determined little boy! He is my hero and the absolute love of my life. I am so grateful that God gave me such an amazing child and I feel truly blessed to be his mommy!

I despise mail order pharmacies.

I had a full bottle when I started the process of refilling. Now I have this.
I had a full bottle when I started the process of refilling. Now I have this.

Really? I finally get Accredo out of my life, and now my insurance makes me get Onfi from mail order Optum Rx, even though it’s available locally. And what do they do? Take forever to process his upped dose on a new prescription and then just throw it on a UPS truck NOT OVERNIGHT, but 3-5 business days SIGNATURE REQUIRED, without coordinating a delivery date with me, all for it to be delivered two days after we run out. So here is my morning making phone calls coordinating getting an emergency supply. I DESPISE using mail order pharmacies. I started the process of his refill as we opened the current bottle. I thought an entire bottle of Onfi would provide sufficient time for a refill.

When I established on the phone this morning that the vague 3-5 business days would fall into the “too late” category I was transferred to someone who would help me get an emergency supply locally. Well, okay. I can deal with that. Until I realized that actually just meant I handle everything as usual and would have to do what I was already planning to do out of desperation. Call local CVS and beg for mercy. Call neuro and beg for emergency prescription to be sent over. Wait for everyone to coordinate everything and deal with initial insurance rejections and getting override codes.

Not to worry. CVS has assured me they will hook me up with emergency doses as needed because the prior approval needed to give me this “emergency” dose actually takes three days.

It sounds so pretty doesn’t it? Have your medication delivered right to your door! Don’t ever do it if you have a choice! My heart medication — the ones I’m going to need from all this in the future — will probably only be available through mail order.

To CVS Caremark Pharmacy that currently handles Connor’s vigabatrin: We have something special. Please, please don’t ever break up with me. My heart couldn’t take it. No, seriously. If you fail me, too, my heart might give out. I’m begging you to keep loving me.

On another note, I had a voicemail the other day from someone at Express Scripts in regards to my blog about Accredo. They are looking into the issues I shared. The day got away from me yesterday and I didn’t get a chance to call her back, but I appreciate that it is getting some attention there. I need to get some coffee and breakfast in my system to return the call. Oh, and Connor’s permission.

Relieved after talking to the neurologist.

Feeling much better this morning after an appointment with Connor’s neurologist. We were dismayed to hear about changes on the ERG, but I really freaked out yesterday when his medical assistant mentioned in an e-mail that he wanted to discuss the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is no joke–read here–it involves hospitalization to start it, measuring everything he eats and it’s more extreme than Atkins. I have never wanted to do the keto diet and have always hoped it would never even be a consideration.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not off the table and I understand why people do it, and some have great success, but it just seems like a nightmare to me. I hope to find seizure control another way.

I was really freaked thinking we were going to be told Connor MUST come off the vigabatrin immediately and that the keto diet would be on the immediate horizon. Thankfully, not the case. While a change on the ERG is reason for concern and close monitoring, our doctor said to also take it with a grain of salt. Many parts of the country, people aren’t even doing these because it’s somewhat unreliable at this age. It can’t tell you how much vision is being affected, if at all, only that the retina isn’t responding quite the same way with one of the wavelengths or something–honestly I don’t understand it well enough to explain it. Sometimes, later tests go back to normal and it was just an anomaly, and yes, sometimes the peripheral vision is affected, but the positives of the meds outweigh the negatives. In his experience, most of the time a kid has gone off due to changes on the ERG, they ended up back on it because it was simply the most effective med for them. Unfortunately, keeping the seizures at bay must take precedence over perfect vision. If it was an issue of blindness, I’d be much for freaked out, but hopefully, if he does suffer any loss to peripheral vision, he will learn to compensate.

We do have to decide if we go back for another ERG in a month, or wait the standard three months. He didn’t seem to think it was worth the sedation to go back in a month, though. Obviously, we could have to face decisions over again if we continue to see changes, but hopefully that won’t be the case.

As far as the keto diet goes, he brought that up more as a possibility, and he felt the modified Atkins diet was equally good (and less insane–my words, not his). We will revisit that in a few weeks after we see what happens with the increases in Onfi. We are also finally weaning Keppra- the drug that has been the unchanging constant through all this. We’re not sure it’s really doing anything, so we’ll monitor and see what happens.

He also said down the road, there are other drugs we haven’t tried, though he can’t vouch for them when so many have failed. And we can also revisit surgical options as well as VNS. VNS doesn’t thrill me, as I haven’t seen as much success with that online as I would like for such a major surgical/implant intervention. What is VNS? Read here. That being said, like any treatment, one person’s fail is another’s miracle.

Please cross your fingers for the vigabatrin/Onfi combo and no further change on the ERG!

Last night, we attended a meeting with a Met Life rep regarding financial planning for special needs. The truth is, we don’t know where TSC will have Connor as an adult. Maybe he’ll be doing great and self-supporting, but we just don’t know at this point. So it was time to look into how to plan for the possibility that he may not live entirely independently, possibly because of cognitive issues, or maybe because of health/epilepsy issues. Thank goodness, we did! It’s pretty easy to complicate your child’s situation and have no idea you are doing so. If you have a child receiving any government benefits, such as Katie Beckett or if they are over 18 on SSI, if they inherit anything adding up to over $2,000 they can lose their benefits! Who came up with that number as a cutoff? Seriously? And can so easily happen by accident–savings bonds purchased for them by a relative, naming them directly on a will, putting them as your life insurance beneficiary, or just not having a will and they automatically inherit. Once those assets are spent, they can reapply, but those of us who have applied for such things know how nightmarish it can be. And losing them even temporarily can wreak havoc. The presenter shared a story of a woman in her 50s or 60s living in a group home supported by Medicaid. She had been there for a long time. When her parents passed, they had no will and she inherited what they had, which wasn’t much. She had to move out of the home, and within a few months the assets were spent. She could then reapply, but her spot had been taken. She lost her parents and her home.

We will have to have a special needs lawyer help us with a special needs trust that will protect him from anything like that. Anything that he inherits must go to the trust. That way, if he’s receiving any benefits they won’t be affected. Don’t worry, the government gets theirs. This kind of trust is taxed at one of the highest rates, in case you were worried they’d run out of barricades for our national monuments.

 

 

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Join us for a meeting with new Atlanta TSC clinic director, Dr. Wolf!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
2 – 4 p.m.
Mount Vernon Baptist Church
850 Mt. Vernon Hwy NW
Sandy Springs, GA 30327

Dr. David Wolf will be spending his afternoon meeting the local TSC individuals and families of the TS Alliance of Atlanta/North Georgia. Join us for this valuable opportunity to meet both Dr. Wolf and other local TSC individuals and families!
There will be light refreshments available.

RSVP to Becky pin.the.map@gmail.com

Remember when I gloated that we were done with vigabatrin? Oops.

Note: So I wrote this blog yesterday, but was unable to post it. “Why is that?” you probably didn’t ask…well, you know how Comcast never wants to come out the day you need them, or they give you a window of say, 4 to 8 p.m. and show up at 7:59? Well, try canceling your service. THAT they can do not just on time, but BEFORE you asked them to. Way to make a random burst of efficiency another aspect of your subpar business model. There is an update at the bottom from this morning. 

It was a grumpy weekend. We’ve been packing the house, getting ready to close on Friday, and I’ve not been able to summon any energy or interest in the process. Plus Connor’s seizures have been increasing. We were concerned a couple weeks ago when he had eight in a day. Then this past Thursday he had 13. Earlier this year we went a couple months with nothing! We had this beautiful period of time when we didn’t even touch our —Seizure Tracker App— What is going on? Then this happened:

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See that? Do you? 50 seizures in one day? What. The. Hell. Was. That.

A few possibilities. 1. We weaned him off Sabril (vigabatrin) a couple months ago and maybe that was a mistake? They’ve been increasing ever since. 2. Since Trileptal failed, we have been weaning him off and starting Onfi. Maybe he just hit an all time low of meds in his system as a period of time of low trileptal as we weaned and low Onfi as we started intersected.

Maybe there is still a chance Onfi will work? I hope so. We will obviously go back on vigabatrin if we have to, but I would really rather not with all the eye appts and ERGs that go along with it due to the risk to peripheral vision.

I called his neuro on Saturday when this was happening as someone is always on call. Everything always happens on weekends, doesn’t it? All those months I laid awake in fear of the onset of infantile spasms, I thought, I know they will start on a Friday night. They did. Thank God, that was how I discovered they have someone on call on the weekends. This weekend, however, it was someone covering for them, not his regular neuro or his partner that diagnosed him and also knows Connor well. He had me administer Klonipin 2x daily to get us through the weekend. I just got off the phone with Connor’s neuro and we discussed the concern of whether these could be spasm related, so I sent him the videos I was FINALLY able to get this weekend –these seizures come on so fast it has been a pain– and he went ahead and increased the Onfi.  Coincidentally we have an appointment with him tomorrow morning, so hopefully we can figure out a plan. My guess right now would be that we’ll probably give Onfi a little longer, since the seizures haven’t been AS crazy as Saturday and if we don’t see a change soon, back to vigabatrin. That’s my guess anyway. We’ll see in the morning.

I just don’t want anything setting him back. He’s doing great. He has gained so much in the last couple months. He only just started crawling and now he’s pulling to stand. Last Thursday in physical therapy we worked on showing him how to pull himself all the way up because he was only getting as far as his knees. The very next day he did it twice. And once again, we owe it to Emma Cat. His relentless pursuit of the most tolerant cat on Earth inspired him to try and get up the stairs. Getting mobile has really triggered his curiosity and he wants to get into everything. We don’t need a bunch of seizures slowing him down!

We also got his MRI results back from Boston. No growth! He has no SEGAS fortunately, and his SENs remain small. I’m waiting to receive more feedback on the tubers. Now that’s he older we should be able to get more details on the number of tubers and their precise locations. Hopefully this will help us target any potential issues he might have. For example, if he were to have one in his speech center, we would know that language development needs that much more attention.

The weekend wasn’t all bad though. My first planned event as the Chair of the TS Alliance of Atlanta/ North Georgia was Sunday. It was fun and I learned a lot about planning an event…haha. Some big lessons learned. But thanks to all who came out!

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The movers come tomorrow to get us out. We will be staying with my parents in the meantime. My plan is basically, walk in the door, hand Connor to them, go to bed, wake up when Chris has unpacked everything in the new house.

What could go wrong with that?

Update: The house is empty! I felt kind of sad to see it…our first family home 😦

We had our neurology appointment this morning. After seeing the video, he felt they were epileptic spasms, and they clearly started to surface after he was initially weaned off vigabatrin. So back to the vigabatrin we go. Oh well, anything to stop the seizures. As much as I don’t enjoy mixing the packets (why can’t this med be made stable enough to come pre-made in liquid form!) or the regular eye appointments, it’s the ERGs I really don’t want to deal with. Ugh. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

So the plan is to start that, stay on the Onfi, and once we see a difference we can start weaning him off Keppra, one of the meds he’s been on almost since birth.

Tomorrow morning I get the joy of taking Connor to a 7:40 am eye appointment. It was to be his final required eye appointment due to his vigabatrin prescription. Now I get to hand him the paperwork to start all over again.

As Adam Sandler would say, “Whoop dee doo!”

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20 20 24 hours to go…I wanna be sedated!

One 45 minute test equals 4.5 hours in the hospital.

Ah, the electroretinography (ERG). a routine test you are supposed to have done every three months while taking Sabril (vigabatrin). You are also required to have an eye exam every three months because this particular drug carries a risk of loss of peripheral vision. Sabril has only been approved by the FDA for a few years. Before that you had to order it from Canada. But then it received approval here, the cost skyrocketed, it became heavily regulated, and it’s only available through specialty mail-order pharmacies. Many people resent being treated as if we’re too stupid to understand and take on the risks.

Given the risks, should we keep a close eye on the vision of our children? Certainly. But the intrusive nature of the ERG makes many families angry. It’s no simple test. We took Connor in for his second one yesterday (mmm hmmm, we’re behind schedule). We had to be at the hospital by 9 and get admitted through day surgery for a test that won’t start until 11. Yup, I told you it’s not a simple test. Then there is lots of information gathering, weighing, measuring, and finding a vein for the IV. Connor likes to make things difficult by hiding his veins. He always requires the IV team, rather than a regular nurse. Then we take him down to the room where they will place contacts in his eyes that test his reactions to stimuli. But he won’t be awake. He must be sedated with propofol (yup, Michael Jackson propofol). Once it’s over, we must wait for him to wake up and drink before they will pull out the IV and we are allowed to leave.

These tests and the frequency with which we are expected to undergo them frustrate a lot of people. We know there are risks to the peripheral vision. But we didn’t put our kids on this drug just for the heck of it. If someone is taking it, it’s for pretty dire reasons. The primary reasons I know of for its use are infantile spasms (why Connor is taking it) and frequent compex partial seizures that have not responded to other medications. Most people (based on my interactions on message boards) wouldn’t take their kids off this drug, even if they were told vision was being affected. Infantile spasms, left untreated, can cause major brain damage. What good is fantastic vision if your brain is fried? And the people taking it for other seizures have likely tried every cocktail in the book and are having so many seizures that their lives are being adversely affected to the extreme. So is being sedated every three months a bit much? You decide.

I’m not really freaked out by Connor being sedated, I guess because I’ve seen so much in his 10 months. I also know he’s being closely monitored. It’s not like Michael Jackson, who was abusing it with the help of a shady doctor. I just think the overregulation is an American agency assuming we are idiots. Should we keep an eye on vision? Yes. Every three months? Some people are on this drug for years. What hell. Especially if you are getting it through Accredo Pharmacy, specialty pharmacy of Medco. If so, you are probably already going through the monthly hell of securing your refill from this incompetent place.

Modeling high hospital fashion.
Modeling high hospital fashion.

ERG 2

Heat packs to bring out the veins.
Heat packs to bring out the veins.
Headed home with giant pupils.
Headed home with giant pupils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently increased Connor’s dose of vigabatrin again in hopes of putting a dent in these eye rolling seizures. We are seeing some improvement. We actually had a day recently where we didn’t see any, which hadn’t happened in a while. We are also having more days in which we only see 1-2 clusters of eye rolling. But other days we see up to 4 or 5. Then again, for a while we were frequently seeing 4-6, so it’s definitely an improvement. His other seizure med is keppra. His neurologist is considering adding Onfi, and if it seems to help, we will wean him off the keppra.

Any TSC families reading this, I will be going to DC at the end of the month with volunteers from all over the country to meet with members of Congress regarding TSC research funding. I’m in need of personal stories and letters to your congress people. If you can help, e-mail me at pin.the.map@gmail.com. I can give you more details.

Thanks to everyone who has been voting for me to the right by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button.