Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The first day of school!

First things first: Lily's MRI on Friday was NORMAL. This means she is not having the same side effect of vigabatrin that she had last time she was on it. HOORAY! Vigabatrin has been a great medication for helping control seizures (though we're not seizure free), and I would have been VERY disappointed to have to take her off of it. I think it's been great for her development as well.

Today was the first day of preschool for Hank & Lily. As I've mentioned before, Lily's school is piloting an inclusion program so Hank gets to attend with Lily 2 days each week. On those two days, they take the bus together just like big kids!

Of course, Hank had to Jam before leaving:

Picture at home:

Walking Lily up the driveway:

Walking to the bus stop

The bus is here!

Hank is on the bus!

All buckled in!

Away they go! *sniffle*

Of course, I had to follow the bus to school and make sure everyone arrived safely. With a non-verbal child, it's just imperative to make sure all the transitions go smoothly.

Hank arrived OK!

Here comes Lily! She needs lots of help coming down the steps.

In her chariot, waiting to go play!

Lily was SOUND asleep on the bus ride home!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So much going on...

We visited our neurologist today. We're going to increase Lily's vigabatrin dose a little bit, and then we are having an MRI on Friday to make sure that the side effects she experienced last time on vigabatrin are not present this time.

We probably won't do an EEG unless we stop seeing spasms. Sigh. That seems so unattainable to me, and it's hard not knowing if Lily still has hypsarrhythmia or not. But, there's no reason to go through the pain and inconvenience (and believe you me, they are inconvenient) without some change in her seizures.

I mentioned that Lily has these "eye seizures" where her eyes dart down & to the left during a cluster of spasms. His explanation is that it is probably an ictal or post-ictal response, not a different kind of seizure. He said that after spasms, the brain is still in such chaos that the firing happens along the same pathways and it's just a "symptom" if you will of her brain calming down. So depressing.

We also got referrals to the dental clinic and the ophthamology clinic.

Other than those things it was massively uneventful. I suppose that's good, but it's also hard to be in this "Well, just keep plugging along" mode. It feels like giving up on finding out and fixing the cause of the seizures, and just "accepting" that this is Lily's lot. That she's stuck with it forever. Suck.

Oh, I did ask about having a muscle biopsy (to rule out a mitochondrial disorder) done during the MRI, and Dr. S thinks that we don't need to do that. He thinks we won't find anything and wants to wait until they have this fancy-schmancy gene array stick thingamadinger that is significantly less invasive but will yield better, and faster, results. Ok, whatever.

The other stress going on is just about money. You may have noticed a few posts regarding fundraising for Lily's therapy. Well, we've tapped out all our resources for Lily's therapies & medications, and the well is dry. She has benefitted so much from ABA therapy. Despite having (arguably) the best insurance in the country, our ABA therapy is only covered about 60%. Hippotherapy is not covered at all, and vigabatrin has to be ordered from Canada (though this is about to change).

All told, we figure we spend about $1,500 a month on therapy and medication for Lily. So we are frantically pursuing any and all kinds of grants, state & federal aid (which there is basically none) and trying to be creative in ways to save money and make money. It's stressful and hard.

In good news though, tonight we went to the Open House at Lily's preschool and she was SO HAPPY to be back! She went ALL over the room, squealing and waving and just generally being happy. It was really wonderful to see her remember her classroom and teacher, and be so excited to be back there. Next Tuesday she starts back and she'll be taking the bus like a big girl on Tuesdays & Thursdays with her brother Hank. They'll be part of the inclusion program together. Wed/Fri I will drive her, but I'm excited to see how the bus goes. I'm also excited to have three hours all to myself on Tue/Thurs!!! What a novelty!