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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brynn's Starting to Question...

 Brynnon is starting to question things and put the pieces together. He asked me yesterday morning what happened when he was eating his cereal and his bowl was about to spill and he could not stop it. It was a seizure, a simple partial seizure because he did not loose consciousness I told him... While doing his Home School yesterday afternoon he completely messed up in his math, adding two digit numbers he carried when dealing with single digit answers adding a tenth and ended up with most of them wrong. He was disappointed as he thought he had done an excellent job and would have had them all correct. We went over them all and I showed him what he had done wrong. He counted by tens to tell the time instead of by fives. We spent all last week going over two digit addition and telling time. He said when I reminded him about counting by fives to read the clock "it is there in my brain but I couldn't reach it." Last  night he asked Why he has to take so much medicine. My heart skipped a beat... I told him the truth. You have Epilepsy and we need you to have "No Seizures" to protect your brain so you can learn and not loose what you know. His next question was obviously more difficult to answer. Why isn't the medicine stopping them, again I told him the truth... Your Epilepsy is a little harder to treat and we need more than one medicine and maybe try different medicines together to stop them. 
 His seizures are very light when he is having them this past week. He is still having some simple and complex partials during the day and he does have the myoclonic and some partial ones at night and a lot of moaning while sleeping too. Definite seizure activity but at least we are not having major tonic clonics/tonics while sleeping. I spent some time last night thinking about things, researching and seeking answers once again. I don't think the answers will come easily and I don't like feeling like I cannot help my child. When he had the first EEG done the seizures were coming from the top and moving downward. This time they are coming from deep in the frontal lobe. This explains why his seizure types have changed and also explains some of his other symptoms. 
 Treated or untreated the evidence is obvious to those that know Brynn best, seizures have taken part of him away. Seizures have affected his ability to learn, retain what he learns and his ability to progress forward. Seizures do affect the brain when they are prolonged such as Brynnon's major ones have been, they actually cause brain cell death. Michael Wong, the physician heading a 2007 study at Washington University School of Medicine, stated that the observed dendrite damage accounts for the occurrence of cognitive impairment seen in those with seizure disorders. Scientific data does suggest that recurring seizures may contribute to nerve cell injury in the brain associated with declines in cognitive function and quality of life. Repeated studies have proven certain groups of brain cells may die after a single extended  or repeated small seizures. Research over the last few decades show that Seizures do affect Learning, Speech, Higher Brian Functions and  Memory. Frequency of Seizures as well as the length of the seizures are the most important clues to what damage is being done to the brain. Obviously to prevent further damage, Brynnon needs to be completely seizure free. There is no way to know how long it has been since he has been seizure free, because we were not watching him as closely before while awake, at all while sleeping and we did not know the symptoms well enough to even recognize the partial seizures. Knowing what I know now I can say certainly he has had seizures since he was at least 5. There is no way to know how many tonic clonic seizures he has had while sleeping or how long they were. I regret not researching more years ago after the first extended tonic clonic. I think most of all I regret listening to people who said seizures do not hurt children, seizures cannot kill you and it's no big deal. Yes people, seizures can harm the brain... yes people, seizures do kill... It certainly would have helped if the very first Neurologist would have asked more questions of a parent who knew nothing about seizures. It would have helped even more if the second Neurologist would not have dismissed my concerns with learning, regression and cognitive function. That was over 2 years ago, it angers me to think had he listened we could have medicated him then and perhaps already have made the progress that we are looking for... Worse it could have prevented the damage to Brynnon's brain that is irreversible. Yes, I do realize for most children Epilepsy is not going to damage the brain... This was not the case for Brynnon obviously. Yes, I do realize statistically he has a small risk for death due to a seizure. I also realize that is a risk I am not willing to take without knowing I did everything to prevent it. The audacity of some people to even suggest and say the things they say is beyond me. The research even suggest that he is at a higher risk for SUDEP as well as an early death in general because he has a Lower IQ. If the current Neurologist is correct Brynnon's IQ range has always been what it is, nothing changed that. If he is correct both the Developmental Disability and the Epilepsy are both caused by a Malformation in the brain. Yes, the research even supports that IQ's do not change with seizure activity, cognitive function does.
 Trazadone does seem to be helping Brynnon sleep, we should hopefully have him on a more normal schedule in a few days. He is sleeping good this morning, along with Abigail and Brandon... While Brett plays on Animal Jam... Time for everybody to get up and start our day... Taking the rest of the week off from Home School for Hanukkah! Yeah!  :)



Read more:

Meeting News: Do Seizures Damage the Brain? Jack M. Parent, M.D....



Do Seizures Harm the Brain? Donna C Bergen, MD...
Epilepsies in which Developmental and Psychiatric Disorders May Be Comorbid...


Epilepsy and Learning...

http://www.efwp.org/programs/epilepsy_learning.shtml

Most people with epilepsy do not have intellectual disabilities, but a substantial minority of people with intellectual disabilities have epilepsy...


What is a Developmental Disability?

 http://www.cardinalmccloskeyservices.org/what_is_mrdd.shtml

Symptoms of Mental Retardation...



Developmental Disability...

What are Developmental Disabilities?

 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finally got Results...

 Got a call from Brynnon's Neuro today. He said Brynnon's MRI appears normal, but that just means that there is no obvious malformation. He says he still believes that Brynnon's Developmental Problems and Epilepsy are the effects of a malformation and a problem with the wiring in his brain. His EEG was a mess, still very abnormal and of the three complete seizures he had while hooked up two had no outward signs that could be seen and one just had signs in his right arm. He said if I can show him regression we will look into other metabolic or genetic causes, but for now his diagnosis is still Malformation and he considers him to be Refractory. He cautioned me when I said that the new medicine is really stopping the complex partial seizures. He said although we hope that he will continue to respond with the new medication, we cannot let our guard down as children like Brynn tend to "Honeymoon when a new drug is introduced and then loose control again." I asked him about the Klonopin loosing effect and he said with him being on it for almost 3 months it's normal to loose control. I told him that Brynnon has had trouble going to sleep over the past few weeks and he said it's not the new medicine interacting, it's lost effect. He is not ready to remove it because it may be a crucial part to his recent seizure control, we will talk about removing it later. So he called in a new RX for him to take before bed that will help him sleep as sleep is a crucial part of maintaining seizure control. So we will get that filled tomorrow... I am a little apprehensive about adding yet another prescription to Brynnon's brain, but I do realize that it is necessary and who knows it may be the key to complete control and prayerfully forward progression in his learning and cognitive function. I will be contacting the public school for speech/language therapy after the New Year. 
So... onward we go... this sure is one bumpy ride and frankly I am not liking much about the trip... except the people in the car, I am so greatly blessed to have them! We will let the windows down and enjoy the cool breeze blowing through our hair a while, knowing that Abba is still in control...     
 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Confusing Feelings...





 We are still waiting for the Video EEG/MRI results from 11/28. I would like to think no news is good news, but the only good news they can give me at this point would be they found a switch to stop the Epilepsy and flipping it will also reverse any damage, causing his Cognitive function to be normal. It would be great to not have to explain that my Son has a Cognitive Disorder and testing proves this originated in the Frontal Lobe of his brain. Yeah, people have a hard time comprehending that just because a child can have a conversation with you doesn't mean they do not have a disability. I guess it will forever be a problem for my Son because you think he looks and talks normal? Oh well... Believe it or not I really do not care what people think, I am just afraid that they will do more hard than good in acting like there is not a problem. After the New Year I will have to go to the Public School and figure out what services Brynn Qualifies for. His IEP is full of Therapy that would help him develop life skills and become the best he can be. I certainly cannot provide all his needs. 
 I got the answer from OCDD today. I initially went thinking they will say he qualifies for Special Education Programs and maybe some Therapy. I didn't expect them to say that he qualifies for services. I didn't realize how shocked I would feel to see in black and white the the State has defined my child as Developmentally Disabled. Even when you know something, think you are prepared... it just seems to hit you when you see it on paper, from the people who know what they are talking about. So me being the OCD research read everything in one day type...

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/developmentaldisabilities.html 

"Developmental disabilities are birth defects that cause lifelong problems with how a body part or system works. They include
  • Nervous system disabilities affecting how the brain, spinal cord and nervous system function. They cause mental retardation, including Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome. They also cause learning and behavioral disorders, such as autism
  • Sensory-related disabilities, which can cause vision, hearing and sight problems
  • Metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria, which affect how your body processes the materials it needs to function
  • Degenerative disorders such as Rett syndrome, which might only become apparent when children are older and can cause physical and mental problems
Most developmental disabilities have no cure, but you can often treat the symptoms. Physical, speech and occupational therapy might help. Special education classes and psychological counseling can also help."

 So... this is where we are... not sure where we are going but apparently we are going this way... Hopefully it will not be too late in the week before we get the Neurologist results...
Brynn after Pneumonia and too many seizures... 
Abigail to make you smile... Works for me, without fail... :)




Saturday, November 26, 2011

OY VEY!

 Took Brynnon to the ER Wednesday, after he started clustering, running high fever and could not recite his ABC's because he couldn't remember them. I asked him to recite them to confirm that he had been seizing with little outward signs. They did a chest X-Ray to confirm suspicion of pneumonia, blood test was positive for Mycoplasma. Hmmm, so after Bri got sick a few weeks ago, I got it... then Brynnon, poor little guy... his turned into Pneumonia... Now Janice, Brandon, Brett and Abigail all have "THE COUGH." I still have it... and from what I have read, it's gonna be around for a while. Praying that none of us will develop pneumonia, I have just enough for gas money and Brian to eat next week. Brynnon goes Monday morning with Brian to Children's Hospital in New Orleans for his 3 day Video EEG and MRI. I am nervous about it and am so anxious about what the results will mean. I know he has regressed more with the recent increase in seizures. Thankfully, he can say his ABC's again... but he is very slowed in speech and has that "lost look" much of the day. I just want all the answers... I want to know what we are dealing with, how to treat it and how to stop regression. Seems like if you can stop seizures then there would be no regression. Once Brynn is done with his testing I will be making Brett's appointment to set up his EEG. I don't want his complex partials to turn into generalized tonic clonics. Perhaps if he is medicated earlier we can prevent it from happening. So, onward we go... Praying (and coughing) all the way... OY VEY!!!!! ~Denise

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friendly visit with Community Counselor

 Thankful for direction from the Community Counselor at OCDD today. She was very friendly and very helpful. She asked why he was not on Medicaid and I explained that the Social Worker I spoke to said that he qualified by income, but we would have to cancel our private insurance for a year before I could apply for him. When our meeting was over she let me speak to another really nice lady who use to work in the Medicaid Department. Apparently Brynn should qualify for Medicaid under the Family Opportunity Act because he is medically/cognitively disabled. So I will get the application they printed and highlighted for me out tomorrow. We will pay a small fee each month and it will cover all our out of pocket expenses while keeping our private insurance. :) They suggested I contact Families Helping Families for help asking the public school for special education, occupational/Language/Speech Therapy services. Although the Home School Legal Defense Association recommends to use the public school for services as a last resort, I think I am at my last resort. We are just in such a financially strapped condition, especially with the medical testing that he has had to have and will continue to need. The Doctors visit Co-Pays are enough to make my head spin some months! It will be a great help if we can get Medicaid to back up his medical care... I am not sure how long it will take to get word back from OCDD. I hope I have taken the right steps in the right direction at least to help Brynnon become the best he can possibly be... He has had several seizures today. He almost fell out at the Dollar store when we went in for his coloring books, crayons and play dough for his 72 hour VEEG/MRI hospital stay next week. He had some kind of seizure cluster and just when I was thinking he needed to go to the ER I felt his head and realized he had a fever. It has calmed down since I gave him Ibuprofen. Hope he does well tonight, going to give him a Klonopin after he eats his Dinner and again after midnight. Hope this will help stop all seizure activity.... I hate seizures... and now I hate all sickness even more than I did before! Had no idea he would get seizure clusters because he was sick. So thankful for those with Epilepsy in the facebook groups, otherwise I would be a crazy basket case by now and have 911 on speed dial... Just 6 more days and hopefully the VEEG and MRI will give more answers and better treatment to STOP ALL SEIZURES.... ~Denise 




Friday, November 18, 2011

Where Are We Going?

  After Wednesday's new seizure type I have been doing a lot of thinking about where Brynn has been and where he is going. I pulled out some of his work from last year today. The work he did after his IQ was tested the first time. It breaks my heart to look at what he wrote Thursday and compare it to what he wrote last year. 
This is Brynn's Story he did in Home School on Thursday. I typed "I Like My Scooter" for him... It is supposed to say "It goes fast. It is red. Miss Jackie and Mister Sam bought it for me. I love Miss Jackie and Sam. 
This is the first thing Brynn did Thursday with his free time, realizing he could not ride the 2-wheeled scooter again... The Neighbor had given him a 3-wheeler a while back and he is determined to fix it up and ride it now... 

This is an example of what Brynn was capable of doing at 5 points lower on the IQ scale. This is his AVKO Spelling work completed on 3/25/2010.
This is Brynnon's work from 9/15/2010.
 I know I am getting ahead of myself... Surely the 3 day Video EEG and MRI will give answers. At this point after this emotional roller coaster with an awake drop seizure, I am afraid of what they will say. I am afraid of the answers... I am afraid that he will continue to regress... I am afraid of loosing my little boy, my Brynnon. I am afraid that he will keep going backwards, and I am afraid that no one will ever understand him the way I do. If his own family that lives with him cannot understand him and get it, why should I expect the rest of the world to understand him? I am afraid that it will happen to Brett too... What if his complex partial seizures progress to a generalized? Obviously they are different, Brett has been normal, no speech problems, no cognitive problems or developmental  delays... So, again I sit in the living room with Abigail on the recliner... sick with some kind of chest congestion and cough... watching Brynnon and Brett fall asleep on the sofa bed, while typing away on my laptop... With Hope that these words will reach another who really understands... or even better maybe these words will help a Momma one day who has a Brynn who no one understands either.... Feel like I am trying to plan a journey, I have no idea where we're going, don't have money for gas, no one has a map and worse yet no one wants to go along to help... Yipppeeeee, at least I get to leave the house besides going grocery shopping! Speaking of leaving the house, Monday is the appointment with OCDD... hopefully they have a map and prayerfully at least provide a tour guide. ~Denise
Brynn    (12)   Brandon  (16)





Abigail  (1)  Brett  (7)


Brian II (19)  Tera (21)  Janice  (19)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting, Hoping, Praying....

Waiting for the appointment with the Office for Citizens for Developmental Disabilities next Monday... Hopefully they can point us in the right direction for assistance with the Therapy Brynn needs to help him. Would be a great bonus if they could help us get medical assistance for all these test that we cannot afford also... Then the Monday after Thanksgiving is Brynnon's 3 day Video EEG starting at 9 AM. Brian will have to take that trip and stay with him the whole time. There are  too many of us to be able to stay somewhere, even with family. Cannot afford to stay in a motel... and they will not let anyone under 18 stay overnight. So me going with Abigail and Brynnon is a no go... His Mom has kindly offered to go to the Hospital as well to stay if needed or come and go if Brian needs. That's one thing I can say for her, bless her heart. She was the only person who went to Children's Hospital when Brian II was 8 months old and was admitted for a few weeks when he could not hold down any food. That was so sweet of her to offer and I am sure that Brian will appreciate it too... They will do the MRI before he is discharged the night of the 3rd day or the 4th morning. Hopefully they will capture all of Brynn's Seizure types so they can see what goes on in his brain while he is seizing. I assume like the 24 hour Video EEG he will remain medicated... Prayerfully within a week of him getting all these test completed we will have most if not all of the answers. What part of his brain the seizure activity starts in and can it be fixed with surgery... Can they see Cerebral Cortex Malformation... What can they do about it... and what does his future look like? Brynnon is doing so good seizure wise at the moment. I don't know what is going on inside his brain, but that Klonopin sure has helped to stop most of the twitching and seizing... So on we go... Hoping that the seizure monster is going to stay away from our Brynnon. Praying that Brynnon can now move forward and learn how to read... that those connections in his memory will improve... progress, we want to see forward motion progress... I guess that is what we all want, all us humans... I found that people have a hard time figuring out what it means when I say Cognitive Disorder, so I did more research... Cognitive disorders affect mental processes such as the ability to learn, remember, perceive and solve problems. At it’s basic level the cognitive function is information processing and can be split into three categories; Delirium, Dementia and Amnesia. Cognitive functions originate in the part of the brain called the cerebrum. The cerebrum--also known as the cerebral cortex--takes up the majority of the brain's mass. It's made up of four different areas, or lobes: the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, the parietal lobe and the occipital lobe. Each area carries out specific tasks, most of which serve a cognitive function. Cognitive functions include problem-solving, speaking, learning, emotions, memory, perception and movement. Some tasks such as reading, speaking, and learning require coordinated processing from multiple areas of the cerebrum.

Well... I am off to make pancakes for lunch :) 
~Denise

Friday, November 11, 2011

Momma gone 20 Years tomorrow...

 It is so hard to believe it has been 20 years since Momma was murdered. It feels like so much has happened that I didn't get to share with her... but at the same time it seems like just yesterday I laughed as she danced at the skating rink. It's increasingly hard to imagine what life would be like if she were here. I miss her so much, I miss everything about her. She had this way of directly telling you what you needed to do that no one else could, in hind site she was not always 100% right, but her intentions were good. My mind often wonders back to the times that she was alive, more often than not it is the laughter and happiness that I remember most. Didn't have much of anything, but was so proud of the little things. The day she was murdered she was making baskets for Teacher Appreciation Day at Belle Chasse Elementary School. The very knife that took her life was a knife of love that she used to make those baskets, honoring the teachers. Such a selfless woman... I can remember her putting things back for herself at the store, so we could have something. I remember it like it was yesterday, at K-Mart... No, they just do not make them like Momma any more. All her dearest treasures, and mine today are things that she paid nothing for... She was an amazing woman, loved by so many... and taken away too soon. I know God has a plan and I know that He has a reason, it doesn't change the hole in my heart that only she could fill. I miss her dearly and wish I could share my life with her. I wish that she could give me advice, good or bad... More than anything I just wish I could hear her laugh and see her dance... I even miss that facial expression she would make to imply that she was greatly disappointed, never thought I could miss that when I was younger. I wish she could have held all my Babies and Loved them the way only a Grandma could... I wish she could have the things that I have, that she could know the convenience of a microwave or a dishwasher. I wish she could have stayed just a little longer... I wish she could hold me and tell me that it will be okay, the way only Momma could. It doesn't feel like everything will be okay, no it feels all wrong and I am not sure life could ever feel right again after loosing her the way she was lost. I don't think people ever go on and live a normal life after a brutal murder. Look at them, they are probably the strongest people you will ever meet... but I bet they all feel the way I do. They say time heals all wounds... Yeah, time does heal, but the scars that are left never go away. They run deep into the heart of all those that loved her... and every part of our lives are affected some how because she is forever a part of us. I hope that my life is keeping her memory alive, I hope more than anything Momma's Memory is ALWAYS A BLESSING... I miss her so much... I miss all the special moments that were stolen, all the laughter and tears that were meant to be shared. I miss the what ifs and the should have beens and the could have beens too... I will forever hold dear and cherish the one's I was blessed to have had. I will share her the only way I can... Memories....




Thursday, November 10, 2011

Watching....

 It hasn't occurred to me before, funny... I guess I never thought about it, you know how terribly abnormal it is to sit  in the same place, night after night watching... and waiting... for my Brynnon and my Brett to go to sleep. Brynn is usually a little whiny before bed, usually says he does not want to go to sleep. After the last extended event I feel guilty to fuss at him like I did that night before he went to sleep. I have a hard time shaking the thought that maybe he knows... I have seen him throw a fit many nights when nothing happened, but that night stands out and scares me. He stomped his feet and refused to go to bed... he fussed and fussed he was not tired and didn't want to go to bed. Two short hours later he woke up in an Ambulance... I guess all Mommies with Epilepsy feel the same way, knowing that emotions can trigger Seizures. Of course you have to discipline, but it just gets scary sometimes knowing if he gets overly upset he could go into another seizure.  Sometimes he even says he is scared to go to sleep.  Once we get the 72hour EEG and MRI over, we really need to focus on getting the boys back in their room and hopefully by the new year have a new bunk bed along with a camera so Brandon, Brynn and Brett can all sleep in the same room and we can as a family get some normalcy back.
  There he lays with his "Wubby," the stuffed animal he has been sleeping with since just after the August 25th extended seizure that caused some regression. I talked to the Neuropsychologist about it, and him rubbing my hair between his thumb and fingers. He said it's not a problem and he was not surprised to hear it, that with the regression this happens. Honestly, I think he sleeps better with the stuffed toy than he does without it, so be it. When his friend that is 10 came to spend the night, it didn't bother him one bit to hug his "Wubby" and go to sleep either... 
  So here I sit in the same spot, waiting for them to fall asleep... Brett almost always fast asleep long before Brynn... then Brynn will drift off to sleep... That's when the watching starts. Some nights Brynn is fine for an hour or two then starts seizure activity, other nights it starts as soon as his eyes close and some nights he is so still and so quiet I have to check and make sure he is breathing.... Tonight it's just a little twitchy... I hate these nights because I don't know if it's going to settle down or pick up... So I sit quietly rocking Abigail to sleep... I think about my Momma and that she will be gone 20 years this Saturday... I think about Brett and what his Seizure activity means, so thankful it has not progressed and that he has actually calmed down a bit the last two weeks. I think about finances, argh, bad idea... I think about the oldest two and their jobs... I think about Brandon and his future... and I pray about all these things, all the children who suffer and all the adults who suffer... and I think to myself, what a sad world we live in... a sad, sad, sad world.... I am so thankful that our Father sprinkles some joy in mine every now and again! ~Denise

Abigail enjoyed her lunch....

Oh yes she did!

Picture Brynn took of his own eye  :0)


   

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today...

 Late yesterday afternoon Brynn complained of a headache, he even asked for something for pain and was almost crying. He laid around most of the evening and was quiet for the most part, just a little whiny. He fell asleep around 11 PM, then the myoclonics came back... I thought that the Klonopin had stopped them. His right leg and upper body, arms, shoulders and head was twitching a lot all night long. Lots of nose rubbing and lip smacking/chewing... Saw him have a 1-2 minute tonic event and more clonic activity than I have ever seen in him without the typical tonic start. I don't know if this is due to the Klonopin making him sleep so hard or if I am just not watching closely enough and am missing the tonic part or if it is a new thing. The Neuro said to call it what you want to and describe it... Well this looked like Clonic Shivering so that's what I will call it. He's a bit hesitant to do his school work today... Slept till after 11 this morning. Had a pretty good day, considering the night he had... 
  Brett would pick today to not cooperate at all in doing his home school... It is getting to be more than I can handle just to wake up and function with the fibro out of whack since the accident several months back and lack of sleep with Brynnon... I have not been feeling well the last few days. Maybe I am emotionally drained... 
  Abigail is growing so fast... Over 20 pounds, running... Playing and such a happy baby. Her speech is pretty good so far, I worry more with her looking back on Brynnon and knowing what I know now. Twirling in circles she goes round and round... then she sits... leans back ever so slowly and gently to the floor... and says OH NO... FALL DOWN.... She runs all through the living room and kitchen with her baby. She loves her babies, hugs her babies and kisses her babies... She is such a blessing! The light that sparkles into the darkness....
~Denise 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

iPad's and Children With Special Needs

  If you have a child with Special Needs, you simply must visit this link! While researching teaching methods for Brynnon a while back I read again and again how great an iPad is for Special Needs kids and that there are so many apps for them as well. The website above has videos to show you what the app looks like before you buy it! They are also giving iPads to schools and children with Special Needs in each State. They are excepting donations to get this done from the app makers, businesses  and people like us too! There are also free apps as well. I know when I spoke with the Neuropsychologist that did Brynnon's testing about it, he said that Brynnon would benefit from one as he is a visual learner and learns best when a picture or chart is used to teach. The only problem I have in getting an iPad for Brynnon is the cost $500+ which I am sure that most parents would struggle with. I have sent a description of Brynnon to this site, although I think the giveaway's are already assigned. I know Brynnon would do well with it as he has made a lot of progress since we started using  Time4Learning.
Which I highly recommend for those that home school! This is a flash based program so it will only work on a computer, and will not work on the iPad. Which is best for Brynnon anyway, as they would be separate activities helping his cognitive & attention difficulties.
  Not too much going on here... I have done some soul searching and praying... and I feel better about Brynnon's situation. It was one thing to point out his symptoms do not match Rolandic Epilepsy... A completely different thing to hear Frontal Lobe Epilepsy, Cerebral Cortex Malformation and can become Retractable in Children Like Him within an hour of meeting a fantastic Pediatric Neurologist who has probably seen it all... I realize that the future could become bleak and I accept that. I also realize that it can be just as wonderful if not better than I ever imagined and that is what I hope for. We are not there yet and have a long way to go, so for now I simply will take it one day at a time... Through much prayer and with a lot of faith we will go forward... I will try to stay positive! In the meantime, we have painted the bathroom, hall and living room... Hopefully tomorrow we will paint the kitchen. Something about painting always makes me feel better. I suppose it is an outward sign of the inward change that is happening. I am forever grateful for all the blessing I have in my life and Brynnon is indeed a special child. I am thankful that the Father thought enough of me to place him in my arms... I don't have a problem with having him stay a child longer than usual, I love children... if I didn't I would not have had six of them!  

~Denise

Brynnon (12) and Abigail (1)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Too much honesty...

 I can do this, I just know I can. I forget sometimes how strong I can be, I just really need a little boost that I am missing this time around somehow. I know I am not supposed to feel this way, but it just does not seem fair. I read a Mom's comment today about what her child did, my heart ached... it ached because Brynnon is 12 and he is unable to write a complete sentence. It aches because I cannot help but feel like I have lost some of my child. This life that I have been given just seems so hard. Yesterday was Ian's birthday, taken so young... so many Birthday's missed. On the 12th it will be the anniversary of Mommas murder... reminders of how unfair it seems, and where normal kind of took a back seat. My Niece asked the other night if I ever wondered what it would be like for Momma and Ian to have never been killed, what it would be like if they were still alive. If they were still alive, I would not be the person I am today. There is strength that comes from surviving trauma that I don't think you can get any other way. However, if Momma was still here I think I would have gained strength from having her love and support over the last 20 years... I think about Momma every day... What she would be like, what she would think of this or that. I am reminded of how Momma loved "special" children. She was great at working with the children who were developmentally disabled. I like to think that she would just be so excited about all my children and would shower them with lots of love. Sadly, I know that my children are loved, but they do not have relationships with very many family members. They do not see most of them but every few years if any... I know it has a lot to do with Mommas murder and Ian's death on top of it. I just never understood how the thing that should make everyone who loved them closer, seems to drive us further apart. It has a lot to do with my inability to feel like I fit in, like I did before Momma died. Of course my running to Mississippi, Tennessee and now Cajunland surely didn't help either. I do not regret any of my decisions, except that I was bull headed when I didn't need to be and not bull headed enough when it was necessary! I am trying to get refocused and bring the necessary changes that will hopefully help in the future. Perhaps it's time to reach out to some kind of religious organization, just out of my need for some extra support and positive thinking. I am a very Spiritual person, but over time have developed a distaste for organized religion, especially the feel good preaching. After years of reading scriptures, studying Hebrew, developing my own beliefs and disregarding all man's teachings, I think it's time.
  I have the appointment made for the 21st with the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. I am hoping they can help figure out a way to get Brynnon some help with the Speech/Language and other Therapy that he is going to need. I also desperately need to find help with his medical care. We are already deep in the hole owing a half months salary and we still have bills that have not been received yet. I will have to put Brett's EEg on the back burner. Since he has not had any extended seizures and just has the complex partials while sleeping, I think they will likely have a wait and see approach with him anyway. I am almost scared to get the bill from Children's Hospital after his 3-4 day stay for the Video EEG and MRI. Not knowing what the future holds for Brynnon, well that is what I am having the hardest time with. I have faced the worst and hope for the best and for now I really need to focus on the now... Living and appreciating each and every day as a gift from the Father. So here I go, looking for "Positive Changes" to help put that oomph back in my step! If I think about it really hard, I can almost hear Momma say "Denise, don't give up now your almost there!" 
~Denise

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Didn't See That Coming....

 So... My Happy Appointment turned confusing... I am VERY happy that I found a Doctor who I know care about my Brynnon! He was very Good in his exam. He asked a ton of questions, let me explain all the types of seizures I have seen in Brynnon. 
 He whipped out some word cards and asked Brynnon to read... no surprise there, he cannot read anything beyond an early 1st grade level... 

  Then... I can still hear it echo... Do you know the days of the week? Oh I am beaming inside, of course Brynnon knows the days of the week... We do after all go over them at least once a month so he will not forget them! As Brynnon says them I can hear him ever so slightly singing them... Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...  "Very good! Can you tell me the days of the week backwards?" Nothing... "If Sunday is the first day and Saturday the last day, can you tell me the days of the week starting with the last day and continue until Sunday? Saturday is the last day, what day is next going backwards?" Nothing, Brynnon finally says "I can't."
  
  "I am going to say a set of numbers 7, 3, 9, 4  you repeat them" 7,3,4... several sets of three and four numbers later he says "Okay now I am going to say a set of numbers, but this time I need you to tell me the numbers backwards 4,6,9 would be 9,6,4 let's see how about 5,7,2" 2...4.......7......... several tries later It is realized that Brynnon is not capable of doing it backwards, not once correctly given 3 or 4 sets of numbers at a time. He asked Brynnon several more questions and chatted with him... and turned to me and said 
  
  "He is not functioning above an entry level Kindergarten level. I have read all his case history, it is not Rolandic Epilepsy, it is probably Frontal Lobe Epilepsy given the nocturnal seizure activity... Given all his History I believe... (Everything in my mind goes numb at that point)... malformations of the cerebral cortex..." I even asked him a second time what the wording was that he used... "Simply put, something in his brain did  not form correctly while he was in the womb."

  So... One visit and this guy who looks kind of like Andy Dick, dressed so not like a Doctor... Seriously, if I had seen him in the elevator I would have NEVER guessed he was the doctor... Rather blunt with a rather dry seeming personality and obviously the most intelligent person I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with who seemed to have an eccentric Einstein like quality about him did what it took a Neuropsychologist 4 days to do and a three Neurologist and a speech Pathologist over 6 years couldn't do in less than an hour. He also mentioned that it is common in children with Brynnon's cognitive difficulties to be harder to treat and how sometimes these cases become retractable rather quickly. He also briefly discussed that there are many medication choices for Brynnon and that the Trileptol was a very poor first choice and was not surprised at all that I reported negative behavioral side effects. Depoakene being, by my judgment, about 50% effective either needs to be upped, which in children like Brynn can be pushed into the 120-130 range, not the 100 limit or another medicine needs to be added. We are after all looking for complete 100% seizure control. By the way behavior problems are very common in children like Brynnon.. I asked about Fragile X or the possibility of a genetic disorder, he said we will get there, lets get these seizures diagnosed and under control... and see what the MRI shows... 

  Can I just say that Doctor who practically laughed me out his office... I feel like he stole my sanity and frankly he stole valuable time and some of my Brynn... he took something from me, by not listening and not addressing my concerns. I wonder where we would be had he listened then....I will be writing that man and a few others a letter when all this is said and done!


  So... a 72 hour Video EEG and a MRI starting on Nov. 28th. Looks like this is it... Ready or not, I think we will get answers... Had no idea that I wasn't as ready as I thought I was for the answers... I know the Father has a plan in all things... So excuse me just a few moments... it's just gonna take me a  little time to catch up spiritually, mentally and emotionally!


~Denise



 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potential Happy Appointment

 I guess it is kind of sad when a doctors office calls and you get excited. Brynnon's appointment is one week away on Nov. 1st. I assumed because they could not call to make an appointment for him when they received the referral that they would be horrible to deal with. I had planned on going in, talking to the doctor and him repeating test or maybe requesting test results from his current Neuro then we would see him again in a month, or six...  Nope not this Doctor... His office actually called today to say that my Son has an appointment with them in a week and Dr. D. would like to know what the appointment is for... Oh Wow, really... He wants to know about my Brynnon? So I tell her that Brynnon was recently diagnosed with Cognitive Disorder NOS and that his current Neuro keeps saying it is Rolandic and his symptoms do not fit Rolandic and well we want a second opinion. Oh, well in that case Dr. D. will want to see all of his records... Wow, I am just amazed that this Doctor has this kind of staff, a busy hospital like Children's and they actually have enough insight to actually request his records BEFORE we get there? I am really impressed, his current Neuro didn't even read the 24 hour Video EEG before we asked about it at the appointment to get the results a month later. I actually feel good about this even if we end up not liking him or choosing a 3rd opinion... at least I can respect a practice that actually wants to accomplish something instead of wasting my precious Son's time. With his cognitive function seeming to loose ground, time is not something I feel we have to waste... It's nice to have that bit of positive amongst the negative that keeps popping up all over the place. 
 Brynnon broke his pulse oximeter, so I have to replace it again... I am seeing a decline yet again, mainly in behavior, self control... and cognitive function. I had a hard time keeping it together when he asked me today how many quarters were in a dollar. He was having such difficulty figuring out how many quarters he needed to buy a .69 beef stick. I do not think they are .69 to begin with, but it took a bit longer than usual for him to "get it," and it was heartbreaking because he has always been good with money. He wouldn't have had to ask that question before he went to sleep on August 24th... Which breaks my heart even more because this was after the Neuropsychological evaluation that gave the already devastating results, and that was probably his "normal" no one has yet explained to me if this is his new normal or if he will recover? 
 I will say though that the Klonopin at night certainly does make him sleep better... Still saw a few tonic looking seizures this week and some myoclonic seizures, but he does seem to sleep so much better!! You would think that the better/harder sleep the Klonopin is giving that he would have improved mood. Oddly enough it almost looks like the same pattern of aggression is returning like we saw with the Trileptol. Prayerfully it is just an adjustment thing and next week will be better!!
 Will be going to the Pediatrician with Brett soon too, to get his EEG ordered. I really think he may just have seizures... Myoclonic & Complex Partial at night and very few partials during the day also. Prayerfully, it is not the same thing as Brynnon...   
~Denise 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Neuropsychological Report

 Well... I finally have it. In black and white, more clues to Brynnon's strange mix if woes and problems. 15 Test later we are given a really broad diagnosis of Cognitive Disorder NOS. When you look that up it appears to be a catch all diagnosis that means something is wrong but we just do not have a name for it or we have not identified it yet. He finds significant attention impairment and executive function. The pattern of scores implicates frontal lobes. Processing Speed and attention/concentration are relative weaknesses. His ability to remain attentive over time is impaired, has trouble filtering distraction & directing attention to a specific target. The test results really do give a good picture of what I see and have seen in Brynnon for many years. He actually had the extended seizure that caused some regression just 3 days after the last day he tested for this result. It was advised to continue  where we are and meet again if there is further regression, otherwise it will not benefit Brynnon to complete further testing until around 18 months to assess where he will be at that time and what progress has been made. At least it is more information to bring on Nov. 1st to the Children's Hospital in New Orleans... Perhaps there we will finally get answers... Prayerfully so.... 
 Tomorrow will be a family BBQ, with cake and ice cream for Brynn and Brett's birthday. I look forward to a nice relaxing day! Until next time be blessed!! ~Denise

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breaking Point...

I suppose it is somewhat normal in everyone's life to come to that... you know... that Breaking Point. That point where you feel completely broken and exposed before the world as the fragile human being you are. I have been at the Breaking Point many times. There are the big ones... Momma's brutal murder, My little Brother Ian's death by that hit and run driver, my perfect little Grand Baby Kaylynn's death. There are the almost normal ones... Company you work for going bankrupt & Relocating, Lay Off & Relocating, Breast Cancer Scare, Breast Cancer scare while expecting your 6th child... you get the picture. I do not think there is anything though that quite prepares you for watching your child grow and regress at the same time. Nope, I was never quite ready to watch my little boy have a death look in his eyes, watch them roll back in his head and you realize he is not breathing... then wait for what seems like eternity for him to breath. 1 minute, 5 minutes, 12 minutes... no matter what the length is how many you happen to have seen that week... No nothing can quite prepare you and every time my heart feels like it will beat out of my chest and I fear... I fear that it will not stop, I fear that it will further damage his brain. Yes, I fear that I will loose my sweet little boy forever. As I sit watching him sleep with his stuffed animal, I can hardly believe that he will be 12 Thursday. My Brynnon, the sweet blue eyed dirty blond haired boy that can take apart anything. 

I am anxious all night, waiting for the appointment to see the Neurologist. It's a big day, because after that last 12 minute seizure his meds were increased and I want to hear that this 24 hour Video EEG looks better. I hope and I pray that we can just get a good report, at the very least a definite diagnosis and some answers for why this is happening to my Brynn. Can it be just a coincidence that he is the child that had a severe articulation disorder, he is the child with the cafe' au leu spots, he is the child that has problems with self control, he is the child who is almost 12 with the cognitive function of a 6/7 year old... who happens to have Epilepsy. Over the course of 6 months he has declined intellectually and gained 18 pounds. Somebody has got to be able to explain this to me. So, I wait for his name to be called. I am so ready for this appointment! I have his Oxygen desaturation reports printed and ready all neatly in a folder in order. I have the video's of Brett's episodes he is having at night and I even have a list of questions. I am so ready for answers I cannot stand it. The appointment went so good the first half. "Yes, those do look like complex partial seizures Brett is having at night. Bring him to his pediatrician and he will order an EEG, then refer you to me if it is abnormal. If the EEG happens to be pretty normal, I would watch him closely as this can change at any time." Okay, seems simple enough... We talked about the daytime events in Brynn. "Simple or Complex Partial definitely, but not petit mal. Would be extremely odd for him to have petit mal with his Rolandic Type." This is where it gets complicated. Rolandic? Never seemed to fit in my mind for Brynn. I am after all one of those crazy people who just cannot let it go, I have to research until I am comfortable with the diagnosis and/or someone can explain it to me to get me to see their point of view and agree with them. Degree or not, I need evidence, especially when it comes to my children. A. He does not nor probably ever did have "Normal Intellectual Functioning"  B. I have never seem Brynn drool or his face twitch unless he is having a Tonic or Tonic Clonic Seizure.  C. Brynn does not Grunt, he moans while sleeping. So, my next question is obviously... Oh, so the 24 hour Video EEG shows Rolandic as well? *Record Scratch Sound* Uh, he just had one of those? "He did? When was that? I am sorry but I have not read it yet" 
 Next... So let's move on, here is the Pulse Oximeter Desaturation Report from the 2 minute observed Tonic like Seizure that I observed and timed. I matched this up with the time, so that I could see if indeed he lost oxygen. All Highlighted and with my notes about what the seizure looked like. He then talks about Sleep Apnea and how Brynn has a short neck and he is a bit over weight, this is probably a sleep apnea. Makes sense to me... except i am showing a witnessed drop in Oxygen from normal level to 65% that lasted for 2 minutes. He questions the Pulse Oximeter, I explain I do tape it to his hand every night. He then says he will order a 24 hour sleep study and gives a grand example of how your body is able to adjust to lack of oxygen, used a diver as an example... My child is not a diver and hasn't trained for this... So the day I have looked forward to... the one that I may finally get a few answers... at least find out what is going on to cause these increased seizures and what looked to me like a 12 minute Tonic... and two 2 minute Tonics... Of course when I tell him this he says that I am probably mistaken, because there was the slight twitching even if it was not the heavy jerking as his previous Tonic Clonic Seizures it still has the character of Clonic Activity. I said I think it looked more like a strange postictal phase with slight twitching, he says Clonic. Okay... time to move on... We are going to add Klonopin for him, this should help him sleep better too, especially if you are still seeing the kind of seizure activity your seeing. He is maxed out on the depokene for his weight, so we cannot increase it any more.
  So we leave with fewer answers than we arrived with and more questions really because all of his answers were thus far based on a 45 minute Video EEG taken a year ago. Brett will see the Pediatrician, who will order an VEEG and the Neuro will read Brynn's 24 Hour VEEG over lunch and let us know... 
 So we get home and get a call from the Nurse saying he has read the EEG and Brynnon's awake portion was pretty normal with some right side activity. His sleep portion of the VEEG was very abnormal. I asked what percentage of it was abnormal and she repeated the question and said she will ask the Neuro, I then asked if she could ask him too if he still thinks it's Rolandic. That was before 2 PM today... never did get a call back... I called the office to let them know that Brynnon still cannot swallow a tablet and needs a liquid, they were going to call it in, no problem... the pharmacy I gave them the address and phone number for never get the call for the Klonopin.... Pretty much a wasted day huh?

  I have not really reached my Breaking Point... No, not yet but I am ever so slowly getting there. Brett with Epilepsy... on top of Brynnon's problems... and then stack on everything else. I did not even home school today, and I am pretty sure I will wait till Monday to get it back together. Maybe, just maybe if you let things go, relax and breathe in deeply every once in a while life will settle down and you can get close but can delay the inevitable Breaking Point. Maybe, hope for the best but prepare for the worst right???  

~Denise 


Brett (7)

Brynnon (12 Thursday)




       

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sinking In...

I have been thinking a lot about things that the Neuropsychologist said. It took me a little time to adjust to what I knew to be and what I expected. I guess in the back of my mind I thought that if I worked really hard with Brynnon perhaps I could increase his IQ. I had read a lot about IQ and how just the IQ test is not a real good indicator of intelligence, and how the test can be up to 10 points off anyway. I had read a lot too about how to increase intelligence through games, reinforcing positive internal dialog, Reading to him, More physical contact, listening to classical music, physical activity, family game nights, positive enforcement, less stress.... eating more fish, whole grains, lean meat, citrus fruits, eggs... yeah... I guess I really did believe that if I did these things this test would have much better results than the first one. It may have been a lighter blow had he actually been concerned about Brynnon's IQ "number." No, not this great Neuropsychologist... He wasn't concerned about his number really, because he was looking at the big picture, which doesn't look great for Brynnon's future. I wasn't shocked the least little bit, but I did loose some of the numbness I had acquired from all the research I did. The reality of it all is sinking in... Is it normal for me to be mad, is it okay that I am really angry that this is happening to my little boy?  I don't know what "normal" is anymore and I am not sure exactly how I am supposed to feel. I just know that it is greatly painful... I don't want him to have to suffer the ridicule that I know he will suffer at the hands of mean people. I am so ashamed that I have ever thought negative things about people that have intellectual disabilities... 
 I think about that little boy... He was younger than I was... I saw him in the hallway at school almost every day. He would bring the lunch money to the cafeteria for his class. I would talk to him and he would smile so big and you could see the true joy fluttering throughout his body... He was so happy. He didn't have a care in the world. He had Cerebral Palsy and was the happiest child I ever have had the pleasure of knowing. You could tell that he was not only physically disabled, but he was also intellectually disabled. He reminded me of a baby the way his whole body would flutter in joy...  I think about my dear friend many years ago who also had Cerebral Palsy. She looked like she was intellectually disabled, sounded like she was intellectually disabled and needed assistance walking. She was not intellectually disabled at all. She had a difficult time with speech due to dysarthria, but her IQ was normal. I would have guessed upon meeting her that she had a low IQ, based on her dysarthria and drooling alone. Then I think about Brynnon... There are no outward signs, he has a great ability to shadow what he hears others say. He spends a great deal of time investing in listening to conversations of others so that he can be accepted socially. He doesn't have much ability to have a conversation on many subjects, but has the knowledge of what others have said about this and that. He may not even comprehend the conversation, but he repeats it none the less. Most people that know Brynnon, know that he is very nosy... and likes to repeat what he hears. It is not just to be nosy and not just to gossip that he does it, he does it to make conversation. This is his way of dealing with the social stigma he has already felt and to fit in. He is very good at talking about things that he does not know anything about. 

  So onward we shall go... Time to focus on the future, Brynnon's future specifically. It will be in Brynnon's best interest if we concentrate on being firm in his responsibilities, realizing the potential all he does now to help him be independent in the future. Realizing he is almost 12, therefore does not need to be treated like a baby. I will have to be especially alert to the influences around him, as his judgment difficulties may put him at risk for negative choices both spiritually and physically.
    He is such a sweet little boy, inside this big stout body... He wants to be held, cuddled and nurtured. He is sleeping gently tonight, cuddled up on the sofa bed hugging his stuffed animal.... 
  Looks like it's a gentle enough seizure night, I am going to turn on the video monitor and get some rest. Have to go to the dentist tomorrow to get my stitches out... My fibro has been flaring like crazy, my back and neck have decided to flare too...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Brynnon's Story...

B R Y N N O N ’ S     S T O R Y
A life with Epilepsy… Intellectual Disability...

IT TOOK US 12 YEARS TO GET HERE…
 
AND UNDERSTANDING BRYNNON’S JOURNEY HAS REALLY JUST BEGUN….

Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond…
Born in Nashville, TN on October 20, 1999. His birth, uneventful with the exception of internal monitor placed due to him being a little stressed… Time to push… NICU called he had swallowed the meconium.
No cry… seemed like forever to get him cleared out, then the miracle of birth seemed complete. I heard the cry, that sound you long for…. the one where you know everything is okay…
I held my baby boy and we began the bonding process of Breastfeeding. Brynnon never seemed to latch correctly, we were told to supplement and we did. He loved the formula so much, he wouldn’t breastfeed anymore. Cereal was added to keep him from vomiting after feeding and he seemed to eat more, must
like the texture better… He is such a good baby, he really likes his swing.
I guess this is colic, never had a baby cry so much. The gas is so terrible... he cries and pulls his legs up all the time… So sad when you cannot console a little baby, all the singing, rocking… just doesn’t seem to help my little baby.
I decided not to give him anymore vaccinations. I did twice at 3 and 5 months. He screamed a lot... for 2 days… Doc says this can be normal for some children with the DPT shot. Poor baby a respiratory infection within the week that lasted 3 weeks both sets of immunizations. He is a lot different than my other three children. Boy, were people right when they said said every child is different!
He’s a year old now… What a beautiful blond hair, blue eyed child! He grunts more than he even tries to talk… He seems fascinated by anything that moves! He will play and play for hours with a wheel… He’s stubborn too… Still throws fits, especially at night… 

He is 18 months and walking now! Running really,
he gets so excited he runs into the walls sometimes. He seems to wake up running and fall asleep standing up, literally!

He’s already two years old! What an active little one he is! The fascination is still there… with anything that moves! He loves cars! He is fascinated with tools too! He still has trouble sleeping at night and bangs his head often on the baby bed… on the floor… on chairs…. On the coffee table… I don’t understand why… We
are having trouble potty training… Doc says every child is different, it’s nothing to worry about… We are back in Mississippi now. He loves to pee on trees and there are lots of them at our new home! 

He’s 3 years old now! Wow, how fast time goes. He still wets the bed at night and has this fear of pooping in the potty. He has pooped in shoes, his closet and I am pretty sure he is peeing in the trash can in the bath room. The Doc says that he is not talking because he has older siblings. She says why should he talk
if he gets what he wants by pointing. Still coming in our room and sleeping with Mommy and Daddy, we are working on making him stay in his own bed. You should see the way he lines up his toys! By color, shape and size! He seems to spend days getting things the way he wants them, sometimes he gets so frustrated things aren’t the way he expects them he still bangs his head. Speaking of banging, Brynnon bangs everything! Always making noise… Our home has constant noise, yelling, banging, slamming… So much noise... I have noticed too that he seems to have a very high tolerance for pain. He is very clumsy too, always running into the wall, falling… Doc says he is just so overactive and my other children were slugs!
 
I can’t believe he is 4 already… He loves to sing… LOUDLY Yelling… Doc says he has so much competition in a house with so many children. I need to start correcting him on his speech, he should be speaking more clearly by now. I don’t know why others can’t understand him, we can…. We need to paint this place soon… the walls are covered with Brynn’s artwork… I have resortd to keeping all our home school pens, pencils and colors on top the fridge… It’s the only place in the house he can’t get to!
 
Looking for answers...
Brynnon’s 5 now! We had a baby boy two weeks before his birthday! He is going to speech therapy now at the public school. She says he has a severe articulation disorder. Almost as though he has his own language.
We can understand him, because we listened and learned it as it developed. He’s going to need a lot of speech therapy to be able to speak his message to the world and be heard. Maybe this is why he is having such a hard time Reading. Dyslexia maybe? Let’s get him speaking correctly and I bet he will start
Reading like a pro! He seems so immature for his age, maybe this will be helped by getting his message out, speech can affect a child so much. It must be so frustrating for him to have Mom interpret what he says to everyone… I finally let them catch him up on those vaccinations…
I cannot believe Brynnon is 6 years old! Speech therapy has helped him already. He still has trouble with some words but we are working hard! Still no luck with the Reading though. We have tried hooked on phonics and several other Reading/Phonics programs to no avail. Maybe he is just immature… We will
focus on the Speech and Writing for now…
 
Brynnon is 7! Speech has helped so much that almost everyone can understand him now. Reading has not progressed, but he is writing well most days and can recall every sound each letter makes. Some days it’s like we are starting over, I just don’t understand why… It’s like going 3 steps forward and two steps back every few days… We are not giving up! I realize that he is a bit immature for his age, but how long is too long?
 
Brynnon is 8! Wow, what a great child he has turned out to be. Still fascinated with anything that moves… especially the riding lawnmower! He loves that thing! Tools? What! This child will trip over his own feet to play with tools! Deep in my heart, I know something is wrong… There has to be a medical reason why he is not progressing… Why he cannot read anything besides that old Merrill Reader with no pictures… Doc says that mark on his face is called a Cafe’ au lait spot. She ran some blood work and said everything looks good. Still no explanation with his slow learning. Maybe he is like his brother and has ADD or better yet ADHD he is awefully hyper? I did find the Merrill Reader set on line, it’s actually used for Special Education in schools. I got the whole set for him.
 
Wow, Brynnon is 9 now! What progress he has made with those Merrill Readers. He is still Reading at a
Kindergarden level, but hey he IS Reading! We made up flash cards with all the words and we do these every day, seems to be helping him so much! It is so exciting to see him “get it.” If only he could get addition…
One thing at a time! Focus on the positive!!

It was as if the whole world stopped….. In one split second.
In S L O W M O T I O N….
I watched in horror as he laid on the floor jerking, foaming at the mouth…. His Daddy with him talking to him, calling his name… 
Brynnon, Brynnon…. Oh GOD please help him… I think it’s a seizure… 
He’s not breathing... I am screaming to the operator… 
Flagstaff Street…. F L A G S T A F F Street… 
Oh my God, please Abba Father…
Please help him breath… What is happening…. Oh God please make it stop……. Flagstaff is on the left…… Oh God please hurry…… 
He is breathing…… He stopped Jerking……… He won’t wake up…….
Thank God the ambulance is here…

Doc says a Seizure can happen to anyone, there is no reason for Brynnon’s. His blood work is good, has no fever… It’s Extremely Rare to have a Seizure while sleeping. He probably will never have another, but if he does, it will happen when he is awake. Really nothing to worry about… He’s gonna be sleepy for the
next day…

Changes…
Husband has been laid off and we are moving back to LA, our home state… We are gonna miss MS so much… One of the first things when we get there I am going to get Brynnon tested, there is a great place there. I may finally know what his Learning Disorder is and why he still cannot read… Other than that
Merrill Reading program… He gets adding and subtracting but still has so much trouble with bigger numbers. Again, it’s like we take a few steps forward then a few backwards… Some days it’s like starting over. I just don’t understand…

I took Brynnon to a Psychologist for testing. She says his IQ is borderline. He cannot be diagnosed with a Learning Disorder, because he does not have a normal IQ. He may only obtain a 4th Grade Reading level or he may do better.
There are further test she can do, but it’s really not going to help me teach him. He can learn, just at a much slower pace than one with a normal IQ. 
I also took him three hours away to a good Neurologist, just to double check. I was pretty much laughed out of his office for suggesting that I thought that seizure he had affected his IQ and that for all I knew he could have had other seizures while sleeping.... Put a baby monitor in his room, you will hear him...

Brynnon is 10! He has learned so much over the last year… We moved next to some really great people. They are always fixing something. Motors, anything that runs he is greatly fascinated by and loves to collect
broken stuff that has parts. Our yard may look like Sanford and Son’s at times, but hey Brynnon is happy! Still working in the Merrill Readers and we have been using the AVKO Sequential Spelling Program with Great Success!! He Spelled “Beginning” the other day! He was so excited that he Spelled a 6th
Grade word! Seems he is gaining so much in his learning journey! I still cannot believe that the Father blessed me with a baby girl! Brynnon and everyone else is so fascinated with his new baby sister! She was born prematurely due to pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetis… What a blessing! 
 

Brynnon begged to sleep in the living room tonight. 
So, on the spfa bed he sleeps, along with Brett… I am sitting nursing Abigail is who now 3 months old. Such blissful quiet in the house, normally filled with so much noise...
Until…. Brynnon….. Brynnon….. Oh GOD Please No…….
Screaming for help, no one can hear me…. 
He’s not breathing….
HELP…. Okay, I can do this… Turn him on his side….
His Daddy comes… Gets on the bed with him… Holding him……
Time always seems to go so S L O W L Y….
911… My Son he is having a Seizure…. Mary Road….
He is not breathing…….. Brynnon Marsh, he will be 11 tomorrow…


EPILEPSY…
I have been sleeping with Brynnon and Abigail on the sofa bed for almost three months. I have seen so many seizures now. Twitching jerking stiffening…. All night long… Waiting to see the Doctor… So many things going through my mind. I must be a horrible parent… How many times has this happened and no one knew? How many seizures has he had while the whole household lay sleeping?
EEG shows Epilepsy… Seizure Disorder… Type? No, not specific… Does this have anything to do with his IQ, did it cause it to be lower? Hard to say… He’s going to start a medication called Trileptal to control his seizures.
Trileptal is making his behavior worse… Switching to Depakene… 
Ah, Better behavior at least… or maybe at this point we just got use to bad behavior…
I really believe he has regressed… He has went back to the beginning in Reading… 
We got this wonderful Emfit Seizure Monitor through The Danny Did Foundation. I am resting so much better now. Every night we have a routine. Brynnon goes to bed, I stay up a while and check on him, make sure his Emfit Seizure Monitor is on along with the baby monitor. After all, Doc says if he has a seizure it will be
the first few hours after falling asleep….

I think Brynn is having a seizure… The words echoed in my mind…. 
Handing Abigail to somebody… I can do this…
TIME… What Time Is It?????? 1:39 AM…. 
Oh GOD he is not breathing… Call 911, we are supposed to wait…
TIME??? 5 Minutes…. He is still not breathing…
His lips are blue… His chin is BLUE… CALL 911….
He’s not breathing…….  I am Suctioning his mouth… 
He’s still not breathing…. Oh Father please let him Breath…
Okay time he is breathing and lightly jerking…. Time…. 12 minutes….
He is going into another seizure I think… Okay, Brynnon stay with me… 
He is having another seizure I think… and another…
Fire Department is here… Ambulance is here… 
A shirt… I can’t believe I forgot his shoes….

Had Brynnon tested at the Neuropsychologist office…
Turns out he has the mentality of a 6/7 year old… My mind feels numb… Scale back Reading to a entry level 1st Grade. He is not capable of Reading anything at a higher level. 
Why does this have to be so difficult to hear?
Math, he is on a 2nd Grade level he can work on an early 2nd Grade level. 
You cannot push him or you could do more harm than good. 
He has a very low attention span, and can only be taught in 20 minute sessions….
If he can handle an hour on the computer schooling that is fine, but if you notice any stress stop… and go back later if you like. So, all that… all that time I knew something was wrong.
I knew… I knew everything he said, and have even said the same things…
...yet it seems hard to hear when it’s coming form someone who actually 
knows what they are talking about…
…..finally we have some answers…
 
If Brynnon never had a seizure would he be normal? “Unfair question.., 
He likely was born with an intellectual disability, but the Epilepsy probably has caused further damage, no way to tell really….”
Brynnon will be 12 in two weeks. We will have his 24 hour EEG results next week…

The world must be different for Brynnon, 
It's not a bad thing... 
It's "His Normal"
We love him just the we he is!