Caleb’s Epilepsy Battle
I had rather hoped it would be a very long time before I had to write any more posts about seizures, epilepsy, and our darling Caleb.
First, I want to reiterate that epilepsy is simply that, it does not make a person any less intelligent than any other person. It simply means that a person has had two or more seizures of unknown cause. I feel the need to make that very clear, since so many people have had no experience with epilepsy. I didn’t know anything about it either until the summer of 2011.
For a little background information, you can read this post: Keppra Caleb.
We think that Caleb has been seizure free from April 2013 until the present. Once he makes it to the two-year mark, he could have the “epilepsy” label removed, and we could begin to wean him off of Keppra (his seizure medication).
I so badly want that to happen!
Unfortunately, we have recently seen an uptick in odd activity. We aren’t 100% sure that any of it was actually seizures, but hopefully we will get some answers soon.
1. Caleb has had terrible sinus troubles since October. If Caleb get a cold, that’s it. It’s with him for months, and it usually comes early on in the winter and stays until May or so. Poor, poor Caleb.
Some years antibiotics cleared him up in a snap. Other years, nothing worked. I had him allergy tested, and the only thing he tested positive for was dust mites. Is there anyone who is not allergic to dust mites?
2. Caleb has fallen out of bed in the middle of the night at least twice in the past couple of weeks. Why? We are not sure. He could have just rolled out, or this could have been more seizures. See, Caleb’s seizures happen in his sleep, so it’s really hard to track them.
3. On the flight home, Caleb slept in his seat next to Alan. Caleb kept jerking in his sleep. They were all quick, muscle spasms, in all different limbs, as in one arm would twitch for a few seconds. Then a few seconds later, his other arm would. We’ve seen a LOT of this from Caleb since 2011. We don’t know if they are partial seizures or just muscle spasms. His neurologist says that the only way to know is to have him actually do what he does during an EEG. (EEGs measure brain activity. Caleb had one in 2012, but it was only a 20-30 minute one, and it was all normal activity.)
4. He had two nose bleeds yesterday.
5. I firmly believe that Caleb has more seizures when he is having sinus problems.
6. We have made Caleb stop sleeping in those fleece footies he loves so much. The boy gets too hot in his sleep, and fevers are such an obvious trigger. He now sleeps in much cooler clothing.
So what to do……Obviously, something should be done.
1. We called Caleb’s neurologist. She wants him to do a 24 hour EEG. That would show us how many seizures he has in a day. They wanted to do this on Monday, but our insurance has issues, so they have to work that out first.
2. We have put him back on daily Allegra.
3. I am also going to put him back on Flonase. These are both things he has taken in the past, so we still have them. We had just stopped using them when Caleb was doing so much better. I feel so bad for the amount of medicine this poor boy has to take all the time. However, when it works, medicine is better than being miserable.
Caleb is just as hilarious as ever. You’d never know he has these problems, except for the constant sound of snot slurping. We got to go hiking at Pinnacles National Park today, all six of us. We all had a great time. Once we’d hiked probably 2 miles UP, Caleb kissed me on the arm and said, “This is the greatest field trip I’ve ever had!!!” Nothing makes Joshua and Caleb happier than hiking and rock climbing…not simulated rock climbing, but real, dangerous, scaling mountains kind of climbing.
It has been such a pleasure to teach Caleb this year. The improvements in every single subject are amazing, and I’ve actually gotten to watch it happen. Caleb has this eager joy for life that makes him a blast to be around. When we were preparing for our Christmas trip, I went around the house and asked each individual child, in secret, “Who would you like to sit by on the plane?” Everyone replied, “Caleb.”
By the way, they are all liking school much better now that we’ve moved school from the school room to the dining room table. I’m in the process of rearranging all my bookshelves this week. More on that in my next post!