Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Med changes for Pumpkin

Mr. Amazing spent a large portion of Sunday camped out on the couch watching sports on TV. All of Pumpkin's toys are in the living room so he got to spend most of the day with her close by. I'm glad for this because he was able to observe numerous seizures all day long.

They were short! Oh so short! I never saw a single one myself. He said she'd be sitting on the floor playing and she'd just crumple forward and face plant in the carpet. She'd stay like that for just a second or two and then pop back up. He said that she seemed a little disoriented afterward but for the most part, her day was incredibly typical. She played, walked around (though her balance was off more than normal) and ate like normal. But when these episodes picked up in the afternoon – and they happened while standing up – it became more obvious that they were seizures and not just bizarre behavior.

Pumpkin has been diagnosed with psychomotor disturbance. Her neurologist added this diagnosis after I described how jerky her motions are and how she will seem to twitch for no obvious reason. It's because of this that I have a hard time determining whether or not bizarre behavior is "normal" for Pumpkin or if she's having an actual seizure episode.

We went to the ER on Sunday afternoon. The heavens opened and God Himself shined down because we were in and out in less then two hours. They gave her a crushed up pill of something called Ativan to help "reset" her brain and stop the seizures. Then they sent us home.

Ativan is supposed to be a sedative but it had the opposite effect on Pumpkin. She was in bed at 7:45PM and was still awake at 10:45PM. Needless to say she was not a happy camper when I had to wake her Monday morning to take the other cherubs to school and then to go to the follow up appointment with her neurologist. There we had a two hour wait for our appointment. (sigh -- such is life where we live)

It seems that many children become quite agitated after receiving a dose of Ativan. Pumpkin was not an exception. After about an hour of waiting Monday morning, Pumpkin started crying for no reason at all. This is quite abnormal for her because Pumpkin can sit and do nothing for hours at the doctors office. I've given up bringing things to entertain her because she shows no interest. She usually has no problem waiting for extended periods of time. However, she cried yesterday. A lot! All day. A lot!! And did I mention?...all day.

Her neurologist added another anti-seizure med to what she's currently on. I'm a little scared of this one. Even the doctor warned me that we could see changes in her behavior and mood. When I used my Google Degree to learn more after I got home, it seems that many children become agitated, depressed or have other changes in their mental health status. Hopefully this won't manifest itself by increased amounts of crying or fits. I'm not sure I could handle much of that. Sometimes the only reason I feel like I can manage this placement is because Pumpkin is generally quite mellow and easy going. If she starts freaking out all the time....

I don't want to think like that.

Pumpkin's neurologist also gave us a script to have on hand in case Pumpkin has "break through" seizures again. I'm grateful for this. I don't like going to the ER for every little thing. And, thankfully, he gave us something other than Ativan.

Pumpkin stayed home from school yesterday and today. And tomorrow, when she goes back in, I'm going to have to grow a bit of a backbone and INSIST on better daily log reports from her teacher/aides. With this new drug being added, she may be more tired, disoriented, dizzy, agitated, depressed, etc. I can't do a thorough assessment of her reaction in the few short hours before and after school. And if she doesn't tolerate the meds well, I have to know sooner than later.

With all the drama, I had to say "no" to another placement request yesterday. An 8 year old boy was being moved out of his foster home because the current foster mom thinks she has too many kids to handle his behaviors so she gave her 30 day notice (but they wanted him moved immediately). My heart broke when I heard his story. He and this 3 siblings entered care in January because his mom was using drugs. Then, sometime in February his mom died in a car accident. Think maybe he'd have some problems dealing with that level of trauma?!

But with the amount of time that Pumpkin takes, I didn't think it'd be fair to bring another one into our family if I couldn't devote enough energy to him and his "behaviors". My middlest cherub is also having a challenging time with life in general right now. Bringing in another boy just a year older than him would have probably sent his anxiety into a tailspin.

I hate saying no. It's so hard when my heart breaks for all the children in state care. My list of specific kids to pray for keeps growing and growing.

1 comment:

Sunday Koffron said...

Oh gosh, those poor kids!

i hope this new med works and not too many side affects.