Sunday, March 20, 2016

Survived the 24+ hour EEG

(I can't believe we got through this!)

Max's Dr. scheduled Max for a 24 hour EEG. It ended up being a 27 hour EEG. I wanted him to have this test because Max loses coordination during certain exercise. We notice that if he's jogging around, he loses coordination in 12 minutes. If he is walking around, it's more like 30-40 minutes. We notice that he walks into things, is harder to talk to, and gets a very bad headache.

I asked the Dr. if Max could walk around the Hershey parking lot for a while, and then maybe we could check his brain function. No, they do the EEG this way.

It was more involved than I thought. He had a typical EEG here last year, which lasted 1.5 hours. The 24 hour one requires you to carry the device around. The glue they put on your head is really heavy duty. It's a more intense procedure as they don't want anything to fall off!

Max immediately hated it. They told us he should be fine without his head wrapped up in gauze which was a blessing. I brought along his baseball hat, which worked enough.

With his Muscular Dystrophy, the device in the backpack weighed too much on his shoulders. He is pretty sore now from carrying it around. He hated it if the leads felt like they were dragging. I would pick them up and rest them on top of the backpack. I needed to help him get in and out of the car, help him lay down, help him sit up and strap the thing back on. I also checked to make sure it was "on" every few hours.

And there was the journal, where I recorded what he was up to at the time, and if I noticed anything. If I did, I had to press a red button which will print on the report indicating that I noticed something at the moment. The Dr. can see if it corresponds to an abnormal response on the brain wave printout. My goal was really to tire him out, in an attempt to recreate what we see. I pressed the button a total of three times and those times occurred after we were done at the museum, when we were done shopping at KMart- both times he began to walk into me, and lastly when he got into the car the last time but stopped a bit too long to ponder how he would get into the car and had trouble following my direction (which was odd because he had already gotten in the car several times that day with it on.)

We first went to Friendly's which was awkward for him. Then we headed to Hershey Story where they let him in for free. (Rather nice to be let in free when you are a patient from Hershey Medical Center and then you walk around the museum and learn how nice Milton Hershey really was :)

We then went to a Mennonite run bookstore in Ephrata which has some unusual homeschool supplies (I hope to blog about that later). Then to the library, then to two KMarts. By then he was quite done.

He was annoyed at home, but rested on the couch and played computer games. He slept fine, somehow, all night. He woke up and got through the next morning, and then we happily got back to Hershey and got that thing off!

Earlier in the week, we had gone to Lowe's and thanked the General Manager for supporting the MDA by selling shamrocks.

We posted the photo on the Harrisburg District MDA page on facebook. The office fedexed Max a shamrock t-shirt for thanking Lowes! We got it right before we left for Hershey to have the EEG taken off.

After the clinician took device off and all that entails, I gave Max the t-shirt. He was excited and relieved. He happily changed into it, and went home so happy to have it all over, comfortable as can be.

And now we have realized that next weekend is Easter. And we have Another! Hershey appt. this week- the physical for MDA camp!...Our busy life...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Your Prescription is Ready and Moving Forward

Things are moving forward, like it or not. I remember this with my daughter Mimi. Months/years of not knowing what's going on. Then one day a big container arrives with Growth Hormone, as well as a nurse. And we were on our way.

The same thing is happening now. Max's Dr. worked with his insurance to cover CoQ10. I went to pick-up the tablets and was handed a hefty sack of bottles. This is 3 months of CoQ10. One 100mg tablet 3x day. For all we know this is all Max can can take to help him muscles from deteriorating so quickly. Until there is a "a cure."

Ironically, the CoQ10 is piled next to the growth hormone supplies. It's starting to look like a medicine cabinet in my kitchen cupboard.

We are also getting used to the wheelchair. I think I'll change the wheelchair's name from Carl to Andre'. Andre' helps my son not fall apart physically in a store...and he is happier when we are out. What a big, relief. We've also secured some epic parking spaces with the handicapped permit. Max says, "Seriously. I think this is the best parking space in the whole lot!"

We barely survived the Nerve Conduction study last week with repeat shocks. He was reduced to tears- 1.5 hours of shocks. In many locations of his arms and legs it looked like there was very little activity. I think that they had to keep amping the shock level because the normal ranges weren't making his nerves react. I was then reduced to tears. They called in the Dr. He was funny as always and said that he has enough to go on. We did a trial since then of a Myasthenia Gravis medicine to see if Max would have *some* restored strength- but it didn't work at all. This would be in case Max has some sort of congenital Myasthenic condition in addition to the MD.

We are now awaiting the 24 EEG which is coming up. I am overwhelmed as I know HE is getting overwhelmed. I think he is beginning to think this is incredible what they are doing to him. I feel in disbelief at times when I realize that he is only 10 years old. Did you know you can repeatedly shock a 10 year old for an hour and a half? Cut a muscle out of a 10 year olds leg? Load him up with 300mg of CoQ10 a day?

Here's Max last week at our homeschool Co-op. It's such a nice time that we spend with other homeschool friends. Max plays chess and does archery with a light bow with other boys. Mimi and her little pals have music class and we work on the Book Cooks program. Sometimes we all hang out and do a little seasonal something- like making these Easter Gardens. It is so awesome to be outside amongst nice company. When we drive back home we pass the Max's old elementary school. It's a Friday afternoon. We are usually tired and happy and content from having our nice afternoon. We are always so relieved that he's not spending his days exhausted and inside the school anymore. 

In other news, I am seriously cleaning my house. I've been at it for a week and it's starting to look much tidier. Between all the appts and the homeschooling and everything, something had to give.
I learned about the Konmari method and that is one sure way to let stuff go. I found it very helpful. It was also helpful that I know that Max has Muscular Dystrophy much for certain toys and certain pants with too many buttons. Also, some of the playroom type clutter had to go because with MD you can't have things to trip over. Puts things into a different perspective.

That's it for now:)