As I sit here with just two hours remaining in 2016 I am left wondering (yet again) how another year has flown by so quickly. I swear each year the days must shave off a minute or two at a time because I remember writing my 2015 post like it was yesterday. Another chapter of Sonya's Story is coming to a close as a new one is just beginning. Similar to last year, as I sit here reflecting on the months that have passed I am unsure what to make of it all. The year of 2016 has left me with memories to cherish and ones I wish would not be etched into my mind as if it was stone. 2016 brought about many new introductions, emotions, and experiences as we continue to navigate through the world of special needs. It was also a year of tremendous loss for our CDKL5 family, and maybe 2017 will not bring the same nightmares to any of our families.
2016 was a year of learning the ins and outs of the gastrointestinal system. In addition to Sonzee's battle with seizures, she spent the majority of this past year simply trying to maintain nourishment and battle being failure to thrive. We learned about alternative methods of feeding such as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), a Gastrostomy tube (G-tube), and a Nasojejunal tube (NJ) all of which would ultimately save Sonzee's life and maintain it. 2016 brought about the labels of gastroparesis and small bowl bacterial overgrowth, which now have her on daily antibiotics to restore the good gut bacteria.
For seizures 2016 brought about hypsarrythmia (an abnormal interictal pattern, consisting of high amplitude and irregular waves and spikes in a background of chaotic and disorganized activity seen on electroencephalogram) and infantile spasms, resulting in 2 months of a high dose steroid treatment and side effects that were horrific and some she will likely never outgrow. 2016 introduced us to various formulas and diets and brought about a brief stint on the ketogenic diet, which we learned, was not beneficial to combating her seizures. Thankfully, after multiple medication and various medical marijuana trials, we found Sonzee's magic seizure combo (for now) of Sabril and RSHO hemp oil. She continues to remain seizure free 71 days 8 hours and 26 minutes.
In 2016, Sonzee encountered her most hospital admissions (6 times) and longest lengths of stays at a hospital (28 days), countless bouts of viruses, colds, and infections, and longest consecutive time spent on antibiotics. Sonzee spent too many hours in pain and uncomfortable for me to want to remember. Overall 2016 was not a healthy year for Sonze.
2016 was the year Sonzee's CVI (cortical vision impairment) improved from a 2/10 to 6/10, and she received her first pair of glasses. While there are no huge developmental milestones for little bear, her core strength has improved tremendously and the bottoms of her feet have some resistance when they are pushed against. She continues to roll in both directions and she is able to grasp hanging objects and hit them. With the gains she has made this year there is no saying where she will be in the year to come.
As 2016 comes to a close, I am left with immense gratitude that Sonzee is able to physically welcome 2017 with us, because there are too many mothers tonight not afforded this opportunity. To all of those whom I know, my heart is thinking of you and your baby's tonight. 2016 is not a year I wish to repeat, but as I sit here tonight, I am filled with a renewed sense of strength and hope for where 2017 will take us and I look forward to this chapter of Sonya's Story and hope you come along with us.
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