Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sensitive emotions

I can clearly remember how Sonzee was 2 years ago when she was close 5.5 months old.  Her diagnoses of CDKL5 known to us already for a little over 3 months.  She had been enrolled into therapies for 4.5 months at that point.  Her seizures were finally under some semblance of control, only happening every other day.  I remember being upset with that form of control.  I remember despite knowing the odds of her sitting, walking, talking, and/or being functional I was filled with so much hope because she was so young.  I remember distinct conversations with her physical therapist where we would both say that "Sonzee will...." and "She is so young....".  I remember feeling like maybe, just maybe, she would be the outlier to the (extremely few) journal articles written that gave the statistics about children with CDKL5.  

I can clearly remember 14 months ago when Sonzee was 15 months old.  Her life hanging in the balance as she spent a month in the hospital with it unknown to us whether she would be leaving the same doors we brought her through in our arms.  Her amazing therapists came and sat there encouraging her along the way.  She was swollen from medications, TPN, and additional fluids.  She had transfusions of blood and various other items to balance her metabolic panel, and developed an allergic reaction to the one seizure medication that at the time she appeared to be responding to.  Her seizures were at bay, but her physical development was far worse due to her failing body.  I remember feeling utterly helpless and wondered if it was going to be our turn to join those who had lost their CDKL5 children.

The years have passed and our attempts to help Sonzee live her best life possible have not gone the way I personally have intended.  Despite the relentless seizures and the awful GI system she was blessed with, we have not ever stopped her therapies.  Her therapists sit in our home whether Sonzee is an active participant for the hours they are scheduled.  They reschedule when Sonzee is having a difficult day and they do their best to help her have the best quality of life possible.  I will never say that the diagnosis of CDKL5 defines who the essence of Sonzee is, BUT I will loudly announce that it plays a crucial crucial role in her body's ability to achieve skills and perform "simple" tasks.  


Last night was one of those times where I felt like such a failure despite all the therapeutic efforts we have tried with Sonzee.  I truly believe that the words that led to my feelings were not intended to cut me like a knife.  I will lend it to me being super sensitive, but I am going to embrace the pain they caused regardless.  No Sonzee does not sit, she does not even want to be held upright at times.  She is wheelchair bound, and this is not changing any time soon.  Her physical abilities do not have anything to do with her personality so I do not let her lack of development negatively affect me.  It is probably irrational of me to be the slightest bit disappointed with myself over her development when just yesterday over an 11-hour period she endured 3 seizures and slept 9 of those hours.  There was no time to squeeze in any attempt at physical therapy.  I will take a guess that her day today will be similar, but she will be up for the challenge in true Sonzee fashion.  She is her absolute best even with the CDKL5 mutation she was allotted and I will continue to tell myself I am also.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Disappointment...again

For the past two summers I have created a list of "attempted goals" in my mind that I wish for Sonzee to achieve.  I always tell myself to be realistic, but to be honest, this is the one time of the year I actually feel extremely optimistic that during these four weeks there is no reason why she cannot progress leaps and bounds when there is nothing else to do but work with her.  Then the summer begins and the hours of each day pass by, the days turn into weeks, and I am left realizing that my fantasy of Sonzee gaining substantial ground is just that, a fantasy.

The scenery has changed, the environment is different, but the effect of CDKL5 is and always will be the same.  The seizures perform their daily havoc, actually, they are pretty much the only skill that she seems to make advances with.  Just 5 weeks ago she was having small little questionable moments, and now twice a day on average she has undeniable episodes.  I do not know when I will truly realize that we are not ever going to beat the seizures.  There is no magic potion to wave them away, and deep down I really do know this.

Her jumper is hanging in the doorway here in our townhouse and her stander sits by the wall.  Both have been used twice.  The Upsee has spent the entire time hanging in a bag on the laundry room door, my desire for us to walk together for 5 minutes a day has yet to be met.  Her bike sits by the fireplace next to a basket of toys she has zero desire to play with despite the various attempts her siblings and I make to get her interested.  Essentially, nothing has changed except my feelings of defeat are far more pronounced. 


It is the moments like these that I realize that even though I thought I had lost my hope with her, it was there, hidden away in a small space in my heart and mind, hoping to prove the majority of my heart and mind wrong.  In the end, all it does is leave a pain in my heart, a fog in my mind and it solidifies why it is I really dislike everything that surrounds the word "hope". 

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Becoming accustomed...

Whenever Sonzee goes through months of multiple daily seizures I do get numb to them.  Some of them bother me more than others, but overall "I am used to them".  I feel like when I say that to people I genuinely believe it.  Seizure are part of all the amazing offerings of CDKL5, well really it is more than that, THEY are the essence of CDKL5 at its core.  However, it is not until Sonzee experiences a break in her seizures and they return that I realize how much I was fooled into thinking I was/am used to them.  I guess I was not aware of just how talented my brain has gotten in constantly shielding me.  

I have watched this little girl seize since she was a newborn.  I have seen her body move in ways that are just not normal.  I have seen so many several types of seizures that my descriptions typically involve some morbid explanation that leave some of her doctors uncomfortable, but they at least understand what her body is doing based off my words.  I always try to accompany my descriptions with a video, but it is obvious that even the professionals find it uncomfortable to watch.  Which makes me realize just how not okay this situation is, no matter what my brain tries to convince me of.


There should not be any parent who must "get used to" witnessing seizure activity in their child.  This should NOT be an effect of a disorder.  My brain should not have to find a way to cope with this.  It just should NOT be.  I do not think I will ever understand why the hallmark of a CDKL5 mutation must be the most volatile atrocious experience you can possibly watch your child go through.  My brain clearly has limitations with its capability of comprehension in this department.  I guess I will just have to give it a couple more days and I will be back to the state of numbness that I get accustomed to and prefer.


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Sonzee's Slideshow