Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spit..It happens

The boys have started a gnarly new habit. yes..... spitting! It started innocently in the bath tub when Quinn sucked in some water from a stacking cup and squirted it out of his mouth causing Chase to bust a gut laughing. This lead to Quinn becoming angry and hauking a luggie at Chase. Where does he get this stuff???

Grant and I immediately jumped into action as we would NEVER tolerate this type of behavior from our sweet and perfect children. All of a sudden, Chase busts another gut laughing and thinks it's hilarious and returns the favor as he spits back at Quinn. How are we going to stop this? Should I ask Dr. Sears? Alice? Dear Abbie? Dr. Laura? Dr. Spock? I must have missed the chapter in my parenting books that talks about redirecting your children's spit patterns.

I'm off on a tangent. I intended to come here and update you all on Quinn's progress. It's AMAZING! Quinn has been on Depakote for about a month now and his speech and language has progressed significantly. I'm doing the happy dance for Quinn and Dr. Chez, my new personal hero. I still have to do some Google research on Depakote and speech and language, but seeing is believing for me.

Here is our tentative schedule of events:

Today: Start iron rich diet to combat anemia

July 7th: MRI 7:45am

July 19th: Quinn's 4th birthday :)

July 22nd: Resume speech therapy at the school

August 20th: Followup appointment with the pediatric neurologist and more bloodwork

Some time after this we will most likely do another EEG to see if the Depakote is having an effect on Quinn's electrical impulses emitted by his brain. We want to make sure his noggin doesn't produce any more spikey patterns and that his left and right side of his brain are in sync. (No, not like the cheesy boy band. ha ha ha....)

Thanks everyone for your comments. It's really fun to read your feedback. For those of you that don't know... you can leave me comments here on my blog by clicking on the "comment" prompt at the bottom of this post. Your love and support means the world to me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More Pills?

Quinn's blood draw went ok. He charged right back into the lab and jumped into the chair and held out his arm to the technician. They asked me, "Has he done this before?"

I said, "Yes, but I don't think he remembers this because of the way he jumped in the chair."

The tech asks Quinn, "Do you want to sit in Mommy's lap?"

Quinn: "No mommy's lap."

Mommy: "Are you sure?"

Quinn "Yes!"

Once the technician pulled out the needle and attempted to stick his arm, the crying and tears began. He was pleading with the technician... "No wait! Please, stop!! STOP!!! PLEASE!!! Owie!!! STOP!"

And just like that it was over. As we left the lab, the other patients looked sickly and pale after hearing Quinn's pleas for help. I looked over at a lady and nodded and said, "It really wasn't that bad."

The latest news is....... Quinn is anemic. The neuro's office faxed the results over to the pediatrician and now we wait for a prescription to be called in. I argued with the receptionist at the neuro's office if I could just change Quinn's diet or do other things to change his iron levels though his diet. She said, "I'm sure you could try that and then bring him in for follow up bood test to make sure it's working." No thanks, I'll opt for more pills. I guess his level was 15 and they want to see it above 22 at a minimum.

You don't get it lady... My kid is already taking 4 pills a day, I don't want him to be eating a gallon of frosting with all his meds. Gaah! I'm frustrated. I wish Quinn would eat more than frosting and chicken nuggets.

Quinn's MRI is scheduled for July 7th at 7:45 am. They will put him under general anesthesia and look at his noggin through a machine for about an hour. They are going to look for any structural defects in his brain or anything else that might explain why Quinn is such an awesome kid. I'm sure the pictures will come out great. I'll ask if I can get a copy of them in photoshop. (I'm kidding again.) I hope I do get to see some of the pictures though. I'm sure they will seem more like dopplar radar to me, but it's still neat to think of what they can do with technology. After all... how often do you get to see what your kid's brain looks like on the inside?

Mom, if you're reading this, I may need you to babysit Chase that day. ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

School Performance and Ice Cream

There's my boy all dressed up for his school performance. His pre-school class sang a few songs at the graduation for the kids moving into Kindergarten. Aparently a lot of kids don't make it to their middle school graduation so they make a big deal out of preschool graduation now. Naw, just kidding.

Look at all the kids with their hands neatly behind their backs. But we all know it's the girls that run the show in pre-school. Check out the 2nd girl from the right in this next picture.

Then you have the paparazzi (a.k.a. the parents.) Of course, I'm included in this madness with my spiffy DSLR camera.

Quinn has this new special look when we ask him to smile for the camera.

After the performance, we stepped out for some frozen yogurt. But first, I had to attempt to capture a decent picture of my boys together.

This moment only lasted for about 1/8th of a second. Thank God for fast cameras.

Nugget likes Chocolate ice cream. Errr wait... Frozen yogurt... YOGURT!!! Because frozen yogurt is that much healthier than ice cream right?

Spoons are as good as the yogurt..

"Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for largely non-nutritive substances"

Kidding again.. ha ha ha.. Can you say influenza??? Nice Quinn.

As for the medical updates.... Quinn goes for a blood draw tomorrow to see if he has a therapeutic dose of Depakote in his system. What makes it "therapeutic?" I don't know.... I think I've been working too much. Anyay, the neuro wants to make sure he's got enough in his system to make a difference and be sure it's not raking havoc on his insides. I got a message on the machine about setting up his MRI. I'll call and schedule that tomorrow.
That's all for now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One week on Depakote...

Quinn made it through his first week on Depakote. So far so good. I only forgot 2 doses. (Bad Mommy!!) We've been sprinkling his meds on top of a teaspoon fulll of frosting. Quinn loves his "mess-a-cine" and looks forward to taking it every day. It's a "Depakote Dessert." All epileptics should try it. And since our boys are so competitive, I have to give Chase a little frosting on a spoon for him too. Just so they don't feel left out, I get my share of frosting by licking my fingers after I administer the "messacine."

So I'm on a mission to document if the Depakote is having an effect on Quinn's speech and language. Tonight Quinn has a performance at his preschool's graduation. His class is singing a song. On the way home from school, I asked him what song he was going to sing for us. Quinn babbled out some name that had the word "poop" in it. I looked at him and asked, "Are you being silly.?" Quinn says, "No mommy" and broke out in a song I've never heard before. His lyrics were not understandable, but he sounded like he knew what he was singing. LOL I can't wait.

In two weeks we will have a blood draw to find out if Quinn is tolerating the Depakote well and if he's on the right dosage. That's all for now.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Family Updates.....5/31/08

Hi Everyone,

I've had this blog for a while so I could save and share some of my pictures with friends and family. Anyway, it's been largely neglected for the past 2 years so I decided to change it into a place where I can update everyone on us. A lot of people have been asking me about Quinn and what's happening with him. Since it's all pretty confusing (even for us) and it's quite lengthy to explain over and over, I've decided to keep his updates here for you all to read as well as the other latest happenings.

In March Quinn was referred to the pediatric neurologist for autistic like symptoms by our pediatrician. Grant and I were pretty skeptical of the "autism" diagnosis but we felt it would be best for a specialist to make that opinion. After interviewing Grant and I, providing marriage counseling (heh heh just kidding), and examining Quinn the neurologist felt that Quinn was speech delayed and met the criteria for PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.) You're probably asking yourself "What the heck does this mean???" This means that Quinn has a lot of autistic like features but does not fully qualify for the autism diagnosis. As we've learned, autism can mean many different things. The easiest way to describe it is to think of Autism on a spectrum from 1-10 with 1 being meaning a very high functioning person with mild symptoms and 10 being a person who is unable to communicate and has a more profound form of Autism. Here is a link from a reputable website that talks about what Autism is if you feel inclined to learn more.


The neurologist ran several different tests on Quinn to see if he could pinpoint a reason for his speech delay and to make sure he wasn't having seizures. One of the tests he ran was an EEG (Electroencephalography.) For more info on what an EEG is click the link below.


In my previous post are some pictures of Quinn during his EEG. We got him hooked up and then brought him home for the night. The next morning I drove him back to have the electrodes removed and then took him home for a shower and a hair style.

The results are back..... We saw the neurologist again on 5/30/08 and were told that Quinn had an "abnormal" EEG. There were several times when he was sleeping where his left and right side of his brain were not in sync and there were some spikey things recorded in his brain activity. What does this mean??? I'm not sure either but the neuro said he doesn't want to see spikey things in an EEG. The rest of the appointment sorta went by in a blur. I guess there is some correlation between the "spikey EEG's" and developing epilepsy in the teenage years. :( He put Quinn on Depakote (A.K.A. Valporic Acid.) It's used to treat seizures and is also used as a mood stabilizer for people with Bipolar Disorder.

The good news is that the neuro has seen some gains/increases in speech while using Depakote and there is some speculation that if we treat Quinn's "spikey brain patterns" now we could prevent him from developing epilepsy in his teenage years. We will return to see the neurologist in 2 months to see if Quinn's speech is progressing and repeat another EEG to see if the Depakote affected his "spikes." If so, we will keep him on Depakote for a while (maybe a year or two) and then take him off and see what his EEG's do.

As for us.......I thought I'd pass along some tid bits for when we talk next time.

A LOT of people have been asking me if I've read Jenny McCarthy's book on Autism. Yes, I am aware she has a son with Autism and yes, I've read portions of her book. No, I'm not in agreement on everything she's done to help her son as many of the treatments she's used are somewhat controversial and difficult to follow.

Yes, I am aware of the gluten free diets and the dairy free diets. So far the reasearch is inconclusive as to the effectiveness in these diets on children with Autism. We struggle every day with getting Quinn to eat ANY food let alone specific foods. Our goal is to make sure he's at least eating something healthy every day. Until the research comes out about the direct link to advances in these diets, we are currently choosing not to follow them.

Yes, I've heard about the claim that vaccinations may be linked to Autism, and yes, both of our boys have been vaccinated on schedule. There was no thermisol and no mercury in the vaccinations our boys received. They stopped using mercury in the vaccinations prior to the time our boys were vaccinated. Furthermore the research is inconclusive as to vaccinations causing children to become autistic. Here's a link if you need more convincing.


Well now that I have that out of the way I can tell you what would be most helpful for us. Don't be afraid to ask us about Quinn and the latest and greatest. This is a lot for us to think about and it's nice to have friends and family to talk to that are understanding. Some times, we may just need a sympathetic ear. Please when you see Quinn go out of your way to talk to him and see if you can get him to make eye-contact with you when you talk to him. I know he's shy and takes a bit to warm up to but he needs to practice eye-contact and social interaction with others. I promise this will be the most serious post and I'll ease up from here on.

What's next?? We're waiting for a referral from Quinn to have an MRI and more blood work to make sure he's tolerating the Depakote well. I will post more as we find out.


EEG Pictures

All wired up.

Quinn doesn't like being wired. :( (This part was hard.)

I'm ready to sleep with all my head gear on.