Blog Overview


Byron Pratt, age 10, has Cerebral Palsy (Right Hemiplegia) caused by a stroke before birth. In 2015 he developed seizures and a rare form of Epilepsy called ESES, neither of which responded to treatment with medications. On November 3, 2017 he had a Functional Hemispherectomy. He has had many other major procedures in his short life including surgery for exotropia in both eyes, tonsils and adenoids removal, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), Constraint Therapy, and heel cord lengthening. The recent posts are about the Hemispherectomy and what follows. Older posts about other procedures can be found earlier in the blog or by links in the sidebar.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Normalcy

Life returns to semi-normal.  Right now I won't let him out of my sight. Medicine at the ready I am watchful. I'm sure that will ebb with time. He's awfully cute!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Home!

   

The only people in the world who bring hospital food home. But we saw the chicken nuggets come in as we were leaving and couldn't resist.  More later but for now rest. 

Dishcharged

We are being discharged now.  What we heard from the neurologist was not great news but not unexpected.  From the EEG  there were some spikes on the right side so now there is a 50% chance that Byron  will have more seizures. But there is also a 50% chance he will not!  

We will not be medicating him right now which is great news.  We will have medicine in case he has another seizure longer than three minutes. 

This neurologist is wonderful. He said he was late this morning because he really wanted to go to church. I told him I thought that was a good thing and not to worry. 

Bob is sick now so we go home with a bit more than we came with but all in all not a bad outcome. 

Last Day - Fingers Crossed!


Byron is in better spirits today, a good night sleep and your own clothes can make a BIG difference.  

Byron's flu is very contagious so they have him in isolation.  Everyone who comes in wears a mask so we have only seen eyes on all of the staff.  But you can still see their warm smiles through their eyes and feel their care.

I am really hoping neither Bob nor I get the flu but its very hard not to exchange those pesky germs with this cute little guy,  Bob is starting to feel a bit wonky.

They just took Byron's lunch and dinner order which I'm hoping is not a bad sign.  Last night they only took breakfast.   We would love to go home but will accept what comes.

We have spent a bit of time in hospitals in the last few years and I have so much empathy for the long haulers.  I see them here in their really comfortable clothes and their grim smiles.  I have NO idea how they manage.  I know that the Ronald McDonald houses are life savers for these families. They have one right here on campus.  And it is in these times that  I really bless the iPad and tablet companies.  All the kids being wheeled around here on gurneys are watching movies or playing games.  I'm guessing it makes those long hauls much easier.

The neurologist will be in soon to read the EEG.  Then we will see...







Saturday, February 21, 2015

EEG

Byron had his EEG around 1 pm today.  He did a great job.




He made the technician laugh with his antics.  But now his hair has this Fab look from the glue.


Anyway - Byron is really tired, I can see it in his eyes.  It's not that easy to sleep here and as we moved our room at 1 am last night which was the second time they woke him from a sounds sleep (the first was for an 11 pm full Nuero eval with med students) I am hoping he will sleep well and long tonight.

EEG results tomorrow we are told and hopefully HOME!


Brief Update - Neuro

We met with the Neurologist at long last.  What a wonderful man.  He was kind and thorough.

He told us that in the last year they have discovered that there is only a 15% chance that kids with stroke will have seizures.  It's only 50% if they had seizures at birth, which Byron did not.

So given that the overall risk is small, the seizure could have been caused by the fever and flu.  He said that there is not a compelling need to put Byron on seizure medicines just now.   If he has another seizure without fever then we would begin a seizure medicine protocol. And if he were to have it it would be in the next year or two.

So now we wait and see and add another doctor to Byron's team.

Byron now needs an EEG here as a precaution and if his fever stays down we can leave tomorrow.




Waiting Waiting Waiting

We are in the area of Neurology called the "Theatre Neighborhood" .   This is Byron's room tag.

The pediatric floors are divided into neighborhoods.  I'm glad we got this one given my prediclictions!

All we are doing now is waiting for the neurologist to set us on our next round of tests, updates, results, consults etc.  Absolutely nothing has happened this morning except monitoring.  Byron's appetite is good, he is on Tamilflu, his fever is down and GOD BLESS the iPad!

I have been told the Neurologist is on the floor so fingers crossed!




Friday, February 20, 2015

Seizure?!

50-60% percent of children with Hemiplegia develop seizures.  The seizures usually occur in the side of the Brain that had the stroke.

We always knew Byron was at risk for seizures.  When he was about 8 months old he was tested.  He participated in a three day video EEG in Syracuse . He was hooked up to monitors and had to stay in a crib for three days.  If I thought he was having a seizure I was asked to  push a big red button marked "Seizure " (aka panic) and they would mark that time on the video and the EEG.  In the three days we were there I pushed it once but it turned out it wasn't a seizure.  Just some excessive baby eye blinking.


Fast forward to today.  Byron will be eight years old on March 28.  Today at 1:00 his school called to tell me that Byron had a fever and a stomach ache and that I should come get him as soon as possible.
I brought him home and he immediately fell asleep on the couch. 

After a while he woke up and started staring.  I thought he was just resting so I ignored it.  After about twenty minutes I came back in and he was still staring.  I couldn't see his face because his blanket was covering his mouth.  Still I thought nothing of it. Another ten minutes and I checked on him again.  His eyes were open still.  I called his name, no response.  Now I was worried.  I ran over pulled the blanket off of him and saw that his eyes were locked to the left, his left arm was twitching and he was unresponsive.  He looked like he was having a full blown seizure.  And it must have been going on for over 30 minutes.

I called 911.  With Byron's history the local hospital suggested he be transferred via helicopter to Westchester Medical.  Bob and I were invited to drive there while Byron would be taken via the helicopter.  When we left Byron  was still unresponsive. This was almost 60 minutes now.

I know if someone is having a stroke, time is of the essence.  Was Byron having a stroke or a seizure or both?  No idea nor did they.  His locked eyes were concerning.

Bob and I drove to Westchester mostly in silence, except for my occasional sobs. I was experiencing a feeling I have never had in my life.  I have never really grieved per se, even in the face of the death of a parent or friend.  I think of death as a meaningful transition and God's will.  I have cried but not what I would call grieving; that heaving, aching wailing.  This was different. My feelings  were deep and visceral and a pain perhaps only a mother can feel.  I was a mess.  Whenever I spoke to anyone on the phone the intense pain and tears and grief would come again.

When we arrived at the hospital we saw our son's helicopter on the helipad.  Such a strange feeling, seeing the pilot, a stranger to us,  closing up the craft after carrying our precious personal cargo.


We knew Byron must be inside the hospital so we kept walking.  I readied myself for whatever we might find.  

What we found was an incredible joyous relief.  On the way to the hospital I asked everyone I talked to to pray, send good wishes, love, blessings.  My friends and family are really good at this.  THANK YOU! And all of their good wishes bore great fruit. As always, Grace abounds. 

Byron was awake!  Conscious, breathing, grouchy and really happy to see us.

Almost immediately after we arrived he fell asleep.


Now it was on to tests to see what caused all this - CAT scan




Lots of blood tests, doctors visits and on and on.  But boy was I happy to have Byron back.  It turns out Byron tested positive for Flu so that may be a factor as well.

Our friend Elizabeth came and brought some comfort food.  We found a hotel for Bob and I am doing the first night shift.  Tomorrow an EEG, more tests and a consult with an expert Pediatric Neurologist.  

By Midnight they said they would have a room for us.  I'm writing this while sitting on a spare gurney.  

Before Byron fell asleep he had this face.  


Back to his charming self.  What a day!!