Brynn’s Starting to Question…

 Brynnon is starting to question things and put the pieces together. He asked me yesterday morning what happened when he was eating his cereal and his bowl was about to spill and he could not stop it. It was a seizure, a simple partial seizure because he did not loose consciousness I told him… While doing his Home School yesterday afternoon he completely messed up in his math, adding two digit numbers he carried when dealing with single digit answers adding a tenth and ended up with most of them wrong. He was disappointed as he thought he had done an excellent job and would have had them all correct. We went over them all and I showed him what he had done wrong. He counted by tens to tell the time instead of by fives. We spent all last week going over two digit addition and telling time. He said when I reminded him about counting by fives to read the clock “it is there in my brain but I couldn’t reach it.” Last  night he asked Why he has to take so much medicine. My heart skipped a beat… I told him the truth. You have Epilepsy and we need you to have “No Seizures” to protect your brain so you can learn and not loose what you know. His next question was obviously more difficult to answer. Why isn’t the medicine stopping them, again I told him the truth… Your Epilepsy is a little harder to treat and we need more than one medicine and maybe try different medicines together to stop them. 
 His seizures are very light when he is having them this past week. He is still having some simple and complex partials during the day and he does have the myoclonic and some partial ones at night and a lot of moaning while sleeping too. Definite seizure activity but at least we are not having major tonic clonics/tonics while sleeping. I spent some time last night thinking about things, researching and seeking answers once again. I don’t think the answers will come easily and I don’t like feeling like I cannot help my child. When he had the first EEG done the seizures were coming from the top and moving downward. This time they are coming from deep in the frontal lobe. This explains why his seizure types have changed and also explains some of his other symptoms. 
 Treated or untreated the evidence is obvious to those that know Brynn best, seizures have taken part of him away. Seizures have affected his ability to learn, retain what he learns and his ability to progress forward. Seizures do affect the brain when they are prolonged such as Brynnon’s major ones have been, they actually cause brain cell death. Michael Wong, the physician heading a 2007 study at Washington University School of Medicine, stated that the observed dendrite damage accounts for the occurrence of cognitive impairment seen in those with seizure disorders. Scientific data does suggest that recurring seizures may contribute to nerve cell injury in the brain associated with declines in cognitive function and quality of life. Repeated studies have proven certain groups of brain cells may die after a single extended  or repeated small seizures. Research over the last few decades show that Seizures do affect Learning, Speech, Higher Brian Functions and  Memory. Frequency of Seizures as well as the length of the seizures are the most important clues to what damage is being done to the brain. Obviously to prevent further damage, Brynnon needs to be completely seizure free. There is no way to know how long it has been since he has been seizure free, because we were not watching him as closely before while awake, at all while sleeping and we did not know the symptoms well enough to even recognize the partial seizures. Knowing what I know now I can say certainly he has had seizures since he was at least 5. There is no way to know how many tonic clonic seizures he has had while sleeping or how long they were. I regret not researching more years ago after the first extended tonic clonic. I think most of all I regret listening to people who said seizures do not hurt children, seizures cannot kill you and it’s no big deal. Yes people, seizures can harm the brain… yes people, seizures do kill… It certainly would have helped if the very first Neurologist would have asked more questions of a parent who knew nothing about seizures. It would have helped even more if the second Neurologist would not have dismissed my concerns with learning, regression and cognitive function. That was over 2 years ago, it angers me to think had he listened we could have medicated him then and perhaps already have made the progress that we are looking for… Worse it could have prevented the damage to Brynnon’s brain that is irreversible. Yes, I do realize for most children Epilepsy is not going to damage the brain… This was not the case for Brynnon obviously. Yes, I do realize statistically he has a small risk for death due to a seizure. I also realize that is a risk I am not willing to take without knowing I did everything to prevent it. The audacity of some people to even suggest and say the things they say is beyond me. The research even suggest that he is at a higher risk for SUDEP as well as an early death in general because he has a Lower IQ. If the current Neurologist is correct Brynnon’s IQ range has always been what it is, nothing changed that. If he is correct both the Developmental Disability and the Epilepsy are both caused by a Malformation in the brain. Yes, the research even supports that IQ’s do not change with seizure activity, cognitive function does.
 Trazadone does seem to be helping Brynnon sleep, we should hopefully have him on a more normal schedule in a few days. He is sleeping good this morning, along with Abigail and Brandon… While Brett plays on Animal Jam… Time for everybody to get up and start our day… Taking the rest of the week off from Home School for Hanukkah! Yeah!  🙂

Read more:

Meeting News: Do Seizures Damage the Brain? Jack M. Parent, M.D….

Do Seizures Harm the Brain? Donna C Bergen, MD…
Epilepsies in which Developmental and Psychiatric Disorders May Be Comorbid…

Epilepsy and Learning

Most people with epilepsy do not have intellectual disabilities, but a substantial minority of people with intellectual disabilities have epilepsy

What is a Developmental Disability?

Symptoms of Mental Retardation…

Developmental Disability…

What are Developmental Disabilities?


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