It’s been so long…

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I don’t even know where to begin! We are in a happy place, with less seizures, more smiles and lots of laughter! The Aptiom has been amazing for Brett, in addition to drastically changing his VNS settings. He has gone down to minimal seizures, with having only a few a week. Recently, he went the longest ever without a seizure for 11 days! He has done a year of PT and OT, worked really hard in both and made exceptional progress. He hasn’t used his wheelchair except for a handful of times, in almost 2 years. Initially Brett had fine motor control of a 2-4 year old. He is in range with his IQ now at 6-8 age level. He will start up OT and PT again soon and we look forward to seeing more progress. We also hope to get him into vision therapy, as he has a visual disorder that they haven’t figured out just yet. We will finally get Brett’s Service Dog in a few weeks. It has been a LONG and painful journey to get here… but it’s time. He has been through a lot and healed so much since then. I am forever grateful for the anonymous donor that donated through the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation as well as DomestiPups for this amazing miracle for Brett! 

I still can’t believe my Epilepsy Warrior Boys are 18 and 13 already!! 

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Brynnon is a handsome man now, at 18 he is still funny as ever. He still has a few seizures a week, which causes some aggression and irritability, but other than that he does relatively well. He has done well adapting to the world with his moderate intellectual disability and still loves to fix things, especially taking apart things to see how they work! 

With the time available and money needed I figured out that for me, sewing is therapy! I started the adventure wanting a quilt for Brett. When I saw the prices, I decided to make one for him. Well, that led to me making ones for all my children. I started making VNS Magnet Bracelets along the way too. Oh how I do so greatly enjoy making special needs items that will help a child feel special. I started doing vinyl decals for EMS alert, since we use them I knew other parents had a need for them as well. I got busy enough that I opened my own Shop on Etsy! Check it out! 
http://etsy.com/shop/EWB
Here are some of the items I have made for our family and other special needs families! 

Say Bye Bye to those black  plain medical bracelets that come with your VNS magnets and HELLO to having your favorite colors and your name embroidered on yours. Wear them
confidently because they are stylish, adjustable and comfortable. What are your favorite colors?
Let me make yours today!

So this is France?

12715553_10208265896782337_2488624869664445143_nI am a Home School Mom. It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise, I knew, I guess I just refused to admit it. I knew how terribly Brynn still struggles to read at a second-grade level. I knew too that Brett still struggles to work on the level he mastered 5 years ago. Somehow, it did come as a shock and caused great sadness to read in black and white that I have two children who are now diagnosed as being “Moderately Intellectually Disabled.” Perhaps deep down brynnbrett1inside I had hoped that the testing would provide clues to reach them, I hoped that I was missing. Surely there was something that would magically make what is taught stick in the brain for later use.
When your children are little and you wonder what they will be when they grow up. As a Mom, you see qualities in each of your children that make them unique and special in their own way. I can still see those qualities in Brynn and Brett, I still momma2think Brynn would make a great, fix it all mechanic and Brett would surely be a wonderful, caring and compassionate doctor. You have all these hopes and dreams of your children’s future and you want them to achieve great things. You hope that they will have even more happiness than you have and if at all possible that they will grow into successful and God fearing people, with a great deal of moral responsibility and grace that they will accomplish many great things.

Have you ever read “Welcome to Holland?”
12782539_10208366778464316_129385383_n I feel like I embraced Holland, which in our case is Epilepsy. I learned all I could about it and I learned to appreciate our family life in Holland. I joined all the groups, found others like us. I advocated I researched thousands of hours and I read more than the tour guides most refer to as physicians likely do about how we ended up here on the genetic map. I made the best out of Holland and did my very best to help all the other parents who ended up in Holland unexpectedly like we did. Now I have been told that I am not really in Holland, I am in France as we are not just dealing with epilepsy, it is moderate intellectual disability as well.  I knew Brynn had been diagnosed with Cognitive Disorder 12722143_10208366778544318_679468329_nNOS and Cognitive Disability, but I assumed that when his seizures were better controlled that it was likely that his cognitive difficulties would be better. His seizures are so much better controlled than they were 5 years ago when he completed his first neuropsychological evaluation. He has been on the same medication for over two years with no adjustments at all, so this is truly who Brynn is and where he likely will stay for life. Never in a million years would I have been prepared for his full-scale IQ to be 17 points lower. We saw an immediate 3-year regression with his second status Tonic Clonic seizure. It took a few years to even get almost back to where he was and he was already behind in all areas. I can only presume that this is what caused the IQ 12782387_10208366778664321_1202466114_nlevel to drop, I have written before about brain damage from seizures.  I couldn’t have imagined that Brett’s scores across the board would be so low either. Both boys score highest in Verbal Intelligence which I have read is usually the case in Moderate disability. I suppose this is a blessing, as they are both able to speak and understand a broad variety of words. So, I guess I need to explore all I can now about France. We will have to find more tour guides, join more groups and find out all we can about this place that we have been placed. I have to wonder, if it would have made a difference had someone told us when they were born that this journey would be different.
About the Seizures
Brett’s seizures still remain pretty intractable. He is having more big seizure free days since increasing two of his medications. Still having a multitude of seizures weekly. His frustration is evident, especially when he falls or has the seizure clusters. He is still having intermittent weakness in his legs and has not received the appointment for PT to see what the problem is with his ankles yet. Brynn is, for the most part, staying at a 1-2 seizure a week trend. He has gotten pretty good at knowing when he has had a seizure nocturnally, even without bed wetting, he can feel the effects and has no problem expressing me how he feels.