Sunday, August 26, 2012

Infection and Seizures

As it turns out, Alex's last seizures were caused by a strep throat. He had no throat pain, and no other symptoms except a bit of a headache and stomach ache. At the urgent care facility where we took him once he recuperated from the seizures, the doctor did not even recommend a strep test. But we insisted. We knew something had set off the seizures. Sure enough, he was positive. So, now we know that ear infections and strep will set off Alex's seizures. I suspect that the intensity of the seizure will be determined by how tired and run down he is. So, our best defense is sleep and rest. It also means that this year I will be spending even more time with my kids, because I can't leave Alex with a babysitter for a long period of time when there are so many variables concerning Alex's health. Erik met us last week where I have been training in NH, for a 2 week vacation. We have been altnating our training so that one of us is with the kids at all times. And, as I mentioned in my last blog, I ran many of my miles-40, in fact-in a 2 mile circle. Despite our difficulties, I managed to log my first 100 miles/week. I'll take 3 days to just swim and bike, and then hammer out the miles once again. Then we go home, summer over, training camps concluded, and we are back to preschool and mommy school and training at 4am and on weekends. Hopefully I will have done my homework for the Grindstone 100, which turns out to be a lot tougher than I had first thought. Only 7 women finished in the 38 hour time cutoff last year. Yikes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Another Series of Seizures

My article for All Tings Healing came out today. The subject is about using running to manage the stress of caring for a child with disabilities. The timing is strange because this morning Alex suffered another series of seizures, a byproduct of his brain damage, and something that we are learning to deal with as a part of our lives. In February this year, Alex had a bad series of seizures that landed us in the ICU at Yale. At That time,the neurologist prescribed rectal Valium which I can administer at home if he had another seizure, or series of small ones, that lasted for more than five minutes. Alex got in bed with me in the middle of the night and said he couldn't sleep. Early this morning we both woke up and I started to stretch to get ready for a 30 hour period of intense training, where I would cover about 60-70 miles in three training sessions, including one night run. Alex suddenly said he had a stomach ache and needed to throw up. After about 5 minutes of standing over the toilet, without actually throwing up, he started to seize. Today's seizures were very mild, and he was able to blink and respond to me between having them. But they continued for about 30 minutes. One right after another. My brother, an ER doctor, was on vacation next door to us, so after some observation and discussion, we administered one dose of the Valium. We were a bit concerned because Valium reduces respitory rate and so we kept a close eye on his breaths, counting how many times he breathed per minute. After 5 minutes, he started to relax and fall asleep. He woke up several times and finally fell asleep for a stretch. He threw up twice while sleeping. He's sleeping now. When he wakes up later this afternoon, we'll see if he needs more medical attention. As we live with Alex's seizures, I believe I am becoming more able to spot when a seizure may be immenent. For a child with brain damage, being overtired and even mildly sick is the perfect storm. I'm not us if a seizure can be prevented once the storm has begun, but getting sleep and eating a high fat and low sugar diet might help. My training will be posoned today, and when I again schedule this intense training, I will likely be running all 60 miles by doing 2 mile loop repeats. Running may reduce my stress but staying close to home is important, just in case I'm needed again.