Thankfully, Ross’s sunny disposition is good medicine for all of us, and we are looking forward to see what Ross will show us.Ross continues to make improvements in all areas. He is talking more, and his articulation is better, especially in the morning after a good night’s sleep. Dr. C, his new doctor, is methodically attending to Ross’s overall health and the seizure issue. The doctor ordered a blood test to check some important hormone levels. Ross is now taking medicine for this, and he seems to be more alert, less puffy, and more energetic.
I have been giving the doctor detailed records of Ross’s vital signs, sleep quality, and seizure activity. This analysis helps us to understand Ross’s seizures. One interesting fact, mentioned by the doctor, and confirmed by our data, is that there is a correlation between low blood pressure and seizures. This is not considered to be a causal relationship, although we hope it will give us clues. For example, Ross’s partial seizure activity is much less, and his blood pressure somewhat higher since he has been taking hydrocortisone.
Concurrently, partial seizures have decreased to about seven a month, rather than two a day. The two large seizures in the last two months were very mild.Ross is sleeping up to seven hours at night which helps his disposition and also calms his central nervous system. Ross’s mobility has markedly improved. He cannot yet walk alone, but he does stand up from sitting at his bed without any help, walk from his room (with Jeremiah holding his hands from the front) across the hall, down the ramp, and to the therapy room. He also walks from his room to the family room, again with Jeremiah holding his hands.
He continues to propel himself around the house is his wheelchair, using his feet. He is very good at guiding it. I tried to maneuver the chair while seated in it, which is not easy! Ross is also showing more independent thinking and decision making. Recently, at lunch time, he decided it was time to eat and took himself to the table. When he saw that his niece was sitting in his place, Ross positioned himself at the end of the table and waited for his lunch.
Ross’s speech is also advancing. One morning, he was lying in bed and seemed uncomfortable. I asked if he wanted to have his pillow moved, and he nodded “Yes”. After removing his pillow, I then asked if he would like a small pillow. Again, he nodded “Yes.” After I put the new pillow in place, Ross distinctly said, “Thank you.” Another time, again in bed for the night, I thought he would be more comfortable if we lowered the bed’s head section. I asked him about it, and then started to lower the bed. Ross said, “Don’t put down.” He then gestured upward with his hand. This morning he was watching the Tour de France on TV. At one point, Ross yelled at the television, “Turn right."
The most exciting “new thing” is Ross’s ability to stand on his own. Jeremiah has Ross sit on the edge of his bed with the bed elevated enough so that Ross’s feet touch the floor. Using raspberries as an incentive for Ross to move, Jeremiah gets Ross to stand. After Ross is standing, Jeremiah holds a raspberry just out of Ross’s reach in order to entice Ross to lean forward, sideways, down or up in order to reach the raspberry and eat it.
Ross has learned to stand without pushing down or pulling himself up as he does with the standing pole. After a few minutes, Ross sits down, all by himself.
For those of you who are interested in nutrition and brain health, I have discovered a web site. Of special interest is the research report about Omega 3s (High quality fish oil) for brain health. The web address is www.brainhealtheducation.org .
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Ross. We could not do this by ourselves.Blessings for all of you,
Onward and upward!