Saturday, July 30, 2011


  Hope is such a wonderful thing and yet when it is dashed hurts more than anything. Understandably we strive NOT to get our hopes up so we won't be hurt, but invariably we do it anyway. (Or at least I do) Maybe hope is all I can hang onto some days, so it's better than nothing. Or maybe i am just a naturally hopeful, optimistic person.

  Lately we have had some things to be hopeful about. The first is that the US government is re-doubling efforts to get the grand-fathered Guatemalan children finally processed and home to their forever families. The last big visit down there was less than successful. They determined that one huge stumbling block to being able to advocate for us waiting families was the fact that the people in the group advocating for us did not have a legal position in order to demand to see and work on our adoption files. Well, that was solved by us waiting families signing a legal document giving them the authority to intervene on our behalf. Now they are going back to Guatemala, documents in hand, and demanding progress. I am carefully hopeful. I know that Guatemalan authorities do not always follow the letter of the law (theirs or ours) and they are not always rational. (OK, I am being kind with that. They are usually downright difficult in all areas) So soon we may have a bit of info about our most loved and hoped for little girl, Peri Brynn.

  The other most amazing thing that has brought us hope has to do with Seth. I found a child psychiatrist nearby who was willing to take him on as a new patient. Our great therapist has done wonders helping us tackle a lot of behaviors, but he didn't really dig into the reasons he is like that or try and help him work through them. He might be able to better control the behaviors, but he has not worked THROUGH any of his issues in therapy with him. The psychiatrist is a woman, very knowledgeable and actually spent an entire hour talking to us and Seth. I was really afraid that she would see some of our worst issues and want to just medicate the living daylights out of him. Instead, she congratulated us for all the progress he has made and came up with a BRILLIANT plan.

  She told me about research that shows that young brains that have suffered traumatic situations are like a machine that fritzes out, and that by using anti-seizure meds that slow down the electrical impulses in specific portions of the brain, you allow the brain to continue to develop and actually HEAL itself. The temporal lobe is the home of impulse control, of which Seth has NONE. He has had success with ADHD meds but those work by sedating the frontal lobe and slowing the child down. The brain doesn't continue to develop quite as quickly and the child suffers the side-effects like slow weight gain, etc. So, instead, you use a very low dose of specific anti-seizure meds, the child gains a longer time window in which to think through his impulses and curb them, yet the brain develops normally and there are fewer side-effects.

  Seth started on half of the lowest dose for the first week, then up to the full lowest dose the second week. This child is still very active but HAPPY and has not gotten in trouble in 10 days. That is an all-time RECORD for this boy!!!! He even told me he FEELS better. He hasn't been having nightmares, which were occurring 2-3 times a week before, and he is still eating and sleeping like a champ.

UPDATED: The anti-seizure med we are trying is tegretol

Hope. Hope for Peri Brynn, hope for Seth. Hope for normal lives, full of their own hopes and dreams and happiness. Hope is a wonderful thing.


Diana said...

What med is Seth on? Please email me!!! I'd love to know. This sounds so much like my little.

Reba said...

I am going to keep on hoping with you on both accounts!

M- said...

Thanks for posting this about Seth. I've been absolutley fighting meds for my (IA) 4 yr old b/c I didn't want him on stimulants, but his behavior is so out of control that it is starting to isolate us as a family. I'm not sure that meds are the answer, but you never know.