Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Son Doesn't Dream

Soon after my son began having seizures, my wife and I did what any doting parent would do; we sought a specialist. Admittedly, it was only after my wife's gentle urgings that I said to go ahead and do it; my distrust of doctors is that strong, especially after dealing with such morons like Dorkski and Novella. And as I mentioned in one of my previous posts (Here), I was pleasantly surprised by this Neurologist. He ordered the works for tests, including genetic testing (no fragile-x, no "autism" genes...color me unsurprised), EEG's and MRI's.

A few days ago, we got the results back. The EEG and MRI's were particularly interesting, to say the least. Apparently, he has been having seizures for some time, but we only just noticed them (believe me...a Grand Mal seizure is hard to miss). The EEG showed him having seizure activity when he's asleep, right before he slips into REM. As the Neuro said, these seizures are preventing his brain from actually getting true rest, and they are also preventing him from dreaming. This, of course, fascinated me to no end, and retrospectively, it made sense. My wife and I continually used to comment on how tired he always looked. The Neuro explained that because of all of this, Nate's brain wasn't growing or developing. Another thing the Neuro asked was if my son had suffered from a brain injury or encephalitis when he was younger, and my wife asked why. He said that what the MRI showed was something consistant with a brain injury of some type. My wife and I never mentioned to him that we believed he was vaccine injured, but when she told him that we believed that my son had developed an encephalitis after an adverse reaction to a vaccine, the doctor nodded his head knowingly.

For right now, the Neuro prescribed Nate Depakote for his seizures. We have to give him at least 10 days to see if it is working. The Neuro was extremely reluctant to do this, as there are absolutely no seizure medicines on the market that are without some pretty severe side effects. We're going to see how it goes, but it doesn't look promising so far (which is nothing against the Neuro...I understand that some people have different reactions to medication, which is something the medical and pharmaceutical industries do not grasp). If this doesn't work, we're looking at the Ketogenic diet; the poor little guy's brain needs fatty acids to help it grow and heal.


  1. Craig, Has the neurologist used any descriptor such as "seizure disorder of the right temporal lobe, or are the EEG's kind of messy, not quite definitive? Were you seeing anything like staring spells at all prior to a grand mal?

  2. He described the technical term for seizures that happen while sleeping, but lack of sleep has caused that to slip my mind. He wasn't very specific about whether it was localized, but he said that the EEG was pretty specific.

    As to the staring spells, yes, we did see some prior to his seizure back in November. We didn't know what it was at the time, though.