Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Update Tuesday morning 4/3

First, the "bad" news:  Dale had another seizure Saturday morning.  Apparently, nobody told Dale's brain that the medication he has been taking does not allow him to have any more seizures!  'Cause he just keeps having them---with regularity.  This one was not too bad.....it only lasted about 20 - 25 seconds, he pulled out of it fairly quickly, and he was sitting down for the whole thing.  And that's the odd thing:  he was sitting down at the table when the seizure occurred.  Usually, Dale is walking down the stairs or trying to get out of the tub or getting dressed when his brain glitches.  This time, he was already down the stairs, seated at the table for breakfast, when his toe caught the table leg just a tad.  We would just pull back gently and allow room for our foot to move around.  Dale's legs began jerking; soon his arms joined in, and there was nothing he could do about it.  He was telling me, "Mom, stop it!"  He wanted me to somehow stop the seizure from happening, but, if I knew how to do that, I would have done so long ago!  I held him during the episode and talked gently to him.  Once his body relaxed, I scooted his chair back from the table and tipped it back on its hind legs to allow it the rest in a reclined position against the couch behind it.  This made Dale more comfortable as he recovered from the seizure.  Within a few minutes, his breathing was steady, movement had returned to his arms and legs, and he was talking just fine.  He wanted to stay at the table and eat; I overruled him, assisting him to the easy chair so he could lie back and rest.  (Even while protesting this, Dale was slowly leaning forward in the table chair.  He was too tired to keep his balance even while sitting!)  So, we made it almost two weeks since the last seizure, the difference this time being the extreme jerking on Wednesday and the extra long (week and a half) steadiness Dale enjoyed before the shakiness returned.

I called the neurologist yesterday to relate the newest seizure activity.  The answer came back:  keep Dale's morning dose at 3 1/2 pills but have him start taking 4 pills at night.  We'll see if the extra 1/2 pill is magic!  (Heavy sarcasm here.)  I also informed them of Dale's jerking episode Wednesday which they did attribute to seizure activity without actually blacking out.  I'm beginning to think Dale's seizures are not so much a result of his brain trying too hard to do something and thus glitching; I wonder if the seizures are a result of parts of his brain waking up more and attempting to make those neurological connections again or reroute and form new pathways.  I have no science to support this belief, just observation.  I told God about it because, after all, He is the only One Who truly knows how the brain works and where Dale's still needs healing.  I'm sure He smiled indulgently at my human attempts to understand His divinely superior design!

How many times have you set an appointment to get family pictures or school pictures taken, only to have one of your children decide to add some color to their face or cut their own hair---or a sibling's?  Spring pictures were Wednesday at school; the date has been on the calendar for some weeks.  My girls spent some time the night before choosing just the right outfit and planning how they were going to curl their hair.  About an hour before bed, my youngest, Emily, was digging through the disaster area otherwise known as their closet (who knew the jumble of toys and stuffed animals piled neck-deep at the bottom of the closet could pose a threat?) when she tripped over something (too many possible suspects to name one) and launched her small self headfirst into the depths of the chaos.  Fortunately, she didn't hit the back wall; unfortunately, her face smacked into the edge of the dollhouse half-buried in the debris.  She took the full impact on the upper cheekbone directly around the left eye.  I was in the shower and somehow didn't hear the blood-curdling scream she let out, but older sister Amanda came running.  Mandie soothed her and applied a cold pack to help with the swelling (it didn't).  By the time I saw the injury, Emily had quite a lovely knot protruding from her cheek, painted all colors of the rainbow......green, purple, blue.  My first words were, "Oh, honey, are you all right?"  (Stupid, I know, since she obviously was not.)  My second words were, "Oh, no, school pictures are tomorrow!"  Amanda hastened to inform me (as it was obvious she had already had this discussion with the injured princess) that Emily could simply turn her head so the bruise (and protrusion) wouldn't show.  I quickly agreed, averting another meltdown.  Her skin is so delicately fair that the discoloration seemed even more pronounced, and, even now, she still has a partial black eye.  I cannot count the number of times people laughingly asked us, "Did you beat that child?"  Just how do they expect me to answer that?  "No",  "Yes!",  "It's none of your business"?  If I were such a monster as to beat my own child, would I allow her to walk around with some lame story like, "She fell into a dollhouse"?  Truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

Dale went to PT yesterday and had a great day.  Alison, the therapist, was thrilled with how well he could walk, climb the stairs, and do the treadmill.  They even had time for a game of Cootie before our hour was up.  She said she can't wait for him to walk more steadily and do stairs easily so she can "graduate" him to coming just once a week.  Dale was very excited to hear this!  He had just asked me earlier that morning if there would ever be a time when he would not need PT twice a week.  Now he has a definite goal to work towards.  In fact, I had him alternate feet while stepping down the stairs this morning (something they worked on yesterday) and "made" him walk on his own, steadying himself, into the school building and to/from class today, reminding him that these are things he needs to be able to do on his own in order to drop to one PT each week.  He gets it; he's working hard and only complaining slightly about my drill-sergeant attitude!

We have been blessed lately with some sunshine.  If this keeps up, we'll no longer be able to claim rain-forest status!  Spring here usually means lots of rain (surprise), crisp mornings, and a few sunny afternoons which increase as the season progresses.  Today, it's raining.....buckets.  Not all at once, just a steady solid rain:  fat, cold raindrops that always manage to find the gap between your neck and your collar.  The kind that soak your jacket, causing you to have to put on a damp coat every time you need to go outside.  (I'm not complaining; I'm just stating facts!)  My poor Katie came to my classroom about half an hour ago to show me that her shoe had breathed its last.  She said it had a small hole in the side this morning; then, in class, she shifted her foot inside the shoe and the whole side gave way!  I went with her to the office to plead her case, and she was granted permission to change into her PE (tennis) shoes so as not to catch a cold from having wet feet.  Now she's sporting white sneakers with purple laces as a fashion accessory to her school uniform!  Just what every ninth grade girl wants.  :-D

I need to close, as I have other matters which I really ought to at least pretend to get to!  Thank you, all you wonderful folks, for your support and encouragement, love and prayers.  You are special to us and to our Father Who sees each time someone does something for one of His own.  God bless you.

Genesis 7: 11 - 12  "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."  (In case we here in Washington State start to feel too sorry for ourselves!)


  1. Kirsten, I have family in the Sea-Tac area, as well as Portland, Or. I have witnessed more rain there than here on the Gulf Coast and my birthplace in New England combined lol. Frankly, I think that God gives us the torrents to keep us humble, but if anyone has a better idea I'm open. I'm sorry to hear of the ongoing seizures, but it just gives me the incentive to pray more and harder. God will either give us the answers or the grace to accept what we can't change, and the peace that comes with accepting his time frame. Dale will recover fully, that I know. It's just on God's time. As always, you all are on my permanent prayer list. May the good Lord bless you and your family, and thanks as always for this blog. All my best, Eric

  2. This may be able to assist financially...not sure...

  3. You do not need to live in PA for the above site...the boy in this video has his donations go through help hope live and he lives in San Diego


  4. It seems God is definitely using Dale to help us all. I don't like when I read about Dale's seizures or his being unhappy...I want to ask God why! But I know I have no business asking Why...I kinda think that is one of the messages in the book of Job. When we pray, and Thy will be done...that means just what it says. We are saying we accept God's will...let it be done...I won't question you, I have faith and trust in you totally...but Iguess we forget when things don't go our way or how we think it should be. As soon as I catch myself asking why, I am able to take it back. I know God is using Dale and his family. the faith they have shown through this ordeal is faith I know I don't have but truly need to work on. My faith is great when things are going smoothly...but I know when they don't I tend to question and even wonder, why wasn't my prayer answered. But I say those words of the Our Father, I mean them, so I am accepting God's will. I hope I can strengthen my faith to the level of the Ostranders!!!

  5. I hate the seizures... But they seem to occur less frequently and with less intensity. Dale seems to be doing much more physically than he could a few weeks ago as well. Maybe we are witnessing the genesis of healing for which we have been praying.

    Here is a joke for Dale:

    A policeman brought four boys before a judge.
    "They were causing an awful lot of commotion at the zoo, your Honor," he said.
    "Boys," said the judge sternly, "I never like to hear reports of juvenile delinquency. Now I want each of you to tell me your name and what you were doing wrong."
    "My name is George," said the first boy, "and I threw peanuts into the elephant pen."
    "My name is Pete," said the second boy, "and I threw peanuts into the elephant pen."
    "My name is Mike," said the third boy, "and I threw peanuts into the elephant pen."
    "My name is Peanuts," said the fourth boy.