Monday, September 28, 2015
If I were French, I might call our current situation with Sophie -- the hives, the CBD, the THC, the Vimpat and the Onfi -- LA SIT U AH SEE ON. There's something about the supercilious accent that helps me cut through the fear and cope. Writing it down here also helps me to impose some order, however illusionary or delusionary because, let's face it, after twenty years, the main thing I know is that refractory epilepsy is a big, dark hole and no one, absolutely no one, knows what the hell is going on.*
I had a conversation with The Neurologist this afternoon about Sophie's hives, and she suggested that I cut Sophie's dose of Vimpat in half. My initial response is Whoa. Any of you regular readers know that weaning anti-epileptic drugs, like weaning drugs for depression or anxiety, is serious business, and that the slower you do it, the better. I also carry around a veritable salt lick when it comes to neurologists' opinions and directives about drugs -- the titration schedules, the weaning schedules and the side effects. It's been my experience that neurologists, in general, over-prescribe, ramp up too quickly, take down too quickly and dismiss side effects. That being said, I see the hives, I have the tiniest gut feeling that they might be related to the Vimpat, and therefore, the Vimpat must go. I really like and respect The Neurologist, and she made the call. That being said, what if it isn't the Vimpat? Ripping off the Vimpat quickly will inevitably cause some withdrawal, including increased seizures and discomfort, but not taking it away could cause some serious shit. I've gotten good advice today from my comrades in seizurology and from my dearest friends. Christy of Calvin's Story (if you haven't read her writing, yet, you need to), said the most profound thing to me after she'd listened to LA SIT U AH SEE ON.
She told me that she has learned to never make a decision based on fear.
We chewed on that for some minutes, laughing at times over the impossibility of it all, how if we really sat down and thought about it, we'd have some kind of fear over all this shit we've faced and continue to face raising our children. We also acknowledged how our gut feelings are generally right -- maybe not even generally, but always. The trouble comes when you don't have a real gut feeling or it's occluded by -- yes -- fear.
So, here's the thing. I'm plain afraid of weaning Vimpat so quickly. I'm afraid that Sophie will go into status or will go insane. I'm afraid not to wean Vimpat because of the possibility of a serious allergic reaction or something brewing. While Vimpat has never really helped her, she's been on it for over seven years, so I'm banking on its relative uselessness as a seizure medicine as far as taking her off it. I have THC and CBD to help during withdrawal, and I have Diastat in the cupboard (currently expired because we haven't had to use it once in the nearly two years she's been on CBD) if there's a real emergency. On the plus side, we were going to wean Vimpat eventually, as soon as we had finished the Onfi wean.
When I lay out my fears and allow my gut to breathe, I think the Vimpat has to go. LA SIT U AH SEE On calls for it.
*If you have any ideas about what's going on or have a SIT U AH SEE ON of your own to share, please feel free to do so in the comments, especially if you're acquainted with epilepsy and drugs. I'm all ears -- fear and ears.