Dominic getting diagnosed with Epilepsy last year by a pediatric neurologist was not anything I could have ever predicted. After hearing from more than person that Autism and seizures going together is not an unusual thing came as a HUGE shock to me. Dominic having the fourth seizure AFTER having the anti-seizure medication increased after the third seizure was very discouraging. When I saw my doctor for a physical in December and I told her that for the past few months prior to the appointment I had felt exhausted all the time even with several hours of sleep a night, she gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant. I was thinking to myself, good grief, I'm not depressed?!?! I'm just tired!!! But, I have to say, it's only been a month, and I definitely feel much more "balanced." The constant stress and worrying about whether Dominic was going to have another seizure had really begun to take a toll on me, both mentally and physically. Each of the four seizures have been very different in both the intensity and duration. The neurologist suggested upping the medication again after the fourth seizure and so far, so good! Being a caregiver for special needs children and adults is exhausting and constant. You have a whole different layer of worries. But, you also celebrate every accomplishment no matter how big or small. I feel like breaking out the New Year's Eve horns and marching around my house every day Dominic doesn't have a seizure.
I was having full blown conversations with Lauren when she was 18 months old. I was ecstatic this past Thursday because Dominic told me, "Can I ride the school bus?" Those full, spontaneous and complete sentences are not that easy to come by. Lately at home, Dominic has been "scripting" from old Barney videos. Darn that purple dinosaur!! Potty training Lauren was very easy for the most part. For Dominic, it took seven years. Getting his eye contact for more than 10 seconds is cause for a party! Back in December, we had a gal with Down Syndrome making her First Holy Communion at our Special Needs Mass for the disability ministry. When I was chatting with her mom, I was so excited for her daughter, I could barely contain myself. I told her, "it's almost like it's my daughter making her First Holy Communion!" Yes, that most certainly was a time for celebrating!!