Friday, March 25, 2011

a small success

For the past few years M has had spells of oculogyric crisis... It's something that can happen as a side effect to a couple of his meds. These "crises" are scary and painful for him, and before all the trouble with his GI system he took a medication each day to try to prevent them. It was also something I could give him, prn, when it happened, to stop the spasms in his eye muscles.

Unfortunately, since all his GI problems started he's had to stop the side effect medication and has been having oculogyric crises more frequently... lately almost every day. I talked to his pdoc but all he could recommend was trying one of two medications... neither of which M should take because they increase his GI problems.

So... what to do?

I'd been trying to work with M on things he might be able to do, non-medication things, to relax the spasms. But when these crises happen he gets a little panicky and isn't very open or flexible about trying new things.

Last night he had a mild episode of oculogyric spasms and, since he wasn't panicking, I decided to try what I'd been thinking about... I grabbed something for him to visually track and told him to try not to let his eyes roll up as they were trying to do, but to follow my movements, and I slowly, and repeatedly, moved my hand down and to both sides as his eyes tracked along. I was careful not to make any movements that might cause his eyes to go up again... and amazingly, he said he felt better.

After he went to bed the oculogyric spasms came back and I went in and did the same eye movement/exercises with him and... again... it helped... and he was able to get through the crisis without medication or a lot of pain and anxiety!  That is a first! Up until now I've had to give him one of the medications that causes a worsening of his GI problems each time this happens... then watch his GI system closely, often having to give more of one of the GI meds to counteract what I'd given him, or watch him struggle and suffer with the eye spasms.

I'm so excited... if he can learn to manage these spasms without medication it would be HUGE.

And there is other important eye news...

R started complaining a couple of weeks ago of sore eyes and headache. She hadn't been seen by the opthamologist for a while so I took her in, and guess what?



Yes, she needed glasses. She was apprehensive at first and really didn't want them...



..but started to get excited once she'd picked out her frames.

Her glasses were in yesterday... an "everyday" pair and a "good" pair (I've learned it's better to just get two pair at once and have a spare pair around... because they are going to get broken!)

Doesn't she look cute? :)

And finally, if any of you saw the news about the wildfire in our area and were wondering... we got lucky and it didn't impact us too much. The north edge of the fire didn't get closer than about 5 miles from us before the wind shifted and started blowing it the other way. We drove past the fire, and saw the flames and the helicopter making water drops, and were very happy the fire wasn't any closer to us. It was really smokey here yesterday but we were not evacuated. (whew!

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