Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Update on Katie the “Poo”

I have had some queries about how Katie is doing with her problems.  The good news is that we seem to be getting better with how we are handling them and some have truly gotten better.DSC00888

This morning, she went in for her final check for her Urinary tract infection that seemed to be ignoring previous treatments.  So far, its looking good but it will take a few days before the culture confirms this.

Her extrahepatic (outside the liver) liver shunt was corrected in January 09 and they said it typically took 6 to 8 months before we could know for sure if it was a permanent fix. Apparently, new shunts can form if there is too much back pressure on the liver from closing a shunt too quickly.  The last tests that were done a month ago indicated that no new shunts had formed but there might still be some leakage through her original shunt.  The procedure they used causes a slow growth of scar tissue that gradually pinches off the flow in the shunt.

Unfortunately, neither the doctors here nor in another location where these have been done regularly, had ever treated such a large shunt and so they did not have any clear idea of how long it would take to completely close it or if it would completely close.

On the seizure front, they have settled in at about one per week but we are getting better at spotting the precursory signs that one might be brewing. We have found that giving her a Keppra when her eyes are getting bloodshot and she is getting a bit “hyper” seems to reset this clock.  It was 16 days since her last one and for the first time she never did go into the full extension rigor that has been a constant trait of these seizures.  That is very good.  They are very hard on her.

Her meds are 1.5ml of Potassium Bromide/day and that is all. Her tests have come back with her measuring within the therapeutic  limits so that is holding and there seems to be no impact to her personality anymore.

She is the same lovable, adorable little minx that we rescued and fell in love with and she returns that many times over in the quality of life she adds to ours.

It looks like for the long term that she will be on the potassium bromide for the rest of her life but that is tolerable.  The occasional use of the keppra may still be required, too.   More and more, it is looking like these seizures are being driven by environmental things. We are suspecting chemicals used on yards to fertilize or control weeds so maybe, once we get on the road and away from residential neighborhood living, they may become more infrequent.


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