Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PANDAS Awareness Day 2013, One mothers story

Today is the First Ever PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day, and even though I don't get the time I would like to keep up with my blog, I can not let this day go by with out a post. 
PANDAS is one of the reasons, my blog time is a thing of the PANDAS..  because it has steeled way a normal childhood from my children.   I don't have the time right at the moment to share our story with PANDAS.  I'm hoping to find  time later today, fingers crossed..
I do however have permission to share one mothers story with you all... and If you lucky I"ll be able to share a lot more with you as I find time though out the day..

Here is her story.
PANDAS AWARENESS DAY…..this is Gianna’s Story

I share our struggle, so that others will not have to struggle.

When Gianna was 1 yr old, Gracie had strep 4 times, Skyler 3 times and I had it 3 times that year. We never swabbed Gianna for strep because the doctor said children that age rarely have strep and she showed no classic strep symptoms. However, she chronically had a fever spike that year of 101.8F. The fever would lower to 99.8F, go away briefly and return a few days later. She almost never had a normal body temperature. At the same time, her neutrophil counts (her immature white blood cells) were at a chronic scary level…just above leukemia levels which had us seeing a hematologist/oncologist for months. We now know she has neutropenia, so when she comes in contact with an infection, her body cannot make neutrophils fast enough to replace the ones her body is using causing illnesses to linger for long periods of time. A compromised immune system was building and creating the perfect storm for PANDAS.

Just before 2 yrs old, Gianna became very sick and a few days later her personality changed far beyond the typical toddler behaviors. She was always such a sweet, loving toddler. However, she turned into a raging, frustrated animal with blank stares and an inability to learn colors, letters, or retrieve words. I remember crying as I laid in bed asking Christian, “What am I doing wrong? I am parenting her the same as Gracie and Skyler, and they were always so sweet, compliant, and likable. I dread getting up every day knowing how difficult Gianna will be. It is like she changed overnight. I guess this is what the terrible 2’s look like. I guess I was blessed to have never gone through that with Gracie and Skyler.” I was heartbroken and exhausted.

Things calmed down between 2 1/2 and 4 yrs old, and I had no answers as to what changed her personality overnight and what brought my sweet little girl back…until Monday, Dec 10, 2012. You see…PANDAS parents can often tell you the day and exact moment they lose their child to PANDAS. She woke in a pee soaked bed. I knew something was wrong because from the moment I put big girl underwear on this child, she never had the slightest accident. Within minutes, I realized she had a fever of 101.9F. She was off…almost mute, stuttering, unable to find the words in her head. Her look was blank. The color in her eyes had disappeared…all that was left were BIG BLACK PUPILS. She sat watching TV while drinking a bottle and in a panic said, “Mommy, I can’t see. I can’t see.” I went to her and placed my hand on her leg so she knew I was there. “Mommy, I can’t hear you.” Pure panic…was my daughter having a stroke? In 2 minutes, her vision and hearing returned.

Off we went to the doctors, MRIs, EEGs, blood work and lots of worry. I came home from all of this to a phone call from my sister. “Jack just tested positive for strep. I just wanted you to know for Gracie’s sake since the kids were all together Saturday.” My heart sank…another child with PANDAS. This cannot be possible. It is supposed to be rare!

The weeks that followed brought me back to the Terrible 2’s Phase. She was totally non-compliant…down right defiant, but with a totally blank stare. She could not process anything we were saying to her. She was no longer behind those big black eyes. This was NOT my Gianna. She did not speak much except to tell me not to step on cracks (OCD), she had to wash her hands because they felt germy (OCD), she could not eat that food because it felt or looked weird (sensory issues), she was scared and could not sleep (anxiety), she was not hungry (anorexia), or she peed her pants (urinary frequency). And to voice these needs was a struggle…each word was lost in her brain which was literally on fire (Learning Impairment) and she spoke like a baby (Age Regressive Behaviors).

With a 30 day course of antibiotics, Gianna slowly returned as her immune system quieted down and stop attacking her brain instead of her infection. That is what PANDAS does. The immune system confuses the basal ganglia in the brain for the same type of cells as strep bacteria; thus, the immune system launches a full blow attack on your brain cause inflammation and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Knowing the symptoms can change the outcome! Please, share the PANDAS awareness information I have posted today. 10 friends who have 10 friends share the information means 1000’s of  friends will become aware. You will touch a child’s life who is struggling right now, and the parents are sitting crying wondering where their child has gone.

I thank this mother very much for allowing me to share this with you... there are so many children struggling and so many parents wondering what is going on, what happened to my child, who is this child standing in front of me, why is my child acting this way... 

Folks we need to bring awareness to parents, to schools, to those in the medical community.  If you know the symptoms you can change the outcome.  
You can learn more about the signs and symptoms HERE

Help us pass the word along..  There is help for these children if they get the right treatment, but most children are getting incorrect Dx, they are being labeled according to the symptoms and not the cause. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Neuro Film Festival.

If I could ask you for your help..
There is a PANS/PANDAS Awareness video entered in the Neuro Film Festival.
Would you all please take a minute or two out of your day today to head over HERE  and vote for the PANS/PANDAS Awareness video and help spread the word about PANDAS.

Thank you for your help.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Another message for Boston Children's Hospital

Just got done posting this over at the Boston Children's Hospital Facebook Page..  It is so very important that they start listening and start learning how to treat children with this disorder.
This is my 13 year old son, getting the RIGHT kind of treatment for PANDAS/PANS
Last year at this time, my sons world was ripped away from him when he got a strep throat infection. My perfectly happy, healthy starting lineman for the school football team woke up one morning, deadly afraid if he played football he would die, until that morning football was his life his most favorite thing in the world. But at the mention of football, he was hiding under a blanket crying uncontrollably, along with that came other fears, and two days after that he had a blinking eye tic, the next morning after that his head was turning to the side and a should shrug tic came also. He was also running a fever so into the doctors we went and he tested Positive for strep that day... They treated the strep but it wasn't enough to stop the immune reaction he was having to the strep.
This last year has been a roller coaster ride of doctors and hospitals and improvements in his conditions only for him to be exposed again to make things worse..
Unlike with my daughter who had PANDAS for a few years now, antibiotics alone wasn't getting his life back for him.. Steroids helped a lot but it was only a short term fix. So in July 2012 he had high dose IVIG done at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.
BCH Please Please Please.. educate yourself, learn about PANDAS/PANS what it can do to a child, and what is the RIGHT kind of treatment that can help and heal a child... Do not let another child suffer from the wrong treatment.

Rally To Support Family who lost Parental Rights over Sick Child to Boston Children's Hospital

Thanks to Athanasius Kircher who read one of my earlier post about Elizabeth Wray over at my Mindlesschatterofabusymom blog.. I just received this Media Advisory. I knew about the Rally and was planning on going until there was a death in the family and my plans changed.. but I had never seen the Media Advisory.. This is Excellent. Thank you Lynn Johnson.. you are an amazing PANDAS/PANS warrior mom.

October 11, 2012 CONTACT: Lynn Johnson
PANDAS Resource Network


Rally to Support Family who lost Parental Rights over
Sick Child to Boston Children’s Hospital

Oct. 11 – 13, Blackfan Circle and Longwood Ave. Boston
Supporters working to return Elizabeth Wray to the care of her parents are holding a 3 day demonstration at Boston Children's Hospital to protest a lack of proper treatment for Wray's autoimmune disease Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders (PANS). Boston Children's Hospital blocked Elizabeth's parents from seeking treatment at a different facility by having their custody taken away and placed with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They and their lawyer are currently under a gag order at BCH's request.
What: A rally to return Elizabeth Wray to her parents for proper care and ask that Boston Children's Hospital recognize PANS for the legitimate medical condition that it is, and stop treating it is a psychiatric disorder.

When: Oct. 11, 12, 13 2012, 8am-3pm

Where: Blackfan Circle and Longwood Avenue across from Boston Children's Hospital

Elizabeth Wray Story:

The PANDAS Resource Network represents 4,000 families affected by this little known disorder.

Lynn M. Johnson
Executive Director
PANDAS Resource Network

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hoping this will help them see the light.

I posted this today over at the Boston Children's Hospital Facebook Page.
This is my Daughter.. In January 2013 she will be 11 years old. When she was 7 years old PANDAS changed her life.. If I would have taken her to BCH I fear They would have placed her in a locked
  psych ward and would have drugged her up on Psych drugs that would have done my daughter more harm then already was done. They would have let her symptoms get worse by not treating the problem, she never would have healed. She would have had to live her life every day with OCD, fears, high anxiety, sensory issues and an eating disorder... all because they want to close their eyes to the fact that PANDAS is real and it is caused by infections that can be treated with antibiotics. With antibiotic treatment my little girl is able to live her life... Unlike the children who go to this hospital for help and end up being ripped from their families and kept away from the treatment they so desperately need.
BCH Please PLEASE please.. educate yourself on PANDAS and the real treatment that has helped so many children with this disorder.. Don't let anymore children suffer at your hand with the wrong treatment.. Please stand by your statement "Till Every Child is Well" Learn and offer the correct treatment for PANDAS/PANS