07 January 2012

VNS Update

On 7th November 2011 Scrumpy had her VNS operation. HotHubs and I took her down to Dundee where we were thoroughly looked after, being given our own room with our own loo away from the hullabaloo that is a childrens' ward. The staff were all lovely and very supportive. When it was time for Hot Hubs to head home to Bear they came to sit with Scrumpy so I could get a drink or something to eat. All in all it was a very positive experience of being in hospital and thanks to my friend Michelle I had a good book to read to the soundtrack of Toy Story 1.

The operation itself went without a hitch and Scumpy has recovered well with two approximately 6cm scars. The big switch on was at the beginning of December and passed without incident. One of my fears had been that Scumpy would not be able to tollerate the sensory stimulous when the VNS fired (a side effect is you have a hoarse voice and a slight tickle) but even after two increases in stimulous strength she is still unaffected.

Has it worked? Well, so far so good. We have had several seizures which we have been able to treat using the magnet to boost the signal and avoided using emergency medication. The seizure has been shorter and recovery has been swifter. Previously Scrumpy would be wiped out for the day by a combination of seizure and medication but she has been more herself and up for more than watching TV in her room within hours of fitting which is a huge improvement.

Will it last or will it be a three week wonder, like all those medications we tried, who knows? For the moment we are positive and enjoying the increased "up" time. Currently seizures are at the same interval but hopefully they'll become fewer and further between as we progress with the VNS. It's early days.

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