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Saturday, March 3, 2012

This is your brain on Ambien.

We've been using Ambien for about three weeks now and I've got some things to say about it. Nothing definitive. And maybe nothing that even makes complete sense. But I wanted to share.

Ambien does stuff. There's no denying that. There is an effect. I don't have to look for it or figure it out. About twenty minutes after it hits Christian's system, he is different. The look on his face, in his eyes, his heart rate, his body - it's all very different.

Noticing there is a clear as day difference is the easiest part. There are so many therapies and medications that I've had to hem and haw and make sense of whether or not they really have an affect. Not Ambien.

But I still can't make sense of it. I gave him a dose during OT and speech so they could witness it for themselves. They saw differences. But they couldn't make sense of it either. It's like there is too much going on at once to even give any yay or nay opinions on what we're seeing.

There is more movement, but more involuntary movement. Less coordination, but more strength. A lot more tone and posturing, but using it to roll. There is focus in his eyes, but it's hard for his body to relax. He's constantly moving. It's amplified disorganization. He's wired, there's no doubt about that. He makes sounds I've never heard before. He smiles more. His heart rate increases and his cheeks flush.

In about two hours he comes back to regular Christian. Regular Christian has more accuracy, more range, more relaxation, but movements are slower, far slower, and less consistent. Regular Christian floats in and out of attention.

But today, we tried Ambien in the morning. I didn't want to try it in conjunction with PT because his tone is just so high that he wouldn't be able to stretch or relax at all. As he was on his way back to regular Christian I bounced him on the yoga ball, which he usually likes. He's also always likes when we take his arms and pat the ball like a drum. So as I was drumming the ball with his hands, his hand opened up and he leaned into what we were doing. Then he lifted his head and gave me the biggest smile he's given me to date.

I cried happy tears.

I tried to duplicate it. I balanced him on the ball, tried my best to drum the ball and take video at the same time. Ummm, no. It was not happening. The moment had passed. But it's mine forever.

So I wanted to show you all what Christian looks like on Ambien. After watching the videos I decided it really doesn't do the actual affect of Ambien justice. Especially if you don't know regular Christian very well. But I'm sharing anyway.

Remember...these movements are very subtle and can be very slow. So if you're in a hurry, keep it moving!

This next video is of Christian's "rolling." I put rolling in quotes because he uses all of his extension and tone to do this. This isn't surprising because his tone and extension are triggered whenever he tries to move. This is just how Christian's brain thinks the body should move. So this "rolling" is not the PT standard for proper rolling by any means. But he does it. And Ambien gives him the extra tone and strength to get completely over to his back. It's not one complete movement so bare with the video. It will come.

Wait for

Are we going to stick with Ambien? Jury is still out. I'm not sure all that extra tone and posturing is good for him. And, of course, with brain stimulation comes more seizures. It's just law - when the brain is messed with that's what happens. (You probably noticed a couple of jerks on the videos.) To be continued...again...

And just for some comic relief, here's a video of little sister. Going through the videos, I forgot I took this one and it made me laugh all over again. Didn't you know? Lola is a budding superstar!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oh many things!!

First, I absolutely must commend you as a mom. You are so beautiful with both of your kids in the videos. They are so lucky to have you!! The way you feel about Christian is so evident in those 3+ minutes of video! I love how you talk to your kids in a normal voice, rather than some kiddie voice!

The videos were amazing to me! Tears spilled over when Christian rolled over. I guess I don't know anything, b/c I honestly felt that was a pure, true ROLL! He is truly amazing. I love seeing his arm in the air, reaching and stretching. Gosh, I just love how straight and outright his arms are too! To me, he is doing so well.

Some say, when they are trying to do something, they try to gather more oxygen in order to do crying, breathing heavier (at the beginning of the first video I saw him really doing that). Those sighs spoke to me in regard to that concept of trying to get more oxygen in order to do something. Like he was pumping himself up a little. I don't know, I could be crazy cakes : /

Lola, Lola, Lola....I vote more Lola videos!!! She is a pure doll. I love her, often times, Slash stance. So cute!! I see a blond Pat Benetar in her future ; ) My favorite parts of the video were when she looked at you and yelled, "I SING" and then when she said, "one, two, three, hit it!" It was cute how well she knew it, b/c then on the tv I heard, uno, dos, tres, hit it!" Adorable is an understatement!

Gotta go drug the kid....

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