During our wait, I connected with Dr. Shahinian of the Skull Base Institute of Los Angeles again. We had a phone conference to once again discuss Abram's case. He already had a disc of Abram's first MRI so I emailed him a large list of questions/concerns along with his most recent high-contrast MRI image of the cyst. Plus, I made a page for just our Neuros/Doctors to see on this website with videos of Abram's seizure-like episodes as well as a intensive list of past medical history and current symptoms/behaviors, etc.
Dr. Shahinian told me that he felt like the videos that I shared with him are not seizures at all instead felt that they were vision disturbances caused by the cyst. Sadly, there is nothing that we can do about that at all until we are able to get the cyst out of his head. Dr. Shahinian also felt that Abram's sleep issues also have a lot to do with the cyst, due to the fact that it is on his Pineal Gland and that gland in particular is responsible for our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. Unfortunately, there was not much more advice he could offer me at that point and suggested supplementing Abram with some Melatonin to help him sleep at night with the hopes that more sleep would curb the fussiness and agitated states that he has regularly (ahem! seemingly non-stop!). So, again I am left feeling torn. Happy to hear that a specialist in this issue feels that Abram is *not* having seizures and distraught at the fact that I can do nothing to help him be more comfortable and at ease. The Doctor even told me that he believes that this cyst WILL need to be removed but that he is not going to jump to do something invasive at this point. It seems so surreal having a child with such an issue. The fact that something is growing in his brain and there's nothing I can do about it until it causes Hydrocephalus just seems illogical. However, so does putting my child through the most dangerous brain surgery at only one year old.
It's just not fair.
So, in addition to seeking the advice of Dr. Shahinian, I also showed Abram's new Pediatrician the videos of the seizure-like episodes and he felt that they were definitely something to be concerned about. After discussing our son's issues with his insurance company we were hoping to be able to go out-of-state to a Children's Specialty Hospital but we are not allowed to do so until we've run the gamut of the State's University Hospital in Iowa City. Luckily, I found a great Neurosurgeon there and was able to get our Pediatrician to get us a referral there for a second opinion. I'm not sure what it is that I am looking for or what answer I am expecting to get but I just feel like my child is suffering at the hands of time and no one but me seems to think that it's time-sensitive issue. It's been nearly a month since I called our local Neurologist office to tell them of his episodes and I haven't heard a peep and it is beyond frustrating. I get and understand that they have priorities and other patients but it seems a little careless that no one can even call me back to explain anything or tell me that my concerns aren't justified if they aren't. A call from the nurse would suffice.
I guess I just am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and a little beaten down. I'm frustrated that we spent an entire summer going to appointment after appointment to not have any answers and meanwhile my son is suffering and unhappy and there isn't one thing I can do to make him feel better other than to distract him from his own discomfort for a little while with a toy or a warm bath.
It's really hard not to get angry.