Rebecca got her new wheelchair not long ago. It is so nice to have a new chair that fits her better. Her new wheelchair is a Convaid Rodeo.
I chose the Chocolate brown as the color for her fabrics. I figure I make covers for the seat anyhow, so I wanted to go with a more neutral color. Pink and purple are great, but this gives me freedom to decorate year round if I want!
As you can see her chair now has a tilt feature. This is so nice, so that when we she is tired from seizures I can just lean her back. No more napping upright. Also, it sits fully upright, which makes it nicer for eating.
I am sure any other special needs parent can share in the joy of new equipment! Medicaid and Insurance rules really limit families with wheelchairs. Rebecca will have to get 3-5 years of use out of this chair before we can consider getting her a new chair. The process to get one approved can be 6 months or more (this one went really fast, at only 4 months).
Becca is doing well overall. She had another MRI scan a couple weeks ago. The scans were great! In some ways the scan helped us figure out an important clue. Becca has developed an odd cough lately. She coughs like something in her throat is irritating her.
Before her MRI they turned her VNS device off (since it is a magnetically activated device you MUST turn it off before entering the MRI area). The nurse turning it off uses the programming wand to make sure the VNS is working properly. She got some very unusual readings, including ones that the battery was nearly gone. Lucky for Becca, we already had an appointment with the neurosurgeon that afternoon. Surgery was scheduled to replace the unit.
I took Becca to Duke yesterday morning and she had successful surgery to replace the VNS. It is a rather simple surgery, an incision over the old device, disconnect it from the wires that go up and around her vagus nerve, connect in new device and put it back into her chest. Last night she was up and about, playing as if nothing had happened to her that day. Today is a bit of a different story. The pain medications are making her very sleepy, and when they wear off she is uncomfortable. That means more pain meds, and more sleep.
Since her VNS was replaced we have not heard her cough once. David and I hope this solves the problem. The VNS has been such a huge help for her. She originally had it placed in September 2009. We have found it greatly reduces the intensity and duration of seizures. This in turn has improved her quality of life. She spends far less time having, or recovering from seizures. This is regardless of the fact it has not reduced the actual amount of seizures she has in a day.