Well, it’s official. Ruby’s epilepsy medication is not working. We’re switching to something new. I don’t know if it will work, but at least it feels like we are doing something. The neurologist gave us two choices. One medication has a slightly higher rate of success, but far more side effects, and the other still works pretty well, but has a slightly lower rate of success without as many side effects. We’ve gone with the optimistic gentler one, because if it works it will be better for her, and if it doesn’t, well, then we’re back where we already are and we still have another option.
Last night we had to start the process of weaning her off of the old medicine and starting up the new one. After we picked up the old stuff and the new from the pharmacy, and Edward unsuccessfully demanded donuts from the poor pharmacist, it was home again, home again to figure out what our new medication schedules would look like.
The biggest difference between the two medications is that the new one comes in pill form. The old one was a liquid, and Ruby has never had to swallow a pill before. Clearly we needed practice. The pills are tiny, so I looked around the kitchen for something Ruby could try swallowing. Unfortunately, nothing in our kitchen was that small and swallowable. I considered chopping up bits of apple or banana, but I was afraid they might dissolve or break apart in her mouth. That was when I found the answer to my problem.
I got out a sharp knife and a cutting board and started slicing the heads off of gummy bears. Perfect! We got Ruby a big glass of water and started our practice session. I have to tell you, the decapitated bear heads went down quite easily, I guess in hindsight because they were so slippery, so we felt good about having to swallow things. Edward was also happy to help out by disposing of the bodies of the murdered gummy bears into his mouth.
When my wife got home, the first thing she informed me of, after hearing this story of excellent parenting, was that the pills are chewable. Well, that may be true, but they are also swallowable, and we did not go through all of that training for nothing! When medicine time came around, Ruby and I were excited to show off our new found skills. She put the pill into her mouth, took a big gulp, and when she swallowed, the pill was still there. So she tried again. And again. No luck. Apparently medicine is not as slippery as gummy bear heads.
We told her she could chew it if she wanted, so she did, but said it did not taste good, so we went over some more advanced swallowing techniques. The “Fill your mouth with liquid and swish the pill around” technique, more specifically. This morning when she got up, we tried again and she swallowed the pill with no problems. All of our hard work paid off after all!
So hopefully this medication works, and we will not have any further problems, episodes, or incidents. And if we have to switch medicines again, we will be set, no matter if it is pills or a liquid. Let’s just pray we never have to move to injections.