Friday, April 2, 2010

Keith Richards and My Daughter

“Your daughter,” the anesthesiologist said, “is the Keith Richards of anesthesia.”

I laughed. Keith Richards, guitar player for the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards, who was quoted as saying “I smoke weed all the time and I can’t remember what happened yesterday.”

Keith Richards and my 3 year old daughter…’s not the comparison I’m looking for when it comes to Samantha but I get it.

On this occasion, Samantha had just come out of anesthesia. She was bright eyed, bushy tailed and even gave me a gummy smile. Her stats looked great. It was like she had never been sedated. I was told as soon as the propofol ran through her I.V., she woke up.

Propofol was the last drug given to Michael Jackson. It’s a heavy duty drug.

I shouldn’t be surprised. At six months we were giving her rectal Diastat to stop her seizures. You start a kiddo on such a drug so young, their little bodies become used to it, immune to it effects. Since the choices are give your child Diastat or end up in the E.R on an ever bigger drug, you administer, thank the seizure gods you get to stay home and kiss your little Keith Richards good morning when they wake up from the effects.

I have a bag: a bag of drugs. These drugs are for Samantha and we don’t leave the house without them. I have been caught one too many times without our Ativan; thank you very much. But this bag of drugs goes against every mothering bone in my body. No parent should have to look at the clock to see when the last dose of Valium was given and when she is due for another.

Honestly, I’m a Whole Foods type of girl, give me a kasha knish and a cup of organic chai and I’m happy. I had visions of breast feeding, making my own baby food and only using pure synthetic-free, skin care products on my baby’s delicate bum. This world of prescription drugs, side effects, FDA regulations and watching the dreaded side effects actually happen is very odd and slightly disturbing to me.

But I do it. My daughter needs it. Her brain is not wired the same as mine or yours. I know these crazy, Keith Richards drugs have stopped her from seizing, lowered her erratic heart rate and even granted her a much needed night of sleep.

As a result there are days that I am the enabler. I keep track of when I have given what and if need be, when I can give it again. On most days, this protocol keeps us out the hospital and keeps Samantha seizure free. I try to ignore the comments of you give her how much of what??? And focus on the fact that many of those drugs have kept her here, with us. As Keith Richards would say…. It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere.


  1. We never had to resort to diastat, but my son's been through so many surgical procedures and other meds that we sure can relate. The Keith Richards reference made me giggle. And, you are so do what you have to do for your child. It IS great to be here...or anywhere!

  2. I had a phlebotomist joke with us once that he'd have an easier time finding a good vein in a junkie. I'm constantly amazed at the amounts of medicines he can take...when a children's dose of Benadryl knocks me out smooth!

  3. Posted this on FaceBook too:
    When we took our Sylvie into the ER for her first big seizure a couple of years ago, I asked if the ER staff if they had Valium for the parents too! Too bad they don't have an adult version of Diastat for those of us caregivers that monitor daily seizures. BTW: I still like the Rolling Stones--we find our inspiration where we can get them. And Keith is old, but keeps on rockin'! Maybe a role model for us tired parents?