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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tardive Dyskinesia & Finally Being Heard

Bryce suffers from a medication-induced "tic disorder" called Tardive Dyskinesia. Basically, he has involuntary muscle movements of the mouth region and of his hands and/or feet. It is in close relation to another well-known neuro-muscular disorder, Tourette's Syndrome.

The following is provided by the site, TD Center.

Tardive Dyskinesia Symptoms

Those with tardive dyskinesia engage in repetitive, involuntary movements without purpose. These may consist of any or all of the following:

* Movement of the lips and tongue (grimacing, smacking, pursing, sticking out the tongue)
* Rapid blinking
* Impaired finger movement or "fluttering"
* Rapid movements of the arms
* Toe tapping, moving the leg up and down
* Twisting and bending of the torso (in extreme cases)

There are also other similar, but unrelated movement disorders which are sometimes mistaken for tardive dyskinesia:

* Dystonia: Dystonia is characterized by sustained muscular contractions which can result in the entire body twisting into abnormal and sometimes painful positions. It is usually congenital, but can occur as a result of injury, a bacterial infection, lead poisoning or drug side-effects. However, while most types of dystonia may pass, the tardive variety is usually irreversible.

* Akathisia: This particular condition manifests itself as a compulsive need to move about, driven by inner feelings of anxiety or even terror. This is sometimes related to symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but is most often caused by drugs that block dopamine receptors (dopamine being the neurotransmitter that carries instructions from the brain over the nervous system). Unfortunately, this condition is often misdiagnosed as a psychological problem, leading to the prescription of yet more drugs, thus exacerbating the problem.

* Tourettism: This is similar to Tourette's Syndrome, a set of tic disorders that range from facial jerks and spasms to sudden uncontrollable exclamations. In most cases, the only way to determine if such symptoms are indeed true Tourette's syndrome or related to tardive dyskinesia is to obtain a thorough medical examination and review of psychiatric history.


Bryce displays many of these "signs". But primarily severe mouth/tongue movements, finger touching and even constant pulling on his clothes. He does NOT even realize he is doing it. Sometimes his feet and toes go "wild" as well. Plus now his speech is being affected.

I have said to his Psychiatrist COUNTLESS times that there is MORE to the story than what is on the surface. Now that the tics are seemingly more prominent, as is also now again, more volatile and emotional outbursts, I'm thinking that there is a "volatile combination" at work in my kid...

One being medication-induced TD (tic disorder). The other is an undiscovered brain injury from a severe impact with the sharp corner of a bedpost when he was two years old, where NO tests were ran that I remember, even though I said I had NO idea if he passed out, seeing as I wasn't in that room when it happened.

I thought both of the kids were sleeping at the time. That is until Bryce came to the hall of the trailer bloody and screaming and crying. Then I noticed I saw SKULL showing through his forehead.

Since then, he started to "change" in to a violent, emotionally charged 'hellion'. Before then, he was sweet, gentle and most of the time very happy and loving ALL of the time.

Not to mention a fall where he had a concussion a few months prior to this, where he misstepped going in to the house at about 18 months old. That time, he hit the side of his head pretty forcefully, due to the direction he fell after his foot slipped.

So, after talking with his Case Manager at Child And Family Services, where he also goes for his Psychiatric appointments, and catching him up to speed about last night's conversation and plans with his doctor, his CM (Case Manager) is going to help me with researching Bryce's records from when he fell, and look more in to the possibility of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the possibility that most of his mental disorders were triggered by an underlying brain trauma.

And if need be, he said he will try and "sweet talk" the Psychiatrist in to FINALLY doing tests like an MRI or a CAT scan (if not even both) to see if there is scarring or any evidence from a possible brain injury that was overlooked all those years ago.

At least now, FINALLY, I am being heard. I'm not being passed off, or told that it's not a possible scenario. I'm just sorry it is taking THIS long to get somewhere. But at least now the gears are starting to turn and something, ANYTHING is being done.


Renegades said...

Good job for you advocating for your child.

singedwingangel said...

I am glad they are going to look for something more. I have to wonder if a nasty blow Doug took when he was much younger that left a HUGE goose egg on the front of his head..

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