Anissa – “Sweet 16”
Since Anissa was free of the severe personality change from the negative side effect of the anti-epileptic drug Tegretol, she still contended with various types of seizures for several years. In 1984, we learned that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, was using a PET scan to measure brain activity and to aid their epilepsy research program. An appointment was scheduled for August 2nd and at that moment, her seizure activity stopped. Was that a sign from God to let us know we were in His perfect will?
Anissa endured the 1,000 mile round trip to NIH, blood tests, EEG, long waits and visits with doctors, plus many other adjustments from her normal routine. Yet, she had no seizures throughout a four-week span, even though her daily dosage of Tegretol was cut in half to reduce tremors. No drugs were administered to her for 24 hours preceding the tests. It was a shock to us, therefore, when the results of the EEG indicated Anissa’s brain activity was in constant seizures, classified as absence or petit mal. Since this was a drastic change from her other two recent EEG tests, it made us wonder if the anti-seizure medications had brought about the return of the petit mal seizures.
After these tests, however, the doctors felt that Anissa would not be a good candidate for the PET scan, because of her inability to undergo the scan while awake, and the required lengthy stay in the hospital. The doctors agreed that it would take a real miracle to correct her condition. Shortly thereafter, NIH acquired the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner. The neurologist felt it would be wise to have an MRI scan done on Anissa to determine whether the corpus callosum was thickened, damaged or non-functioning before considering a split-brain operation.
A scan was scheduled for Anissa on June 14, 1985. The radiology results reported: The examination shows the lateral, third, and fourth ventricles to be of normal size and in normal position. No evidence of abnormally increased or decreased signal is recognized in the brain. Since there was no evidence of structural damage, the doctors suggested that her seizures originated from a chemical malfunction in the brain. I still wonder if the medication (Phenergan) prescribed for Anissa at 6 months of age caused a chemical imbalance. Phenergan contains the antipsychotic component phenothiazine, which should never be given to a child under the age of two, or before the brain has fully matured.
Being constantly aware that God holds the key to Anissa’s ultimate victory, we continued to pray and seek for a breakthrough. One day, during the summer of 1986, while ironing clothes, these words came into my mind: “Make an appointment at the City of Faith for the second week in September!” I questioned this, knowing that according to a letter dated 4/1/85 from CEO, Dr. James Winslow, Jr., the City of Faith Medical Center did not yet have a neurologist on staff. Also, the trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma would take several days, so a final test would be if my husband was willing to go.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 John 4:1 NKJV
My first thought, then, was to check and see if they had a neurologist on staff. To my delight, they reported that a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Liphard D’Souza, was joining their staff on August 1st. Although Anissa was now 19 years old and considered to be an adult, Dr. D’Souza felt he could be of help and wanted to see her. The first available appointment was the second week in September! This confirming word caused our hopes to soar! With expectant faith, we planned our trip, trusting in His Excellent Grace to bless our going and coming.
(Stay tuned as the search for a cure continues on my next Post!)
To contact Anissa’s mother email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To take a virtual tour of the healing center go to http://www.wellspringhealingretreat.org