“Whoa” -Janet

11Nov 2019

When I was faced with the CTD diagnosis of my son, who is now 10, I felt a huge, monstrous, feeling of overwhelming and it never went away. None of this is his fault, but the responsibility, the volume of things that needed to be taught, the learning, the management of appointments, the therapy, medication, and paperwork was a lot to handle and it ultimately fell on my lap as his primary caregiver. Continue reading

31Oct 2019

When the news came out about Lumos stopping the development of the drug they were working on to treat Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD), as a parent, it was a very emotional day and made me realize how important the drug development process is to me, to our family, and to our community. I recalled seeing a presentation at the inaugural ACD CCDS Scientific & Patient Symposium in 2018 regarding the drug development process that was helpful and eye-opening for me as a relative newbie to the world of pharmaceutical drug development.

I was so happy and relieved to find out that the Vigilan study would continue to move forward and that Ultragenyx would take over the role as sponsor of this study. Most recently, Ultragenyx shared an update with our CCDS community regarding their role in the VIgilan study and their CTD clinical development program UX068. This was yet another reminder about all that I have yet to learn about this process.

For my husband and I, participating in the Vigilan study and being involved with the Association for Creatine Deficiencies as volunteers is extremely important to us, and we are so grateful to have opportunities to advocate for our son (Cadman, who is 4 years old and was diagnosed with CTD just before his second birthday), and play a role in the eventual development of a successful treatment for CTD. We have participated in the Ultragenyx online survey on CTD, and it was pretty quick and easy, and great to know we were helping contribute to the knowledge base of the team at Ultragenyx who are working hard to develop a CTD treatment that will hopefully make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients.

It can be overwhelming to try to understand the timeline and terminology involved in clinical drug development, as well as making sense of what all of it means for our son. In this presentation, Dr. Dave Weiner from Lumos does an excellent job of explaining the process. It is definitely worth the time to watch this if you have any questions about the drug development topic.

**Thanks to Erin Coller, ACD Ambassador, for writing this blog post.**

24Sep 2019

The Association for Creatine Deficiencies (ACD) recently interviewed Christina, a 17-year-old senior in high school, who was diagnosed with L-Arginine: Glycine Amidinotransferase (AGAT) deficiency as an infant to share her story in regards to her diagnosis, why advocacy is important to her, what her hopes are for the future, and more, in honor of Newborn Screening Awareness Month. Continue reading

13Sep 2019

I had the recent pleasure of attending an event hosted by the Oklahoma Rare Action Network (RAN) Ambassadors, Tamra and Jade. Together with representatives from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Michelle and Rose, they offered an opportunity to engage with staff from Congressman Markwayne Mullins office. Though the Congressman himself was unable to attend, the opportunity to take advantage of his staff member, Josh, being present was very productive in the effort to spread awareness of topics that impact the rare disease community. Continue reading

21Aug 2019

A phrase I hear quite often is, “I don’t know how you do it.” I don’t always know the correct response, so I usually just smile and take it as the compliment I think they intend it to be. I am not sure what they are seeing from their perspective. Are they seeing Jacob throwing himself to the ground in a temper tantrum? Are they seeing him frustrated when he can’t communicate his needs? Are they seeing me as a frustrated mom trying to do my best with the situation? Are they seeing him as a happy child? I see all of these things.  Continue reading

07Aug 2019

My fourth Ironman is in the books. Lake Placid, New York is a beautiful place and the trip was amazing. Beth and I chose this location because not only could I participate in the Ironman event, but we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and the venue did not disappoint! We won’t soon forget our time there. Continue reading

15Jul 2019

Hello again, friends! I know it has been a while since I have updated everyone on what’s going on in our daily lives. Well, I will be the first to say, things have been a bit hectic this summer, but the craziness is welcome and we love the way that our lives are evolving! Continue reading

10Jul 2019

The Association for Creatine Deficiencies is excited to partner with Coriell, a world leader in biobanking (the collection of biosamples for research purposes) to collect and store cells from patients with Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes. We need your help as a community to donate cell samples to enable research! Continue reading

07Jul 2019

I know I’m one of the lucky ones. We still have our son. There was a moment in time where I seriously considered giving up custody of my precious baby boy, my third child. Sam is 21. He has CTD and therefore, Autism, Epilepsy, Sensory Processing Disorder, food sensitivities, ah… you know the list. Continue reading

02Sep 2017

Spiro holding his lunch bag in the kitchen

Do you ever have those days or seasons where things are just ‘alot’? I know my family goes through those days. They are hard moments… they seem consecutively laid and they are heavy. Alot of people I know have kids. I don’t walk a day in their shoes, nor do they in mine. But over the years I have come across those folks who complain about… well… in my opinion what would not even qualify as a bad day in my house.

I have 4 little ones, and my 7 year old has CTD and Autism. We have alot of ‘whoa’ moments in our home. Moments where a seemingly insignificant task becomes the battle of all time. And its in those moments, that I really absorb that a typical family never has to deal with this, and really, we are existing on different planets.

I have felt this divide for so long. So much so, that I have a hard time making casual small talk. You know… just carefree happy laughy chit chat with people. I find sometimes that my days and stress with dealing with Spiro are so heavy that even talking with someone is difficult. If you’re not a special needs parent you’re not going to understand… those heavy days… That great divide is often unseen by others. And because it is unseen, how do you get people to understand? You just can’t unload and rain on people’s cheery day to vent the life of Autism and CTD.

So I try and smile and keep my mouth shut. I try and smile and chit chat, although it feels like nails on a chalkboard. It feels like tension. I just keep plugging along… nodding at the traumatic story of potty training your 2 year old when my almost 8 year old wears diapers… agreeing with the stress of having your 4 year old complain that he didn’t want to eat his nuggets when I have to spoon feed my son his meals 80% of the time… Or nodding as you complain that your child cried when you said ‘No’ at a store to a toy, where I could not even get my child in or out of the store/car/house because of transition issues.

The list could go on and on and on… I have my hands full of kids and their issues. Am I the perfect parent? Absolutely not!!! But I’m doing my best, and if you know a special needs parent, hey, give them a call, bring them a supper, fold a load of laundry, take a typical kid for an hour, bring them a coffee, give them a hug, an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on…

But don’t, under any circumstances complain about your kid’s runny nose. Because if you do… I’ll be sure that you don’t leave until you’ve changed my 7 year old’s diaper and dosed and administered his 17 doses of meds a day… Just saying…

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Disclaimer: All thoughts and ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog represent the individual blog contributor's opinions and not those of the Association for Creatine Deficiencies. The ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog, and any other locations on the creatineinfo.org website, should never be construed as medical advice, even if the information relates to actual health care experiences of the contributor. Individuals should always follow the instructions of their physician and make no changes to their care unless instructed to do so by their physician.