Scooby's Syndrome: Part Three

Halfway through July, Scooby seemed to be tired again. He began to fall asleep some afternoons but we weren’t too concerned. He was only on a tiny dose of steroids by then, so we assumed his body was experiencing withdrawal symptoms as it readjusted. He had blood tests which came back normal so we just tried to ride it out. Throughout the summer he continued to be tired but still functioning fairly well, so we just tried to adapt to his needs and wait for an improvement. We managed a holiday to Cornwall, which was fantastic, and it was only in the last weekend in August when things turned bad again.
Within a few days it was clear that something had shifted in his brain. His eyesight moved dramatically again. His balance and ataxia (unsteadiness and difficulty in movement) was worse and he lost his appetite again. We took him back in for tests but they showed nothing and a few days later he began to have seizures again. He went back into Manchester hospital for a week and many of his original investigations were repeated – intensive blood tests, lumbar puncture, bone marrow, CT scans and multiple MRIs. He and Ace celebrated their seventh birthday that week, separately at first, then meeting up in the evening where we were able to take him out, canulas in hands, to McDonalds with my brother and his wife who live in Manchester.
The week after, we went to hear the results of the investigations. The good news was that the lungs were now completely clear. But the bad news was far worse - the stuff was now not only at the back of the brain but it had spread round to new areas too. The tests had not given them any positive results, even though they had sent all the information to many other hospitals in the country, and consulted with specialists on an international level, it could still not be identified. As the letter later stated; He is stuck with a multisystem steroid-responsive condition, with hints at possible immune system disturbance (elevated IgA and IgE) but no diagnosis, nor even a pattern to which this seemingly non-inflammatory multisystem disease belongs.
We came home with a larger dose of steroids to keep his outward symptoms at bay, and some anti-seizure medication, but with no idea what would happen next.
The next few weeks were very hard. The changes in Scooby’s brain were affecting his body in new and unpredictable ways. His legs would sometimes shake, his hands would occasionally stiffen into unusual shapes, he had tremors in his cheeks that would sometimes turn into small seizures, he saw things in front of his eyes, and his hearing seemed to be affected. In addition to this, both medications have a powerful effect on mood and temperament, so he had a lot of frustration and surges of hormones. Because of all these things, he could no longer go to school. He was tired, overly emotional, and scared of what was happening to him. And of course, we were all those things too.
By November, there were still no signs that anything had improved, but as with all things, time has helped us to adjust. He seems to understand his feelings now and is able to control his rages better, which makes home life a bit easier. The education board have provided a tutor for one hour a day, so he is still able to learn and have something else to focus on for part of everyday. Scooby and Rocky have developed a very close relationship, as they are together all the time (except for two mornings a week when Rocky goes to pre-school) and Scooby quite often uses their time together to play school anyway, and gets Rocky to tag along.
And we’re hoping next week may bring something positive. Tomorrow, Richard and Scooby are going back down to Manchester and on Tuesday, he will have a brain biopsy. Obviously, we’re not thrilled about any brain surgery, no matter how minor, nor that it is so close to Christmas, but it is one more chance that they may discover what is happening inside his brain before it spreads any further.
So we would really appreciate your prayers that everything goes smoothly, and that he will back by the end of the week so we can carry on enjoying Christmassy things together.
Thankyou for keeping up if you’ve read this far and I’ll keep you posted about how things go!!


  1. Sending all my love to all of you. I dont know the right words to say - to be honest I dont think there are any right words.

    I will hold you close in my heart and, yes, I will pray - you know my feelings on that one!! If thats what it takes to get your precious boy better I will have a word with 'him'.

    Esther you know where I live and I would be more than happy to help out in any way I can - day or night - just shout up loudly and I will do anything you need me to do.

    Take care my friend....hugs and kisses to all of you.

    Much love, Shabbs xx

  2. We think you guys are amazing and are praying with and for you all

    The Giddens

  3. Darling girl!

    Of COURSE you have my prayers.

    Much love and many kisses

    Mars xx

  4. Praying for you all at this time, especially Daniel. He's a brave little munchkin!
    Hope to pop in and see you in January when I visit Lancaster if possible.
    Sending you lots of love and hope you all have a wonderful Christmas together :)

    Netta xx

  5. We are all praying for you all at Morecambe Community Church and please let us know if there is anything we can do!! It must be so hard and tiring and frustrating for you and I really pray that you get a conclusive answer on Tuesday and that you can go into 2011 knowing that there is HOPE!! :)

  6. Let us know what we can do, we'll pass on the info to all the guys praying at our end, and will be on hand with prayers and cake.

    All our love

    Phil and Beth

  7. Stumbled across your blog via the lovely Mars. As the mum of a child with long term medical issues I send you prayers and strength for the months ahead. Hope you get some good news this week.

    Jackie x

  8. We are standing with you in prayer,

    love to you all

    Jim Joy and family xx

  9. A BIG cuddle for my "Where's Wally" partner, and of course praying for all of you. Love you loads!! -Helen- xxx

  10. Hi Folks been reading all your stuff and it occured to me that I don't have a very clever daughter (Ali) at Uni doing bio medical science for nothing. She is going to print off your blog and take it in to see if her lecturers or any of their cronies know or could think of anything sensible. There is an answer out there somewhere and I know God has it in hand but sometimes he tells us to push a door.

    Will be praying for you all for Tuesday and the coming weeks. Love and hugs Doreen & Terry xx Ali sends her love too x

  11. Thankyou so much everyone, it means to much to know we are supported physically and spiritually during this crazy time.

    Doreen, that would be fab, thankyou. We know that Scooby's story has been spread around the global medical community, but I am certain that one day somebody will stumble across something that makes sense of it - and who better than people who study and teach it for a living - in fact, I have mentioned to his consultants that he would be a good topic for somebody's PHD!

    And Shabs - careful now - if Daniel DOES get better, on top of Matt winning the X Factor, you might start liking this prayer thing again....

  12. Praying tonnes and believing in faith for a break through. Lots of love and hugs to you all,
    Mansell & Tracy


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