The immune system normally can distinguish between the body’s own cells and foreign cells, such as strep or other infections. When these foreign cells are recognized, the immune system attacks them. But sometimes the immune system makes a mistake and attacks the body’s own cells or tissues instead (U.S. Department of Health, 2007).
We do not know exactly what infection Adam had because there are not tests for those things (besides strep, and his initial tests didn’t show strep but we are waiting for more tests to come back which will show if he’s had it in the last several months). It looks like whatever infection he had targeted his brain. While that sounds terrible, the good news is that the neurologist said that when this happens, no brain cells are damaged. The communication in the brain gets mixed up, which causes the tics and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
A friend sent an email from one of her friends in Texas that has been through something similar. We spoke on the phone today, and she gave me some things to check in to. While the neurologist said that antibiotics wouldn’t help, this parent said that was their answer…and it took them years to find that out. The wonderful pediatrician we’ve been working with gave me her cell phone number and we’ve communicated via text today. I am leaving now to pick up the antibiotic she called in for Adam.
He has been calmer today, but has had lots of tics all day long. Yesterday he was extremely hyperactive and not himself at all. We are praying this will all be over soon, and our sweet boy will be back to himself.
I will keep you posted. Thank all of you for your love and concern, and thank you, Kristi Dina for sending that email.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2007). Understanding the immune system: How it works. Brochure retrieved January 11, 2013 from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/documents/theimmunesystem.pdf