Over the years, I have written about my special-needs daughter, Kelsey. She’s 33 and has multiple disabilities. Most of her disabilities came at birth.

I awoke this morning prepared to write a column about Mount Kilimanjaro. But my thoughts took me another direction.


Over the years, I have written about my special-needs daughter, Kelsey. She’s 33 and has multiple disabilities. Most of her disabilities came at birth.


As Kelsey has aged, her needs have greatly increased. Until about seven years ago, she was a happy, easy-going, childlike adult. Then depression set in.


I had some knowledge about depression. The obstetric world took years to recognize it, but there is a serious condition called post-partum depression. I still read my journal from the last two pregnancies, and it is very clear that my thought process was not functioning properly.


At any rate, Kelsey’s simple, easy-going behavior was changing. What made the situation so difficult was her inability, due to her disabilities, to give feedback.


We tried rearranging her day, using different schedules, and we changed her sleeping timetable. Yet, nothing improved.


Kelsey’s health has always been a challenge. We’ve been able to, over time, resolve a bone, eye or intestinal issue. However, this was not something we could quickly repair.


Nevertheless, the reason for this column ... somewhere in the three-year treatment of my daughter’s condition, it was suggested that we try a drug produced by Forrest Pharmaceuticals. The drug was called Namenda.


I can be somewhat anti-pharmacy. But Kelsey was very ill, and she needed help.


One doctor prescribed Namenda. He explained the drug and side effects. This doctor mentioned that he had success with Namenda and thought it might possibly work for Kelsey.


So I headed home and did my research. Namenda was used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. From what I read, it worked by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. Namenda (memantine) was known for helping people with Alzheimer’s think more clearly, although, it was not a cure and would not stop the disease’s progression.


That is where faith kicks in. My daughter did not have Alzheimer’s. However, doc thought this might help Kelsey’s brain. With C.P., M.R. and multiple other health conditions, he felt Namenda was a good choice.


The end of the story ... where do I begin?


Within the first month, Kelsey’s memory improved. She recalled experiences from her childhood, names, people, and places.


By the second month, I mentioned to Kelsey’s doctor what was happening and he simply smiled.


Well, after a few years of Namenda (no, I do not benefit financially from today’s topic), my daughter can put together puzzles (never done before), recall names and follow simple instructions. Her intellect has increased.


Kelsey has a greater ability to perform daily activities, find things, remember and converse. Plus she’s happy.


Are our brain chemicals different? I’m sure. But whatever chemicals have been swimming around in Kelsey’s brain, they are now in better order. Her daily memory and routine have greatly improved.


So when you get frustrated with the pharmaceutical sales persons in your doctor’s office, who make your wait a little longer. Just think, there may be a medicine which could change a child’s, and family’s, life.


It has ours.