Author Archives: Keara Engle

Why I Choose to Share Our Story

When you have a child, you have so many concerns and thoughts. One came up soon after I had my son, Cayden, four years ago. He was diagnosed with infantile-onset Pompe disease at just 1 month. At the time, I had no clue whether I wanted others to know his…

A Visit With the Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor

A few days ago, my 4-year-old son, Cayden, visited one of the specialists that he sees less frequently: the otolaryngologist, or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. Cayden’s been seeing this doctor since he was about 2. These checkups are necessary because Cayden has experienced hearing loss due to…

A Single Mother With a Broken Foot

I’m no stranger to our local urgent care clinics and hospitals. Usually, my 4-year-old son, Cayden, is the patient. Last week, however, it was my turn to need medical help. I had an unexpected fall off a friend’s porch steps and immediately felt the pain. This is my first time…

What I Wish Strangers Knew About My Son’s Rare Disease

When strangers notice the differences between my son, Cayden, and other 4-year-olds, they usually have a lot of questions. While I genuinely don’t mind taking the time to educate and inform people about infantile-onset Pompe disease, explaining things over and over can be a bit overwhelming. I can’t expect people…

Now I’m Hearing My Son’s Voice

Infantile-onset Pompe disease has caused a lot of challenges for my 4-year-old son, Cayden. Until recently, he was never able to communicate with us verbally. We depended on a few different types of nonverbal communication devices and techniques, which I’ve discussed before. But his ability to speak just…

What a Typical Pompe Clinic Day Looks Like

It was nerve-wracking for my son, Cayden, to be the first child in Pennsylvania diagnosed with infantile-onset Pompe disease via newborn screening. It was four years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Back then, Cayden’s visits felt very unorganized. However, our team of doctors has…

We’re Eyeing a Medication Switch to Nexviazyme

Recently, my 4-year-old son, Cayden, had an appointment with his metabolic specialist. This doctor manages everything related to his Pompe disease and is part of a team of doctors that diagnosed him when he was just 1 month old. They also oversee everything related to his enzyme replacement infusions.

Our Experience With a Holter Monitor

Last week, we took my 4-year-old son, Cayden, to the cardiologist, one of the many specialists who help manage Cayden’s complex medical needs. He has been visiting the cardiologist since he was diagnosed with infantile-onset Pompe disease at just 1 month old. When Cayden was diagnosed, he was already…

We’ve Found the Right Dentist

Last week, we again had to take my son, Cayden, on the dreaded 2.5-hour drive to Philadelphia. We usually make this trip to see all of Cayden’s specialists, but this time we went to the dentist. Plenty of pediatric dental offices are in our area, but none are very…

The Downsides of Sleeping With a BiPAP

I knew having a child meant that I would lose a lot of sleep, but I didn’t realize the extent of it. Most children sleep through the night by age 4, but my son, Cayden, does not. There are many reasons why sleep is challenging for him, but it doesn’t…