A couple of weeks after Nathan had been discharged from the NICU, we were scheduled for his first follow-up with Dr. Riva-Cambrin, the neurosurgeon who had installed Nathan's shunt. It had been 6 weeks since the surgery, so the follow-up was routine and had been scheduled since before discharge.
This was our first trip back to Primary Children's and our first time taking Nathan anywhere other than the pediatrician's office. And it was quite an adventure!
Not only did we have to take one of the portable oxygen tanks and Nathan's pulse oximeter, but because PCMC is an hour from home, we also had to pack an extra oxygen tank (just in case) as well as Nathan's feeding pump and any meds that were due while we were to be gone. And to top it off, we had a small gym bag that we were using as our diaper bag that was packed full of supplies, including numerous burp rags and a change of clothes or two for Nathan (also just in case).
So as we walked down the halls of Primary Children's, we're sure we looked like quite the parade, toting all of Nathan's supplies and carrying him in his car seat carrier. Thinking back now, it's too bad we didn't take a picture of it!
The appointment with Dr. Riva-Cambin went pretty well. He asked how Nathan was doing, how his eyes were behaving, and how much he was throwing up. We let him know for the most part Nathan was doing quite well. There weren't really any issues with his eyes like there were a couple of months ago, but he was having some issues with vomiting, especially in the mornings, including one really scary one where we think he choked on it and aspirated a little bit.
In addition, since we had last seen Dr. Riva-Cambrin, Nathan's head size had gone down a little bit, which was a good sign that some of the fluid had drained from his head. However, his head size had not gone down as much as the doctor had wanted, which made him wonder if the shunt might be blocked. In fact, Dr. Riva-Cambrin actually hypothesized that because of all the scar tissue in Nathan's abdomen, that his body just might not be absorbing the fluid as quickly as it should.
So with the vomiting and the head size issues, Dr. Riva-Cambrin decided that he wanted to keep a close eye on Nathan and asked us to come back in 4 weeks for another follow-up.
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