The Family

The Family
For Christmas 2010

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Missed It By That Much

Our appointment with the neurosurgeon fell on a Thursday, which just so happened to be the last day of July.  As it turned out, Nathan's doctor happened to be in surgery on the day off our appointment.  So we met with one of the neurosurgery residents while we waited for Nathan's doctor to finish in the Operating Room.  We explained everything that had been going on including the recent Lumbar Puncture and the appearance of the head bubbles.  They also took a measurement of his head to see exactly how big it was.

When it turned out that the surgery was taking longer than originally expected, the resident became unsure of what to do.  He didn't want to keep us there if he didn't need to, nor did he want to send us home if the surgeon didn't want us to go home.  So he decided to call up to the OR to find out what the surgeon wanted done.

Now this is where it gets tricky...and quite entertaining actually!

Neurosurgery is quite delicate.  It is BRAIN SURGERY after all!  So the resident would leave a message and then the message would get relayed to the surgeon when there was an opportune moment.  The surgeon would then send a message back to us, often asking for additional information or further details on Nathan's condition.  That message would then be relayed back to the resident who would then tell us.

We would then provide the answers or information that the surgeon had requested to the resident and we would repeat the entire process.  Sometimes we were waiting just a few minutes to hear back.  Other times we were waiting for 10 or 15 minutes.  It all depended on what was going on in the OR.

We were very grateful, though, that the surgeon took the time and attention necessary for his patient, because we would expect nothing less when he would be operating on Nathan.

Finally, when the surgeon had all the information he needed, he sent word back that he wanted to admit Nathan to the hospital.  The Third Ventriculostomy just wasn't working like we all had hoped.  Nathan's head was just growing too fast.  And it was becoming too dangerous.  The Lumbar Punctures weren't working as effectively as he had hoped either.  And since Nathan had had one about two weeks before, he was hesitant to do another one so soon.

So that left him with no other option but to admit Nathan to the hospital and try to work out another shunt.

We felt that this was unfortunate for a number of reasons.  First, we had agreed to the Third Ventriculostomy because there were really no good shunt options left.  So that was really scary.

Second, it was the last day of July.  And Nathan had never made it through an entire calendar month out of the hospital.  So that streak was going to stay in tact.  What made that doubly sad was that it also happened to be the 36th day in a row since Nathan was last in the hospital, which mark he had gotten to twice before.  So even with all of the good things that had happened and all of the progress that Nathan had made developmentally, he wasn't even able to set a new record for consecutive time at home.

Instead, we were making plans to have Nathan admitted to the hospital and had to start thinking and praying about what kind of shunt to do this time.

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