Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow up appointments

Elliot had a big day today.  He first visited Daddy's work and Byron was able to show off his boy.  Elliot of course was a stud and put more people under his love spell.  We then headed down to Children's for our appointments.  Today at Children's was a radio station doing a phoneathon to raise money for the hospital and the Children's Miracle Network was there doing arts and crafts with lots of the kiddos that are at the hospital.  Its was a zoo. 

We headed to Radiology and he had an ultrasound done to check out his shunt and to make sure its functioning properly and that the cerebral spinal fluid is draining properly.  He was a champ and let them lube up his head and poke around with the ultrasound.  Not a lot was explained to us during this, but we knew we had an appointment with the neurosurgeons right after the ultrasound and that everything would be explained to us then...HOWEVER, we have been in this position before, exactly two weeks ago to be exact where ultrasound techs left us with no info and then someone else comes in and tells us life changing news.  So, needless to say we were nervous wrecks waiting for the neurosurgeons to see us.  It didn't help that they were running REALLY behind and we sat in a quiet room for 45 minutes waiting, twiddling our thumbs and reassuring each other that all would be OK. 

As soon as the nurse practitioner walked in, her first words were, "well his lateral ventricles are draining perfectly".  This was music to our ears.  His shunt is doing its job and working properly!  It has been draining the cerebral spinal fluid nice and slow and the ultrasound did not show any bleeding in the newly vacant spots.  Dr. O'Neill (the Doc who performed the surgery) even decided that his shunt valve could be opened a little more to allow more fluid to drain.  They open the shunt with a magnet.  Byron got to help which made his day and it took all of 20 seconds to complete.  The nurse practitioner went on to explain the signs and symptoms to look for in case Elliot's shunt becomes infected.  We did learn however that Byron and I can not infect the shunt and that the only way it could be infected is in the 'OR' from undetectable bacteria.  Not like that is more comforting but at least we will know that we didn't cause the problem if a problem pops up...but it won't.

Our next appointment will be in 2 weeks for a Quick MRI which is much sooner than we had expected but Dr. O'Neill wants to be able to monitor his progress more closely considering his hydrocephalus is severe and his lateral ventricles were and still are quite swollen.  Byron and I prefer the more appointments the better because then there is less time between getting more and more answers.  The Quick MRI won't necessarily show us brain activity but it will hopefully show that his brain is "de-sponging" (I made that word up) and filling up the vacant spaces.  We won't really know about specific brain development until Elliot crosses those developmental milestones...but again our hopes are high and positive, but its really does feel like a life-long waiting game. 

Byron and I continue to be impressed by Children's, University Hospital and Elliot's pediatrician.  We have never had so many people follow up on both Elliot's care and my healing.  Here are a few more pictures of Elliot, but I have been bad about taking photos the last couple of days, I think the sleep deprivation is kicking in...

Wide awake and staring at his toys

Crazy eyes

Mom, stop taking my picture!


  1. Thanks for the update I'm glad to hear things are progressing well, with no complications! Sending our best wishes to you all.

  2. He is adorable. Thanks for the wonderful pictures and updates. Aunt Blair looks great, too! Keep that good news coming. Cathy and Jim McNair

  3. Hi guys! We are glad to hear Elliot had a good report at his first appointment. We continue to pray for more good news My goodness he is one good looking little guy! Hope you are doin well also. Sorry for any mistakkes, Haley is helpong:) Keep us posted on all your progress. Good luck with the sleepless nights. Should get better eventualy:) Love & miss youns! Lisa & Phil

  4. Hi is so amazing! And what great parents he has in you and Filson! You will have some incredible photo stories to show your little guy some day. All best wishes and prayers are with you for continued good news!
    Joni Martin