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|
|Mom, stop taking my picture!|