We have been warned about shunt malfunctions and infections from the very beginning, but just like everything else bad, you still never think it will happen to your baby. So after tracking Byron down at work, we headed down to Children's. We were told earlier than kiddos with shunts get priority and boy were they right. In a waiting room with probably 30 other children, Elliot went right back. He had a Fast MRI done first, which, showed that he has A LOT of brain!!!! So his brain is sponging back like it should be. Then Elliot's shunt was "tapped", which is where they put a needle into his shunt and draw out Cerebral Spinal Fluid to send for testing to determine if he has an infection or not. The bad news, this takes 48 hours to determine. The neurosurgeon resident then put a new set of stitches on top of his other stitches to ensure that no more leaking occurs. One of the big problems with a leak is that, where fluid can get out, bacteria can get in and we don't want that. She also turned Elliots shunt back up, which means that for now they want an even smaller amount of fluid to be drained in hopes that it could solve our problem of the oozing Cerebral Spinal Fluid. Then the nurses had to get an IV in him to draw blood for more testing and just in case he needs fluids while in the hospital. The had to poke our little baby multiple and I mean MULTIPLE times to find a vein. They eventually had to just put the IV in his poor little head. That was probably the hardest part of the evening, we finally know what Elliot's cry sounds like when he is in pain...I just lost it, its a horribly sad cry.
But through all the pokes, "tapping the shunt" and new stitches he once again proved how strong he is and what a trooper he can be through all this. At 11 o'clock at night they finally admitted him and they had a room ready for him in the NICU. On the way to the NICU, we had a quick pit stop for some X-Rays of his brain and tummy to look at the shunt. Once to the NICU it was like Deja Vu...
Elliot was admitted back to the exact same room, with the exact same nurse that admitted him 3 weeks ago, Byron's favorite nurse too. It felt most weird that this felt normal, I do hate the feeling that this could be normal for little Elliot. But at least we are in the best hands with the best team. They luckily had a sleep room available for Byron and I, not that we could sleep much, but at least we were just a few doors down from Elliot and it made it easier for those night time feedings.
This morning, for the first time ever, Byron and I were both present for Rounds (usually one of us had just stepped out as they started rounds, so this was a nice change of pace). At Rounds was Elliots entire Neurosurgery team, all the pediatric neurosurgeons, nurse practioners and residents. The only one missing was the one that did Elliot's surgery and we will see him later today. They all poked his little head, bounced ideas off one another, shared what they could with us and darted away. We finally got to meet Dr. Handler today who was the first neurosurgeon who called us the weekend before Elliot arrived. They mentioned during rounds that his skull looked great and that his bones are overlapping just like an infants should for now, and that its a good sign that Elliot isn't showing typical signs of shunt infections (vomiting, irritability, extreme sleepiness, etc.). We just now are waiting for Dr. O'Neill to stop by and let us know the plan of action. We have 2 scenarios I believe, one is to be discharged today and they will call us with the results, or the other is to stay until the results come in.
Alot of things are still unanswered for now and Byron and I are continuing to process what all this means and we haven't gotten it down to the best exact description yet...we will continue to update as we know more information. For now we are hanging in there and just waiting around like sitting ducks.
|Grandma attempting to burp him|
|Daddy and Elliot nap time|
|Lovin' the lamby|
|Deep in thought|
|Waving to everyone saying "I'm alright!"|
|"Can somebody please get this thing out of my head"|
|Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed|