Friday, April 1, 2011

Selah's Friday Test Resuls

Apparently everything's working just fine with Selah's shunt!  Selah's CT scan of her brain/skull showed that her ventricles are of an acceptable size (smaller than a normal ventricle, but not collapsed), which means the shunt is draining fluid at an acceptable rate for now.  (Selah's not being over drained or under drained at this time, although we would ideally like for the ventricles to grow larger, but not excessively large, which will occur with fine tuning/balancing the programmable shunt, but we need more time before anything is adjusted.)  Selah's ultrasound of her abdominal cavity also appears to be fine.  They did not find a cyst, which was their main concern.

So, then what was all the pain you ask?!?  Well, we're not exactly sure.  One guess is that because Selah's shunt was externalized for ten days (meaning the end of the shunt that drains CSF into her abdomen was pulled out of her abdomen where it would drain into a collection container outside of her belly during her hospitalization, prior to her shunt replacement), that when they did the shunt replacement, Selah's belly had to readjust to having it fill with CSF fluid.  This could cause painful bloating.  Another thought is that there is more tubing in Selah's tummy now (the neurosurgeon put in extra length when he did the shunt replacement since Selah is bigger now and he wants this shunt to grow with her until puberty, so there's several feet of tubing in Selah's belly), which might have felt uncomfortable at the beginning.  The tubing isn't supposed to brush up against organs, but there have been cases where it does accidentally bump organs here and there, causing extreme pain.  Another thought is that Selah had two incisions on her tummy which might have been causing pain.  One of the incisions is about an inch long, and that incision is the one where the shunt tubing was externalized.  That tubing had been stitched into place while it was externalized, so that particular incision was extra large, extra inflamed, and extra painful.  Selah's tummy pains could also have been a combination of all of these things, or none of these things, we just don't know.  The great thing is that Selah hasn't had any pains the last 48 hours, so we're praying for continued healing and no more pains! :-)

My friend's son, Rowan, had a VP shunt placed not too long ago, at the age of 4.  Afterward, his stomach was KILLING him for several days.  It hurt him so badly that they thought he had appendicitis.  They never discovered the source of Rowan's stomach pain, which eventually subsided, but it seems to be fairly common for people to experience stomach pain with VP shunts, particularly within the first week of the shunt being placed.  Also, if the VP shunt is draining a large amount of fluid, the extra CSF in the peritoneal cavity can cause discomfort.  One can learn a lot more from first-hand accounts via google searches than one can learn anywhere else!!! :-)  FYI:  Carrie is Rowan's mom; she's the one who made the beautiful quilt in memory of Chrissie.

The nurse practitioner for Selah's neurosurgeon recommended we visit with Selah's pediatrician regarding the possibility of Selah having reflux and/or other digestive issues.  Selah will see our pediatrician in two weeks for her 6 month well check, so we'll ask him about seeing a gastroenterologist at that time.

Selah is 6 months old today, and she weighs 19.8 pounds!!!  WOW!  She's not even eating baby food.  That's all from formula!  Recently, Selah has been eyeing everything we eat and drink.  She tracks our food, then kicks her legs with excitement, trying to tell us that she really wants to eat what we're eating.  Our pediatrician wanted us to wait until Selah hit 6 months before we started any type of solids (Selah has a history of aspirating), so we'll probably start trying some solids soon.  I don't want to try anything just yet because I don't want to add any more factors to the tummy equation.  I want to make sure Selah has at least a week of no tummy troubles before I change anything up.

Thanks for praying for Miss Selah!  Hoping she has another good night of rest without any pains!!!

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