Monday, October 3, 2011

Selah's Stomach

I had a few posts on Facebook in the middle of the night to pray for Selah, as we weren't sure if she was having a shunt malfunction issue or if she was having a stomach virus issue.  I thought I'd explain a little further, and continue to ask for prayer, although we believe it is something viral and not shunt related.

At our very first visit with Selah's neurosurgeon, he gave us a family handbook/guide to hydrocephalus.  It has a page of warning signs that are essential for anyone who cares for a child with hydrocephalus to be familiar with.  Because Selah has a VP shunt which continuously drains extra fluid from her brain so that she doesn't have too much fluid build-up within her skull, it is imperative that the shunt is functioning properly at all times.  It's actually life-threatening if it's not functioning properly.  One of the biggest signs of a shunt malfunction is vomiting.  So far, Selah hasn't had a shunt malfunction, praise God, so I haven't had to deal with this scare thus far.  (Selah's first shunt was overdraining her brain, which is the opposite of a shunt malfunction.  It was draining too MUCH fluid, instead of too little, which caused different issues.)

So, I awoke at 2AM to the sound of Selah crying.  (We use a baby monitor, and I'm a super light sleeper, so I usually get to Selah before she starts crying.)  I hustled to her room, reached in to pick Selah up, only to discover that she was all wet.  I turned on the big light and saw that she had vomited everywhere.  TONS of it.  She's NEVER vomited like that.  Ever.  It was scary.  It was all over her crib bumper pads (we had to install those to protect her head post-skull-reconstruction from bumping her crib when she rolls over), it was all over Selah, from head to toe (soaking wet), and about 3/4 of her crib sheet and mattress protector were covered in it.  As I held her in my arms, she continued to vomit.  I set her on her changing pad, to try to clean her up, and she vomited more.  I woke Mattie (whose bed/room is closest to Selah's) and asked for her help. 

Mattie took Selah while I cleaned things up.  The relief for me during that time was that Selah was happy.  She crawled around the laundry room, giggling, squealing, "talking", and being her normal self.  I had read that with shunt malfunctions, the baby will usually exhibit other signs, such as crankiness and irritability.  I took her temperature, which was normal. 

We put Selah in the bath to get her cleaned up, but as soon as we got her out, she vomited more.  She continued to vomit every 15 minutes until around 4AM.  Then it went to 30 minute intervals.  Then she slept for an hour or so without vomiting.  In the meantime, I kept trying to call our neurosurgeon's medical paging system, but it wouldn't work.  (Ugh!)  It kept hanging up before it would even ring.  I tried calling it from my husband's cell phone, as well as my own, but it did the same thing no matter which phone I was calling from. 

Because Selah was happy (when not vomiting), and she wasn't exhibiting other signs of shunt malfunction, plus the vomiting episodes started to space further apart, I decided to try to just wait until the neurosurgeon's office opened up to call to ask what they wanted me to do.  I prayed over Selah throughout the night/morning, asking for God to heal whatever was the cause of the vomiting or to reveal to me if she needed to have a CT scan done if it was her shunt malfunctioning.  (And I asked Facebook friends to join me in prayer.)  I felt peace that it wasn't Selah's shunt, so I stayed up with Selah in my arms for the remainder of the night/morning until I was able to call the neurosurgeon's office.   By the time the nurse returned my call this morning, Selah had completely stopped vomiting.  (Her last vomiting episode was around 6:15AM, with dry heaves at 6:45AM, then nothing since then.)  We've given her Pedialyte and a little bland food, and she's held everything down thus far, praise God.

The nurse doesn't think it's Selah's shunt either.  She confirmed that we're doing "all the right things", and told me to just keep an eye on her.  She said her vomiting wouldn't have subsided if it were her shunt, and the intervals of vomiting would stay close together, not space further apart.  Selah also wouldn't be very happy, and she'd become more and more lethargic and could go into a coma, which we would notice a rapid decline in cognitive functioning if it were her shunt malfunctioning.

I feel better about it all now.  Several people left comments that only "shunt moms" are relieved when it's a stomach virus because that means it's not a shunt malfunction. :-)  This means I'd love extra prayer coverage that this virus doesn't spread throughout the family. 

Thank you for praying.  I'm always so grateful to have a specific place to post prayer requests, knowing that people will be praying as a result.  Within seconds of my Facebook request, people were praying.  Gotta love how God is able to use technology to band His people together as we rally for His healing, His protection, His mercy.  He answered those prayers by giving me a peace that surpasses understanding.  Thank you!

No comments:

blog comments powered by Disqus