Well, unfortunately the time has come for Madison to have shunts put in her little brain. Some of you are aware that over this 4th of July weekend we had a little scare with Madison. Dustin and I noticed her incision site was swelling on Friday and we weren't sure why. On Saturday morning the site appeared to have doubled in size and that was more than enough to freak us out and prompt a phone call to the on-call physician from Vandy neurosurgery. The dr. (who shall remain unnamed for his protection since he wound up being WRONG) assured us that we had nothing to worry about as long as Madison's incision was not leaking fluid nor appearing infected. Needless to say this did not give us peace of mind because over the weekend the swelling continued to increase. Madison, however, did not seem to be affected by the swelling at all- she wasn't tender at the site and the girl was eating like a champ- we thought her appetite might be affected if she wasn't feeling well.
Now, I'm all patriotic and everything but the 4th of July holiday observance could NOT have been on a more inconvenient day this year- a Monday. Monday's holiday meant no contact with our pediatrician or more importantly Dr. Tulipan, Madison's neurosurgeon, to get some more information about the swelling since it wasn't going away. I really thought Tuesday would never come. But it did and I set my alarm for 8:30 am (just in case I dozed off- which I did) so I could call Dr. Tulipan's office first thing and get to the bottom of my baby's problem. After explaining the circumstances of Madison's swelling, we were encouraged by one of the nurses to take Madison to Children's ER at Vanderbilt. So, we loaded up and headed that way after her 9:00 am feeding. Dustin and I were not prepared to be back at Vanderbilt so soon after Madison's birth (she is 4 weeks old today) and it was a little more emotionally difficult for us than we expected. What didn't help the situation was that they tried to starve Madison during our 4 hour stay in the ER. She was due to eat at noon and at 1:30 we still weren't allowed to feed her. Needless to say we had a very unhappy baby on our hands and I was about to come unglued that she was starving to death. My momma instincts were in full force and I was about to tangle with the ER staff if they didn't let me feed her. For those of you who have been keeping up with our blog, at this time I would like to reference Dustin's blog from 6-18-10 "Final Moments at VUMC" when he recounted the story of me losing touch with reality about him not having a place to sleep in our family room. Motherhood has apparently brought out a protective instinct in me and you better not mess with my family. Yikes, that sounded like a threat. Because it was. No, just kidding. :) All I'm saying is that it killed me that my little girl laid in a bed for almost 2 hours without being allowed to eat and it hurt my heart and I did not like it. But I digress- back to the important stuff. Madison had a spine and head ultrasound while in the ER which was reviewed by Dr. Tulipan and his resident. They came to the conclusion that the shunt surgery we were hoping to avoid had now become a necessity for Madison. We were upset to learn that our sweet girl would have to undergo another surgery but we were reassured by the doctors that we did the right thing by bringing her in and the shunts would take care of that spinal fluid build-up and ventricle dilation. Thank you Lord for not letting us have peace about the swelling which prompted us to seek further diagnosis beyond that phone call to the on-call physician.
As I mentioned in my last blog, we do not know what challenges may/may not lie ahead for Madison. We were so hopeful Madison would escape this surgery but it is clear that the Lord has different plans. So, we just pray, and ask that you join us in prayer, that God guide Dr. Tulipan's hands once again as he works on our sweet Madison and that she be granted a full and speedy recovery from this surgery. As it turns out, we have peace about this surgery and what it will mean for Madison's long-term prognosis. We are prayerful that this surgery will be the last of procedures for Madison. It may not be but we pray it is.
We will update the blog with how things go as soon as we are able to. Thank you in advance for your prayers for Madison. You have no idea how it makes me feel to know so many people are praying for our little girl. My heart is full of thanksgiving for you and your faithfulness to pray.
Take care and God bless you!