When we were making the decision whether or not to have fetal surgery our main goal was to avoid the shunt.
Fetal surgery cut the risk for getting a shunt in half, so it wasn’t too difficult of a decision for us.
The shunt itself isn’t a big deal. One quick little brain surgery, a tube here, a valve there, VOILA, the brain is now draining like it should!
(Of course, we had some unexpected complications, but that was pretty rare.)
The problem with shunts is, they break.
When your kid has a shunt, you are always wary.
He’s sleeping more than usual – growth spurt? Or is his shunt over-draining?
He’s sleeping less than usual – growing up? Or is his shunt under-draining?
He has a little fever – teething, or shunt infection?
He’s being extra fussy – normal baby, or broken shunt?
And my personal favorite – swollen scrotum – OMG, is that an inguinal hernia that his shunt tubing is poking through and now his brain fluid is draining into his scrotum?
Why yes, yes it is.
New mom paranoia takes on a whole new meaning when a shunt is involved.
SOOoooOOOooo, while many shunts do have to be fixed throughout a lifetime (especially when the shunt is placed so young), sometimes you luck out and never need a revision.
We were hoping Calvin would luck out.
But he didn’t.
His last MRI showed his ventricles that were TOO BIG are now TOO SMALL, probably from his shunt malfunctioning.
So tomorrow morning, Calvin will head down to the OR once more, for the 6th surgery of his little life.
We are hoping after tomorrow his brain will be JUST RIGHT and that perhaps his breathing issues will be resolved.
I was reading through my feelings about his last surgery and a lot of them are the same – except this time I feel like kicking and screaming and throwing a toddler-like temper tantrum.
“I don’t WANT to!!! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME GO!!!”
That’s how I feel half the time – the other half I want to cry.
Nate and our neurosurgeon both assure me that this is what is best for Calvin. That this is what he needs.
I hope they are right.
Meanwhile I will cuddle the crap out of this kid until they wheel him away.