I’m happy to report we are home. Wow what a whirlwind. On our quiet drive home, with Brody sleeping peacefully in the backseat, I told Bret “I can’t believe all that just happened.” Not only a very scary thing to go through but everything being unexpected and all of a sudden makes it hit a little harder. As I mentioned before, when we took Brody into the first ER, Bret and I both expected to be told he had a little something viral going on and that he would be fine. My heart fell to my feet when the doctor told us he needed to be transported right away. Each year at Brody’s annual check up, Dr. Honeycutt always reminds us it’s not a matter of if the shunt malfunctions, it’s a matter of when shunt malfunctions. Low and behold, with no warning, here we were.
The scariest part of the entire thing for Brody was the dreaded IV. He and Kylee have had their fair share and h a t e them. Once that was in and we were ready to transport, the thought of being in an ambulance scared him. Once we were in (I rode with him and Bret followed) he was LIVING it up! He quickly stole the hearts of the EMTs with his thick southern accent and had them laughing hysterically the entire ride. “What’s that there on yall’s wall? Where’d yall get all these doctor tools? Why we drivin’ backwards? What kinda phone you got?” No doubt that crew will remember Brody for a while!
This is the picture of Brody just before going into surgery the next morning. You can see the fear in his little face :( His nurses were wonderful and Dr. Honeycutt prayed over Brody, just like he did 5 years ago, before he took our baby away from us. Nothing makes kissing your baby goodbye before a risky surgery easy, but having a doctor like ours makes it a little more bearable.
The catheter in Brody’s brain that helps drain the CSF was completely blocked causing the fluid to build up (see previous blog for further details). The new catheter that Dr. Honeycutt placed relieved pressure immediately. The doctors told us that in *most* cases, shunt patients show the same symptoms each time their shunt malfunctions, so now we know what to look for in Brody. The hard part is knowing that his symptoms could have been overlooked SO easily, especially for people who don’t know Brody very well. I’m so thankful, even after doubting our first instincts, that we took Brody in.
Here are a few pictures of Day 1. He was out of the OR by 10am and was very lethargic ALL day long and was only awake for maybe a total of 1.5 hours for next 20 hours or so. He would open his eyes and we would excitedly greet him only to have him drift off again within a minute or two. Although he had several visitors, I’m not sure he remembers any of them being there. Most of them left evidence, which helped ;) Love the picture of Brody & his little cousin Riley!
The below pictures are from Day 2, today. HUGE difference! It took him a while but once he ate a little breakfast he ventured out of his room. He had a great time in the awesome playroom and walked the halls for a good while before heading back to his bed. Luckily he isn’t in too much pain and his incision looks great (I’ll spare you the pictures!). They discharged us this afternoon and after a good long nap, Brody was in a great mood to meet his brothers and sisters!
Brody has to take it easy but will return to school next week. No recess, PE or strenuous activity until just after Thanksgiving, when he goes back for follow up scans to check his ventricles. We’re watching him closely for signs of infection or a back to back malfunction, which they say happens sometimes. As for now, our brave little boy is tucked away in his own bed and doing well, which we are so thankful for!
Thanks again to all of you for the unending support. The prayers, words of encouragement and the many people stepping forward offering to help are so appreciated. A special thanks to everyone who helped with the other kiddos at home. It’s because of YOU that Bret and I BOTH were able to be by Brody’s side and we feel so blessed to have so many selfless friends and family members there when we need them!
Now to take a breather before both Korbin and Kylee go in for surgeries of their own in the coming weeks… ay yi yi! Will keep everyone posted as we get closer.