Monday, March 17, 2008

Why is Mommy yelling?

Today, ordinary life almost turned into neurosurgery for Jack. Jack's new VP shunt is under a very thin layer of skin at the top left side of his head. The skin is so incredibly thin that there were already two little scratched areas when we took the bandage off on February 29.Here's a view of them from the top of his head. Well, Jack likes to practice yoga throughout the day and he gets into a downward facing dog position with his feet flat and his head on the floor. Here is something similar to what Jack does.
Because of his yoga posing, Jack rubbed another little area along the shunt. None of these areas bled and they were all healing up nicely by the time we saw Dr. Wellons for follow up. Dr. Wellons said that he wanted to continue to watch the areas carefully and he did not think all of Jack's stitches were ready to come out so he asked us to return in a week.
It's not been a week yet and today I found myself having to speak to the resident on call for neurosurgery. UGH!!!
Here's what happened: we went to get Jack's glasses adjusted. Jack was behaving so nicely especially for a 2 3/4 year old who did not get a nap that day. He was holding my hand and staying next to me just as I had told him to do before we arrived. It was just the two of us and one other customer in the optical shop so I told him that he could explore the waiting area if he wanted to. Like any typical child still adapting to walking/running, Jack took off in a bit of a clumsy manner. There were no sharp edged tables, nothing was on the floor to trip over, and there were no sharp objects in sight and it had a large open area so I felt safe in allowing him to explore. He went over by the eye glass wall and I moved closer thinking that he might need help to keep from pulling glasses off the wall. Next thing I know, he has run into the smooth plastic "thing" that holds up the eye glass display. The thing was right at top of the head height so he never saw it. As I said, it was smooth plastic. Initially, I just helped Jack get to his feet and went on about our business. There was no reason to believe anything was seriously wrong. Jack was not crying or acting strange and like I said it was just a piece of smooth plastic at the wrong height for Jack. On the way to the car, I noticed that the biggest shunt scab had a little bit of blood underneath it and I thought that he might have knocked the scab a little loose and caused some bleeding. Minutes later, when we were in bright light, I realized that there was more blood and the abrasion appeared to have at least widened and maybe deepened.
I called Dr. Wellons' office and the nice receptionist tried to help me but all the nurses were gone for the day. She asked, "Is this a medical emergency?" Well, the truth was I did not know because I did not have anything that I felt comfortable using to clean up the area to see what was going on and I did not know if I should head home or head to Children's. So I said, "It might be so I need to speak to someone medical--either a doctor or a nurse--so they can advise me." She put me through to the resident and he told me that I should go home and clean up the area and if I saw the shunt hardware, I should not let Jack have anything to eat or drink after midnight because he would have surgery the following day to remove the shunt, then a ventriculostomy would be put in, and after a course of IV antibiotics, the shunt would be replaced.
What?!!? Because of an everyday happens to every kid on the planet mishap?!!? I knew the skin was thin. I knew that Dr. Wellons warned us to be careful but could the skin really be that thin?
Fortunately, this time the answer was no but I am so incredibly ticked off that a neurosurgeon would put in a shunt so close to the skin that a kid cannot be a kid. Are we supposed to tie Jack down? Am I negligent because I let Jack explore the optical shop? So, yeah, Mommy was yelling tonight when she was telling Aunt Lisa about what happened. Aunt Lisa used all the words that Mommy was trying to avoid...she got it but Daddy did come across the house to ask who I was yelling at.
I've got to let Jack play and explore and yes, sometimes he has to do the downward facing dog. I don't get it but fighting him on it only makes him try to do it more and trying to pull him out of the pose can cause an abrasion too. I covet your prayers and would enjoy your spirit-led comments or bits of wisdom. [No destructive criticism needed.] ;)

1 comment:

Sidney Peterson said...

just yelling ? i'd need some alone time for a few hours. you know you're a good mom, he's a toddler, he's GOING to bump things. nothing you can do to stop it except not letting him explore and then what the point of being a kid ? emailed you the rest :)