Friday, September 2, 2011

Mercies In Disguise!

Here's what our cute prize fighter looked like this morning. Her black eye has now spread to include her left eye. In fact tonight while I was changing her diaper I noticed that her whole right temple and forehead are a strange shade of green. Healing is so grizzly as my mom put it!

And yet she still smiles!

So today was her appointment with the Neurosurgeon and her prognosis is she has Hydrocephalus. It means "Water On The Brain". We all have CSF (Cerebrospinal Fluid) around and in our brain. Our brain produces it and then it drains down the spinal column. Well Ella's brain isn't draining her correctly. Below is an illustration of what a normal CSF level is and then a person with Hydrocephalus. I've seen Ella's scans and this looks just like hers.

So what does this mean....she has to have surgery to have a shunt put it. They will drill a hole in her skull, insert the shunt then thread the valve under her skin and then the catheter will go down to her abdominal cavity where the fluid will be deposited. Here is an illustration of that.

From what the Neurosurgeon said this is a pretty "typical" surgery and he told me not to worry and to let him do the worrying....hahahaha...yeah right! They are going to drill a hole in my baby's head!!! The two biggest complications for Ella will be infection and a blockage of the shunt. Thankfully we did find it early...the doctor said it wasn't emergency surgery and it will happen in about 1-2 weeks. If left untreated though the fluid would build up and cause brain damage or death. This is one of those situations where now that we know she has it we are putting the pieces together and seeing things clearer. For instance she is clumsy, has a larger head (at 12 months old her head measured the size of a normal 20 month old), sleeps a lot (still is taking 2 naps a day) and has unexplained vomiting. These are all signs of Hydrocephalus.

With all this going on you would think I would be freaking out....of course I'm concerned, but the thing is none of this surprised God. He knew we were going to get this news. He knew that Ella's brain wasn't functioning properly and the awesome thing is she has something that CAN be fixed. It's not like an inoperable brain tumor or something else. She will have this her whole life and it is something we will have to keep an eye on and know the signs for a blockage and deal with it appropriately, but still it's fixable!

The day before we got the news I was literally praising God in the entry lifting up my hands singing this song. Then today after the news this song came on so many times during the day and I know it's God again singing over his promises to me. His mercies can be Ella falling from that slide. What a pain in the butt to have to deal with the ER and then medical bills and of course my poor baby looks like she's gone 17 rounds in the ring, but without that fall we wouldn't have known about this condition as early as we do and there might have been more damage done. I love the way He looks out for us!


Melody said...

Wow. God's mercy never ceases to amaze me! Still pretty scary to have hole drill in your baby's head though...yikes! But like you said, it CAN be fixed..that is no small miracle!

Ed & Steph said...

Very scary! So thankful that you got in so quickly with the doc. And Yes absolutely amazing how these other events in life lead you to find the core problem!! HOW SCARY though! Do let me know when everything is scheduled? I'll be here to help with whatever you need!!!