The New Adventure

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

McKenzie's Brain Exploration

McKenzie's cyst fenestration took place this morning way too early. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30, had meetings with anesthesia, nursing, etc, and finally got into surgery about 7:30. The procedure took about 45 minutes. We met with the doctor right after. He told us that they had located the cyst and made a hole in one end of it. The fluid in the cyst was basically stagnant cerebrospinal fluid that was a bright canary yellow instead of the normal crystal clear. The doctor was able to draw a lot of that fluid off through the catheter. He said that when they looked at the cyst again via ultrasound there was a dramatic difference in size.

Dr. Oakes decided not to go back in and poke a hole in the other side of the cyst. Doing so would have required using a larger endoscope which could have cause additional damage to the brain tissue itself. The cyst will continue to drain into the ventricle of the brain where the fluid will be reabsorbed by the body.

The brain itself seemed to react fairly well. The brain tissue that had been pushed aside by the cyst started to fill in the cyst area right after the doctor punched the hole in it. That's a really good sign that the brain should go back to its' normal location without any issues.

We're in a room now where we'll stay overnight for observation. Tomorrow morning, we've got some additional blood work to check for infection as well as a CT scan to see what the cyst did overnight. We'll schedule a follow-up next week hopefully with our pediatrician to get the incision site checked for problems. We'll also schedule another CT scan in about 2 months and again at 1 year to check the cyst. If there is no additional growth, we'll pretty much be done.

We'll be in Birmingham for a few more days just to make sure that there aren't any problems. We appreciate all the support from friends and family over the last few weeks. It's certainly made the trip easier. We'll post pictures once we get home since I forgot the cable for the camera. Til then...

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Molly's Hip Update

Today was our visit with Dr. Moses, the pediatric ortho doc at the hospital. We reviewed the x-rays that Molly had done on Monday and the doc wasn't terribly happy with what he saw. The left hip appears to be fine but the angles and ossification on the right hip aren't too great.

Molly's left hip is showing signs of ossification, or bone development, that is relatively normal. Her right hip is just showing tiny specks of bone growth. This means that her right hip is lagging behind in developing the socket that surrounds the head of the femur (big leg bone). As I understand it, if the socket doesn't develop well, there is a greater chance of the hip being loose due to stretched ligaments and increased chances of dislocation and possible hip replacement at some point.

So, at this point we're basically going to be getting x-rays every month or so to track development. Bracing is a possibility at some point in the future but is not necessary right now. Yay...I guess.

In other news, we received our authorization from Blue Cross for McKenzie's surgery next week. They auth'd us for 3 days inpatient...I hope they don't know something that we don't know since the doc told us it's a 1 day deal. Guess we'll see.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Time Updates

So, Easter has come and gone so we thought we could post a quick update as to what has been going on.

We went to Maryville on Friday and Saturday to visit with Lindsey's family. Here's a picture of McKenzie getting ready to go...

Friday night we went out with a bunch of the Maryville gang. It was nice to go out to dinner and hang out without worrying about the girls for a while.

Saturday, the family came over and we had dinner and an easter egg hunt. Each of the kids was supposed to get 19 eggs but apparently someone miscounted how many we started with. Whoops.

We came home Saturday night so we could go to our church on Sunday. The girls got new easter dresses to wear. Here are a few pictures of them modeling.

We had lunch at my parent's house and the girls really racked up on candy and clothes. Like, a ton of stuff. I think we're all set for 9 month stuff. Yay.

On Monday, Molly had her follow-up appointment with Dr. Parsons the cardiologist. Molly got to do an EKG and a chest x-ray. We went ahead and got her hip x-rays done today too since we'll be back at the hospital for that visit on Thursday. Anyway, the holter monitor results from a few weeks ago showed less than 1500 PVCs (premature heartbeats) in 24 hours. There also were no back-to-back PVCs on the test. This is a really good thing and typically means that the baby is perfectly normal and the PVCs are just something they'll grow out of. The EKG only showed 1 PVC in the 2 minutes they did the test. So, the doctor has scheduled us to do another holter test in 4 months or so. If it's normal, we don't have to go back anymore. Yay! Maybe one specialist down...

On a side note, Molly got measured and weighed today. She was up to 15 pounds 4 ounces and 25 inches long. That's an increase of almost 2 pounds in three weeks.

So, one more doctor visit this week then the big Birmingham trip next week for McKenzie. Anyone have any recommendations for restaurants and stuff? We'll be staying in the Five Points area downtown near UAB.

Alright, so that's it for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their week. More later...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And the date is...

April 22nd. My baby is having brain surgery on April 22nd in Birmingham.


We'll be meeting with the doctor on April 21st and doing our pre-admission stuff. As of right now we are the first surgical case for the day so we will have to be there at 5:30am (!) to get ready for surgery. As long as everything, we'll be on our way home on Thursday the 23rd. Sounds like a fun plan doesn't it?

So, let's take a look at why we're doing this. As I said yesterday, McKenzie had an MRI done and that is how they determined that there was indeed a cyst growing in her ventricle. Here's an image from the MRI.

Here we can see McKenzie's brain. The blue line is down the center of the brain. The left and right sides of the brain are supposed to be mirror images of each other. Obviously, one thing is not like the other.

The cyst is on the left side outlined in blue. If you look closely, you can see that it's kind of a grey, fuzzy area. The dark black below the cyst is the normal fluid that is supposed to be in the ventricle. On the right side, you can see the normal sized ventricle.

So, that's what they are going after. We're still working on our plans in terms of travel and stuff but we'll let you know if we need anything. We appreciate the support from our family and friends so far and ask that you continue to think about us and pray for McKenzie as the surgery date gets closer.

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