Although last week’s post was a little off-topic and personal, it was also a bit of a cliff-hanger and needs some resolution. So one week later, I’m here to do just that.
In the days following the surgery, my son’s ICP (Inter-cranial pressure) continued to read very high. High enough that in just about any other situation they would have unclamped his emergency drain to release cerebrospinal fluid and relieve the inter-cranial pressure. Then they would have booked an OR to put a shunt back in his head, this time for life – without negotiation.
The PICU nurses and doctors were very concerned about the pressure that was reading in the 30s and sometimes higher when normally the absolute cutoff is 22. But his attending neurosurgeon said she was most interested in his clinical presentation, so she was willing to ride it out and see what happens. She really cares about her patients and wanted to give him every possible opportunity to succeed without a shunt. He had 2 turbo MRIs that showed steady progress, and he continued to heal and do alright.
A few days later they did a longer MRI which showed all of what we were hoping for. It showed fluid movement from the cyst to the main ventricle where a hole was surgically created for this purpose. It also showed fluid flowing to the cistern, another drainage site in the brain. His cyst was measuring smaller, and the ventricles were not enlarged at all. These are all the signs we were looking for to show that the surgery was successful.
The final sign is to watch how he is doing. Other than a cranked neck and walking a little out of balance (which is believed to be due to his stiff neck), he is improving every day and seems to be doing quite well. He is not showing any high-pressure symptoms (headaches, vomiting, lethargy, etc) so we are simply going to ignore the abnormally high ICP readings and keep an eye on him over the next few months.
We got the all-clear at his appointment this morning, so we are officially leaving Cleveland and making our 5-hour drive home now! I couldn’t be any more thrilled with the neurosurgeon we chose. She has been caring, conscientious, daring, and cautious all at the same time. We had to fight for this surgery and it was our one and only shot for what I consider a miracle. I am so pleased to say that we got our miracle!
As for me, it was a major moment in my life for putting to practice some basic tools and strategies for staying in balance and letting go of my desire to control the outcome. It’s one thing to practice self-care while you are doing well, it is entirely another to do so in the face of a crisis.
I acknowledge that my clients face monumental circumstances as well. I want you to know that what I teach is possible, and it does help you get through seemingly impossible situations. So even though these last two posts are not about pregnancy or fertility, I hope you will see the relevance, and know that we all face scary or painful situations that are beyond our ability to control.
What we can control, is how we respond.