September 25, 2007
Although it does not dominate our thoughts, the shunt is always in the back of our heads. Niklas and Lukas, for example, are both pukers while Gabbie is not (she wouldn't dare waste food). However, when Niklas does one of his four-pump projectile fountain pukes, we can't help but wonder if it's shunt related. Usually he smiles when he's done to let us know we shouldn't worry and so we usually don't. Developmentally, Niklas could not be doing any better. Pam, our physical therapist, is generally in shock when she comes to our house because Niklas is doing so well. She constantly reminds us how lucky we are.
Today was our 6 month follow up at U of M in which Niklas received a CAT scan. He was such a good boy that he did not need sedation. He's a seasoned vetran. After the scan we met with the neurosurgeon to examine the pictures. The good news is that the ventricles are completely back to normal. The shunt is functioning perfectly and things look pretty good, but there is a pocket of fluid outside the ventricles that has just refused to drain. This pocket is not connected to the ventricles and so it doesn't get drained by the shunt. This was noticed at the last appointment, but neurosurgery just cranked up the shunt a notch and hoped it would go away. Now we are faced with the choice of whether or not to treat it, and either choice would be a perfectly legitimate one. On the one hand, Niklas is doing completely fine, so do we want to treat the patient or the CAT scan? On the other hand, is this something that could affect him in the future in a way we don't see yet? The good news is that we are not treating a sick kid here, so that makes things a little better. I would rather see an issue with a CAT scan than visible issues with my baby. Our neurosurgeon seems to lean towards fixing the issue as do Greta and I, although we both hate these kinds of decisions. Each surgery seems to get harder and harder as Niklas seems to be more aware of what is going on each time. In the long run, this will be for the better and I thank God for the incredible progress he has made. We are probably looking at the end of October for the surgery so, again, your prayers are needed. By the way, I love this picture (Niklas is wearing the dark stripes).
Posted by Jason R. Myers