Thursday, February 7, 2008

The cord. The surgery.

Well, Elliot’s tethered spinal cord has been identified. We will move forward with what Doc Pediatric Neurosurgeon refers to as a “simple” procedure. Elliot’s conus medullaris is not formed correctly. Doc will proceed with a mere “filum clipping.” Mere? Oh my. As noted in a lovely article that I found online (God, keep me OFF of the damn Internet):

Surgical Decision Making
“The fundamental goals of surgical intervention in tethered cord syndrome are as follows:

1) to improve or stabilize deficits in the symptomatic patient and

2) to prevent future deficits in the asymptomatic patient. These two goals are predicated on the fact that sectioning of the terminal filum can be conducted safely with minimal risk and a very low rate of morbidity. This relative safety has been studied extensively and is commonly held to be true.”

So, that being said, Elliot is not symptomatic, unless one looks at the fact that the poor kid is not anywhere NEAR crawling and is constipated to kingdom come. Again, from the web piece:

“The reported complications of surgery are cerebrospinal fluid leakage (most common), wound infection, meningitis, bladder dysfunction, and neurological injury. The incidence of neurological injury due to sectioning is less than 1%.”

Doc Pediatric Neurosurgeon’s nurse (no, not the damn doc himself, the one who will cut my son’s spine OPEN, but instead, his nurse) called this afternoon to address some of my of so real concerns. She did confirm the above about cerebrospinal fluid leakage and wound infection. Now, how the hell am I to keep Elliot from reaching around and playing with his wound? HOW? They say that he does not need to be immobilized (other than his obvious sedation in the hospital for three flipping days). But, good LORD, he will have to be under constant supervision so as not to pick at his poor wound. And, with a 5-month old and a 5-year old, just how am I going to do this with no help during the day and a multitude of client needs on top of it? Why, oh why, am I working...?

Dear God, give me strength please. And, for those who are curious, here is what I found in the above quoted article: a pretty photo of what Elliot’s little bum looks like between those sweet cheeks. Not as bad as pictured above, but you all get the picture.

More prayers please for my beloved boy? Surgery set for March.

P.S. They may want to look at baby Isaac too. His little bum is marked with the same dimple!


Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Oh man! I was so hoping this wouldn't be the case! I'm sorry the doctor is being less than friendly too... that never helps situations like this. Keep us posted on his surgery and we'll be praying!

Tammy and Parker said...

I was just going to ask if that was a sacral dimple on E's backside.

I'm am so surprised it took them so long to pick up on this.

The surgery really isn't as scary as it sounds. I know. Big help, huh?

We will absolutely keep you guys in our prayers.

~Melissa~ said...

Oh Michelle, I'm sorry that there is a surgery on the horizon, and that the recovery sounds a bit stressful for you as a mom.

I will keep you all in my prayers, and please if you ever need an "ear" feel free to vent/worry away to me.

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Wow! What decisions. I bet he won't mess with the incision much. Keep a dressing on it and then put his clothes on over it. If you have a onsie that fits him that will even be better. And of course keep his diaper clean. I had a CSF leak after my spinal block with Preston and they are miserable. Hope that doesn't happen to him. Also I hope Isaac just has a cute dimple and nothing more.

Kari said...

I'm so sorry Elliot has to go through this. Sedation for 3 days WOW! Your in my prayers and hopefully maybe you can find someone to come help you out once Elliot gets back home!

Mayte said...

I will keep your two little boys in our prayers, being a parent certainly is not for the weak of heart.

Christina said...

WOW! I've never heard of such a thing. I am praying for your little man and that your other son doesn't have the same condition.

Anonymous said...

WOW! You and your family (especially the wee one!) are in our thoughts and prayers...

Nicole said...

Prayers for your beautiful boy honey.

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