Tuesday, September 15, 2009

shunt? yes, please.


so, wednesday night, i came home from work and francine was concerned about justin's breathing. i didn't think much of it, because by the time we got home, he seemed to gather himself. his breathing was quiet, he went to bed with no trouble, no oxygen, was on 100% all night, no worries..

well, thursday morning, in my quest to work, zac calls me and says that justin is really struggling to breathe and he is getting upset about it. he wanted the pediatrician's phone number to call them to see what they suggested. i told him to put justin on his oxygen right away, thinking that would be the first thing they'd ask him. zac puts him on the oxygen and it doesn't improve, so he calls the pediatrician. they call him back and say that they think we should take him to the ER in the event that it is something more serious, such as RSV or croup. zac calls me, so i leave work right away and as soon as i get home, we begin our journey to chop.. i hate that drive.

we get to chop's ER, and zac drops me off so he can go park. i walk into the er, stop at the desk to give his information and a nurse comes around to evaluate justin. she pinches his little tootsie and says into her walkie talkie, "CRITICAL RESPIRATORY." my heart sank. i knew he was having trouble, but critical? it's not like the kid was blue. either way, they were hasty and justin was given the best care he could've been offered in an emergency setting if you ask me.

they immediately take us back to a room where justin is given a heavy dose of oxygen, there are 3 nurses in there for him (two of which were quite hott), and the ER doctor was there by the time i had set down his carseat and bag. i gave the ER doctor justin's medical history and with all of the given information, he diagnoses justin with croup and says he will be admitted. i'm disappointed, but i'm okay with that at the same time. then they start asking more in depth about justin's spina bifida/chiari ii. they call neurosurgery and neuro suggests a CT scan. right away, we're admitted to get a CT scan done. the lady there was pretty rude.. justin, naturally, being 3 months old, had a hard time holding his head still during the scan, but we were able to get it done.. she just had an attitude the whole time. by the time we made it back to his room in the ER, we had results from his CT scan.. it was time for a shunt.

i start crying right away. i think i felt that i had gotten ahead of myself.. i must've thought, "if he hasn't had one by now, he will never need one" or something, because it just destroyed me.. but then again, it could've just been the thought of my baby having to endure yet again, another surgery. sitting there in the ER reminded me though, we have to do what we have to do to get this kid better. and if a shunt was the answer, that's what we'll do.

they were able to do the surgery that day, so after the 2 hours in the ER, they moved us to the sedation unit for a good 2 hours there before the anesthesiologist came in to evaluate justin. he went in, finally, around 4 and was out around 5:30. he was pretty out of it when we got back to his room. they'd given him tylenol and fentanyl for pain, so he was sleepy when we left around 7 that night.

the next day, zac and i headed back to see justin around 9. we had to drop some stuff off at comcast, so we already had to take the long way to philly.. and of course! there's a tree down, so we're detoured. we finally made it to the hospital at 11:30, which wasn't bad, but the suspense kills ya when you're missing your baby. :(

when we came into justin's room, he was propped up in his crib watching lilo and stitch. he looked like such a big boy! he was doing great though. his breathing was better, but they said it could take a few days for the stridor sound to go away.. if it ever does. apparently, he could've damaged the nerves permanently, and could always make that sound. it goes in and out, but it's nothing like it was before. we were told that they were probably going to keep him another night for observation due to the breathing problems and they had ran some tests to see if he was sick. then around 2pm, the head of the PICU comes in, tells us about the cause for justin to still be making the stridor sounds and says, "he's all yours. take him home." that was exciting! there's nothing better than recovering in your own home, and it was so nice that we already have the home care supplies here (oxygen, pulse-ox, etc).

so, justin's been home for a few days now and he's doing great. he is such a little fighter, and i could not be more proud to call him my son. he has taught me so much throughout all of this.. despite having a family being the most stressful thing in my life, it's the greatest thing i've done with my life, and i wouldn't change it for the world. my babies are my life and i could not be more proud to call each of them mine.

here are a few pics of justin's incisions, two are of his head, one is on his belly, and there's a pretty cute picture of justin during his wait in the ER waiting room.

madi turns 3 on sunday, and this kid is so excited to eat cake and ice cream. i cannot wait to have this party for her. i spent this past weekend finishing up the little things for her party, so i have less to do at the end of the week. can't wait!


  1. ......" it's the greatest thing I've done with my life, and I wouldn't change it for the world. My babies are my life and I could not be more proud to call each of them mine."

    ...Girl,you made me tear up! The love,determination,and devotion you have towards your children is inspiring and heart warming.And you are absolutely right-NOTHING compares to the pride and soul-connection that a child brings to you.I have loved every minute of being a parent-both the good times and the bad. The laughter-the tears. All of it in it's entirety.Your children truly are a blessing-and you remind all of us about that in your compassionate words and hearfelt honesty. I am so glad to know you Lindsay.Keep up the good work lil' mama!! <3 Maryann