Monday, June 15, 2015

Mountain getaway

After the stress of the past few months, we decided to escape to the mountains for a long weekend! And what a difference the fresh air made!  We came home feeling much lighter and so refreshed!  Sometimes it's good to get away from everything in order to reset and get back to normal.  And let me tell ya, "normal" has never felt so good!
We stayed in Truckee near Donner Lake (so beautiful) and Henry had a fabulous time playing in the dirt, collecting sticks, throwing rocks in the lake, and paddleboarding. 
When we're in the wilderness, this is how we roll!
Paddleboarding with Mom!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Good news!

A few days ago we visited the Pediatric Neurosurgeon to review Henry's CT Scan and MRI results.  In my last post, I expressed grave anxiety after an Arachnoid Cyst and excess cerebral spinal fluid was discovered on his brain. After waiting nearly a month to see the neurosurgeon, I was queazy with fear and anxiety.  Four weeks of WebMD (and a million other sites on Arachnoid Cysts) prepared me for the worst.  The internet certainly is a mother's worst enemy when going through something like this.  I actually watched a brain surgery to remove an Arachnoid Cyst on YouTube - it wasn't pretty. 

To our relief, the neurosurgeon, Dr. Sean McNatt, was extremely reassuring.  He let us know that Henry's cyst was relatively small and that there is a strong possibility that he will never suffer symptoms.  So no brain surgery!  The cyst is on the very top of his head; the area of the brain responsible for motor functions on the left side of his body.  Since Henry seems to be developing normally, Dr. McNatt suggested living life as usual, just "keeping an eye out" for a few things.

Moving forward, we will have periodic MRIs to monitor cyst activity and make sure it stays small and unobtrusive. We will monitor him to make sure he is developing normally - something we already do.  Plus, we need to make extra efforts to reduce his risk for head injury (head injuries can cause the cyst to rupture-which can be very dangerous); so no rugby or tackle football for this guy!  

I want to thank all of you who sent your positive thoughts and prayers our way.  We are so grateful for your positive energy and kind words of encouragement - it certainly helped carry us through this frightening event.  You guys are the best!

We also want to give a shout out to Henry's primary pediatrician, Dr. Diane Chan. Dr. Chan has remained in constant contact with us through this entire event.  She called and emailed us on weekends and days off and was always there to answer questions.  If anyone is looking for a pediatrician at Kaiser in Roseville, California - she comes highly recommended!  We love her! 

After we were finished with our appointment, we had frozen yogurt to celebrate the great news!  Henry was a big fan! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A series of unfortunate events

I'm apologizing in advance for the length of this post, but here goes...

Three weeks ago, on a Friday morning, Rod’s family (parents, a new pup, and aunt & uncle) had come into town for my niece’s 1st birthday.   I was still at work while Rod left early to meet his family at our house.  He picked-up Henry from daycare and rushed home, eager to see everyone.  While Rod, my father-in-law, and Rod’s uncle were in the garage looking at Rod’s newest “toy," my mother-in-law and Rod’s aunt were oooohing and aaaahing over Henry in the house.  Everyone was excited to see each other; including the dogs, who were running around, playfully roughhousing.   Somewhere in all of the excitement, Henry fell and bumped his head.  It didn’t seem like much, a few hugs and some kisses and he was back running around with the pups and thoroughly enjoying being spoiled by Grammie.  When I arrived home from work that evening, all was well while I chatted with the fam.

The next morning,  we happily prepared for the birthday party, which was in a different location.  I also took Henry to music class (which is early every Saturday).  He seemed a little tired and not quite himself.  But I attributed it to all of the excitement of having family in town.   Upon arriving home from music, he threw up.   I immediately called the Kaiser advice nurse, who asked a series of questions.  I let the nurse know about Henry’s fall the day before, but also that we didn’t think the fall was anything to be concerned about.  But after his second bout of getting sick, the nurse thought it might be a good idea to take him to the ER to rule out the possibility of a concussion.  We agreed, better safe than sorry.

Long story, short; Henry actually had the flu (the next day, we found out two other kids from daycare and one of the mothers also had it).  However,  the ER doctor ordered a CT scan to rule out a concussion.   As a byproduct, we found out that Henry has a cyst on his brain and extra cerebral spinal fluid as a consequence.  Totally unrelated to his fall or his flu symptoms.  It was just by a crazy-chance that we found out about it.

Henry has an Arachnoid Cyst.  Fortunately, he hasn’t suffered any symptoms; and hopefully he never will.  Many people have them their entire lives without symptoms, only finding out about them as a byproduct of having a CT/MRI for a different reason (sports injury, car accident, etc.).   

On Friday we took him in for an MRI (I’ll share that experience with you later) and we have an appointment with a Pediatric Neurosurgeon next week to discuss the results and next -steps.   We don’t have a lot of information and are attempting to be patient while waiting for our appointment.  The doctors don’t seem to be in an enormous rush to address this, so it can’t be that serious, right?   

Despite the lack of urgency, the possibilities are terrifying.   I have never known horror like this.  The trepidation of having our child’s health seriously threatened has shaken us.   My hands tremble as I type this and I struggle to articulate the depth of my anxiety.   I apologize for this cryptic post;  I will keep you updated as I learn more.

On the bright-side, Henry’s flu has passed and he is back to his normal self!  We attended his friend’s 2nd birthday party on Saturday where he played, ate cake, and chased ducks! 

Nothing better than cake with friends!