Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Laminectomy


Tuesday morning we checked in to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at PSL for James's "elective" laminectomies - removing the extradural thoracic arachnoid cyst and untethering his lumbar spinal cord. 



James was a star. He was not upset about not eating or drinking, and was very calm and collected about the whole thing. He was very mature - definitely not the behavior you'd expect from an "almost two" year old. James flirted with the nurses and even got a new blue ball to play with while we waited in pre-op.  

The surgery was scheduled at 11 and they got started right on time. I helped James through the beginning of anaesthesia, and then we all headed to the lobby to wait. Just after two pm we got the call that Dr Osterdock was finishing up and would meet us in the family waiting room within the hour. 

Our neurosurgeon is a very kind and intelligent woman. She doesn't have the ego of most surgeons and is glad to spend time working through details with you if needed. 

For James, she said his situation was interesting - which for us it isn't surprising, but apparently we're continuing to make waves in the medical community in one way or another. The cyst, which was roughly the size of my index finger in length and circumference, was very thick and fibrous rather than filled with cerebral spinal fluid; leading her to believe that its origins were from the intraventricular hemorrhage at birth. When she removed the majority of the cystic tissue the spinal cord, which had been severely compressed, sprung back into place. 

For the tethered cord she encountered more fibrous matter than expected but found everything as it should be. She isolated nerves and freed the base of the spinal cord from its bounds. She said everything looked wonderful and that both procedures were absolutely necessary for James's function. 

It is unknown when or if we will see a difference and how vast that will be. James went through a major back operation and will have significant pain for a while. Hopefully these procedures help. 

 ***

James was doing phenomenally well with pain control and only needing Tylenol. He also managed to stay very still for the first 24 hours, ensuring no sedation or restraint. Our neurosurgeon came in to evaluate and said if he continues to do this well, then we might be home Thursday or Friday versus the weekend. So, we started to get him up and moving Wednesday afternoon, and while he was uncomfortable it wasn't too bad. We FaceTime'd a few grandparents, visited with Daddy and Maisie, and saw some more family. 


Overall James had a pretty good day; when he wasn't sleeping he was eating or cuddling. Finally, he managed to sit independently on his bottom in the bed for a long time - this has never happened. He can w-sit, sit on a chair or sit on knees, but his spinal function was so impaired that he was very uncomfortable in this position. 


So where was Maisie during all of this excitement? She had a play date with her second cousin David. I hear they had a blast. Maisie then proceeded to go to the store with Daddy where she had an epic, dramatic, superstar meltdown over waffles which lasted through the store, the whole car ride, and then some. James must have borrowed all of Maisie's patience for this surgery, I tell you. 

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