Another scare

March 2, 2012

Yesterday we had a scare. I got a call from Owen’s teacher saying he had been crying and screaming all day. She said he was “inconsolable”. Owen is never inconsolable. He is such a happy kid. He had no fever and hadn’t thrown up, but it was still completely out of character for Owen. We also heard from the school nurse.

So, I had Brett go pick him up from school since I was at work. I told him to call me as soon as he saw Owen so I could see if I needed to call the neurosurgeon. The wait seemed to take forever. I tried to keep working to distract myself, but I couldn’t. My hands were shaking. We’ve made it 4 years w/o a shunt malfunction, revision or infection.

When I finally got the call from Brett he said something was definitely wrong. So I called the neurosurgeon. They said to bring him in. I got up and left work immediately. It was the first day in a new pair of boots with a taller heel than I’m used to. I’m lucky I didn’t break an ankle running to the van. Brett and I met at the hospital.

Of course our usual neuro wasn’t there. We saw an attending doctor. She asked the usual questions. He hadn’t thrown up and didn’t have a fever. But she trusted us that something was definitely wrong. She sent us down for a head CT and a shunt series of x-rays. Owen did really well with the CT, not so much with the x-ray.

After the scans we went back upstairs to the neuro’s office. She said the scans looked good and pulled them up for us. Then she checked his shunt setting. It was at a 2.0, normally a 1.5. So, they set it back to 1.5.

The doc said it could have been the setting. It could be the start of something not yet showing up on the CT. I’ve heard other moms talk about things passing through the shunts and temporarily clogging them. Or… It could have been nothing to do with the shunt at all.

We came home and Owen took a good nap and has been acting ok every since. So, who knows what it was? We’re just happy he didn’t need emergency surgery. So scary. Its like I’m always waiting for his shunt to fail.

I will say this. I commend Owen’s teacher and nurse. They could have just blown it off as Owen acting up. But they didn’t. They called and let me know so I could make a decision. Makes me feel even better about the quality of the teachers and staff at his school.

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