Friday, September 18, 2009

The road to recovery

We're two days post-op and Mason is finally sleeping without me holding him...time to update the blog! It has been a long few days, but Mason is doing so well. There are some photos below so you can see him at various stages. He did great during his surgery, and though he lost a lot of blood, he never ended up needing a transfusion. We had been a little concerned that another of Mason's sutures had started fusing, but they reported that the rest of his skull is doing exactly what it is supposed to. Dr. Fearon says he's very happy with the way it went. We knew what to expect in terms of swelling, various tubes, and Mason's fussiness afterward, but still nothing can truly prepare you for seeing your baby laying there like that. He cried a lot, and was very confused. I got to hold him that evening, and even though it was hard to manage with all the tubes, it felt so wonderful to finally have him in my arms again. (And he really hasn't left my arms much since). Our PICU nurses were all great, which helped.

The second day in PICU, before we got moved to the normal pediatric floor, they life-flighted a little three year old girl in and she was put in the room next door. She was there maybe an hour while they worked frantically on her, anxious parents looking in from the hall, until she died....from the flu. (They are not sure which strain yet). It was extremely hard and painful to witness. I felt such pain and sadness for her parents, and at the same time such gratitude that I was holding my little one in my arms.

Mason has continued to recover wonderfully. He has spiked a fever a couple of times, but it went away with Tylenol. The doc says it's completely normal to have a fever post-op for a few days, but if he has one 5 days out will need to get him to a doctor to be checked out. It's crazy that he had major skull surgery two days ago and he's doing fine on Tylenol and Motrin. He did have a dose and half of morphine immediately after, and some anti-anxiety medication as well that first day.

The swelling is behaving exactly as expected. It's so hard with both of his eyes closed! It would frighten and frustrate me too. We won't see his new head shape for a little while still because of the swelling, and Dr. Fearon says it can actually take years for everything to smooth out, and for new layers of bone to be laid down. Even through the swelling, it looks beautiful to me. There are funny squishy spots on his head where fluid has built up underneath the feels funny, like there is no bone there. The way it was explained to us is that the skin wants to maintain its old shape, even with the bone in a new location, and so the area retains a lot of fluid for a couple of weeks until it all goes down. There are some changes that are immediately obvious, like the new wideness to the back of his head, and the roundness when viewed from above. Most importantly, we know now that his brain has plenty of room to grow!

Many, many thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family for your amazing support through this process!

First time to see our baby boy after surgery.

Medicated and sleeping.

New head shape.

Nice round head.

1 day post-op.

Getting settled in the wagon.

Going for a wagon ride.

Playing with Grandma this morning.

Aaron curled up in the baby crib last night.

This is mostly what he wants to do, especially with his eyes swollen shut.

1 comment:

  1. He looks amazing- good job Mason and Mom! I loved that last pic with him nursing. I bet its so comforting to him. goo dluck on the recovery. Stacy (From craniokids)