Part 3: The Day...

We spent a week at the hospital across the street. A week. 7 days. She wouldn't stop throwing up.

The doctor reluctantly ran another CT. No change. No bleeding. Why was she still throwing up? A virus was their best guess, but everyone was on edge. It was hard to wrap our minds around a head injury so conveniently coinciding with a stomach virus (that lasts an entire week).

My husband and I switched off  nights sleeping at the hospital and days spent with our oldest. Our two-year-old came to visit often and was now very accustomed to the hospital room. She would thank the nurses for taking care of her baby sister.

But, we were all worn out. By the end of that week, she had lost 15% of her body weight. That's a lot of weight when you're barely three-months-old.

After 24-hours of keeping food down and having regular dirty diapers, Baby Girl was discharged. We returned to our house - comforted by the fact that we were only mere feet from medical professionals.

Things seemed normal. We were cautiously optimistic.

In late January, we took our now 4-month-old in for her (now-belated) three-month "well baby" check. They took all the normal measurements. Her weight had bounced back a little and she had lengthened, and they measured her head THREE times.

Her pediatrician came in looking grave - I know that look. I hate that look.

Her head had crossed percentiles - 75th percentile to 99.9th percentile. They can't say "100th percentile" because it would be equivalent to saying she has the "biggest head of all the babies in the whole world."  Which isn't considered to be scientifically provable or medically professional.

The main concern was hydrocephalus - a build up of fluid on the brain which results from what is normal fluid on the brain failing to drain properly. It can build up around the brain (not as dangerous) or inside the brain (not great). It's a tough thing and it is often a result of (you guessed it) a brain hemorrhage. The condition requires several brain surgeries, shunts, etc...it's a lifetime condition and cannot just be "fixed." 

So,  we traveled a lot. We talked a lot. We researched a lot. We lived with our stomachs in knots. We didn't sleep well. Several trips down to the neuro folks in Colorado, several sets of family head measurements, an ultrasound of her head and neck, and an MRI...WEEKS dragged on. WHY is her head so big? Everything seems normal? Why is it crossing over percentiles. The questions didn't stop.

(Answers...even hard prognoses are so much easier to handle and move on from than the unknown)

The end conclusion?

My husband (her father) has a head that measures in the 99.9th percentile. Again...we can't say that he has "the biggest head out there" - but it's a biggern' (love you, honey). When I say "off the charts," I am not exaggerating. I was there, his measurement is quite literally not anywhere on the graphic that we looked at.

She is normal...she just has a HUGE head which is probably one of the reasons that such a "small" fall had such a huge impact (brain hemorrhage). Her brain just had more room to move about (don't think too hard on it because it will make you nauseous).

All being said and done, we lived in this constant state of "waiting for the other foot to drop" for three months. One does not suffer trauma - especially a prolonged traumatic process without being changed.

We have scars. 

No comments:

Post a Comment