The visit to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center went well.
Good news – there is no new tumor growth! We suspected as much, but it’s always good to hear it confirmed by a medical professional.
Chad’s shunt setting was off, and we’re hoping that resetting it to a different value will decrease the intensity of his headaches. *Fingers crossed* If this setting does not work, there is one more setting we can drop down to — and if that doesn’t work, then we have to get a different type of shunt that allows for a higher fluid drainage. We’d like to avoid that, but we’ll take it as it comes.
We asked about removing the shunt all together, but that’s not really a possibility. When Chad had part of the tumor removed back in March, it stimulated spinal fluid production. That can’t be fixed, and it’s a complication we were made aware of. Chad’s brain will continue to produce more spinal fluid than he actually needs — and he has to have a way to drain it effectively. There has to be a shunt of some sort.
Everything should be good once we find the magic shunt setting that keeps the fluid at a decent level and the pressure away.
So why the surgery?
Chad has been complaining of mystery abdominal pains for more than two months. We’ve explored every possible reason and have had tons of tests. X-rays, CT scans, MRIs….all telling us nothing.
Now….we know it’s the shunt tubing. Apparently, Chad is having a “reaction” to the spinal fluid being dumped into his abdominal cavity. Most people don’t have a problem with it, but Chad is different. Of course!
We kind of thought there might be talk of surgery, so we did come prepared this time. We have clothes, toiletries and other needed items. Thank goodness!
Right now, Chad is on the surgery schedule for 11am tomorrow. However, he is a “work in” case, so it could change. I’ll let you know more as it unfolds.
As it stands now, they will only be resolving the end of the tubing. If they happen to notice any other issues with the shunt mechanism, they will address that as well. I don’t anticipate that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Because this surgery was not planned, Chad was taking his blood thinning medications – which means he has to receive a series of blood transfusions tonight to get his INR (level of blood “thinness”) to a decent range. His blood has been pretty thick lately, so I don’t think it will take as many transfusions as last time.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
I’ll let you know more details as soon as I have them.We can’t wait for Chad to start feeling better — and it should be really soon!