Monday, September 26, 2011

Carrie's Surgery

We are going to be going to St. Luke's on September 28th for Carrie's brain surgery. She has been diagnosed with a Chiari Type I malformation of the brain and a spinal cyst (syrinx) of 11mm that is directly related to the malformation.

Her cerebella did not form properly...normally there are 2 tonsils that tuck up underneath the cerebella, hers did not and are lodged into her spinal column blocking the pooling and flow of spinal fluid. Because of the lack of space, fluid has been forced into a microspopic passage in the center of the spinal column and once there, the pulse of the brain is not strong enough for it to pass all the way through or pull it back out. So it has created a cyst which is literally splitting the nerves in her spinal column in half. The doctor is astonished that she has not been plagued with headaches from the lack of fluid flow and numb arms from the cyst.

So, they will go in and cut out the middle of her C1, shave off the back of the C2 and the opening at the bottom of the skull (by 1.5 - 2 cm). The will then take out the tonsils hopefully being able to get them to the appropriate, normal size. They will check function at this point making sure that fluid is passing and pooling freely. They will then cut a piece of skull from the back of her head and graft it in creating more space for the fluid. Then they pull the muscle and skin back over and stitch her up.

She will be in the PICU over night and then on the pediatric floor for 5 more nights. Then about another week of recovery at home. The doctor said that we will be really surprised how quickly she will bounce back.

We are very comfortable with the pediatric neurosurgeon that will be doing the surgery, he spent at least 1.5 hours with us explaining, teaching, and answering any questions that we had. He also said that this is NOT an uncommon situation and surgery. It is a surgery that they do ALL the time for the same reason as Carrie's as well as for tumors. Ben Taylor works with him often on the pediatric floor at St. Luke's and HIGHLY recommended him not only as a doctor but as a kind, caring man who is very invested in his patients.

We are of course nervous about all of it, but have also put it in the Lord's hands....we would have not found out about it in as gentle of a way had it not been for the random eye problem and we are so thankful that we have been so blessed with wonderful, mindful doctors who have been so attentive and thorough. We are so thankful for insurance, too!

Thanks to all of our family, friends and ward members who have been praying and fasting and thinking good thoughts for us! We really love and appreciate all of you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Help

My mom and I saw this movie tonight. May I just say what an excellent movie it is! I loved every moment. Laughed my head off, could have cried...a lot...but you all know my not being a crier problem. Anyway....what a great movie! And I especially loved the following line....which I do believe ALL children (and adults, too) need to be told a million times a day.

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

Don't be surprised if you find this posted all around my house! Of course it sounds better woth a thick southern drawl, but, it'll have to do!