Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meeting with Pediatric Neurologist

Today, Katelyn's mom and dad met with the pediatric neurologist who will be following Katelyn after her shunt surgery on Friday (the time will either be 7:30 or 9:00 AM). This doctor is already planning to evaluate Katelyn in six months for her follow-up. This doctor stated that the stroke was likely an aneurysm that ruptured. If that was the case, there was nothing that could have been done to prevent this from occurring.

Jess and John were able to see pictures of Katelyn's brain from the ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans. He showed them that the ventricles were considerably larger than normal. The ventricles are essentially pockets of fluid, with no brain tissue in that area. The ventricles expanded as the result of the bleeding in that area, pushing the brain tissue in those regions out.

The long-term question is, first of all, will Katelyn's brain return to a normal shape. In order to develop normally, her brain will need to partly grow back into the area where the ventricles currently are. While Katelyn's apparently normal functioning is a good sign, it is not surprising to the doctor, who pointed out that the areas of her brain that control her gross motor movements was not affected as greatly as other areas. That means that we cannot conclude that Katelyn will develop normally just because she is functionally well now.

The doctor suggested two things to pray for as Katelyn's shunt surgery approaches. The first is that the shunt functions properly. This means that the shunt does not get clogged, the shunt remains in place, and that the shunt keeps the CSF at a good pressure level. The second aspect of the surgery to pray for is that there will not be an infection. These problems could mean that the shunt would need to be replaced.

Katelyn is now 7lbs, 6oz - she is growing and continues to eat well.

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