Good News, Good News, Good News

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yesterday's CT scan and Neurosurgeon appointment went beautifully. Thank you for the all the notes and comments letting us know you were thinking about us. That always touches me.

We arrived to the radiology department almost on time. We were just eight minutes late. Once upon a day, I would have been horrified by that. I use to think that if I arrived at the exact scheduled time I was late. My opinion of on time meant being early. My how I have changed.

The staff accommodated us so kindly and patiently regardless of our tardiness. We were even shown to a private waiting room secluded from the other patients. I had requested for the technician to perform the CT scan without sedating Cayman first. Usually in a new setting Cayman is quiet and I thought there might be a hopeful chance she would hold still during the imaging. They agreed to this with no questions asked especially once they saw how calm and sleepy Cayman was upon our arrival. The receptionist stared tenderly at Cayman with a look in her eye that gave me the feeling that the desk between her and us was the only thing holding her back from snuggling Cayman into her own arms. Cayman is quite the snuggle bug when she is sleepy.

Putting us in a solitary room was meant to be unstimulating in the hopes of keeping Cayman quiet. The nurse turned off the lights and we patiently waited for her to return.

I stayed with Cayman during the CT scan which was successful without sedation! I could tell by the look in Cayman's eye she was alarmed by the machine and each time the table passed her through the ring she lifted her head completely off the table bringing her chin to her chest. I did not even know she was capable of doing that!!

The technician showed me a trick. By placing my hand on Cayman's chin with my fingers stretching across her jaw helped brace her head and Cayman felt more secure about being less mobile. With my my other hand, I held up her favorite toy as a distraction. All of that along with the technician holding another flashy toy, froze Cayman's attention just long enough for them to perform the scan.

It was then off to the Neurosurgeon's office for the review of the scans.

Mike and I felt fairly confident that there would be good news delivered to us but sometimes it feels scary thinking that way. The weight of bad news can feel like a heavier hit when there is an expectation for only good news. But by the end of the appointment we had big smiles on our faces and a slip of paper in hand saying Cayman's next return visit is in 8 months!

It was ALL good news!

Cayman's brain has grown...

Her skull bones have not prematurely fused together (a condition called Craniosynostosis that Cayman is at high risk for)...

And the distal catheter of her VA shunt has plenty of room for growth before it pulls away from the heart vessel. Which means it pushes the replacement surgery for her shunt farther into the future. We know it will need to be done someday but that someday will not be soon.

Here is Cayman's brain scan from yesterday's appointment:

Review: the blackened areas in the center is all the fluid. The gray area around the fluid is the brain tissue.

It looks significantly better than it did when Cayman was first born. Her head was filled mostly with fluid and only the tiniest amount of brain was noticeable on the edges and none at the roof.

Here is the scan from the day after she was born:

I cherish days like these!!

Here is a few more random pictures from the day...

Mike allowed this picture to be taken only because Big Bird was willing to hold Mike's Ohio State hat.


Mike and Cayman playing with their ipods.
Notice the expression on Mike's face. Does it look familiar from this post?



Getting Cayman's weight. 18 1/2 pounds. She's a little peanut.


Cayman watched Judy intensely as she took her axillary temperature.

30 Showin' Comment Love:

*Monica said...

happy news!!!

Cayman's Daddy said...

Thanks for doing this Blog Kristen! I love being able to look back at our life over the past 2 years. I love you!

Grandma Cindy said...

As smart as she is it seems she wouldn't have any ventricles! Cayman truly is our big miracle in a "little peanut" form. XOXOXOXO God is so good!

therextras said...

Congratulations! What a miracle it seems to me to validate growth with a CT scan - and then share it with all the world!

Growth that is in no small measure due to the lifestyle you provide her as parents.

Heh. My Hubby STILL thinks he is late if he is on time!

Barbara

Beth said...

What wonderful news!! I am so happy for you all!!! And, as usual, Cayman is the cutest "little peanut"!

Zoe said...

YEAH CAYMAN!
What wonderful news! Thank you for sharing her scans!

Do you know how "tall" Cayman is?

The Soldatke family said...

I loved all of it Kristen. What a great day!! Good news always makes for a great day! And 18 1/2 lbs...that's a big jump...I know you were saying she felt heavier, she has grown!! No need for oil and avacado; she's doing it on her own. Good job Cayman!

Katie said...

YAYAYAYAYAYAY!

woooohooo for GRAY MATTER!!!!
(did all my prereqs for nursing...never finished!)

I am SO , very, very happy for you!

By the way...love the scarf on Big Bird...hahahaha!

My name is Sarah said...

Such wonderful news!!! The difference in the scans is truly remarkable. Love the Big Bird pose:) Too cute.

Sherri said...

Sounds like it was a great day! I got chills when I saw the scan :) YAY!!!!

Michelle said...

What great news!!!!!

Kristin said...

that is wonderful news! Abigail goes in for a CT and MRI the day after Thanksgiving to check the stability of her spinal cord...I pray we receive good news as well.

Josephine said...

Hooray! Excellent news! Isn't it amazing to see those scans and what a difference medical advances really do make? Sometimes it's easy to feel disheartened with the medical world, but then you see this evidence of the miraculous changes shunt have made, and you realise that 50 or 60 years ago our daughters wouldn't have had a chance.
And can I just tell you how much these pictures make me smile! I can't decide which one I love more - the first one where she's clapping her hands and obviously making that nurse fall instantly in love with her, or the one where she's sitting on the scales :) So cute!

Tara said...

How wonderful it is to see how well Cayman is thriving. Im so happy to see Cayman's brain growing! What a miracle that is. Im glad that you do not have to go back to the Neurosurgeon for so long. Our lucky appointment is on Monday!

Tara said...

Oh I was going to tell you another trick that we do for Michelle. Whenever she needs to get a CT scan we always try without sedation. Now she is 3 and they always want to sedate her so that they can insure she sits still. I too hold her chin very carefully in my hand and then sing her her favorite songs. As alarmed as she is by the machine moving around her and the table moving as well. The distraction of my voice and being able to see my face or even a favorite toy as you did works wonderfully.

Mary said...

Wow! Cayman continues to amaze and inspire daily. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

Jennifer said...

Hooray! Hooray!

Great news! Look at all that beautiful brain! :c)

Jennifer said...

Sorry! That last comment was me. Just logged in to the wrong account. Haha!

Chris said...

That is great news!What a joy to watch growing up. She is such a bright little girl. She makes my day seeing her smile or reading what she has done for the day. Don't let the size bother you. My daughter was always tiny. I told her some day you will like being the tiny one.

Sue said...

Yippee...I love good news....and the pictures were great too!!

Sarah said...

Can't believe how good her CT is looking already!

Well done Cayman on not needing sedation!

Amy J. said...

I can't believe the difference in those brain scans!!!! I am so very happy for you and your sweet little miracle!!!!!

Big Bird seems very happy indeed to be holding that hat!

Tyler said...

From all the milestones she has been reaching lately, I wasn't expecting anything less from the scans. But it is also nice to see the brain growth in the scans too. Cayman is a true miracle!

Diane, Tyler's mom

Lisa said...

Good news indeed! I think the best part of all must have been when they said, "see you in 8 months".

Isn't it wonderful when the appts start to get farther apart!

And I can't believe that Cayman only weights 18 pounds! What a tiny little thing she is! Elisabeth weighs 10 pounds more than her :) in fact, I just bought Elisabeth size 5 diapers for the first time today.

Can't wait to see our little girls together next June :)

Hannon! said...

Fantastic news! I love seeing the difference between now and when she was born. She is beautiful!

We call Audrey's TakeAlong Tunes her iPod too!!

Kim said...

That is such wonderful news! Way to go, Cayman!

Kristen said...

Zoe,

Cayman measured around 31 inches. That puts her in about the 75th percentile for height.

She hasn't been on the charts for weight for a long time now. The doctors aren't worried about it though since she eats very well.

So she's very tall and very lean.

Tsquared417 said...

I'm behind on my reading but what a post to come back to!! HOORAY!! I am so happy for you all.

Jerry, Tia, Kaiden And Hunter said...

What a miracle! She's gonna give ya a run for your money when she's a teenager! Give her hugs for me!

Nathan and Amy said...

MORE PROOF THAT MIRACLES DO HAPPEN & GOD DOES LISTEN TO PRAYERS!!! yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And look at that HAIR!!!! Looks like Goldie Locks!--I'm so jealous!! :D