Surgery Tomorrow

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tomorrow (Monday) is the big day.

Cayman will be taken to surgery to place her shunt back into her body.

In one sense we are greatly looking forward to this. Having her shunt externalized is stressful. We stand guard at her bedside whenever she is awake to be sure she's not tugging at it or her head dressing. It has not always been an easy task of preventing her from doing this sometimes. But isn't that beautiful to hear? I mean, she's feeling and acting that well to have spunk and curiosity...and even annoyance. She absolutely hates the head dressing. I don't blame her. That must feel just awful, hot, and itchy. I know she'll be much more comfortable once she can get that off.

On the other hand, we have big decisions to make with the doctors on where to replace the distal end of her shunt.

Putting it back into a vessel surrounding her heart (which is where it has been) is not ideal. It's a temporary site and will not grow with her resulting in the need for more shunt revisions in the future. And since it's within a blood vessel it poses a risk of developing blood clots.

The other option, which is to put it into her abdominal cavity, is the ideal situation because it is more permanent. They can coil extra tubing inside of her so that as she grows the tube stretches with her growing body. However, the last time the shunt was placed there (June of 2008) it failed within a couple days. There was a great amount of scar tissue in her abdomen from the belly surgery she had when she was a day old. The scar tissue prevented her body from absorbing the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) resulting in a plugged, failed shunt. So the shunt was replaced back into Cayman's heart with the goal that someday it would be put into her abdomen when she had grown enough to have more room in her tummy to accommodate the shunt around her scar tissue.

So the big question now is, has Cayman grown enough for it to be a successful site for her shunt to be placed there?

And that's where we greatly covet your prayers for tomorrow.

We haven't heard what time Cayman will be taken to surgery but we will do our best to post updates.

I feel as though I must sound redundant, like a broken record, when I say thank you. The multitude of prayers have been tremendous. God is truly carrying us and you are helping this time to be so much easier for us. So with great heartfelt emotion, I thank you again! I'm storing up so many hugs, wanting to embrace you all for the support you have given our family.

I pray for God's greatest blessings to be on you.

And here's a clip-it of Little Miss Busy Hands in mild action...

17 Showin' Comment Love:

Sue said...

Wow.....I get to be first to comment!! Hope you had a great Mother's Day. Just wanted to let you know.....I will be at work tomorrow....but guess what family will be on my mind alllll day!!?? I pray for your day and for the docs doing the surgery on hard to see them go into surgery, hard to see them when they come out, but what a relief to hear the words....'everything went well'. Those are the words I will be praying for you to hear tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise Cayman had a VA Shunt.

Will be thinking of you all tomorrow. Prayers will be continung that the surgery goes as well as it possibly can.

Shannon said...

Thank you for posting these updates! Those of us who are too far to help in more "tangible" ways are grateful for the opportunity to help bear some of the weight of this through prayer. :) I know He will provide you with enough light to see the best decision for Cayman; we continue to pray for wisdom and steady hands for the doctors, peace and strength for you and Mike, and protection and healing for your baby girl.
I'm so blessed to have found your friendship through blogging! Sending love from Kansas!

Tara said...

Prayers go out for you! I know that knowing Michelle has a VP shunt is nice. It's good to know that it will grow with her. I am praying for a quick recovery along with praying that they are able to place it in her abdomen.

God bless.

Michelle said...

Cayman will be in our prayers tomorrow (as she always is). She has gotten so big that I do hope she'll be able to take the VP shunt. *hugs* to you both!!!

adia said...

she is SO funny with that diaper! lol... what a little bugger :o)

we'll be thinking about you all tomorrow.

Krissy said...

She's so darn cute, I can't stand it! lol!!
We love you guys and you don't sound redundant at all. I always feel the presence of gratefulness in all your posts. You really know how to express your emotions. Praying for success and guidance tomorrow so that you can get that precious girl home!

Lisa said...

I love the video! She sure wants to get that diaper off, doesn't she?!

So do you know exactly what caused the problem? Was it a clot because the shunt was draining into the heart?

I hope that the doctors will be guided to make the right decision tomorrow and that there hands will be skilled and steady as they work on your precious daughter.

Sending sweet thoughts [continuously] your way!

Sara said...

This video made me laugh! When the pulse ox was pulled off and you say OOPS! Idk why but it was so funny! Kadyn does the same thing, pulls everything off, I don't know if you remember but last mothers day he pulled his EVD out of his head! She really doesn't want the diaper on either! I love to see her doing better!

Colette said...

Your wonderful daughter, her fantastic parents, and the medical team caring for Cayman are in my thoughts and prayers!

The James Family said...

Seeing that video of Cayman makes my heart smile!! It's good to see her... Pictures are great and I love all of them but seeing the video just helps a lot!! :) She is such a precious little girl that holds such a BIG part of my heart! We will be praying for you guys tomorrow and for ultimate wisdom for the doctors. And may God grant you peace in the decision that you make! We love you all - please send me updates tomorrow - I sure do appreciate all I get and knowing how she is doing! Love you lots Kris!! Hugs and kisses to you... (can't wait till I can give you a hug in person... I miss you so much!!)

Kristen said...


We don't know for certain what caused this shunt failure. A blood clot was never discovered. The only other theory was that as she grew the tubing of the shunt moved and possibly got against the wall of the vessel, blocking it off. Which is just another reason why a shunt in a blood vessel is not ideal. But in Cayman's case it has been the only choice, making it the best choice.

I'm sure you can imagine why we feel so strongly about the importance of getting the shunt into Cayman's belly.

Hoping and praying.

We shall see what tomorrow brings

Kristen said...


Thank you for emailing me. I feel blessed to know you have been touched by us and I feel touched that you shared a little of your story with me too. You sound so sweet. Thanks again!

KajnBlonde said...

It made me giggle to see Cayman keep trying to take that diaper off. Thanks for posting the video...
I will be praying for Cayman, you & Mike and the doctors to be guided in the surgery tomorrow.


The Soldatke family said...


I will be praying tomorrow, praying for you and Mike, for Cayman and for the medical team to have expert hands and make the best possible decision for Cayman. My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow.

Love you guys!

Left my cell at work tonight...will pick it up tomorrow around if you text me, and don't hear back...I promise I'm not ignoring you!

Anonymous said...

I dont' know how I missed that video before.

Love it!

Gabriella said...

Cayman will be in my prayers again today. I have to say that that video clip tells us a lot about how well she's doing! It's so nice to see her doing regular toddler things... like tugging at things, as frustrating as it may be at times. Thanks for sharing!