Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Surgery #11 Report and Pictures

*Just a warning, there is a post-surgery picture in this post.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  The short version is Mason had surgery to close his open incision and now we wait and hope it heals properly this time.*

IMG_20131216_071810What a long week it has been already!  Monday morning Mason went in for surgery #11, a repeat of the last surgery to debride the sacral pressure sore and reclose it.  He was his cheerful, happy self before surgery. 

As more and more doctors came in to check him he started getting unsettled.  It was obvious that he remembered his last surgery, not even a month ago.  We decided that because Mason is a frequent flyer here in the surgery unit, and will have more surgeries in the future, to give him some medication to relax.  We want him to have as pleasant a time as possible with all this. 

IMG_20131216_083037Here is my giggly 1 year old who felt just fine once the medicine kicked in.  He was really funny.  A few minutes later we headed to the operating room where I held him until he was asleep. 

Surgery went well, taking a bit less than an hour and a half.  IMG_20131217_191838Dr. P ended up doing a full closure (hooray!) with four separate layers of stitching plus glue on top.  It’s not pretty, but it is strong and we hope this time things will heal and not reopen.

IMG_20131216_131052We stayed the night at the hospital which was not fun, but we needed to be back the next afternoon anyway for other things, so it worked out well.  Our post-op instructions were to keep Mason on his belly as much as possible so in the hospital he laid in bed, laid on mommy in a recliner, and even ate his meals in bed. 

Now that we are home he is to continue spending the majority of his time on his tummy with up to 30 minutes sitting in his wheelchair or booster seat with a gel pillow type thing.  That lasts for the next two weeks until we go back for his checkup.  It means taking Mason pretty much anywhere is out of the picture, including church, because he isn’t supposed to sit for long.

Our plastic surgeon is also realistic.  He said, “Look, he’s not even two.  I know he doesn’t understand and some days he’ll sit more than he should.  Just keep trying each day.”  So that is the goal, to just keep swimming, as Dory says in Finding Nemo.

Tuesday we got released from the surgery unit and went to the other side of the hospital for a brain MRI.  This was to check on Mason’s ventricles, the fluid filled spaces in the brain.  A month ago they had been uneven following his 6th shunt revision.  When his eye started crossing last weekend we really felt like we might be heading for another shunt revision this week. 

IMG_20131217_153556In the end we got to go home because his brain looks wonderful and the ventricles have evened out.  No surgery yet!  The neurosurgeon wants us to go ahead and have a checkup with Mason’s developmental ophthalmologist to rule out vision problems or get them addressed.  Then in a few months when Mason has healed from the sacral surgery he just had, we will do another sedated MRI of the spine and move forward with Mason’s spinal cord detethering, which could also be one cause of the crossing eye.

I came home to a house full of sick children coughing everywhere.  The oldest 3 are on the tail end of it and now all my little ones have started.  Needless to say I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, though Mason slept pretty well.  I had one child coughing and throwing up (he throws up pretty easily), and the baby was up a lot coughing, plus the usual middle of the night cathing and now antibiotics for Mason.  We’ve officially started our Christmas break from homeschool and the plan is to snuggle down and watch movies all day.  On our tummies of course! 


  1. Whew!! Here's hoping and praying that wound stays closed!!! And I hope you can close your eyes and get a few winks during your movie marathon. :)

  2. Wow! You have your hands full. Hope neither you or Mason get the crud that is going around.Will he keep the gel seat cushion? Maybe that will prevent future sores.

  3. I think of you all the time. I was looking forward to your post-surgery post. Mason looks quite happy on all those photos. I remember that I used to be quite relaxed during all my medical procedures when I was a child. It got worse as I got older :/ Also, good to hear that the shunt is still working well!

  4. It's so good to find out how things went for Mason last Monday. I'm so happy the wound is closed. I'm on your team of praying that it heals this time. If he gets antsy about not getting around, perhaps someone can whip him up a quick tummy scooter, just a padded rectangle of wood with casters on it. He can lay on it and paddle it like a surfboard.

  5. I love how bright and happy he looks! Amazing. Great job momma!

  6. Praying for you Mason! Heal well!!

  7. Oh, wow. This has been such a journey for you guys the last few months. Mason (and you!) are often in my thoughts. I just pray that this time he heals without anymore complications. What a kid.

  8. I never understood how many issues go along with spina bifida. Thanks for keeping such a public detailed journey. It has really changed my perspective. And Mason is the most adorable thing. I love all those happy smiles. I hope you get some sleep soon and have a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family.


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