I have spent the last two days processing, processing, processing after my chat with Dr. Brindle, B's next surgeon. I was left feeling sick to my stomach and riddled with anxiety after our conversation so it's taken me a few days to just digest it all.
Basically what needs to happen with Mr.B's intestines is that they put all of his small bowel down the right side of his body and put his colon down his left. It is called a Ladd's Procedure (there wasn't an article that didn't make me feel nauseous that I wanted to add for you) and it is done regularly and with confidence at it's outcome. The thought of them having to pull out his small intestines and reposition them...well let's just say OMG.
They will also go ahead and do an appendectomy at the same time as his appendix will never be in the right place ever again (not that it is now). It would be kinda hard for someone to diagnose appendicitis if they didn't know where it was.
Since they are in there anyhow, they will repair his umbilical hernia. It's not something they would put him into surgery for normally so it is just a "might as well do it since we are in there" situation.
The NEXT major part of the surgery is the Fundoplication (or fundo), where the wrap the upper part of his stomach around his esophagus. Yup, that's what I said. This will help to stop or at least minimize his chance of reflux and therefore lower his risk of aspirating (reflux of fluid) into his lungs. Although it does come with the side effect of additional retching...lovely.
The last part will be the addition of a G-Tube which is a feeding tube that goes directly into the stomach. This will ensure that B will get the full nutritional needs that he requires while still giving us the option to hopefully get to a place that he'll be able to take some food orally (some day, fingers crossed).
I know as I am writing this it might sound somewhat unemotional and clinical but it is just a survival technique for dealing with what they have to do to my poor poor baby boy and really, there is no way to put into words the emotions that I feel at any given moment in regards to Mr.B.
We do have the ENT swallow test tomorrow. That is a scope of the vocal cords and throat to see if they are functioning more and whether or not his swallowing is getting any more efficient. This will be the first test since his 'crash' and I am a wee bit terrified of stressing him in anyway to be honest. I am also really hoping that I will get to be there as this is my second day at home without seeing him due to a sore throat. I'm fighting it tooth and nail with the homeopathics that I have and have hope that I'll feel better by tomorrow. Thankfully I've got my sisters here although Christa is down for the count with this terrible cold as well but Monique can at least be at the hospital with Squeak while we (that would be me), feel sorry for ourselves (and watch over three boys), here at home. It's also been a blessing just having company around not to mention laundry folded (AND put away), dishes done and my bathroom scrubbed within an inch of it's grubby existence!
The next big step towards a surgery date is to have the multi-disciplinary meeting and have our questions answered as well as have the other specialists sign off on the surgery. We are still looking at surgery being several weeks away at this point as long as he doesn't have a volvus (twist in the intestines) and therefore urgently pushes surgery along (back the hell off Murphy!). We are hoping that we can all come together for the meeting one day next week but it is so difficult to coordinate this many specialists at once in one place.
One of my greatest fears is that they get in there and find other issues. I mean, one would think that maybe this might have to end somewhere but they keep finding new and exciting (dripping sarcasm) things 'wrong' with Braeden. It is not going to be done laproscopically either, they will open him up above his belly button and below his ribs most likely in a horizontal line. Dr.Brindle could do it in a lapro procedure but she said since they've got extras tagged onto the surgery and because it is going to be fairly extensive it will make it a more productive and 'safer' surgery to cut him open (stomach flipping) instead. It makes sense really, it just sucks. How many scars can one sweet boy acquire in his first six months of life or less??
On the positive...and yes there are some albeit they are hard to find...I do like Dr. Brindle a lot, she was very kind and drew me pictures to bring home to show and discuss with Michael. She's done a good number of these procedures and is confident in B's success with them. She can't (or wouldn't maybe) give me an idea of his future, she is about treating the here and now.
It is like having two really crappy choices (surgeries or not) and having to chose the less crappy one (surgeries) with some hope that it will pay off for us (Mr.B). How positively CRAPTASTIC!
I was going to leave the post at that but I feel like I should leave you on a positive. The surgeries will give Braeden the possibility of thriving further than he could otherwise and (hopefully) ensure an avoidance of a extremely painful twist of his intestines not to mention get rid of his constant reflux when fed into his stomach.
The other positive is that we are holding another Blood Drive on Saturday and have another 10 spots filled with friends (and Michael) ready to hold out their arms for Mr.B. Thank you!! We are also in the process of holding another event in May with the hopes of 20 spots and to do another press push for Blood Donor Awareness.
In with the good, out with the bad, in with the good, out with the bad, in with the good, out with the bad, in with the good, out with the bad...and on we go.