Becky had her first road trip today. And she learned that sometimes when we travel, we encounter detours.
Unfortunately, Becky’s swallow study and upper GI imaging indicate the need for immediate medical intervention.
Several weeks ago, a prenatal ultrasound showed a potential blockage in Becky’s abdomen. But an X-ray after birth showed no such blockage. So we thought we had crossed this hurdle. However, today’s upper GI study shows an intestinal malrotation.
Becky needs a surgery called the Ladd procedure to fix the problem. She will also have an appendectomy. This surgery is preventative and should protect against any future intestinal twisting. If the intestines twist, the blood supply can be cut off causing the death of the intestine. The surgeon thinks Becky’s intestines are still healthy.
Furthermore, the swallow study shows that Becky is aspirating food into her lungs. After a long discussion with the speech therapist and the surgeon, it seems best to have a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) placed to help safely feed Becky. This will likely stay in place until after her heart surgery. It makes sense to place it at this time to avoid a future operation.
So Becky’s second road trip will be to the operating room. She will likely need IV nutrition for at least a week. Her intestines will be very sleepy after surgery and she won’t be able to handle any food for some time. My hope to be home for Halloween and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and eat chicken nuggets and Snickers bars with my kids is looking less probable.
It’s been a hard day, full of tears and phone calls and consultations with the doctors. The news was so unexpected after all of Becky’s progress. Through tears I told my parents and my brother Dennis that I feel my miracle is slipping away. But it’s only taking a detour.
My nurse told me that there was a debate during rounds this morning whether or not to even do the upper GI study. They only decided to do this because Becky was scheduled for the swallow study. They proceeded just to make sure all the t’s were crossed and all the i’s dotted.
Well, if they hadn’t found this malrotation, we would have eventually ended up back in the hospital with an emergent situation. And Becky would have been at risk to lose some of her intestines. At least now she can have the surgery and stay in the NICU, where I understand the routine and am familiar with the staff. Even the surgeon said she was surprised by the results as she did not expect the malrotation. The G-tube should help us streamline her feedings and fatten her up for cardiac surgery.
So, my miracle is still in tact. It just has a different contour to it.
I would appreciate prayers for Becky tomorrow around 2:00pm. The surgery should last around two hours. A rules exception had been made for Mom and she will be allowed to meet Becky shortly before surgery.
Together we will walk with Becky to the Children’s Hospital and wait together until she returns to the NICU. Mom will have to leave then but at least I won’t be alone during the surgery. And we might find a way to stash Mom somewhere in NICU.
In closing, let me say that the day has not been without blessing. I learned how to merge phone calls on my cell phone. I found the hidden stash of Scooby-Doo snacks in the family dining room. And my favorite day nurse was approved to be a primary caregiver for Becky. Not to mention the great news about Mom and the superior performance of my Maybelline waterproof mascara.
I know the World Series is going on right now, although there is no good way for me to watch it either in the NICU or at the Ronald McDonald House. I have been listening to the soundtrack from the movie The Natural as I blog. So, for some reason, baseball is on my mind.
I’ve always been amazed at how my dad and brothers can read a professional baseball pitch. I can watch a game with them and they instantly know if the pitch was a cutter, a slider, or a two-seam fastball. I need Joe Buck or John Smoltz to tell me.
My nephew, Jack Lynch, pitches for Xavier University
But, the news we received today about Becky can only be called a curve ball. It’s been a rough day and it’s heartbreaking to imagine this precious little baby having surgery and scars. Just how do you take a curve ball and find a way to hit it out of the park?
On second thought, I called this pitch wrong.
It’s a sinker.