We have travelled that path of a shunt failure again. The part that makes it so much easier to bear and get through is that it really wasn't as bad as last time. I just read the post I crafted 5 years ago, and so many words are the same. I am grateful I blogged about the experience to fill in the gaps that memory takes away.
This time Brandon's shunt failure wasn't as bad - and we caught it earlier (I think). A similar pattern of a headache that comes, and then goes. It started second day of Grade 5, so it looked like a stress headache. Then it calmed down... then he had a hot bath, got a headache spike, vomited, and got better. Thursday was okay, again, the neurosurgeon fellow said it could be a shunt related event, or it could be stress, since a bunch of parents of kids with shunts had been calling so far this week (stress of school starting again and all that). Woke up at 12:30 am on Friday morning with intense headache pain, and I knew we were heading in.
If we got to Children's Hospital at 8:45, we were in the ER by 9, a CT scan at 10, then a shunt series of x-rays. These showed that the tubing his body had broken, so it was obvious what the next steps were. Although scary as hell, at least this time Brandon was never out of his head in pain. The advil and tylenol did work. He was alert until he went under for surgery, and then we were already on the road to recovery. It helps having a day surgery and not a night surgery, and the recovery was better, even if the surgery was a little more complicated because they had to fish out the broken piece of tubing.
It is crazy to be distant from what happened to type it out.
It is hard being tough on the outside, telling your story, and people telling you that you are "so calm" and "how are you doing it". You don't have a choice (IMHO) and you do the best you can and put on a false front. Sometimes other peoples reactions make it harder because they are horrified by what we have gone through - and it sounds hollow when you say this time is and was easier because it wasn't as bad as last time. This doesn't make it easy, it just means last time was really, really, really bad and this time everything happened quicker in terms of surgery and we got to recovery quicker.
Brandon is humbling. His recovery has been swift. He is still himself, still a Bruins fan, still smart and funny and my boy.
Our doctors are amazing. I am grateful we live in this time, we these kinds of resources that can save my son. I think I am starting to almost relax again, because his scars are already healing, and he looks healthy, and he is already frothing at the bit to do his normal stuff again.