Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CT Scan and MRI Images

Ok, as promised here are some before and after images of Shelby's brain. As you will see, there was a whole lot of fluid:

First this is an image of a normal healthy brain:

And here is the first MRI taken of Shelby. This one scared the heck out of us:

Here is her latest CT Scan which shows some improvement, especially in the back right area:

Here is another before and after:

One more:

As you can see, there has been some good rebounding of the brain. We hope it will continue to grow, but as Tiff said, even if it doesn't she may be just fine. Of course we still don't really know her outlook long term, but she seems to be acting very normal. She is focusing on us, and smiling, and both sides of her body seem to move well, and she will grasp things with both hands. We will know a little more after her developmental evaluation.

Dr. Grant also told us that typically the Left side of the brain is dominant, especially in right-handed people. Fortunately this is the side of Shelby's brain that looks the best.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CT Scan

We went back to Duke today for Shelby's first CT scan and a follow-up with Dr. Grant, her surgeon. Thankfully, Shelby stayed calm and still through the scan so she did not need sedation. The purpose of this scan was to make sure the shunt was working, establish a baseline for Shelby's brain and to see what has changed since her surgery. We were hoping to see some growth of the brain tissue and WE DID!! The area of her brain that was most affected by the hydrocephalus (back right) used to be very thin and under a great deal of pressure and now it is over a centimeter thick, which Dr. Grant said was very good. The mid-line of Shelby's brain has also shifted closer to where it should be and there is much less fluid (which means more brain)! Shelby's brain may continue to grow a little, but even if it doesn't, Dr. Grant assured us that he is happy with where it is. We will go back to Duke in December for another CT scan to track any changes.

Our next appointment is a "global developmental assessment" with a pediatrician and a pediatric physical therapist in the middle of August. If anyone has insight on whether we should go with the Early Intervention Program or the Olsen Huff Center (or both) for Shelby's therapies, Trip and I would be very interested in hearing from you.

We'll post some before and after pictures of Shelby's brain tomorrow. Many thanks to all of you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are feeling really good about things right now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Photos and such

Its been a couple weeks since my last posting. We haven't had any doctor appointments lately, but Trip and I are taking Shelby back to Durham next Tuesday, July 28th, for her first CT scan. We'll let you know how that goes next week, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give an update of what we've been up to.

Here is one of Shelby's newborn pictures taken by Chris Chromey a few weeks ago. It is very convenient having a professional photographer right across the street. He does such a great job.

Last weekend, Trip and Harding went camping in Madison County with Jason and Derek Gilliland. The boys caught their first fish and had a wonderful time.

Meanwhile, I went to Covington with Shelby and Barbara Kinnaird to do some visiting. Here we are with Emily Prince, who lives in Germany now but was on vacation.

We also went to East Atlanta Village to see Melanie and Jeremy Jones' new baby, Henry. He is only two weeks younger than Shelby. The babies were really cute together and we took lots of pictures.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yesterday was Shelby's one month birthday! We had cupcakes this weekend to celebrate. She is starting to recognize our faces and focus in on objects more. Also, I think that she may have smiled at me a couple times this morning. :)

I eventually want to transition this blog to a family blog. Hopefully we'll be reporting more on the day-to-day happenings in the Kinnaird household, rather than medical and developmental updates on Shelby. In that spirit, we had a great 4th of July weekend (not counting Friday's trip to the ER). We had a huge barbecue on Saturday at Bea and Pete's house and Shelby got to meet a lot of family members for the first time. It was really fun relaxing, eating ribs, and playing yard games with friends and family.

This morning, Harding and I brought Shelby up to John and Barbara's house for the first time. She slept through most of it, of course. Harding got to "work" in his garden. He did inform MoMo (Barbara) that he did not want to dig for potatoes because they were dirty. He also ate basil, chives and raspberries while he was supposed to be helping her. He seems to be more adventurous while eating in the garden than he is at the table.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Slight scare.

On Thursday, I thought that Shelby's shunt was looking bigger than normal, but was not completely sure. It is hard to tell if I am just being overly paranoid sometimes--I was second guessing myself. Anyway, yesterday morning, I thought it looked big again, and Trip agreed that it was. It just looked "puffy". One of the signs of VP Shunt malfunction that we were told to look out for is the pooling of fluid around the shunt site. Trip and I thought that it was definitely fluid causing this puffiness. We called Duke Hospital and they paged the on-call pediatric neurosurgeon for us. He did not seem overly concerned. Last night, we noticed that this puffiness would come and go almost instantly, depending on Shelby's position and demeanor. We paged the neurosurgeon again, and he said that we should probably go to the ER to have it checked out. So, we nervously headed back to Mission Hospital last night around 8:30 pm. The ER staff were great to us. Apparently, you get seen immediately when there is concern about a brain shunt. Anyway, the ER doctor looked at the shunt site and then called the Duke neurosurgeon again. He was actually able to talk to the attending, Dr. Grant, who was there performing an emergency surgery. Dr. Grant told the ER doctor, who in turn told us that it is normal for there to be a little pooling of fluid around the site in the weeks following surgery until a good "seal" is formed. What we should be looking for is drastic pooling of fluid and of course a bulging fontanelle (soft spot). It is frustrating that the resident neurosurgeon we talked to twice yesterday couldn't have told us this over the phone. However, it was probably worth the ER copay so that we could sleep last night and enjoy this holiday weekend knowing that Shelby is okay. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I may be jinxing it by saying anything, but I thought I'd report that Shelby slept in her bassinet from 10 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. last night. This is a vast improvement from her usual ritual which is sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed and eating every 3 hours. Hopefully she's on her way to figuring out this whole nighttime thing. I certainly feel more rested this morning!