Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Original Blog Post: August 22, 2008- Neurosurgeons And Us

Today was our appointment with the neurosurgeon, Dr. Nagib.  We were quite nervous, considering this will be the man operating on our newborn son.  Plus, what exactly do you talk about?  And how do you know what, if any, questions to ask?  The first question he asked me, as he called down the hall to 'Mama' is, 'How's your calculus?'  Totally caught off guard, I'm thinking, 'Calculus?!  I've never taken calculus!  Is there a test?'  Then he says, 'I can't figure out when your due date should be,'  with a big smile on his face.  He shook our hands, took our arms and escorted us to his office (complete with a display case of infant-sized skulls showing various problems) and sat us down.

The information we learned today is:
  • there is no research to back up the theory that a c-section will be better for the baby then vaginal birth.  There's a 10 year study that shows no correlation between c-section and good prognosis or vaginal and bad prognosis.
  • no one will be able to predict what abilities or disabilities Caedmon will have.  There is no indicator that can tell the doctor anything, it depends on the baby and we'll have to take it day by day.
  • the size of the 'balloon' could be an indicator of whether Caedmon will need a shunt or not.  If the balloon is large it indicates that there is a lot of spinal fluid collected which means there is, quite often, a lot collected in the brain as well.  We continue to pray that Caedmon's will be small and the fluid on the brain will be minimal. 
  • They will do an ultrasound on Caedmon right away to determine if he will need a shunt placed when they do the surgery to close his back.
  • this doctor is a really competent surgeon (he's listed as the #3 neurosurgeon in the country) and we feel really confident, after meeting him, that he will be wonderful with our son.  He didn't tell us his ranking, I did a little research on him when I got his name.
  • Caedmon's surgery will happen within the first 72 hours of life.  The surgeon will make the decision after Caedmon's birth as to when surgery will happen.  Babies from all over the world are flown into Children's for this surgery and many are over a month old when they arrive and still have similar recovery, so right away or 72 hours later will not make a huge difference.
  • different people relate to each other in different ways.  We've had multiple people, parents of other spina bifida kids, tell us that Dr. Nagib is not very personable or friendly, but we found him very warm and kind.  He inquired after Damek and who would be taking care of him.  He showed us his new iPhone that his son saved to buy him for his birthday.  We greatly enjoyed our time with him and feel good about seeing him for the surgery.
Our next big appointment is mid-September.  We will have tours of both hospitals and our next ultrasound.

We are smiling a little more everyday and moving past the fear of birth to the joy of birth.  Caedmon is getting more and more active, especially with bananas in the belly, and we enjoy feeling his movements.

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