Friday, September 17, 2010

Dermoid Surgery


Today was Joshua's 3rd surgery, a removal of a Dermoid Skull Tumor. It is nice to have surgery #3 behind us. I wish I could say that this was his last surgery ever...but realistically speaking that is most likely untrue. However, I will say that this surgery was a piece of cake compared to his shunt surgery at 3 weeks old. Joshua did great and was discharged from CHOC at noon to go home. We've now been home for about 5 hrs and have had to give him only one dose of Tylenol. He took a long nap and woke up in a great mood (see photo below).



Now for the interesting part...

Dr. Muhonen had to drill pretty deep into Joshua's skull to remove the entire tumor. After he removed the tumor, he sliced it in half and what he found was a piece of hair about 10 inches long.....YUCK! This is typical with these types of tumors since inside are mature skin cells that can produce hair, teeth, and even nails! Joshua- I'm sorry if this revelation embarrasses you later on in life but yes! you did have a 10 inch long hair lodged inside a tumor above your left eyebrow.

Ok, sorry if that was too much information for some people but I thought it was pretty interesting.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A milestone for Joshua!

I'm so happy to see that my little boy is developing right on track with a "typical" baby. He is 3 mos old and starting to try to sit up on his own. He really enjoys the Bumbo and being propped up against pillows. He can hold himself up for a few seconds before tumbling over but I know that before we know it he'll be on his way. Next milestone.....solid foods (probably at 4 mos).


As for Ms. Abby, we have finally made the transition from the crib to the toddler bed. She loves it most of the time and definitely enjoys the freedom it provides. We have had some nights where it was near impossible to keep her in bed, but for the most part it has worked out okay. She sure looks cute, though, sleeping in her pink bed in her pink room.....I may have gone a little crazy with the pink but what the heck....she's my only girl!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A busy week...

This week has been extremely busy for our family.

On Tuesday, Joshua had his first Physical and Occupational Therapy evaluations. They went very well and as we expected Joshua will need PT and OT two or three times per week for the first couple years of his life. The PT is important so that he learns and reaches developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and eventually standing and walking. Because of Joshua's spina bifida, he has no feeling in his ankles and feet and very little calf muscle strength. The PT should help him develop more strength in that area. I'm not quite sure yet what the purpose of the OT is at this time.

On Wednesday, Joshua had an appointment with his neurosurgeon, Dr. Muhonen. His appointment was originally scheduled for the 15th of September to check on his shunt however about a month ago we noticed a small bump that had developed above Joshua's left eyebrow and when it didn't go away we thought it was important to get him seen as soon as possible. The doctor took one look at the bump and new immediately what it was. Joshua has a Dermoid Skull Tumor above his left eyebrow which is basically a collection of mature tissue cells that are growing on his skull and under his skin. The doctor assured us that this is fairly common in infants, completely UNRELATED to Spina Bifida, and NOT something to be concerned with. Joshua will have surgery on September 17th at CHOC Hospital to remove the tumor and should go home the very same day. There is a small chance that Joshua could have others that just aren't big enough to see at this time, but we will just keep an eye on him and if another develops we will tackle it at that time. On a more positive note, Joshua's doctor is very pleased with how his shunt is holding up... great news for us!

Today (Thursday), Joshua had a Renal Ultrasound (kidneys and bladder) to check for hydronephrosis which is stretching of the kidneys caused by urine backup. This is something that can occur in children with spina bifida and is part of the reason we are cathing Joshua. By cathing him four times per day, it empties his bladder and prevents old urine from traveling into the kidneys and causing damage. We will get the results sometime tomorrow and it is likely that Joshua will continue to have these monitoring ultrasounds on a fairly regular basis throughout his life.

Well, that's it for now. We will update our blog with news of Joshua's surgery and of course we are expecting nothing but a great outcome.