Wednesday, October 7, 2015

home... and he's "had enough"

Shea is home from his surprise day of surgery.  He's having pain, but now resting well and stable.

The story goes...

there has been a screw from the summer's spinal surgery that has been giving us trouble right along.  Especially since the back brace came off, and he's been allowed to put more flexion through his spine  The screw was stable in the vertebrae itself but just giving too much tensile strain on the skin that's over it.  It protruded too much for his tiny little frame, but that is where it had to be placed to fixate his spine in a way that would restore signal through the spinal cord.

We've been very careful to keep it as protected as possible.  I know shea's skin well, and the last 2 days i started to notice some purple spots in this area, probably indicating deep tissue injury from the "inside out".  I even took him into ortho for a check yesterday because of that and some other concerns.

The morning was fairly normal, he was getting ready for picture day... getting hollered at for getting toothpaste on his tie that he was so excited to wear, and then arguing over a dictionary with one of his siblings. Yes, a cotten pickin' dictionary turf war was the the precipitating factor in this stupid, no good day! 

Shea was on his hands and knees. He and a  sibling (who is in the witness protection program currently) were tugging and war'ing on the above mentioned dictionary.  He was manhandled a bit, lost his balance, and whammy, his "bad spot / lump / pain in the butt screw" smacked the floor.  He hollered at the culprit, but was equally guilty in the ordeal.  Within a few seconds he was better, and on his way to getting in his chair and backing up his backpack. 

10 min later i was about to get him ready to catch the bus and i realized his nifty dress shirt was covered with blood on his back...  mom took a look, and discovered a tiny little puncture site, with a shiny silver screw peeking out at me.

Of course with everything so close to the spine, that has to be dealt with right away to protect from infection.  By that afternoon Dr Sanders took him into surgery.  They excised the broken area more to get clean margins, irrigated, put in antibiotics and stitched him up.  Before stitching him up they did adjust the head of the screw a bit to try to help with the tension on the skin.  ( i wasn't aware that the heads of those screws are adjustable in comparison to the shaft of the screw... so it wasn't actually removed fully, just adjusted ) 

Also very surprising to me, they re opened 4 - 5 inches of the original spine incision i'm told.  they needed to make sure after the adjustments that everything looked stable and secure and that there weren't any signs of infection. 

The dressing will stay on for a week to keep it as sterile as possbile, and then we'll take a peek at the MD office to see how everything is healing.  The TLSO brace will be worn when he's moving around, not for bone integrity issues, but to keep the tension of the skin over that area as controlled as possible so that it will hopefully heal. 

There is also a possibility of more hardware needing to be added to the lumbar spine because of some increased kyphosis ( curving ) of the non surgery region vertebrae....which is a part of the problem with the hardware being so close to the skin in the T spine right now...( however i can't process that currently. ) We were offered a monday surgery time to do this, but i can't wrap my brain around any of that right now, and think i would rather procede slowly, with one thing at a time.  It just sounds like in the next few days we'll be watching things and talking through options.

That is the story for today.  I ask for you all to pray for his spirit again.  He's not a happy camper.  He fought off the anasthesia like Rocky.  The anasthesiologist said he couldn't rember a little guy that won "against the happy gas" for as long as shea did.  Rocky did not want to be on that table again for sure and he was letting everyone know it.  Once he woke up, he did not mince words.  He said, "I'm going home, get me out of here".  And he did.... thankfully.