Pre-Op

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I have a confession to make: I’ve taken to listening to the music that I used to listen to during high school. Profusely. Singing along word for word. I turn it up loud and it’s like no time and every moment in time has passed, all at once.

The good news is that in high school, I actually had pretty good taste. All of the classic 90’s feminist stuff like Ani DiFranco and Indigo Girls. With a little stoner soundtrack mixed in too like Grateful Dead, The Beatles and Bob Marley. It’s classic, comforting stuff. I need all of the comfort I can get right now.

E. is having her intestinal surgery on Monday. And it’s been a hell of a week. At her pre-op physical the nurse measured her head size and reported that it had gone up a whopping 47 percentile points in a short amount of time, up to the 97th percentile. This type of rapid head size increase is a key symptom of Hydrocephalus, in which the elevated level of brain fluid makes the head size grow rapidly. When that level hits a certain threshold, it becomes detrimental to brain functioning. Which generally requires brain surgery.

For the first time in E.’s life, I wasn’t there at the pediatrician’s office with her because I was trying to get in some time at work before needing to take off next week and who knows how long. If I was there, I would have asked our pediatrician to measure it himself rather than relying on the one quick little (yet big) read.

But I wasn’t there. So we scheduled an MRI a few days out to look more closely at her brain and spent the evening wishing and hoping that the nurse simply must have taken an inaccurate measurement.

The next day I hightailed it with E. out to Blaine to meet with her neurologist to have him measure her head size. He very graciously agreed to meet with E. over his lunch hour. I knew he would get the numbers right because he does his own measuring himself, just like he rooms his patients.

If you don’t know where Blaine is, I say good for you. It feels like Canada and it’s about 45 minutes away from the city. E. cried half the way there and I actually thought it was a reasonable response. Another doctors appointment? Past the strip malls of Anoka County? She was wailing and from the driver’s seat I was like, “Oh love, it’s okay. I get it. I don’t like it out here either.”

The redemption came when the doctor discovered that it was just a huge measuring error. Her head is tracking exactly on point at the 50th percentile. So thank G-d her brain is just fine. And I guess, on a positive note, when you think your child’s brain might be exploding, intestinal surgery sounds pretty doable.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

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