We got back from Miami Children's Hospital about 2 hours ago.
And I mean ALL OF US CAME BACK HOME.......including Justine!!!!!
The elevated protein/potassium readings that led Justine's neurosurgeon Dr Raghib (a wonderful surgeon who saved Justine's life after a shunt failure 3 years ago) to fear that the shunt was failing rapidly turned out to be a contaminated sample. 3 other samples were sent ahead to him from this week, and we found out today that all were within the normal range.
Now, there still remains a problem with the catheter that feeds cerebral/spinal fluid into the valve of her heart.
In short, on x-rays the catheter should reach down to the area of the 6th and 7th rib. Justine's (due to her growth) has receded to the area of the 4th and 5th ribs.
This is short of the length into the heart valve for optimal drainage from her brain. BUT......the CAT scan shows no buildup of fluid within the ventricles in her brain, so there is no increased pressure on her brain due to fluid.
SOOOOOOO......the shunt revision is likely to be necessary sometime before she reaches maximum growth, since the catheter in her heart is already shorter than optimal. But, for now, it seems that despite its shift in position, it is still draining the fluid effectively enough that the risk of surgery doesn't warrant the proceedure as yet.
And........while it is likely inevitable that the surgery will come.......it doesn't have to come NOW.
And when you have a child with Justine's health issues.......now is really all you've got anyway.
So, we take this respite from the inevitable with gratitude. Maybe she won't need the surgery for 2 or 3 years........possibly longer.
After 22 surgeries on her brain, heart, and abdomen so far, we just hope it stretches out as long as possible before she has to be subjected to any more.
So we are a VERY happy little family tonight.
And not only because of Justine, but because of the wonderful encouragement and friendships we have both at home and here........among our Elvis friends.
My thanks and eternal gratitude for the concern and care you have shown my little girl. I will never forget it.