Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks since Pierce had his suboccipital craniotomy cyst fenestration (whew! I've said that phrase one too many times this week).
For those who've followed us on facebook or twitter, you know that we had a little bump last week. On Wednesday night, Pierce woke up around 10pm screaming in pain. He was inconsolable. Nothing seemed to calm him down.
We were hoping it was something simple like an ear infection or a sore throat, but a trip to the pediatrician didn't yield any answers. Because of the high risk of infection and shunt failure during this post-operative period, the pediatrician felt we should take him in if his condition worsened. At the appointment, he had been able to calm himself down and it seemed the pain medicine was working well.
But as we returned home, his pain spiked again and he was unable to eat, sleep or do anything more than just scream in pain. For those who know what this boy has been through (ex: multiple spinal taps without pain meds-- hello!), you'll know that it takes something serious to make him cry like this. In fact, we've never seen him in this much pain. Even after the surgery, his pain was more manageable.
Because we are 2.5 hrs from our neurosurgeons at Duke, we decided to pack him up and make the drive. We were admitted through the ER. Pierce began vomiting when we arrived and the ER doc felt for sure that his shunt was malfunctioning. Hours later, Pierce had had numerous tests run, including a CT, x-ray shunt series and abdominal ultrasound. Unfortunately everything looked clear and there were no answers as to why Pierce was in such intense pain.
We were moved to the pediatric floor and the team was able to get Pierce's pain under control with the strong IV pain meds. Still, when it would wear off, he would instantly begin screaming in pain.
We really didn't know what else to do other than to pray and ask God to remove this intense pain from our son. It really was nothing short of miraculous what happened next. Pierce seemed to really turn a corner and began feeling much better. We decided, along with the pediatrician on call that since his shunt looked ok, we would return home and be admitted through our local children's hospital if his pain spiked again.
So we packed up and headed home around 5 pm. 10 minutes down the road and Pierce was sound asleep. When we arrived home 3 hrs later, we felt for sure he'd want to wake up and eat. But all he wanted to do was sleep. So we put him down for the night. Wouldn't you know the boy slept for 16 hours straight! No waking for pain meds, no crying. It was miraculous.
Since Saturday, Pierce has been his happy self. He still gets very tired quickly, but his fussiness is gone. We've since learned that the type of surgery he had can cause chronic, intense headaches. Adults report they come on suddenly and cause intense pain. We feel almost certain that his pain was related to the surgery. Would you please join us in praying that it never returns? We are hoping to make it until our appt in mid-June before we see another doctor or hospital room :)
Thank you all for continuing to follow our story and for praying for Pierce. We feel certain that the many prayers were heard and that the Lord healed our boy that night.