Groundhog Day

“Has Natalie had anything to eat or drink this morning?”
One of the doctors popped his head in this morning to inquire after Natalie’s nutritional intake.  She has not been able to keep any food down – with the exception of two crackers last night.  I informed him of her status and he said, “Ok, make sure she doesn’t eat or drink anything and I will be back to talk to you.”

As he left I realized what this might mean…. 

Here we go again!

It was confirmed when Dr. Selden came to greet me a few minutes afterward.  He asked about Natalie and then asked me to come with him to look at her MRI scans that we had done at midnight last night.  Sure enough, there is her tumor – turns out they had only skimmed the edges.  No wonder the area around it looked abnormal.  He had talked to us about this risk – but in the 14 years as Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery this has never happened.  Apparently her brain shifted (I cannot recall the word that he used.)  He also told me about his hard hat and shovel that he has ready for a groundbreaking this week as our Doernbecher Hospital becomes the only facility north of Los Angeles and East of Ann Arbor, MI to have an interoperative MRI for pediatric neurosurgery.  Natalie’s surgery was just too early to take advantage of that…
So she is headed back to surgery today.  We will either go in a couple hours as second case, or this afternoon as third…  the scheduled second case child has a fever so they may have to wait.  Through the night I worried about her nausea, but it has turned out to be a blessing – her body is ready for surgery.  Today will be easier and shorter – we are very fortunate that we are not coming back in a couple of weeks.  Today they need only pop open the stitches and the bone plug – no scar tissue has developed and they will be able to get right where they need to be.  Her anesthetic will be lighter and they should not have to use an arterial line today.  When Natalie heard the news about surgery she accepted it gracefully and managed a smile when she heard they could proceed without an arterial line – she was so pleased when it came out last night.
We will be back in PICU tonight, but with the light anesthetic they are still hopeful to send us home tomorrow.
How strange that both of my daughters have had to do back-to-back surgeries for such unusual reasons.
In the movie, Groundhog Day, the hero learns to take advantage of his time to learn new things and develop new talents… I wonder what I am supposed to be learning and developing during my extra time?

Yesterday they marked the surgical site


I don’t think they can miss it today!

2 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

  1. Well…there's always the three strikes rule. So this is their second try…just want it out. She is a strong, young, healthy girl. As you sit still and wait…you will feel the love, peace, and power of a Heavenly Father. Hugs to all


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