Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Next Surgery Date.....

Thursday, August 28th, is the day he will have his spinal cord surgery. Here is a little excerpt of what they will be doing......

What is the usual treatment for tethering of the spinal cord?

Once signs and symptoms of spinal cord tethering are present, especially if progressive, conservative (non-surgical) management is rarely effective. Rest and physical therapy may be effective in relieving some of the early symptoms but the young patient is essentially doomed to worsen as time passes. The only effective treatment is surgical untethering of the underlying cause. The surgery for untethering of a spinal cord has two goals: first, to stop any further neurological deterioration, second, to hopefully see some improvement in any lost function. Once neurological function is lost it may never recover. This is why surgery is indicated when there are early signs of neurological change.

Although the causes of tethering vary, the general principles of the surgery are similar. The overwhelming majority of tethering is in the lumbar or sacral regions of the spine so the surgery is usually performed on the low portion of the back. A midline incision is made in the skin. The muscles are retracted away from the midline and exposure of the bones of the posterior spine is accomplished. The spinous process and arch of bone covering the posterior or back portion of the spinal canal (lamina) is removed in order to gain exposure to the cause of the tethering. The dura, the covering over the spinal cord and nerves) is opened, exposing the tethering process. The operation is usually done through the operating microscope or with the surgeon wearing special magnifying glasses so that vision is enhanced. Lasers or other specialized surgical equipment may be used. Depending on the cause of the tethering, the surgery may last many hours. Six to eight hours is not uncommon in complex cases. This operation is not one that usually has a lot of bleeding. Blood transfusions are rarely required.

The patient may be kept flat in bed for 24-48 hours. After that there is usually no need for prolonged bed rest. Depending on the neurological condition of the patient and the extent of the surgery, the patient may be restricted from vigorous activity for a few weeks.

I am told that this is a simple surgery, but anyone who knows us and Rhett's history, knows that we don't do simple surgeries. So of course I am doing the worry thing again. The neurosurgeon operates on Thursday's, and he had an opening for tomorrow. When he asked if we would like it, I told him no way.......

After all we have two big swim parties to go to, one tomorrow for Andy's company party, and one on the 23rd for Make a Wish. There is no way we are going to miss out on the last little bit of summer fun.....and that's the way it should be, right?!?!

It's going to be hard with the kids being in school, but it will all work out like it always does, and we need to do it before RSV season, so the 28th it is.

I feel so bad for my little guy going through yet another surgery. I just pray that this is the last one for a very long time. We are more than ready to say adios to the hospital for a while.

I just know that things will turn around. It's just a feeling that I have. I am so grateful for all of the good things in our life, and this is just another hill to climb in order for more good things to come.

One last thing, if anyone wants to sponsor a Rubber Duck for the Rubber Duckie Derby, it will be held on August 23rd at 7 Peaks Water Park. If your Duck wins then you win a new car from Jerry Seiner. The duckies are 5.00 and all of the proceeds go to the Make a Wish Foundation of Utah.

We all know that Rhett will be getting his wish granted soon, so this is a great way to help out. Click HERE to get your duckie today!!!


summergibbs said...

You are wise for not taking the surgery need to enjoy what little bit of summer there is left with your kids. I know that the Lord will be with you and be watching over Rhett during and after his surgery. He is such a sweet little boy! Good luck and congrats on Rhett getting his wish....very exciting!

BiLlY, sAm, AnD bOyS!!! said...

we will be there the 28th. we'll have to come say hello! Good luck with it all! glad you are back home. :)

Heather said...

Rhett is strong,courageous and resilient and I just know he will do this just like he has done most everything else ...... with flying colors!!!

The Bliss Family said...

Just came across your blog somehow but wanted to let you know we'll keep Rhett in our prayers. He is so handsome.