The couple weeks since my last post have been a whirlwind for us, perhaps Kellen most of all. While Aimee and I will always remember these past couple weeks, we’re thankful that Kellen won’t.
If you read my last post, you know we had quite a scare with Kellen a couple weeks ago. I mentioned that as a result of Kellen’s episode, our pediatrician recommended we have an EKG and EEG performed in order to rule out a heart condition or seizure. We were able to take care of the EKG that same day. It came back normal - no problems whatsoever with his heart.
The EEG, which measures electrical signals from the brain, had to be scheduled about a week later. Kellen had to have what looked like around 30 leads attached to his head and taped for security. He didn’t like that much. We then had to get him to take a 20-minute nap for the first part of the test - a seemingly daunting task. Luckily, it was easier than we thought it would be, and the tech was able to get everything he needed.
Later that day, our pediatrician called with the results of the EEG. The test came back “abnormal.” Unable to provide any additional detail, the next step was to schedule an MRI, for which Kellen would have to be sedated.
Now we were starting to worry.
Kellen’s MRI was scheduled two days later. Having to turn him over to the MRI techs and knowing he’d be sedated for the test was very emotional for us. But again, the test went fine, and he came out of anesthesia shortly afterward with no ill effects, although he was unusually fussy for the next 24 hours or so - a side effect of the sedation, we’re told.
We expected the results of Kellen’s EEG to be normal. After hearing that they weren’t, we were a bit on edge about the results of his MRI. Aimee called our pediatrician’s office as soon as we got home, knowing that it would probably be a couple hours before she’d have time to return our call between patients.
A few hours later, having not yet spoken to our pediatrician, Aimee received an email from the Texas Children’s online portal confirming an appointment the following Thursday with a neurosurgeon. What?! We immediately called our pediatrician hoping for some sort of information but were unable to speak to her due to her patient load. We’d have to wait for her to call back. Ugh!
Our pediatrician finally called us a couple hours later, and were shocked to hear what she had to say. The MRI indicated that Kellen had a subdural hematoma - a gathering of blood between the brain and the skull. She had proactivley made an appointment with a neurosurgeon for us not because Kellen would require surgery (to drain the blood), but to get a more expert evaluation of his condition.
Our pediatrician suggested that we also make an appointment with a neurologist for further interpretation of the test results. We were able to get that appointment scheduled for the next morning. The neurologist was able to put us somewhat at ease. She told us that the hematoma had not caused any apparent damage to Kellen’s brain and that, given time, it would recede on its own and should not have any lasting effects. This, of course, assumed that no additional bleeding occurred.
We asked how such a condition might come to be. She said there could be a number of causes, although typically such a condition was due to some sort of trauma to the head. This came as another shock to us, as Kellen has never experienced any such trauma in our care. There was also no other evidence of trauma or injury, such as bruising, vomiting, apparent pain, or change in behavior, nor had there ever been in his short time with us. She recommended additional testing, including a blood test to check for any blood abnormalities and an eye exam to check for other neurological conditions that might have caused the bleeding.
Kellen’s blood tests and eye exam were scheduled over the next several days. Thankfully, neither showed anything of concern, although I can say that watching your three-month-old having to endure both blood extraction (via a vein in his arm) and an eye exam is an emotional experience, to say the least.
Next was our appointment with the neurosurgeon, hopefully our last appointment for some time. Of all of Kellen’s appointments regarding this event, this one provided the greatest sense of relief for us. The neurosurgeon agreed with our neurologist that no apparent damage had been done and that Kellen would likely recover fully with no lasting effects. Of additional relief was that he would not require another MRI to check that the blood was receding; a physical examination in a couple months should suffice. She gave us the all clear to go back to our normal routine.
After nearly two weeks of Kellen having to endure endless poking, prodding, and testing, and us, the emotion and worry that came with it, we were ecstatic to finally have a real sense of relief.
On a lighter note, of some concern during all of this was the circumference of Kellen’s head. He’s always had a bit of a large head, which was again confirmed by a measurement by the neurosurgeon. While there was some concern that it might be due to swelling, that didn’t appear to be the case. She said head size is somewhat hereditary. After a quick measurement of my head, we can safely say that Kellen has his daddy to thank for his large head.
We want to thank everyone that sent us their well-wishes, prayers, and support. The folks at Aimee’s work sent us this fantastic poster with their signatures and messages for Kellen and Aimee and I.