Friday, June 19, 2009

Ashlyn's First ER Visit at 17 Days

I have a feeling that Ashlyn will become a regular at our pediatric ER.....Kind of goes with the VP Shunt territory....

So last night she vomited again. This time it was a huge amount....Chris was holding her and was covered from head to toe. It soaked through two shirts! Immediately, we knew that we need to get her checked out, and I was not about to eff around calling answering services that never respond. Chris's parents rushed over to pick up B and off we went.

In addition to the vomiting, Ashlyn had been lethargic all afternoon and the fluid along her shunt tract was increasing. I was almost convinced her shunt was malfunctioning....she had 3 of the warning signs!!

We arrived at the ER at 9:57 pm (according to Ashlyn's ankle band) and got triaged right in despite a line in the waiting room. We got a room and shortly a nurse was in to assess Ashlyn. Next, an NP came in to ask questions and did a quick assessment. As she was finishing up, a transport staff member came in to take her for a CT scan and X-ray. Wow, I thought, they are really making this easy on us! However, after we got back from radiology, that is when things started to slow down....

The NP told that she would page the neurosurgeon for a consult. That is around eleven.....Unfortunately, they did not answer their page for close to 4 hours! The attending ER doctor saw Ashlyn in the meantime and told us that the images looked good. In fact, her CT scan looked better than the last one done! it's not a shunt malfunction!

So most likely it is just a stomach bug or reflux (I'm leaning towards the latter....makes sense to me). Relieved knowing this, we were so ready to leave since we were exhausted and uncomfortable in the cramped emergency room. Unfortunately, we had to wait (and wait and wait) for the neurosurgeon to check Ashlyn out.

Finally, the resident hottie neurosurgeon came in. He had been in surgery to remove a spinal tumor so I understood why we had to wait so long. He was thorough in assessing Ashlyn and going over the radiology results. He even told us what to keep an eye out for just in case. He told us we definitely did the right thing coming into the ER as she was exhibiting symptoms of shunt malfunction.

We had to wait a little longer to be discharged, but the attending doctor and our nurse were great about getting Ashlyn discharged ASAP. We ended up getting home around 5am....after 7 long hours in the ER.....Thankfully, the wonderful in-laws kept Braeden for the rest of the night and morning so Chris and I could rest.

I feel so blessed that Ashlyn's shunt is functioning properly and that she is already starting to perk up. She is much more alert today and not nearly as sleepy. And no more vomiting! I am so glad that she is fine, but I am realizing that with her health issues that these ER night trips might be more frequent than we expected....hopefully it won't be a regular thing (goodness knows I don't need more $100 ED copays), but I am starting to realize that even though she appears to be a completely normal baby most of the time, the shunt says otherwise. I read somewhere that by age 2 most babies need a shunt revision and that most shunts will malfunction at some point....Ashlyn has been through so much already, I hate to think that she will have to suffer through a lifetime of shunt issues. At least, she is given a strong chance at completely normal neurological development with her VP shunt.


  1. I am so glad it was nothing too too serious. What a night you guys had.

  2. I am so glad everything turned out ok!