Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Follow Up Appointment

So today we headed to Salt Lake and Billy had a CT scan and then we went to see the Neurosurgeon for our first follow up visit since leaving the hospital. The doctor was overall please with Billy's progress. The doctor said he was doing much better than most people at this stage. He said that Billy is no longer at risk for a re-bleed which was really great to hear and that he didn't have any restrictions on how much weight he could lift (If you forgot, when he came home his instructions were to pick up nothing heavier than 10 lbs.) The doctor wants him to start exercising about 45 minutes a day (walking or riding a exercise bike) and slowly begin doing things he did before as he feels up to it. He said he could start driving, but for the first couple of weeks I have to be in the car with him until I feel like he his ready to drive on his own (He said I should treat him like he just got his permit, lol. Now I have 2 permit drivers, Billy and Logan!!) So that is the summary of the good news!!

Now the not so good news is that Billy has Hydrocephalus. The following are details about Hydrocephalus that I got off of a Neuro website which explains it better than I could. "Hydrocephalus is the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Normally, this fluid cushions your brain. When you have too much, though, it puts harmful pressure on your brain.

There are two kinds of hydrocephalus. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth. Causes include genetic problems and problems with how the fetus develops. An unusually large head is the main sign of congenital hydrocephalus. Acquired hydrocephalus can occur at any age. Causes can include head injuries, strokes, infections, tumors and bleeding in the brain. Symptoms of acquired hydrocephalus can include

Vomiting and nausea
Blurry vision
Balance problems
Bladder control problems
Thinking and memory problems

Hydrocephalus can permanently damage the brain, causing problems with physical and mental development. If untreated, it is usually fatal. With treatment, many people lead normal lives with few limitations. Treatment usually involves surgery to insert a shunt. Medicine and rehabilitation therapy can also help."

So this explains why Billy still feels so much pressure in his head and why he wants to sleep 12 hours or more a day. Fortunately, Billy doesn't have all of the symptoms, but he has enough that the doctor prescribed a medication that will prevent his body from producing so much spinal fluid. The hope is that if his body doesn't produce as much, his body will then be able to catch up and eventually start reabsorbing the excess fluid. He has to go back in 4 weeks to have another CT scan and then see the doctor again. If he still has hydrocephalus then the doctor said we may have to start considering putting in a permanent shunt. This would require another surgery (nothing as major as before) where they will place a tube in his head and then thread it under his skin down to his stomach where the excess spinal fluid would drain and then be excreted by the body. We are praying very hard that this medicine will work and then Billy's body will begin to work as normal so he doesn't have to have a permeant shunt. Obviously it's not the end of the world and people live normal lives all the time with shunts, but I really just want to avoid this if at all possible. Don't get me wrong I feel so blessed to have Billy alive and well, but this would just be one more thing! The doctor also said he could not go back to work until after our next appointment January 3, 2012 and if all goes well he will still have to start back part time and then build up.

So after today I have mixed feelings. I'm very happy he is doing so well and overall doesn't have any deficits, but I really wasn't expecting the hydrocephalus so tonight I had a little break down. I'm trying really hard to be strong and positive, but I guess sometimes a girl's just got to have a good cry. After 6 weeks of this you would think I would be more prepared, but I really wasn't expecting this because of how good he has done. I will just keep praying and I know my Heavenly Father will get us through this and one day we will look back and be thankful for this growing opportunity.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


It's been a while since I've posted anything for many reasons. First of all, I thought if I posted everyday that Billy is making progress, but sleeping about 12 hours a day it would get pretty boring. My mother went home about 3 weeks ago so that leaves everything for me to do by myself (Oh how I miss my mom, but she needed to get back home. I am so grateful for everything she did for us). Plus I've started going back to work at the dental office and at Kohl's as much as I can and unfortunately homework, school projects, laundry, dishes and night time rituals never stop and with 4 kids you can imagine how crazy my nights are. Needless to say, I've been a little stressed and when night time rolls around I'm so tired that I usually pick sleep over blogging. Then last Thursday Landon woke up with a fever, threw up at 4am and then Karsyn and Paige got it too. (Now honestly, can the LaRose's have anymore fun than we already are???)

So the last 3 weeks or so, Billy has continued to make progress. His short term memory is getting better and he is getting stronger all the time. He's trying really hard to get back into normal life little by little. He went to Paige's basketball game last Saturday and he was glad he did, but he was really tired once he got back. Then Saturday night we decided the entire family needed a break so we all went to the movies. Billy really wanted to go, but hesitated as well. He did end up going with us and he tried really hard to enjoy himself, but it was really hard on him physically and mentally, but it was another step to recovery. One of his big problems right now is his sleeping is all messed up. He sleeps all day, gets up in the late afternoon and then can't go to sleep again until like 4:30am so the cycle continues. It's really hard for him to stay awake all day, but he is trying really hard. His head doesn't hurt that much, but he still has a lot of pressure in it, which is uncomfortable. His other complaint is that his entire body aches. He said it feels like when you have the flu, and it only goes away when he takes ibuprofen. Speaking of medicine, he is doing really good in that regard. He hasn't taken any prescription pain medicine in a week and is managing with Ibuprofen alone. Overall, we're 6 weeks post surgery and he has made amazing progress. I'm very proud of him and I know he will keep working hard so he can finally have is life back!!

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts, prayers and kind gestures. Also, we have been given a couple of anonymous gifts so if any of you reading this is responsible for one of those, Thank you so much!! As hard as this has been, I have to say we have been blessed in so many ways!!