Little Man’s Surgery in 2011

When Little Man was 4 months old, he had a very bad case of constipation.  Because his sisters both had issues with constipation, especially Curly, I wasn’t terribly concerned at first.  But when it went on for more than 2 weeks, I was concerned and mentioned it to his doctor at his well checkup.

We had just introduced some rice cereal into his diet and attributed some of his issues to that.  But when he began showing more serious symptoms after getting his immunizations and developing a fever, we ended up at a children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

After a very long weekend of some very invasive and disturbing examinations, we were sent home without answers.  The tests were somewhat inconclusive.  We did discover that Little Man is a carrier for cystic fibrosis, but the doctor was leaning towards Hirschprung’s.

You can find out what Hirschprung’s disease is in this post.

When the biopsy was done, and he was diagnosed with Hirschprung’s, we were actually relieved.  It was something that could be addressed and taken care of in a surgery.

The surgical procedure was a “pull-through.”  The last 20% of Little Man’s colon was removed and the remaining healthy tissue was “pulled through” his abdomen and joined to the base of his colon.  He was in the hospital for a few days post-op and we were blessed to have the opportunity to have a room at the local Ronald McDonald house which was really wonderful for our rest.  He had an amazing recovery and has continued to do well to this day.

The last 20% of the colon is sorta the storage unit for your body’s waste, where the moisture is drawn out of the waste and then eliminated from the body.  Because LM does not have this portion of his colon, it is unusual for him to have constipation, let alone hard stools.  That can make for some very interesting and smelly diapers, but now that we are moving into potty training, that will change.  Thankfully, he is a vegetable eater!  He does really great with veggies and trying new veggies.  Since we have switched over almost entirely to lactose-free milk or almond milk, the risk of constipation is very low for him.  Keeping his system healthy is important, and it helps us keep the girls healthier.

Say a Prayer for Curly

Curly is scheduled for some tests today. She has always had issues with constipation from the day she was born, but we always found a way to manage and get through the difficulty.

Now, because of Little Man’s diagnosis & surgery, the GI docs at Nationwide Children’s are concerned that she may have the same condition, Hirschprung’s Disease, which can worsen with age. As she has struggled for most of her 6 years, we felt it was best to get her checked and rule it out or address it now while she is still young.
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Update for Little Man: One Day at a Time.

So, he had his repeat biopsy yesterday, since the first one was inconclusive. We arrived without any trouble – visited with the nurse for a moment. Spoke with the doctor and then they took him into the procedure room.

The nurse walked in – all business-like – and told one of us to sit on a stool and the other to stand “over there” to assist with the procedure.

sigh.

I didn’t want to, but Roy didn’t want to even worse – so I walked over and swallowed the big lump in my throat.
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Update on The Little Man

So, we think that No News is Good News. The only calls we’ve received regarding Little Man’s recent hospitalization were to confirm follow-up visits and to check and see how he is doing. No specific confirmation or ruling out of any diagnosis as of yet.

Meanwhile, LM seems to have been affected by the hospital stay in that he does NOT want to take a nap alone anymore. That has made things rather challenging! I can’t blame him. He was poked and prodded and manhandled several times in a 24 hour period while he felt miserable – and Roy & I were there to comfort him when he was stressed – but it’s made things a bit more difficult to manage at home.
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What is Hirschprung’s Disease?

Until last week, I had never ever heard of Hirschprung’s disease. After checking online for “ileus vs. bowel obstruction” (which were the original diagnoses considered), I started seeing it in the search results, but didn’t read anything in depth until a surgeon mentioned Hirschprung’s disease later.

Hirschprung’s disease is when the ganglion nerve cells inside the colon are missing, preventing the mobility of the colon’s muscles to move waste out of the body. Basically, it affects the colon from the end into the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is more common in males, it can be genetic (and with our girls’ histories of constipation, I’m wondering if they haven’t had it to some degree, too!), and is associated with other medical conditions.
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In a Mom’s Life: Poop Happens

Yeah – I know. I just wrote about this topic recently – reminiscing about a Walmart bathroom incident when Curly was little. Didn’t realize just how much the “poop theme” would continue in this mom’s life…

Little Man has spent a few nights in Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After a dr visit Thursday – we were referred to a local ER, but after several hours there, we were sent to Columbus – more than an hour away from home. Little Man is constipated. So constipated in fact that multiple suppositories & enemas did NOTHING to help. After his well visit Tuesday last week, and routine vaccinations, the dr and I discussed his constipation – and I was to call her by Friday if nothing had happened.
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