The trach party, which was going to be held Oct. 10, is on hold. Ammon had surgery tonight to replace his shunt. Sunday he started showing some shunt malfunction symptoms (didn't want to wake up, had a headache, etc.) but we sent him to school this morning for the first time. He lasted until about 9:30 a.m. when they called Jim and told him to come and get him. Jim took him up to PCMC to have them check the pressure on Ammon's shunt and they determined that it was blocked and would need to be replaced. They also contacted Dr. Smith, the ENT, because Ammon was having trouble talking this morning (not a lot of energy and had to work pretty hard to be heard). Dr. Smith agreed to do an endoscopy and check out the trachea to make sure there wasn't a problem there and also agreed to to the intubation for the surgery. He helped Jim give Ammon a blessing before the surgery and Jim said it was a very special experience.
So at 4:45 p.m. this afternoon I found out they were going to do the surgery. I hadn't known for sure all day long where they were (dang no cell phone!). I couldn't go up after work because I had to interview some new candidates who want to become our new DSPD caseworker. When I got home I still couldn't find Jim and Ammon so I decided to stay home until I heard from them.
The news was not good! Ammon has peritonitis which is what he had just before Chelsey got married. That is an infection in his peritonial cavity and that, in turn, has probably infected his shunt. They had to pull the shunt and insert an external drain which means an automatic three week stay in the hospital. He will have to celebrate his 14th birthday in the hospital. How nasty is that?!
The endoscopy showed that his trachea looks great so that was the one piece of good news. I was able to talk to Ammon after the surgery and he sounded very good. He said his headache is gone. I will go up first thing tomorrow morning and stay until Wednesday morning when I have to go back to work. Jim and I will go back to our "routine" where he stays during the week and I go up on the weekends.
I kept asking doctors if the problems he's been having with the distension and the food just sitting in the stomach could possibly be peritonitis and they all reassured me it wasn't that. The symptoms were just too familiar. Now that we know what's wrong, we know how to fix it. Even though I was really sad and upset when Jim told me, at this moment I feel more peaceful than I have for the past three weeks. Ammon will have to be on heavy antibiotics for those three weeks, but he will feel a whole lot better than he has for a long time and will be able to play on the computer, watch movies, do homework, etc. Anyone that wants to visit is welcome!!! He will get very bored.
So the trach party is on hold but we will celebrate his birthday with him at the hospital.