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Kaiden and the scan

The scan went fantastically, with Kaiden sleeping in the MRI machine for all but 5 minutes at the end where he waited patiently for it to finish. We were not expecting anything to be wrong as this was just a precautionary scan to make sure that nothing in his head was affecting his gross motor skills.
After the scan we were told to expect a call towards the end of the week…

Tuesday 25th May, 12pm

The very next day we got a call from Southbank who said that they has found an Arachnoid Cyst and could we come in the next day to see a Consultant and that Kai would need an operation.

Wednesday 26th May, 12:30pm

We went into the Southbank clinic and spoke to the paediatric consultant who assured us that it was operable but that it was taking up considerable space in Kai’s head. Cerebrospinal fluid is building up as a cyst is blocking the channels it uses to drain. Thankfully they told us that prospects were good and that Kai would expect to make a full recovery before showing us the MRI pictures.
The two images I have were taken on my mobile phone as we had to go to one of the back offices to see them. They did not have another computer!

Figure: Normal brain MRI cross section.
This normal scan shows the spaces in the middle of the brain that contain and produce the Cerebrospinal fluid.

Figure: Normal Cerebrospinal Flow
This fluid is needed by the brain but is drained in the middle down the spinal column.
IMAG0390_thumb
Figure: Kai’s cyst blocking the four channels.
I do not think that I need to explain the difference between the healthy picture and Kai’s picture. However you can see in this first picture the faint outline of the cyst in the middle that is blocking the four channels from draining. After seeing the scans a Neurosurgeon has decided that he is not acute, but needs an operation to unblock the flow.
IMAG039153
Figure: OMFG!

You can see in the second picture the effect of the build up of fluid. If I was not horrified by the first picture I was seriously horrified by this one. This is not only worse than our worst fears, it is worse than our worst nightmares!

What next?

Kai is not presenting the symptoms of vomiting or listlessness that would show an immediate problem and as such we will get an appointment to see the Paediatric Neurosurgeon at the Southern General hospital in about 4 weeks. This timescale is based on the Neurosurgeon seeing the scans. After that Kai will need an operation to release the pressure and either remove the cyst completely or put in a permanent shunt (tube from brain to stomach) to bypass the blockage.
We have updated his notes for the referral with additional recent information on top of the scan that the consultant things will help improve the timescales, but that is just a guess.
All we can do now is wait and see, and be watchful for tell tail signs of listlessness, eye problems and vomiting that would signify a worsening of his condition.

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