There are so many memories and things from those first few weeks of her life, spent tirelessly in the NICU, that are a blur or that have been lost from my mind. Not all things, but certainly some, which in all honesty, is probably a blessing. That was a trying time, full of fears, uncertainty, helplessness and lost hope. Some things are best forgotten, but not all. I certainly know that in that period of shock, many things were told to us that went right in one ear and out the other, or never were even heard at all.
So it wasn't a surprise to me that on Monday when Jeff and I were talking about Olivia's initial intestinal issues and surgery due to meconium ileus at birth, there were clearly details I missed. Like when Jeff told me (complete with hand gestures as to how this process may have gone), that the GI surgeon literally took Olivia's intestines out of her body and placed them on a table to clean out the meconium, my mouth about hit the floor. Sitting there and mulling this over for a second, I looked at him and said, "How did he know that he put everything back in how it was supposed to go?" Jeff shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
We then proceeded to talk about the likely probability that because of her history and previous intestinal surgery that we wouldn't be surprised if things in her gut weren't how they were supposed to be. Statistically, because of her start with meconium ileus, she's at a higher risk of developing a intestinal blockage, we know this. But I also thought that perhaps given the x-rays upon x-rays she was subjected to after that initial surgery, something awkward or not right would have been caught within those first 2 weeks of life? Or how about the x-rays she's had since then that have shown portions of her GI tract, surely something off would have shown up perhaps?
Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from our GI doctor, Dr. Sarah. She said she had the results of Olivia's MR Enterography, immediately followed by "there is evidence that her gut isn't right". She rattled off a whole bunch of other stuff, but the just of what I got was portions of her colon that should be on one side of her body are on the other side, same with her small intestines, there are portions of the right side that should be on the left side. Her colon is also located in the upper left quadrant of her abdomen rather than the lower. And, there is also a portion of her small intestines that is dilated but they aren't able to see if it's partially obstructed or not based on the MR Enterography.
The whole point in proceeding with the GI studies we had done on Monday were to hopefully eliminate the added x-rays for Olivia and radiation exposure in doing just the Upper GI study with x-rays. However, since the results of Monday's MRI are inconclusive, Olivia will need to have the Upper GI study done where she goes back in to the hospital, drinks the barium solution and has x-rays taken to verify if or if not there is a partial blockage in her small intestines. Thankfully, this won't require sedation. We are awaiting scheduling for this. I'm assuming we will see if there is a blockage before figuring out how to proceed with fixing the rest of her gut.
As my heart sank, and I immediately wanted to panic, I didn't. I told Dr. Sarah, that at least there might be a reason for Olivia's nausea and vomiting and lack of appetite based on her "not right gut". I also calmed down knowing that this isn't anything new. Olivia has more than likely been dealing with this for quite some time. There is no way to tell if this misshaped mess is the result of her initial surgery, because of a blockage or what have you and honestly, it just doesn't much matter. What is most important is that we are on the track to hopefully getting some of this stuff figured out and fixed. I guess for as much as the g-tube has caused numerous problems for Olivia, it's also been beneficial in the fact that if she wouldn't have had the issues she has and as a result referring us to GI to proceed, we may not have discovered any of this for quite some time yet.
I'm not glad that her gut isn't right, I'm not glad that this may require more surgery to fix, but I am relieved that there is perhaps a reason for her nausea, vomiting, stomach issues, weight struggles and lack of eating. I hope we can get her in for this next procedure fairly quickly so that we can proceed with a plan to "fix" the issues with the hopes that we can do it sooner than later so that our summer this year won't be cut short due to surgeries and hospital stays like last.