First day of school

2009 was a tumultuous time for the May family. It included a lot of new transitions – new home, new schools, and new friends. And one very unexpected event – a shunt revision for Thomas.

Thomas has been doing great. He is a preschooler at Three Bridges School, where he has been making great strides. This year, he was moved out of the prechool disabled program and was put into an inclusive preschool setting, where he is with children who have educational challenges and those who do not. He has acclimated well to his new school, and loves his teachers and classmates.

We’ve had a few health challenges, but nothing that isn’t par for the course with spina bifida. We’ve sought out new specialists, had some luck, and then faced new challenges. On Dec. 5, Thomas began vomiting, and at first, we thought it was just a garden-variety stomach virus. But after four days of intermittent vomiting and headaches, we thought it could be more than just a bug. After some tests and two hospital stays, we learned that his shunt was failing. It would be a matter of time before it would stop working altogether, so we opted for the surgery.

On Dec. 11, Thomas went in for the shunt revision and came through with flying colors. He is back to “normal” and doing well, despite all that’s he’s been through. He’s even gained 7 pounds since the surgery!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our experiences with our son, it’s that life can be very challenging and things can happen when you least expect it. The important thing is to cherish each day with your children and remember how quickly life can change in an instant.

Fortunately, we are living proof that prayers can be answered, and brain surgery (as strange as this may seem) can be relatively minor. Let’s hope for a happy and healthy new year!

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