We received the news today that Little Miss Minion’s great-grandma has passed away.
One of the first stories I remember Mr Minion telling me about his grandparents was the yearly Christmas cookie extravaganza. His Grandma L would make dozens and dozens and dozens of cookies: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies. Mr Minion was a little kid, so he got to decorate them all, and probably ate more than he should have. She also has a recipe for hamburger soup that Mr Minion and I have both tried to make. It’s very, very good, but he always tells me it just isn’t the same.
He would tell me stories about when his grandparents would take him to vacation Bible school, about when they would take him on driving trips, to the zoo, to the art and history museums. They would take him to see movies, and she always had Campbell’s beef and barley soup for him whenever he would come over, because it was his favorite.
She is loved, well-remembered, and will be very much missed.
Every couple of months, Little Miss Minion has a sedated MRI to make sure that her shunts are working well and that any excess cerebrospinal fluid is being drained. She had one today and things are looking good.
She seems to have slight issues with sedation, most likely due to her preemie lungs. Her oxygen levels dropped slightly during the procedure, but they were able to quickly correct the problem. Preemies, especially micro preemies, have underdeveloped lungs at birth and it takes them several years to catch up.
The actual scan was mostly good news. Everything looks good, except an area near her ETV site. It is slowly getting bigger, which could mean several things. It could be that her etv is getting blocked or is scarring over. It could stabilize itself. Or it could get worse. Right now, her neurosurgeon is confident that she’s not having any hydro issues and that the area is safe to observe. We’ve been cleared for 6 more months!
Another saga of preemie problems happened Saturday night. LMM had a low grade fever and threw up twice. Because of her shunt and her prematurity, the nurse line recommended that we bring her in to the er for evaluation. Could it be a shunt infection? A malfunction? Stomach virus? The doctor on call was ok with having us just watch her closely, since we were going to have an mri today, but we have to be on constant alert for shunt issues.
The Minions went to the Botanical Gardens this morning, accompanied by a very special guest: Auntie E. This was the third time that Little Miss Minion has been to the gardens, and she was actually awake for most of it this time. She really liked the flowers and the fountains, but her favorite part was the koi fish pond. I held her (in a vice grip) so she could look over the railing at the fish. The fish are huge, probably two or three feet long and maybe 20 pounds each, and they are very used to getting food from the people on the bridge. All you have to do is hold your hand over the water and you’ll have ten or fifteen of them swarming under you in a matter of a minute.
There are white ones, brown ones, and a couple of very vibrant orange ones that she really liked. There were also some geese and ducks on the shore of the pond, fighting with the fish and each other over the food pellets. She was smiling and babbling and squealing like crazy over the fish and birds. I think LMM had a great time outside and getting to see another face besides ours.
The other weekend activity was watching a Disney channel movie that I had recorded from their marathon the other today. I had forgotten about it until I saw it in the lineup, but it was always one of my favorites when I was little. It’s called Miracle in Lane 2, starring Frankie Muniz as Justin Yoder, a boy who wants to race soap box derby cars. Justin also has Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus. There is a part in the beginning , where Justin is explaining what hydrocephalus is, and he says that he has a headache. His parents go into shunt malfunction mode, getting on the phone with the hospital, grabbing overnight bags, getting ready to go. After several attempts, to tell them it’s ok, he finally yells that “it’s not that kind of headache.” I found myself laughing because that is what Mr Minion and I have done each time we have suspected shunt issues. I thought the movie did a pretty good job of showing hydrocephalus and has a pretty accurate depiction of a shunt malfunction. I can’t speak to the Spina Bifida portion, but from my limited knowledge, it was pretty accurate on that as well.
Huge milestone today: Little Miss Minion came with us when we went grocery shopping! This is the 8th place she has ever been in her whole life.
She held on to the front of the basket to keep her balance, and she seemed to really like looking around at all the colors and people. Definitely needs to wear pants next time-we had her in a onesie and she seemed cold. And some older lady got a little too close and asked us how old LMM is. She guessed six months, and when we told her she was a year old, the lady smiled and awkwardly walked away. Fine by me.
Weekend grocery trips are going to be so much easier. I think I’ll get her a shirt that says NO TOUCHING and we’ll be good.