Monday, August 8, 2011

Ryder 2.0

Well friends. I'm so sorry to be writing to you for the first time, in a long time, because this post isn't the most fun we've ever written. (pics below)

For about 3 weeks Ryder has had a few spells of vomiting that were mostly unexplained. The sickness was at first thought to be viral and the doctor's best advice was to make sure that we cleaned the house good to prevent it from coming back again. If you know Beth Anne like I do, that suggestion is a red flag that they are probably wrong; no one keeps a clean house like my lady. As it turns out, they were mistaken about their diagnosis. Instead the source was the result of Ryder's shunt not working properly.

If you don't recall, Ryder's shunt is the extra hardware that his doctors implanted under his scalp and down his rib cage, a couple months after he was born. The shunt serves Ryder by allowing fluid from his brain to drain to his abdomen, which in turn prevents undue pressure and/or swelling on his brain. If the brain has swelling or extra pressure it won't function as intended. The body reacts by becoming lethargic and usually accompanies vomiting. The body has natural defense mechanisms to right itself and in this case Ryder's body was ticked.

Sunday morning (4am) we were woken up by Ryder throwing up in his crib. We jumped into the routine we had just recently developed by grabbing him, a tub lined with a grocery sack (thanks for the bag tip Taber), wet rags, etc., to help our boy get through it. In between the action I start cleaning to prep for the next round while Beth Anne did her Mommy duties to make Ryder know he's loved and as safe as he could ever be. It was at this point that Beth Anne realized Ryder's head had a lump on it as if he had taken a blow from a fall. The lump was definitely where it should not have been (over the shunt) so we knew it was ER time. We were dressed, packed, out the door, out of Keller, in the ER at Cooks in Fort Worth in just under 20 minutes (Ambulances can't drive near as fast as a scared Daddy).

After some time of repeated sick spells, X-rays, Cat Scan and lots of sleeping for Ryder, his Neuro team decided it was time to operate to revise his original shunt. So at about 7 pm they took Ryder back to make the repairs. Once again, our friend Sarah was the one to take Ryder from us and into the ER. He was upset so she even carried him instead of making him ride on the bed. We're so grateful for that grace that God gave us in allowing Sarah to be there with him, just as she was for his first 2 surgeries almost 2 years ago. The reality for most shunt patients is that a handful of revisions (or more) are to be expected throughout their lives. We have always remained hopeful that Ryder would be in is own category and keep his original forever. As you may know, God has shown us repeatedly that our plans are small compared to His and that we need to stop making plans and wait for Him.

Ryder is sleeping as I type this. He's recovering from a long night of minimal pain and the struggle of trying to fight for room in the hospital bed that Mommy and Daddy thought they should be in too (only one at a time though). We don't really know yet how well his shunt revision went. Surgery went fine though, but as they say, the proof is in the nasty Hospital puddin. The next step is to get Ryder healthy and home again. For this he must begin eating again. So far he's just nibbling and doesn't have much of an appetite.

From here please pray for lots of comfort for our little boy. He means the world to us and it hurts us to see him weak and in pain. Pray for our family's strength as we move forward. Pray that we would grieve honestly and openly with our sweet Lord. Ultimately, please pray for Ryder's healing. He's anxious to get back to his toys and check on his puppies. We will continue to trust our great God and look forward to Him being glorified in this as He has so evidently in the rest of Ryder's life.


  1. That is the cutest little patient!!! I am crazy about him! Love you Danes, thank you for your passion for the Gospel!

  2. Somehow I totally missed this blog until tonight when I read your latest update! I'm so sorry you guys had to go back in, it's always so tough and heartbreaking to be admitted again, even though you start to have a better idea of what to expect! I'm praying for a quick and complete recovery, and for Ryder (and his parents, even though that's not completely possible!) complete ignorance and memory loss over all that he has been through - I pray against ALL fear and anxiety in his little mind! You guys are in great earthly and heavenly hands!!! Praying he sleeps and eats normally at home!