December 10, 2008

Part 2 of Dylan's Journey with Hirschsprung's Disease-The corrective surgery

After finally getting the diagnosis of Hirschsprung's Disease, the next step for Dylan was a corrective surgery called a pull-thru. His surgeon described this as removing the diseased bowel that didnt have ganglion cells (that are in charge of pushing the stool through the colon and out of the rectum) then reconnecting the good bowel to the rectum so we could get rid of the colostomy and hopefully Dylan would be a normal child again.

We were skeptical but had confidence in Dylan's surgeon. We scheduled and went ahead with the 4 hour surgery. Recovery was difficult the first few days. Of course he was in pain and very uncomfortable, which is the one thing any parent hates to see. He spent a week in the hospital recovering and began to tolerate feeds and finally had his first bowel movement. Sounds crazy but I can honestly say I've never been so happy in my life to finally change a soiled diaper. I always said some parents take these things for granted, I, on the other hand cherished it because at one point we didn't think this would ever be possible.

Dylan at this point was 6 months old, he was thriving, growing and just a happy baby. A few weeks after surgery he got sick with an enterocolitis episode and was hospitalized for a few days, then required dilations due to scar tissue building up from surgery. After a few months of struggling we finally got our boy back on track and was thrilled that he was on his way to living a normal life just like other kids his age. His life was ordinary, just a developing infant slowly turning into a young toddler and we enjoyed every minute.

At his first birthday we celebrated with joy, because at one point we didn't know if we would see this event. He had several check ups with the surgeon and we discussed his bowel patterns at this stage. At this point his stools were soft and he had several bowel movements a day. The doctor seemed confident though that things would improve and that we just needed to give his intestines a year to heal and work properly. So we waited, time was on our side, and only time would tell.

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