Monthly Archive for April, 2005

Eleni’s Curious Medical Adventures with Dr Brain

The lump before any treatmentAfter aspirationAfter surgery
Happy to be going homeWhat's that thing in my neck?

Our little girl is back home and doing better now. To review the events of the last couple of weeks, we had suddenly noticed a protrusion on the right side of Eleni’s neck last Tuesday, 5 April (the day after the real royal wedding – AussieGirl and FroBoy’s civil ceremony at Cambridge Registrar’s Office). We took her straight to Addenbrookes Hospital. We ended up staying there for a total of six days, taking turns spending the night with her. They took X-Rays, ultrasounds, and blood tests. The conclusion was that Eleni had a bad lymph node infection. Reasons unknown, as there really is no reason for these things sometimes, they told us. They started her on antibiotics, which was painful to watch as they had to plunge a cannula (catheter) into her little veins each time. She had a total of 5 cannulas, as they kept disengaging. Each hand and foot was used at least once and each time she screamed her lungs out.

Unfortunately, the swelling didn’t subside with the antibiotics, so the doctors decided to drain (aspirate) the abscess in order to minimize it and to give the body’s normal defences a chance to fight the infection. The immediate effect was good in that the lump went down, but it quickly grew back. The draining is done blindly with a needle and thus the doctors are never sure if they have removed all of the infected tissue. They tried this twice about two days apart. 3ml and 4ml of nasty gunk came out each time.

Finally, on Sunday the 10th, they decided to operate to remove the abscessed region. It was probably one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to do – hand our baby over to a surgeon, knowing she’ll be put under general anasthetic and be cut into. We really do entrust these professionals to take care of our loved ones. They are amazing and I believe God works through them.

Our doctor was Mr Brain (higher-level doctors or “consultants”, as they’re called in the UK, are referred to as “mister” vice “doctor”). He was a friendly man with a great bedside manner and had an aura about him that just gave us great trust in him. The nurses spoke highly of him as well, so we knew Eleni was in good hands. After the short procedure, Eleni was brought back to us with a tube coming out of her neck to help drain the infected area. It wasn’t very pretty, but the lump was all but gone. She’s a little uncomfortable with basically a straw sticking in her neck, but she’s a little toughie. We go back to see Mr Brain this Friday to have it removed, hopefully. I’ll post an update on ET over the weekend.

Thanks so much to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.