Hydrocephalus-Esther’s journey 3


On getting home, the watch still continued for they believed that they would see some significant change. However, this was not to happen for about 3 months later, Esther would start crying again due to discomfort. Indeed, the short fall of the operation had occurred. The drilled hole was not widening as anticipated yet she was growing and the flow of the liquid was also increasing. So the shunt was her only option. They had to make the journey to Mbale again however this time the excess fluid was not yellowish meaning that no infection had cropped up. This also meant that no operation was required to drain it out. The operation to put a shunt was slated for the day after their arrival at midday and by 4 pm all was done. This time, some change was seen for she could once again breastfeed and smile.

On getting back home, they thought that the reduction in head size and the like would be seen in a fortnight seeing that they had been told that Esther would be fine in a short while. However, they only started seeing the change after 3 months. Then she could turn her head but not her lower body because the head was still heavy for her to manage easily. Coping took time and Mr. Mayanja says that this was the time when their patience was tested for Esther had to be trained on how to deal with weight of the head.

4Therefore what a 2 year old could do such as walking did not come easy for Esther for she had not yet learned how to balance or walk. She also feared to try walking for she knew that any attempt would culminate in a fall. With a gigantic smile and lots of enthusiasm, Mr. Mayanja says that Esther found a way to deal with her inability. He says that she developed a coping mechanism of picking her play items using her legs then get them to her hands.

She stayed at home for sometime before joining a special children’s centre; Dawn Special Children’s care centre as she neared 3 yrs. In a year, tremendous improvement was registered as she begun sitting on her own, counting up to 50, say the alphabet, sing rhymes, construct sentences in English, and even hold arguments with her big brothers of 8 and 6. Sam was advised by the proprietor of the center, Ms. Namaganda to take learning one step at a time and with that they have been able to teach her more even at home. Her self esteem also got a boost for she learned to ask for what she needed. Mr. Mayanja says with a smile that it is never bed time for Esther if her brothers are still up doing homework; she also does her own homework which only gets done when her brothers’ is finished.

She has got a special seat that she uses whenever she wants to do something seeing that she does most of her things such as washing dishes while seated. She is a very active girl with a beautiful smile.

2The time that Esther begun crawling was such a memorable time and Sam’s eyes light up as he recounts the moment. At Dawn Special Children’s care centre, she was however given a frame to help her master balancing and strengthen her legs. In as much as she enjoys standing in it now, her 1st experience was not good because she lacked the confidence to stand without falling. To help her stay in that frame, she was given other activities to do while in it to take her attention off standing. “It is a continuous and costly process”, he says. But he is quick to add that the cost can not beat the services that his beautiful daughter is getting for her life has been shaped by them.

At first, she experienced a lot of loneliness because the maid could not be with her all the time and her movement was curtailed, but at the centre, she has company all the time. Her major problem now is the cold for it brings on severe flu and fever. The flu disturbs her so much when she sneezes yet there is a shunt in her body. They make sure that she is warm at all times to beat the cold.

People had got a number of assumptions as to what causes Hydrocephalus, for example among babies that get it at 3 months of pregnancy; some say that the pills to beat nausea and vomiting play a part in it. However, how far true that is can only be said by the medical practitioners.

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