My son was 3 weeks old, when a routine check-up after birth revealed he did indeed have a tongue tie which a midwife had pointed out after birth and thus we needed to consult a pediatric surgeon to book a minor operation.

After the surgeon visit, and booking of the operation, family members urged me to seek a second opinion due to his young age.

So armed with references of a good pediatrician from mum referrals from online Facebook group Kilimani Mums, we headed to see a seasoned pediatrician, whom at first glance told us to undress my son and examined him thoroughly and calmly told us that the tongue tie was the least of our problems.

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He then asked me if I had any concerns since birth and I mentioned constant crying of my son and sunset eyes. The pediatrician then told us he wanted us to go for a head scan as he suspected my son had hydrocephalus (a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, enlarging the head), which needs us to move fast as he would need surgery. He also quickly got onto his phone and contacted a pediatric neurologist and a neurosurgeon.

You can imagine the conflicting emotions, running through first time parents at such news, fear of the impending results and surgery and also betrayal that the first clinic visit at 2 weeks and surgeon visit had not revealed to us my son’s condition.

Within a few days my son was operated on and a shunt put in place in his head to help drain the fluid from his head into his stomach. (Hydrocephalus shunting involves the implantation of two catheters and flow control valve system to drain the excess accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.)

I am pleased to tell you thanks to seeking a second opinion from a seasoned pediatrician, who is always a phone call away in case we need some advice; my 20 month old son is living a full toddler life with falls, cheer and mischief. He is even playing a little soccer, his favorite game. I am also very appreciative of the Facebook group Kilimani Mums’ members for the referral.

Early intervention saved my son’s life, as without the surgery he may not be with us today, so trust your instincts as a parent and do not feel intimidated by caregivers from seeking a second or third opinion about your child’s health.

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Diary of an imperfect mum
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