Monday, October 13, 2008

Another day at the doctor's office....

As most of you know, Jake has a rather large birthmark on the back of his head, called a strawberry hemangioma. All through his years, the doctor has taken a "wait and see" approach to treating it. Generally, these types of birthmarks disappear by the time the child is 9-11 years old. We've kept our hopes up for some time that this would be the case for Jake, but unfortunately, it hasn't.

Over the last few months, he's developed a sore that just won't heal. We kept hoping that it'd go away, but it's been stubborn. After a second sore developed, Michael and I decided it'd be a good idea to take him into the doctor again, and have it looked at one more time.

I took Jake in to see our family doctor on Thursday. The doctor took a look at the sore, and determined that it's probably a result of his birthmark being nicked each time he brushes his hair, and has gotten slightly infected. He prescribed some antibiotics to clear up the infection. While looking at the birthmark, he asked me if we'd be willing to look into the possibility of having the birthmark surgically removed. He said that we've been watching it for 10 years now, and it hasn't gotten any smaller. Jake is a bit older now, and could handle a surgery a bit better than he would have before. I told him that we'd be willing to talk to a surgeon about it, and we were scheduled for a consultation with a plastic surgeon here in Cedar Rapids this morning.

Jake was extremely happy to hear that he might have the birthmark removed. It's been bothering him for quite some time now - and he's done with it. He's tired of having to work around it with his hair, wear a bigger hat size, and answer questions when people get a glimpse of it. He's really been expressing to me these last few days his true feelings about dealing with his birthmark. The bottom line is - he hates it!

We went in to see the plastic surgeon this morning. The doctor was very friendly, and very engaging with Jake. He took a look at the birthmark, and determined that it was something he hasn't dealt with enough in his career, and would be more comfortable if we had someone from the University of Iowa Hospital take a look at it. He wanted to make sure that we have the best people working on Jake, and the best resources. He predicted that they're going to want to run a CT scan - just to make sure that the birthmark is only affecting the surface of Jake's head. He thought he felt an indentation in Jake's skull - the result of constant pressure from the birthmark as Jake's skull developed. We're not sure what that means, or what - if any - action will be necessary to correct it.

We have an appointment at the University on October 31st for another consultation with a plastic surgeon. We'll know more about what we're looking after that appointment. This will be a journey for us - as we've never dealt with surgery for either boy. Please pray for wisdom for us, for this whole experience. We want to do what's best for Jake, and make the right decisions as to which path to take on this.

On a funny note: We were finishing up with the plastic surgeon this morning, and he was joking with Jake quite a bit. He asked Jake what he was going to be when he grows up. Jake told him, "I don't know what I'd want to do".

"You could be a plastic surgeon when you grow up!" the doctor told him, with a smile.

"Naw," Jake replied. "I don't do too well with knives and people."

Smart man!


Dana said...

haha! I can totally hear Jake say that! How cute! I'm glad he's kept his sense of humor throughout the process; that is so important! I will be praying for you all!

Elan said...

We will be praying for you to have wisdom in the decisions you need to make.