Frankie and his parents have had a rough week. Last Tuesday (the 29th), we took him to Seton Northwest for the laser treatment on his skin hemangioma. We got there at 6am and, sleepy but anxious, waited for our turn in the still dark lobby. There were two others in front of us – another baby and a small child. We talked to numerous nurses who asked us the same series of questions over and over, a checks and balances system that we actual appreciate, an anesthesiologist and the doctor before handing him over. We were not allowed to be in the room while the treatment was performed. After the laser treatment, Frankie’s shoulder looked, in a word, awful. It broke up the large scab that had formed and oozed blood and other nastiness. It was (and still is) shocking to see. I called the doctor’s office, panicked at its appearance, but they assured us it was behaving as they’d expected.
The intention of the laser was to keep the hemangioma from spreading – the doctor doesn’t want to remove any more than he already has to when the time comes. We have to re-bandage what is now a large open wound twice (or more) a day, keeping it as clean as possible. There have been some terrible instances when the bandage sticks to the wound and blood spurts out when it is removed – an incident which resulted in my (and Frankie’s) freak out on Saturday night. I was terrified that I’d done what we have always feared -- broken a capillary – and that a trip to the hospital was necessary. Luckily, Grandpa Frank was there to help and assured me that it was just the scab and we just needed to stop the bleeding and all would be fine (it was).
Frankie was circumcised yesterday. The surgeon that performed his TEF repair, Dr. Josephs, did the work at Children’s Hospital. It was another early morning with a 6:30am arrival time and a lot of pre-surgery prep (nurses, anesthesiologist, etc…) and a very cranky Frankie (we were not allowed to feed him after 1am). But there is nothing like a trip to Children’s Hospital to change your perspective about your own child’s difficulties. In the waiting room, we saw kids with more far more serious problems than Frankie. Several had obvious neurological disorders, flitting about the room unable to focus, some were in wheelchairs, others stared blankly into space. We were reminded that dealing with a problem like a skin hemangioma does not compare with the challenges other parents in that room were facing. Frankie will get better – many of these kids will never be normal.
We considered the risks and benefits of circumcision and, believe me, heard many a lecture on the cons (ironically, from people who did not actually have children). In the end, we decided that there were enough risks related to “keeping it clean” to have the procedure done in addition to the “traditional” aspect. I’ve heard many folks argue that circumcision should not happen because it is not a “religious tradition”; it is, however, is a secular American tradition. I guess I cringe at the idea of little Frankie being made fun of by goons in the locker room.
This morning, Dave reports that Frankie is cheerful and happy, so yesterday is perhaps a distant memory. We hope that all of these doctors visits and hospital trips will be as well.