Friday, September 20, 2013

K. post-op update

K. had his first post-op appointment this morning. The repair looks really good, particularly now that the surgical tape and crusty blood stuff has been cleaned off. Even though it is still healing, I think it looks better than it did pre-revision. He always had a very slight raise to his upper lip where the small scar pulled it up a bit. It wasn't very noticeable, but it was there. Now, his upper lip has no pull at all. I think by the time it fully heals and we do the scar massage, no one will know it was ever repaired. His nose looks a lot more even as well. Everyone is very happy with it and K. is quite relieved to have the surgi-tape off.

I was glancing at the post-visit report that was handed to me after the visit and they always include a "problem list" (I think they could come with a better name), and while I know everything on the list, to see it all written out was a little jolting. (This is a health system-thing, not something unique to the plastic surgeon.) There are more than a few items of K.'s list and if I were to just see the description of some of them, my active, blossoming, adorable boy would not be what I pictured. For a brief moment I wanted to go back in and ask the receptionist to put qualifiers on each of the items. Irrational, I know, but seeing the list made me feel as though I needed to defend my son.

Yes, he has all these various delays when compared with a US born, raised in a stable family child, but that was not his experience. I wanted someone to acknowledge all of his successes. When you start out life very malnourished and come home the size of a 9 month old at age 2, the fact that you are growing on an actual curve and that curve is finally able to be plotted on (as opposed to below) the US growth chart, that is cause for celebration. When you make no sounds at two years of age, not even babbling, much less have any spoken language, the fact that you can use complex sentences and express yourself in words is pretty wonderful. When you were labelled failure-to-thrive and it seemed for many years that you might not be able to learn as children born into better circumstances do, the fact that you are doing simple math, reading words, and writing full sentences by sounding out what you hear is nothing short of miraculous.

I know that the intent of medical information is to provide just that... medical information. I just wish sometimes that it was also able to convey the humanity of the person the diagnoses are attached to.

K. is really doing so well these days. He has gone through a huge developmental jump intellectually. As well as the reading and writing, he is churning out complex and interesting pictures by the dozens. Here is one of him less complicated ones. It is of a lighthouse with the rocky shore and the boat coming towards it in the ocean. I guess he really was listening when we did lighthouses last year.


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