Saturday, August 29, 2009

When Your Child Needs Surgery

My daughter Sarah was born full term with a bump on her forehead. My husband and I were later told that nothing I did during pregnancy caused this. It just happens. After a few doctors' visits and an ultrasound it was confirmed that the protrusion on her head was a dermoid cyst.

From the films taken to confirm the diagnosis there was no present evidence of a tumor or anything behind the cyst. However, we were advised that it should be surgically removed as it could grow as Sarah aged. And, we were advised that recovery from surgery for a baby before age three is much easier for this condition, and recommended. So, the journey began to find a pediatric surgeon with glowing references from a well-known reputable children's hospital.

For months I agonized over the decision whether to have Sarah operated on. With this fear and anxiousness, I sought a second opinion from another surgeon as well as another pediatrician, who is now Sarah's doctor. After countless hours of research and tears shed, we made the decision to set up time for Sarah to get the surgery nearly five months in advance.

As I began to share my personal story with others during the decision making process we started to hear their stories similar to ours. This helped my husband and I to gain more comfort in knowing we were doing the right thing by our child.

Needless to say, after months of battling in my head and heart to put my beautiful, full of life, amazing child through surgery and recovery, I am pleased to report that Sarah's surgery is complete and she is recovering well. A few days following surgery, this morning she woke up looking like someone punched her in the eye but the doctor said that that is a normal part of the healing process. She is eating, playing and acting more and more like herself each day. Now we are just awaiting the results on the test of the cyst removed to confirm that it is benign.

There will be many decisions, some stressful and agonizing, as parents we will need to make for our children. Just research hard and talk with other parents experiencing similar situations. Knowledge is indeed power and it did help fuel the confidence we needed to make an important decision regarding our child's health. Therapy might also be a benefit to help talk through your thoughts, decisions and emotions. It worked for me along with the amazing strength and support of my husband.

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