Friday, June 11, 2010

So Here's The Deal

About two and a half weeks ago, I noticed a swollen, light purple colored bump on V's right eyelid. I thought maybe she'd whacked herself in the eye and though I wasn't happy about it, I just watched it for a few days. When it didn't go away or start to disperse, I took her to the pediatrician last week (you may remember that's what I was doing when this happened). The pediatrician recommended taking her to a pediatric ophthalmologist if it lasted another week. I made the appointment right away, figuring I could cancel it if the swelling abated. It didn't, so I took her in yesterday to see the eye doctor. V was not excited about having drops put in her eyes and even less excited about having someone hold her eye open. She fought the whole process - hard. The doctor was finally able to get a look at what he needed to see (and was very gentle, though he did have to use a small device to hold her eye open, which just looked awful. He numbed her eye first, so she didn't feel it, but...I couldn't look at it.). Unfortunately, he did not give me the "it's nothing" I was hoping against hope for.

It's called a capillary hemangeoma. It's an abnormal growth of capillaries, kind of like a strawberry birth mark. They occur in about 1-3% of infants, more commonly in girls. They grow for awhile, then they start to "involute" or "go away", but that can take years. This wouldn't be an issue, if it weren't on her eyelid, obstructing her vision. Leaving it be could cause serious problems with her visual development, so we need to address it "urgently", to use his word.

The ophthalmologist referred me to a surgeon, whose office I called from the parking lot, only to hear that their earliest appointment would be in five weeks. FIVE WEEKS?!?!? I'm sorry. I'm not waiting five weeks. Normally fairly willing to be a doormat and wait, I made an utter pest of myself all day and got a call at 5:00 yesterday evening from the ophthalmologist's office, letting me know that the doctor himself had called the surgeon's office to tell them that they must see V next week. The surgeon's office opens in 15 minutes, at which time, I will be on the phone to them, attempting to schedule.

As far as I can tell, treatment for this can go a few ways. Rounds of oral steroids may halt the growth, but there are wicked side effects, and I will argue against this. I cannot conscience putting her tiny body through that if it's not going to get rid of the issue. There are injections of steroids, a combination of long and short acting, that seem (from internet accounts in medical journals anyway) to be successful. There's also surgery.

None of this fills me with joy.

I know that I should be glad it isn't something more serious. I should be thrilled that we live in an age of such medical marvels. I should count my blessings that it's not cancer, that we caught it WAY early, that she won't remember any of this. And I do. I also feel awful and helpless, knowing I'm going to have to put her in some situations that will be uncomfortable, painful, scary for her. I'm supposed to protect her from those things. She's so little, not supposed to know anything but comfort and love and smiles and milk and warm baths and her funny brother.

This guy. Who was SO good while all this was going on yesterday, by the way.

Anyway. That's what I know right now. The world isn't ending, and in the grand scheme of things, this is a minor medical problem that can and will be fixed. We'll put one foot in front of the other and take care of our precious girl. I just wish...


Buffee Ann said...

The great thing about it is that kids are FAR more resilient than the wimpy breakable adults! She will be fine and recover far better than we would, my dear. Hugs! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Jody said...

Geneva, I can't even imagine how heartbreaking and worrisome this is for you. I will be praying. said...

This is certainly a stressful situation. Praying all goes well.

Becca said...

Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you all today! If you need anything I am hear...even just as a shoulder of someone who has "been there."