Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going Under the Knife (or fairy dust)

Monday was a monumental day at our house. We decided, after 5 years, to have Gavin's hemangioma surgically removed from his neck. This "birthmark" appeared after Gavin was born...at about 3 weeks. It is basically a noncancerous tumor of blood vessels that typically goes away, on its own, by the age of 5. We waited patiently to see if this birthmark would go away on its own, but clearly there was not much change. With Kindergarten approaching, we chose to meet with a pediatric dermatologist to get her thoughts on the birthmark. She told us because it was so dense---it might loose color by the age of 10, but there would still be substance in the area. She recommended surgery.
Did we have to do surgery, no, but we elected to take the recommendation of the doctor and remove it. Let's be honest, we all know that kids are mean and every child that meets Gavin asks him what is on his neck. Several months ago, we were at the park and some kids did not want to play with Gavin because he had something weird on his neck. As a parent, you want to protect your kids as much as you can. So as scary as surgery sounded, we wanted to protect him from school reticule.
Pre-operation,
We were all a little scared. Gavin had grown quite attached to his birthmark and if I am being honest, he did not really have a problem with it. He did not want to part with it. I guess the thought of having something taken off your body might create some anxiety. I completely understand. Billy chose to tell Gavin that the doctors would remove the birthmark with some type of fairy dust, not a knife. This comforted Gavin and I am glad that it did. He was scared going into the surgery, but he came out a warrior. :)

Post-operation
All my worries were gone. Gavin was such a trooper. He recovered quickly and pretty much came home from the hospital normal. I was worried that the anesthesia would cause nausea, but not for him. He had one dose of Tylenol for pain and nothing else. We have not seen the incision yet, because it is covered with a small bandage (which we were instructed to not touch at all). I am excited to see what it looks like. Our biggest challenge post op is that he can not swim for an entire week. :)

The funnest part of this experience is that Gavin now wants to be a doctor. He came home from the hospital with some pajamas/doctor clothes, the balloon that he inhaled the gas from, and an oxygen mask. He has worn the doctor clothes for 3 days strait and is inquiring about anything doctor related...even how much money they make. I told him if he wanted to be a doctor, it should be because he wanted to help people, not because of the money. He finally agreed that was a good thing.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers. This surgery was minor on the scale, but it was still scary to have your little boy go through general anesthesia and be cut---with fairy dust! ;)

7 comments:

Lacey said...

My Gavin had surgery last week too. He had the muscle in his mouth between his front teeth removed. If we hadn't removed it he would have had a huge gap between his teeth. Our lives always seem to run parallel, I love it! Glad he did so well. And the fairy dust story was cute!

Amy said...

Im so glad Gavin did good and kids can be mean! Hope to see you guys soon. we miss seeing you guys

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

Good news! Thanks for the update. I have not been able to get on your blog the past couple of days...kept getting errors...hmm. Seems to be fine now though! :)

The Rypple Effect said...

Glad all went well! I remember having surgery at five and no one told me about fairy dust :( Will continue prayers for him. :)

Our Life Together said...

Glad everything went well! Hope to see you guys soon.

kammy said...

love the magical fairy dust... great idea! i had eye surgery when i was in kindergarten and my mom made me a surgery book... filled with photos from the day. something about smiling for the camera during every part of the experience made it a lot less scary! (and i still have the book!)

glad the surgery was complication-free and gavin is back to his usual smiling self!

randakaiser said...

Glad to hear Gavin's surgery was a success! Going under is always a bit scary but he is a tough kid. Hope everything else is great with the Gerwick family :-)