March 28, 2012

Spring Break

Spring Break week was sort of a let down this year... not that there wasn't some excitement, at least for Collin.

First, Collin had to have an MRI on his head.  I'd better back up.

[WARNING:  This post is kind of long because it's also my journal, and because I assume that you are reading this blog because you care about what goes on in our family.  If that's not the case, go ahead and skip this post.  I won't be offended.  I won't even know.  I'm just trying to be nice and spare you from getting bored.]

About 6 months ago, while cutting Collin's hair (which I hadn't done in a long time.... Jay had just been "buzzing it off" with the electric clippers, but now that he is in 7th grade he cares what his hair looks like) I noticed a lump on his scalp, about 1.5" diameter, right at the "crown."  It is sort of "squishy" and pliable. 

Of course I called the pediatrician right away, was told it was suspicious, had an ultrasound, went to see a pediatric surgeon who said it was probably just a cyst and we could decide to "wait and see" or have it removed, and determine the timetable ourselves.  He didn't act like it was a big deal so we decided to wait until school was out.

In the meantime, Collin was having some drainage from his right ear (had chronic ear infections as a baby, had an adnoidectomy and tubes in his ears) so I took him to the pediatric ENT (love him) who said he has a perforated ear drum that probably won't heal on it's own.  But, since surgery is invasive and it doesn't seem to have effected his hearing, he feels it is better to give it some time (usually a year) to see if it will heal on its own.  

So, we happened to mention to him that Collin has a "mass" on his head that will need to be removed.  He said he could work with the other surgeon and do them both at the same time to avoid having anesthesia more than absolutely necessary.  Then he said, "Just out of curiosity, I would like to see/feel this lump."  (It's kind of hard to actually "see" it under all that hair.)  After about 10 seconds he asked who the surgeon was, and I told him.  He said, "Well, he is a fine general surgeon, but this is on his HEAD!  He MUST see a pediatric neurologist," and recommended one.

Off we went to see doctor #4 (love him) who immediately ordered the MRI.  So, yeah, MRI's stink.  (I've had a couple in my life, and it's pretty miserable.)  If you've never had one, just imagine lying perfectly still (you can blink and breathe, but that's it) on a super hard table inside a tube, for 45 minutes, while listening to a jack hammer.  Yep, it sucks.  But Collin was a trooper and did great.

Second, Collin got braces. I had to snap a photo with my phone.... it was too funny.

Remember how I said he cares about his hair now?  Well, I totally screwed up this hair cut.  Oops.
Collin is generally very healthy, but this poor kid has so many things wrong "in his head".... teeth, ear, scalp.  He is 12, but he never lost most of his baby teeth, other the four in the front, top and bottom.  Rather than becoming loose, the baby teeth were receding back into his gums, even though the permanent teeth were fully formed behind them.  This was a huge problem.

So, he had to have 10 teeth pulled.... that was last summer, and they still aren't in.  Most of them have at least "budded" so that's good, but 2 have still not made an appearance.  This has been the hold up with the braces (he should have had them about a year ago).  They finally put the braces on, and then he will eventually have to have oral surgery to go in an attach to the teeth and pull them down.  Bummer.

So, yeah, lots going on with Collin.  He is such a good sport about all of this.  And to top it off he is getting straight A's, and he has a part-time job.

[His former scout leader was always so impressed with Collin that he asked him to take care of his yard, dog, and pool.  He goes over there 2 days a week for a couple of hours.  He is earning money for scout camp (he is going to 2 different ones this year), so this is great timing (probably just temporary while this man is particularly busy at work).  We are excited for Collin to have the opportunity at such a young age, to earn his own money, learn to make a budget, and keep track of his spending.]

The rest of the week the kids mostly just played Wii (they never get to during a regular school week, so I just let them have at it), and we went and had lunch with Jay one day.   And that was spring break. 

P.S.  Collin had a follow up with the neurologist to discuss the MRI results.  The good news; the mass is all outside his skull; his skull is completely intact, normal, and unaffected; and his brain looks normal.  It "appears" to be what's called a lipoma, or fatty benign (the word I wanted to hear!) tumor (a word I did NOT want to hear), which are not a big deal.... usually.  Lipomas are not unusual, but Collin's happens to be unusually large and in an unusual location.  It only "appears" to be a lipoma, and the only way to know for sure is to remove it and do a biopsy.  The surgery is fairly simple, it's out-patient, and recovery is generally pretty short.  It will probably be this summer.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a good idea to take it easy this year!

    Stuart had a similar tumor in middle school and hasn't had any other issues resurface 15+ years later -- hopefully that's comforting :)


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