Sunday, March 22, 2009

Examine Her Zipper

This is a pretty good shot of Peeper's incision, six days post-op.

The smaller incision, below and to the right, is where her drain tube was. There's one stitch in that, which will just fall out.

It seems to be healing nicely, and when we were bathing her this evening, we noticed that the scab is already starting to come off in a couple of small places.

There are, of course, plenty of internal stitches (plus some wires, holding her sternum together), but the outer layer of skin is sealed with dermabond, which is basically a medical-grade superglue.

I'm sure that they put it between the two cut edges when they brought them together, and there's also about and inch-wide strip of it "painted" over the whole incision, which you can see in the photo.

That will also just wear away over time, and one edge is already starting to peel up a bit. I can't tell you how much restraint we are both having to exercise to stop ourselves from playing with it.

If it were on my own body, I'd have it about half off by now, I'm sure, but instead, I'm making do with trying to get the remains of other various adhesives - EEG leads, EKG leads, IV-sealing bandages, etc - off her skin.

(You can see some of that in the photo, on her neck (IV), and around her nipple (EKG); I think most of the EEG goo is out of her hair now.)

We have been told, by the way, that the scar will stay roughly the same absolute size as she grows, so it will not extend the full length of her chest as an adult. (Or, more importantly, as a teenager.)

I wasn't able to get a good description of exactly where it will end up (how high on her chest), but hopefully, it will just be more or less hidden in her cleavage, eventually.

We're also told that it should heal to be pretty thin and light, especially if we're careful to avoid too much sun-exposure in the first few years.

Of course, we'll use sunscreen on her anyway, and even before we had a scar to be concerned about, we liked the idea of "rashguard" style swimshirts better than traditional bathing suits for her anyway, mostly for sun protection, but also because so many little girl's bathing suits are so grown-up looking, and we really don't like that.

(Ah, but that's a whole 'nother post. . . .)

It occurs to me that, as she gets older, may be a fine line to walk, though, between covering the scar to protect it from the sun, and coming across (to her) as trying to hide it.

Although I can certainly understand that she may become self-conscious about it at some point (or maybe not, since it's something that will always be there, as far as she knows), I certainly don't want anything we do to give her the idea that it's something to hide or to be ashamed of.

I know that we'll get lots of questions about it, and she'll get even more later, so I guess we will just have to model for her how to answer nonchalantly, and to explain how she got it.

Which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I think it's something she should be pretty proud of, because she's been a real trooper through it all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?