Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Scared of Scarring

After the good news about my son's eye condition (see earlier posts) comes the list of things we need to look out for. The doctor hasn't said anything. Doctors will usually tell you not to worry yourself with what you read on the Web (and this is sane advice most of the time) but in the case of something like Coates, we really need to be extra-careful.

I'm told the very nature of cryopexy involves scarring, which interferes with vision. I haven't mustered the courage to go get my son's vision checked again. In his case, the leakage was in the periphery of the retina so I'm hoping that any scarring there will also not affect his vision too much. But it is something that could develop and worsen over time. I keep checking the vision in his Coates eye by keeping the other one covered. But I also think he's too young (going to be six later this month) to be able to articulate minor differences. If I keep doing it too often, he'll simply protest. Have got to make that trip to the eye doctor.

It's ironic how scarring that can't even be seen fills me with such dread. Nearly 12 years ago, I was recommended surgery on my left knee to keep my kneecap in place. (It painfully dislocated and relocated itself quite regularly. Apparently, all the joints on the left-hand side of my body are loose!) The doctor at a prominent hospital preferred arthroscopy - keyhole surgery - that would leave me with only a few tiny scars around my knee. The only problem was, the procedure gave me only a 70% chance of the dislocation not happening again. I had visions of dislocating my knee while getting off the rickety buses I used and getting crushed underneath its massive wheels.

I asked for something more permanent and he said there was another procedure available, but that would leave me with a long scar on my leg. "At your age (I was 22 then) you don't want something like that," he advised.

To hell with the scar, I wanted something that worked. So we found a better doctor and now I have a 2-inch screw inside my leg and a 9-inch vertical scar that starts three inches below my knee and goes all the way up. It's never been a bother and I don't care if people catch an occasional glimpse of it. It's plain ugly, but it's been worth it.

Now, there's scarring of another kind to consider. I promised myself I wouldn't "worry" about it. I accept it and i will do what I can and what I have to. Besides, I know the Almighty is watching over my son. :) Without that, we wouldn't have come so far.

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