Friday, January 04, 2008


I'm sure you have probably seen Chickster's birthmark on his left cheek. He really was born with it, we haven't been smacking him around. At church, women usually assume someone else has been assaulting him with lipstick. Little kids are curious and ask their mothers, "What's that on his face?" And guys, well, guys usually don't say anything.

I'm not offended by questions, especially from curious kids. How else are they supposed to learn about stuff? And usually their Moms do a great job explaining, and even relating to a birthmark they or one of their siblings have. I've taken to telling a few wide-eyed youngsters that the birthmark happens to be the source of Chickster's superpowers. That's usually accepted with a look that says, "I'm pretty sure you're fibbing, but just in case, I'm going to smile and nod."

I came up with the "superpowers" thing not long after Chickster was born. At the time we weren't quite sure what the exact diagnosis was going to be. We knew that whatever it was, it was put there by God's perfect design. It certainly doesn't make us love him any less. But it was still kind of surprising to see this little guy with a red mutton-chop on his cheek. I mean, it's not what you imagine when you look at your ultrasound pictures. So I deemed it the source of Chickster's superpowers. Those are always a surprise, right? (Like Jack, the baby in The Incredibles.) It certainly helped lighten the mood and played to Husband's love of all things super hero.

Since that time, we have seen several doctors and received a lot more information on the superpower source. It has been diagnosed thus far as a Port Wine Stain, or PWS for short. A Port Wine Stain is a vascular anomaly, which means the blood vessels in the skin (so many, so tiny and close together) don't do what they are supposed to. And it is permanent - it will definitely not go away on its own. We are extremely fortunate that Chickster's PWS is relatively small. Most cover large portions of the face, head, and/or neck. Unlike other birthmarks, a PWS requires treatment. Not for cosmetic purposes, but because the PWS could change and grow as Chickster gets older, even causing problems with his vision, hearing, and brain due to its location. We have already had to have Chickster's hearing and vision tested, and will continue periodic check-ups to make sure it hasn't caused damage.

The good news is that one of the leading physicians in the world for treatment of vascular birthmarks is at our very own Children's Hospital. Every doctor we have sought information from has recommended that we see the same doctor at Children's - even a world-renowned vascular specialist in California recommended her. So, with the help of our very own Dr. B, we will be meeting this highly regarded doctor very soon. Our prayer is that she will be able to give us a clear diagnosis and treatment plan. And that it will work. And that our insurance company won't give us the run-around. (They don't want to tangle with me on this one, believe me.)

We would appreciate your prayers along with us. I will let you know more after we meet with the specialist the middle of January. Until then, we will enjoy Chickster's thus far hidden superpowers, and the apparent source.

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  1. He's been using his superpowers to stay AWAKE!!! LOL

  2. We are praying for the little super hero!

  3. brinkleyfireman6:11 AM

    I remember that expression on his face, you used to look like that when I cam into the room many years