Caedmon had his 12th laser treatment this past week. But let me back up just a little.
When we found out we were moving to Nashville, I started looking for a doctor to treat Caedmon’s birthmark. I was referred to Dr. E, but was told he’s scaled back on his patient load a lot and he might not accept any new patients. Fortunately, I was given the nurse’s phone number, so I called and talked with her.
We got in.
We met Dr. E in January, and liked him. He’s done lots of laser treatments and has treated lots of kids. He also has a laser in his office, so he would be able to treat Caedmon there instead of having to do it as an outpatient surgery.
Of course, the whole office procedure thing is both good and bad. Good because it’s as easy an office visit – no fasting, no showing up 2 hours early, anesthesia, etc. And of course, that helps the cost, too. Which is nice. But he’s awake. And though he’s getting older and we’d use numbing cream, we weren’t really sure how it would work out. It could’ve been bad.
Plus, Caedmon is older now, and was not excited about the laser treatment. I think part of it is that we’ve taken almost a 2 year break. He hasn’t been as accustomed to dealing with the procedure and its aftermath the past couple of years.
Leading up to the laser treatment last week, we discussed it with Caedmon. He knew it was going to happen, but wasn’t excited. At all. From talking with him, it seemed that he was worried mostly about after the procedure, not the procedure itself. And he really didn’t want anyone to see him with the numbing cream on his face.
It was a difficult few days. But it gave us opportunities to talk about some big life issues. Why we make decisions to do things that are good for us that we don’t really want to do; We don’t always understand why God gives us things like birthmarks; God’s plans for us are good, even if we have things to deal with that we don’t like or understand; That God will never leave us, even if we have to do things that are hard or that we don’t want to do; And that anyone who is a true friend or who loves you, loves you for who you are, and doesn’t care if you have numbing cream or purple spots on your face.
I also had the opportunity and privilege to call on many of our friends and family to pray for us. It is a blessing to have people in our lives that I can send a text, asking for prayer. Or post the request on Twitter and Facebook. Even people I’ve never met “in real life” were praying for us, and I’m thankful for each and every person who lifted us up those few days.
Treatment day came. And two hours before our appointment, it was time to put the numbing cream on. It doesn’t rub in, and you have to cover it with plastic wrap to keep it on. It sits there until the appointment. Basically, it’s like putting a layer of frosting on your face. It was easier to put on than I thought it would be. But the boy? Did not take it well. He finally calmed down and decided it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. And when we got to the appointment early, he even wanted to walk into the electronics store next door.
The appointment was quick. We were completely finished within 45 minutes or so. I stayed with Caedmon the whole time, got to watch the whole procedure, and held his hand during. He wore blackout goggles because the laser was so close to his eyes.
I even got a pair of sweet goggles to wear during the procedure. Aren’t they lovely?
Caedmon did awesome. Seriously, he never even flinched. I am so proud of the way he handled himself. The nurse told him she wished every patient could be as easy as he was. And Dr. E and his resident were complimentary of him as well.
After it was all over, he got an ice pack for his cheek and was all smiles by the time we got to the waiting room to meet back up with Husband and Honor.
Caedmon’s done well, dealing with a purple-spotted face. He’s had moments of feeling sorry for himself, but I can’t really say that I blame him. The bruises are getting lighter every day. Caedmon’s already asking about when his next treatment will be (probably fall). I know it feels to him that the purple spots will last forever and the next treatment will come too quickly. Sometimes I think we all feel that way.
It’s been a challenging few days, more emotionally than anything. As a Mom, it’s hard to watch your kids go through things you wish they didn’t have to. Especially when you made the decision to put them through it. And it’s hard to determine how to let him be a kid about it, how much to let him wallow in self-pity, and how much to tell him to suck it up and deal with it. Also, deciding how much of it is my issue and not his. Finding that balance has been difficult. It’s one that we will have to continue to figure out as we go.