Friday, May 28, 2010

Owen's head isn't perfect

What does Owen (as seen below) have in common with
the Crystal Skull from Indiana Jones?

Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. As you can see they are pretty much the same shape. The reasons for Owen's elongated skull could have one of two possible explanations.

(1) It might just be possible the Cory really is an extra terrestrial---like he's been telling his students for the past 7 years.

(2) Owen has Craniosynostosis--which in normal people words means that one suture (crack) in his skull closed prematurely and as his brain grows, it causes his skull to grow extra long cause it can't grow round since his skull is fused shut.

Well, I don't have definitive proof that Cory is not an alien. However, after a day's worth of doctors visits at Children's Hospital, we were able to confirm that Owen does has Craniosynostosis.

So here is a run-down of our Marthon Doctor-fest 2010.

Wednesday, Owen went for his 12 month check-up. The doctor was please with Owen over all, but concerned about this head shape. She told us to get an X-ray.

Thursday, we went to the Urgent Care place to get the X-rays. They confirm her suspicions about some premature closure of a suture. She schedules us to "meet with the team" of craniofacial specialist to see exactly was is going on and our next steps. For added kicks and giggles she requested a CT know why not?

So Friday....we loaded up bright and early for our trip to the City for our 8:30 appointment.
We are all smiles!
We get to Children's after a long ride. Then we check-in and our Marathon begins. Honestly, we didn't understand the scope of this event until we were in the midst of this. All of this stuff has really just came to a head (pun intended) yesterday.

So we wait....
And play....
We fill out papers...
And wait...
Every now and then it is our turn to see 1 of the members of the team.
When we aren't seeing one of the members...we....wait........
Sometimes we enjoy the fishes......
Or cuddle Dad...but overall....we....waited...
In all we saw 8 doctors/specialists: a ear, nose, throat; a speech pathologist; an audiologist; a psychologist; a craniofacial plastic surgeon; a nurse; a CT Scan technician; and a neurologist.

Each doctor/specialist individually evaluated Owen in their little specialty, jotted notes, informed us on the diagnosis, answered questions, and overload our brains with information.

Good News is Owen is developing just right and is very typical and average. Average is Good! Praise God!

Not as Good News is that Owen does in deed have Craniosynostosis. His Sagittal Suture has fused shut (likely in utereo), causing his head to elongate. Keep in mind these sutures aren't supposed to close until you are about 20. So he is only 20 years early on the whole suture-closing-process. Nothing like getting ahead! (yup...that pun was intended, too!)
Illustration showing cranial sutures and fontanels

So what does this all mean? Well, Owen will be having surgery in July to crack his skull in a few pieces so his lil' brain can continue to grow without any limits and boundaries. This will not only reshape his head into a nice lil' circle, but for certain not allow any cranial pressure to ever be an issue/concern. We will have two surgeons in on the process: the pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon and the neurosurgeon(to, as the plastic surgeon said, "Make sure I don't screw up and protect the brain.")

After being at the hospital for just about 6 hours and really realizing just exactly what we've gotten ourselves into, we load back up in the car and head on back.

This little girl was out like a light before we even got out of the parking garage. She was such a trooper at the hospital. I was so proud of her. We would never had brought her if we knew it was such a big day. We thought we'd be in and out in a hour or two. But she was so patient going from place to place. Waiting and waiting. And allowing all the doctors to fuss over Owen. But as she puts its "Owen's head isn't perfect". That was after I told her the doctors aren't worried about her head because it's perfect.
This one fell asleep once we hit the highway. He, too, was a trooper. He didn't put up too much of a fight when the people wanted to hold, touch, poke, and talk to him. He really wasn't that bad during the CT scan. He just broke my heart when he looked at me with his eyes pleading me to pick him up. Gosh...he's absolutely adorable.
We don't have a surgery scheduled yet. We know it will be in July sometime and as it gets closer to date we will fill you all in with details of the surgery and his hospital stay. Until then, please pray for our lil' Owen and his big head!