Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Laser Treatment

People often ask me how many laser treatments Jacob has had and how many he has to go. The answer I have is not really what they are looking for. The truth is that I lost track of treatments awhile ago but I think we just finished treatment number 18 or close to it. Jacob received his first treatment shortly after he arrived home in 2007. He has been going about once every two months since then. He will continue to go as long as the doctor believes she is able to make progress and the treatments are working. I have no idea how many that will be but I am guessing it could be a couple more years.

Jacob did great as usual. For those of you who don't know, Jacob was born with a port wine stain on his face. It is a reddish birth mark that is near his right eye. Without treatment, the birth mark would likely get darker as he gets older. It also seems to affect his eye making it appear red. The pink and red in his eye has really decreased since he began receiving treatments. It has been a long time since someone pulled their child away from him and asked if he had pink eye. Now I only have people ask when he is sick or he is upset and his blood pressure rises.

The birth mark itself has also faded with treatments. The birth mark under his eye has pretty much disappeared and the lower part of the birth mark has faded greatly. The upper part is still more visible although it is fading slowly. The doctor was very happy with the progress she saw and she was able to use a much more powerful laser today which should have some good results.

Jacob is a trooper. He claims he isn't even nervous before a treatment but I'm not sure I completely believe him. He loves the nurses and doctors and will walk to the surgery center with them. He holds the mask to his face and lies down quietly until he falls asleep. He is only asleep for about 20 minutes total and they really don't sedate him very deeply. Just enough for him to sleep through the treatment.

I was reminded again today how grateful I am that we have such wonderful doctors and medical care in this country. I am also very grateful that he is healthy and only have to go to the surgery center for minor procedures and nothing life threatening. When I adopted Jacob, I knew there was a small chance he could have a very serious illness called Sturge Weber Syndrome. Thankfully, he does not have it and we are only treating a birth mark. Yet I always remember that I could have been taking him for something much more serious and so I say a prayer of gratitude.

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