Rocky Balboa once said, “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.”
That quote sums up our lives right now. We’ve taken another hit. Eli will need another serious surgery. Last Friday, a CT scan confirmed that he has something called
Craniosynostosis. You’re probably asking, What in the heck is Craniosynostosis? Craniosynostosis (pronounced crane-eo-sin-os-TOW-sis) is when one or more of the special joints in a baby’s skull (sutures) grow together (fuse) earlier than normal. When these joints come together too early, a baby’s skull cannot grow properly.
Sutures are located between the bone plates in a baby’s skull. They allow the baby’s head to come through the birth canal. After birth, the sutures let the skull get bigger to make room for brain growth.
After infancy, the sutures slowly begin to grow together to fully connect the skull bones. The skull bones begin to grow together when children are about 2 or 3 years old, but the process is not fully complete until adulthood.
A baby can have one or more fused sutures. When any of the sutures grow together early, the baby’s head develops a specific shape, depending on where the fusion occurs. You can usually see an unusual shape to a baby’s head at birth or shortly after. When several sutures close early, the baby’s head can’t expand to hold the growing brain. This can cause increased pressure in the skull that may hurt brain development. (www.SeattleChildrens.org)
There are different types of Craniosynostosis. Eli has Lambdoid Craniosynostosis. It is quite rare and occurs in only 2-4% of patients with craniosynostosis (1 in 300,000). The lambdoid suture is paired and located along the back of the head and it may fuse prematurely on one side or on both sides. Typically, fusion will cause the skull to develop a trapezoid shape, indicating restricted growth at the fused suture and compensatory growth changes surrounding the suture. (www.CraniofacialMD.com)
You read that right: 1 in 300,000. Pair that with Down syndrome, VSD (heart defect), and Infantile Spasms and our kiddo is 1 in a million. But, we already knew that.
Don’t worry, we aren’t giving up the fight – not even close. We take the hits and keep on moving. Some days we go backwards instead of forward but I refuse to let life’s hardships win. It could always be worse, I do know that.
Next up, we’ll have a meeting with the team at Seattle Children’s. The medical team will consist of a craniofacial plastic surgeon, a pediatric neurosurgeon, a pediatrician, a nurse and a social worker (for support and assistance). We will most likely schedule his surgery at that appointment (they would like to have the surgery done between 9-12 months old). I have been assured by other doctors in the community that Seattle Children’s has the best Craniofacial Department in the nation. At least I know Eli will be in good hands when we once again have to hand him over for surgery. Ugh. Just writing that gave me anxiety.
Please keep Eli in your prayers. Our warrior faces yet another challenge but with the strength of prayer, community, and love I am confident he will prove victorious once again. ❤