Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Owie, It Hurts

When Gracie was a baby in the NICU, she had several leads on her chest to monitor various vital signs and such. I remember the circular stickers that attached the leads to Grace covered nearly all of her chest. I have a vivid memory of watching her tiny 3 pound body breathe in and out. Her retractions made me very nervous. I kept willing her to calm the rapidity of her breaths. My telepathic notions didn't work, but some time and patience did.

Preemie skin is often frail, and the NICU used something they called "second skin" to help protect Grace's skin from sores while in their care. Grace only ended up with one tiny scar on her collar bone. It is pea-sized and slightly raised. Recently, Grace asked me what the bump was on her chest. I told her how it got there, and she said, "I like to touch it."

Grace often gets obsessed with the textures of things, which I think is tied into her sensory issues. From the time she was an infant, she was obsessed with touching both of her ears. Whe she was a baby, she'd even grab her ears while we were feeding her. Grace's need to touch and hold and carress things is sometimes very profound.

A few days ago, I was helping her put a shirt on before school, and I noticed the scar was red and angry looking. I instructed her to stop touching the bump, and she seemed to understand. I even thought that maybe she had received a bug bite or something like that.

Today, when she woke up the pea-sized bump had morphed into a 50-cent piece sized infection. The color of it was now redish purple, and a halo of inflamation was surrounding the bump.

So, today we went to the pediatrician. He isn't sure what the bump is except that he thinks it is some sort of boil. By touching the scar so much she may have accidentally introduced a staph or strep infection into the area. I also asked the doctor if it was possibly something called panniculitis, which can afflict people who have Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. He said he wasn't sure but that he'd check into it. My gut feeling is that she has an old fashioned boil.

We're trying a broad spectrum antibiotic to see if that will help. I'm also supposed to apply warm compresses, and put Neosporin on the bump. Grace acts like I'm electrocuting her when I get near the bump though. It must really hurt her.

I hope the medication helps and that Grace's former scar doesn't become larger. Isn't it interesting how her early beginning in life keeps coming back to haunt her?

1 comment:

childlife said...

Hang in there Jen - It's sure tough when it seems like you keep being faced with the past over and over. Sending you prayers that this will resolve quickly and heal completely.