Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Making the scars fade

We made a choice to trach Mighty Z when she was was 4 months old. It was a hard decision to make, and we hated having to make it.
Like many medical procedures, the trach surgery went fine; it was in post-op that the trach-road got bumpy. Within 3 hours of surgery, Mighty Z pulled out her trach and coded. After first, the NICU nurse thought that the sensors were not working and that the monitors were just going crazy for no reason. When she realized some minutes later that Mighty Z was actually coding, she proceeded to ambu (4-month old!) Mighty Z with an adult ambu bag. The nurse's usage of the adult ambu bag blew Mighty Z's left lung. Same notwithstanding, they finally managed to got enough oxygen to her to resuscitate her, (though we later found out that the delay in resuscitation caused Mighty Z to sustain eye damage -- Grrrr).
After Mighty Z was resusitated, the on-call ENT rushed her into emergency surgery to redo the trach. In the rushed second surgery, the doctor did what he had to do -- he cut below the first stoma to open a second airway, and then he sutured her skin below the trach to her skin above the trach.
Four years later, when we decannulated Mighty Z, her trach scar was very (very) angry-looking. I wanted that bad-boy to go away, so for years we tried every kind of cream /snake-oil we could find on the market. Sadly, all were to no avail. Recently, however, I tried a cream recommended by my sister-in-law on Mighty Z's trach scar. Although skeptical that the cream, would achieve results where so many others had failed, I tried it -- (mostly because I love and support my sweet sister-in-law, and I didn't want to dismiss her suggestion without giving her recommendation a try). Happy day! I'm so glad I did! Below are before and after photos after 7 days of using the cream -- (photos taken at the same time of day and in the same location). Is it me, or does the scar look noticeably better? I can’t wait to see what happens after 30 days. In the meantime, Mighty Z has tons of scars all over her body, and I am going to try the stuff out on every one.

Unsightly trach-scar notwithstanding, looking back now, I wish we had hadn't hesitated as long as we did to trach Mighty Z. If she had been trached earlier it would have prevented 4 months of intubation (the duration of which caused damage to her vocal cords), and I could have brought her home sooner. Last but not least, it was only after Mighty Z's trach surgery that I was able to see her whole face, and for me, finally seeing Mighty Z's beautiful face without the clutter of ng tubes and all the intubation mess that goes with it was amazing. Even if that trach scar never completely  fades and I end up owning more cream than any other mom on the planet, I'll never forget the joy of seeing my baby's face and bringing her home where she belongs.
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