Topics of Discussion
Preemie-l discussion forum http://groups.yahoo.com/group/preemie-list
Kelly asks, "My daughter, Kylie, had multiple and recurrent pneumothoraxis and had 4 chest tubes during her stay in the NICU. She is 5 1/2 months now, home, and doing great! I have been trying so hard not to think about her traumatic beginning, but every time I bathe her, or even change her diaper and see those scars I can't help but remember. Has anyone had chest tubes, and if so, do the scars(physical, that is) ever go away?? If not, how do you deal with seeing them and not thinking about the NICU and all? I would appreciate any input on this subject."
Charlene says, "My son Darion was born at 30 wks. He did not have the chest tubes, but had alot of scars from collapsed veins. As he is growing so are his scars, I am also concerned but was told to wait a while longer to see if they diminish if not they said plastic surgery may be an option.When seeing his scars I don't think of NICU, I think without those scars, I may have not had this beautiful child...."
Angela agrees, "Colin has two fairly prominent chest scars (cut-down/central line, etc) and a hemangioma the size of a pencil eraser on his temple and has had glasses since 8 mos/4 mos adjusted. I realize that other children can be cruel and I'm hoping and praying that they won't be too hard on him. As for me, I'll never forget the whole antepartum/bedrest/127-day NICU experience. It's woven into the whole framework of our lives...But these little reminders *are* "badges of courage," belonging to my very own, tiny, but mighty guy!"
Liz adds, "Bridget came home with many scars. Slowly they are diminishing, because we daily apply neat Vit E to the scars. The scars on her head and face are completely gone, legs and arms are getting better, the feet are a little more stubborn."
Carol relates, "Robert's PDA scar has grown bigger as he grows. The others are still fading except he has a patch on his chest that the Drs described as 'underlying fat necrosis' that are the shape of the hearts of the temperature probes. He's 19 months now, so I don't think about them much anymore unless some one points them out. We were at a friends house with a wading pool and a lady thought the PDA scar was a fat roll. He's a very skinny kid."
Denien noticed, "My outlook is the same as Charlene, Dylan born at 24 weeks weighing 1 lb 1 oz. has lots of scars, lung chest tube, eyes, a huge scar from central line on his leg he will get plastic surgery for that one it looks like a belly button on his leg. But we just feel if all those scars weren't there Dylan wouldn't be here. So they really don't phase me. He is now 13 months. I do have a problem getting past his "beginning" I don't know if I will ever be able to get past that. I am just thankful for all the things that didn't happen that could have."
Rhonda remarks, "Sarah and Ian were born 27 weeks/5days. Shortly after, Ian had 4 pneumothoraxes. The nurses would take a chest tube out and within minutes his lung would collapse again. Anyway - he is 7 months old now and the bigger he gets the bigger the scar gets. He is very fair skinned so this probably adds to it. Though I only see the scars if I look for them. I'm sure when he is older other people will notice the scars. I will teach him to wear them like a badge of honor. My daughter has over 100 hemangiomas (small red clusters of blood vessels) all over her body - head to toe. So Ian's' scars on his chest are minimized when I look at Sarah. Though Sarah's hemangiomas will disappear within a few years and Ian will always have his scars."
Michelle advises, "My daughter had several pneumothoraxs as well as a diaphragmatic hernia repair and that also required a chest tube plus they started operating on her for something else when they discovered the hernia. The poor thing looked like a road map - and still does. She is now 18 months and the scars themselves are still very visible but I have gotten to where I have forgotten they exist until someone brings them to my attention. I felt like you did when I first brought her home. The doctors and I used to joke about the fact that she's going to hate me when she's a teenager because she won't be able to wear a bikini. I swore that when she was 12 we were going to go to a plastic surgeon and see what we could do about it. I still feel that way but it's not in the front of my mind anymore. As she gets older you'll get so used to them that you'll forget about them too."
Peggy notes, ?Both my boys (they are 18 1/2 yrs) have tiny scars from heel sticks and IVs. Jesse has a scar on his leg from a cutdown IV. It looks like a cross with an extra line across. He also has a scar from PDA surgery that goes from his back under his arm and around to his chest. On that same side, he has a scar from a chest tube.All these scars have faded some, but they have grown with him through the years.You can really see them when he has a tan. When he was in school and kids would ask him, he would just tell them he had surgery when he was baby. He did have a couple guys ask him if he was in a knife fight.The things kids think of! As for the NICU memories, every scar on my sons bodies is a scar on my heart.The memories are not as painful as when they were fresh wounds. But rub them some and it still hurts. But it does get easier."
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