Mar 7, 2008
Two Funny Noggins
And as one of my ultra-favorite Ethio-adoptive moms pointed out (Hi MP!), some hair is finally appearing on those two funny noggins! I knew it had to happen sometime. . . from bald for sooo long to woolly fuzz, and now finally turning to softer and curlier and oh-so-ultra cute.
Now come closer readers, this is where it turns more serious and personal. I've been living with some major fear and worry the past several months. Around last fall I began noticing a midline keel on the foreheads of my identical pair, Bereket & Sira. Look at the pictures above, taken last September. Trace the line that runs down the foreheads of the "twins". Look at those serious profiles. It was these pictures that really got into my head. They are among my favorites; all three boys look so darn cute, but the foreheads of Bereket and Sira . . . where is that line coming from? And should foreheads stick out more than noses? I didn't know what to think at first, but began intense forehead watching on TV and out in public, especially eyeing the babies. Nobody else I examined had bony ridges in their foreheads. Finally I thought of birds and how they have keels (fused bones) in their breasts that enable flight. So I googled "keel" and "forehead" . . . holy $%*@# as my blood ran freezing cold when the scary word CRANIOSYNOTOSIS popped up. That's it! Without a doubt I was convinced. My two boys have a metopic ridge caused by craniosynotosis--premature fusing of cranial sutures. Now google long enough and you will find images of extreme disfigurations and scary possible prognoses ranging from intracranial pressure, severe headaches and seizures, to brain stunting and even autism.
A tad hysterical, I called the pedi and raced the boys in within the hour (advantages to living in small town, USA). The pedi had never brought up the CS word before, although she had remarked on frontal bossing (protruding foreheads) and tested the boys many months before for rickets (negative). Anyway, long story short, 2 X-rays and eye pressure tests later, many months of worrisome waiting, and worst case scenarios swimming in and out of my head, we found ourselves at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City earlier this week, on my birthday (the big 3-8), speaking with a cranio-facial plastic surgeon--the expert. I must say that by the time our appointment finally rolled in, I felt optimistic. The X-rays had not indicated any abnormalities, the eye pressure tests revealed no signs of brain pressure, Bereket and Sira are developmentally healthy (well, there's my language and height concerns, but they're certainly doing at least as well as their taller, normal-foreheaded fraternal brother Tsega), and ridge or no ridge, they are obviously cuter than buttons. But that ridge . . . what else could it be other than metopic?
Not all cases of cranio are serious or affect brain development and health, or disfigure the head and face. Not all cases require surgery. But surgery, although terrifying (this is the head and brain we're talking about), can usually fix the problems if it is indeed recommend. The words we wanted to hear: no surgery.
And indeed my diagnosis was spot-on: Metopic ridge caused by craniosynotosis YES, but surgery no no no! Apparently their type and severity of cranio is pretty common--stage I, meaning mild without surgery recommendations. Their ridge will eventually flatten within the next 7 years of their lives and their is no compromise to brain development. I've already noticed some flattening of their foreheads and our expert doctor said the history of their head growth is normal. This is one worry we now leave behind.
Remember my dear readers, no matter how stressed you get, no matter how crazy your kids make you, no matter what, never-ever take health for granted. Think of all those sick children who've come and gone from that hospital and all those worried and scared parents, and always be thankful if you find you and your family among the living and healthy. Funny noggins we can live with. :)
P.S. Thanks and special thoughts go out to Keely and Salem; you know why!