Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A diagnosis: Osteoid Osteoma...Oh my!

I have to say....I told you so......
from the moment that Merrick started having leg pain.  I told you so.
Even if you didn't have an opinion, I did.
I knew it was a tumor.  And I didn't feel like I was overreacting.
I just knew.  I think God gives mommas that discernment.  It's what helped us push through three doctors, numerous tests and two months of waiting. 
I wasn't going to let them send us home with a 'growing pains' diagnosis.
The look on his face when he's in pain....
it's heartwrenching.

And now we know why.  Osteoid Osteoma
The Dr. described the pain as being close to drilling into your tooth....straight down to the nerve....without anesthetics....
....and it's constant. 
The diagnosis fits his symptoms perfectly. 
The tumor is benign....meaning it will not keep branching out and growing.  It will not metastasize outside of the bone...so there is no fear of it spreading.  It's just a tidy bundle of nerves and tissue deep inside Merrick's femur.  The pain worsens at night....which explains why Merrick will get up in the middle of the night and draw himself a blazing hot bath.  He just sits there half asleep with the hot water pouring over his leg.  Then he calls to me for medicine.  That's our routine for the past 9 weeks.

After SO much prayer support and encouragement, we confidently walked into his appointment today, knowing that we could handle any diagnosis. 
So we were neither alarmed nor deeply saddened by this news....as long as it is treatable.
And it is! 
This pediatric orthopaedic specialist would like to operate after the first of the year.  The recovery period would include a month in a half or full body cast for Merrick, but the relief from his pain would be immediate.
This all sounded like good news.....

However, there is another option.  An option this specialist brushed aside.  He COULD do a Radio Frequency Ablation which would have Merrick up and walking the same day.  No casts, less invasive, outpatient.  We did not have questions while we were in the office today, but the more I research, the more I wonder why he wouldn't opt for the simpler procedure. 

I currently am in contact with the Radiology Dept of UCSF Medical Center.  It looks like we'll be seeking a second opinion before we authorize this surgery.  Unfortunately, this means Merrick waits longer for relief.

Throughout this process we've taken the journey one step at a time.  I just keep marvelling how Merrick is being shaped by this process.  Does God want him to become especially compasionate to others, more patient, or more prayerful?  This ordeal has brought that out in all of us!

I revel in the end that we will see how God's mighty hand worked through this situation.   Already I can point to so many people who love this little boy and are on their knees for him.  It's such a beautiful thing to be lifted up in prayer and we feel it.

So thank you for walking this journey with us. 
We're getting there......and in the end Merrick will walk (and RUN again) pain free!


The Ballard Family said...

"Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:6-7

Gina said...

Wow! I'm so happy you all have an answer and a direction now--even if you do need a second opinion (which seems very prudent). I'm telling you, a mother's intuition is so important! Glad you tuned into yours. I know Merrick has a long road, but the glory remains to be seen! :-)