Today we received the call (email really). After three years of conversations, appointments, and uncertainty, we were told today that in a little over a week Benjamin and I will be moving to Montreal for a few months in order for him to have surgery and hopefully straighten his neck. Here’s the deal. When Ben was born, most of his cervical spine was fused together and much of it was misshapen – doctors call his vertebrae hemi-vertebrae because they are somewhat malformed and often triangle shaped. We call them pizza bones. Anyways, here’s the dilemma …the body wants to be straight. Because Ben’s neck is crooked – at some points around 70 degrees – the rest of his spine (which was not so bad) became crooked in an attempt to help straighten out his head. New dilemma – his now crooked thoracic spine – think chest – is getting a bit cramped. There are a couple of problems at stake. First is organ growth – we want there to be enough room to grow healthy, happy organs. A lot of time with significant scoliosis like this, the patient could have serious consequences down the road because their organs aren’t big enough to support a teenage or adult body (think Smart car engine in a Ford F150). The other problem is that because Ben’s pizza bones are in fact pizza shaped, further growth in him will continue to grow on one side or the other. All of this lopsided growth is considered bad growth. If we wait and fix his growth down the road, we have more problems to deal with, longer surgery times, higher complication rates. So, we have to do this when he is little, but that in itself is a complication because the surgeon has to deal with teeny tiny pizza bones.
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One thought on “The Call!”
Mother to mother, I send you prayers, healing thoughts and positive vibes. Ben is a wonderful, funny, strong and quirky little boy. I am certain that the surgery will be successful – he is resilient and has a strong will. And he is very lucky to have such an amazing, strong mother. From his dance teacher, I will miss his smiling face and determination. I look forward to teaching him in the future.