April 23, 2010

1 month post surgery

We are one month out, and Trey is doing well. The ear is healing but still has a way to go. He has a patch of hair that has fallen out. I think this is normal since I know others have done the same. Now I just try and remind myself that it will take months for it to heal up nicely and for the hair to grow back. But it is an ear and looks great. The ear does change on a daily basis, the color keeps changing it is interesting thing to watch. But the scabs are all off. He no longer is wearing the ear cup at night or during the day. We are still limited to activities but with a 3 year old it really doesn't matter much. We have another 4 weeks before he can do his hockey lessons or swimming but that is it for any restrictions. We do ask him to be careful with his new ear and so far so good. Trey says he likes it and tells me all the time not to take it off. He will do anything we ask if we just tell him Dr. Lewin told us to do it. :)

April 13, 2010

3 weeks out and talked to Dr. Lewin

We are 3 weeks out today and the ear is looking better and better each time we see it. Trey can finally go without the cup during the day but needs to wear it at night to keep him from sleeping on it. The dark colored scab came off today, looks like some little fish took a bite out of his ear where the scab was. Dr. Lewin expects it to have a scar but one that she can fix during stage II surgery. Most of the stitches have come out. We are cleaning it with soft soap and Q tips which is working nicely. I did add some antibiotic cream to the place the scab was just to make sure it heals nicely now. The ear is looking nice and pink. Trey doesn't like to touch his new ear yet. I think he is getting used to it and not sure what to think about his new ear right now. Not looking forward to a stressful day trying to keep the ear safe from Matthew who likes to grab it or Trey who is an active 3 year old who can quickly band his head on anything.

April 11, 2010

3 weeks out dressing change/cleaning

We cleaned Trey's ear this time all on our own today. It is looking great. Stitches are coming out, the dark spot is shrinking and healthy looking skin is seen. I know as time goes it will get more definition but it definitely looks like an ear. Now just waiting to hear back from Dr. Lewin as to what we do now with the ear cup and cleaning procedures. Hopefully the cup can stay off, it is starting to cause hair loss and sore spots but all those will heal up on their own. Then again I want that ear protected so maybe the cup should just stay on until Trey is 18.

April 8, 2010

Story of the 3 Bunny Bears

Trey has his favorite stuff animal, bunny bear, its a bear in bunny pajamas. So Trey has always sucked on the ears of the bear so in time due to the fact it has to be washed frequently we have accumulated 3 bunny bears. Not long ago I noticed each bunny bear had a hole in one of its ears, I thought nothing of it until we added the 3rd bunny bear and I watched Trey tear a hole in the new bears ear. I thought he must want it to be like the other 2 and was just wearing it in faster. Well the interesting part is that he has ripped a hole in each bears left ear, which is the same side of his small ear. Not sure if it means anything other then he likes to eat left bear ears, who knows. After the surgery we gave Trey a new bunny bear and showed him that it has 2 big ears like he now has. He now runs around wanting the one with 2 big ears. Don't worry about the other 3, he told the new bunny bear that they are all friends.

April 5, 2010

3rd post op appointment

Today was our last appointment with Dr. Lewin for stage 1. Trey got his hair washed again and Dr. Lewin cleaned up his ear. The skin sheds and needs help clearing out the old skin so you can see the nice new skin underneath. The only area of concern is the lobe, the dark spot but she felt the skin looked better underneath. She thought the dark spot got bigger but I thought it looked a lot better. She was happy that the lobe was only dark in the upper part of it, as long as it isn't black at the bottom it should heal. We will have to keep adding moisture to the ear in that area for awhile until it looks better which we start that in a week. Right now we start daily cleaning of his "normal" ear where the skin graft was taken, this cleaning will help the stitches fall out as well. The ear cup was put back on and will remain on for another week, at that time we get to be the ones to wash his hair and clean the ear. We will take pictures and send them to her. After that we can use the cup if we feel it necessary but she did give us another ear cup that we can use at night to protect the ear. There doesn't seem to much to worry about but there will be work for us to keep it clean and moist. I am sure in a week I will panic because I will have forgotten everything she told us. If we lived in CA we would be having a 4th appointment with her but since we are traveling Dr. Lewin only had us stay in town for 3 follow up appointments. As for seeing the ear, it was the first time I saw Trey head on with his 2 big ears and to be honest it was a little shocking for me. It had nothing to do with how the new ear looks more that he has a big ear where he didn't have one before. I was a little taken aback by my reaction, though I know the more I see it the more it will become normal. I do miss his little ear but I know we did the best thing for him. So glad I got a lot of pictures of him before the surgery, I will always cherish his little ear and so glad I know its still there as his lobe. I think if we lost the lobe I would be crushed. The pictures of Trey's ear were taken before the cleaning, I didn't get a picture of the ear after but it looked a lot better, lots of stitches came out and the uneven color spots of the ear improved. He looks unhappy in the picture because he woke up from napping in the car and was not yet awake. One good thing was Trey got a lot happier at the end of the visit because he got to meet another young boy who just had surgery after Trey and they looked like twins with their Nike caps and ear cups on. I think it was really good for him to see another boy dressed like him. I will post more pictures of his ear once we get some.

I also wanted to write about the arm where she took the skin graft. It is still taped and bandaged, since the skin is tight because so much of it was removed.We will have to keep tape on it for about 4 months. We will keep it wrapped up for as long as possible so he won't take off the tape. I guess the reason for taping it for so long is to help keep the scaring down since the skin is pulled in tight and is pulling away from the scar.

April 4, 2010

How we made this surgical experience also a vacation

With having to stay in CA for 2 weeks after the surgery and it only taking Trey 3 days to feel good enough to start being his active 3 year old self, we had to do things to keep the boys busy and mom and dad sane. The 2 days after surgery Trey just watched movies, he hardly ate anything and slept without having to work any energy out. Day 3 came and he started to not want to watch movies and ate normally. We found that the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade a great place to take him to walk around. They have bushes shaped like Dinosaurs which he loved, it was a great way to let him run around but when he was tired he rode in the stroller with his brother. Santa Monica also has a really nice farmers market on Wednesdays near the promenade. We also took the boys to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Beverly Hills, close to Cedars. Great place for boys since it is just full of interesting cars. We also visited the La Brea tar pits in LA, just down the street from the automotive museum. The park is free but you do have to pay to visit the museum. It was also a good place to let an adventurous boy run around without to much risk of hurting his new big ear. We also spent 3 days at Disneyland. We did not go 3 days in a row but rather every other day and made sure the weather was good since Trey can not get his ear wet yet. By the time we went, Trey had all the energy in the world for an all day visit. We were able to go on many many rides that he loved. We also got a pass at Disneyland that allowed us faster access to the rides so we did not have to wait in long lines, if you plan to go after surgery get this pass at city hall in Disneyland. We have also found local parks where we can walk to and let them both run and kick a ball around. All fun and not as dangerous for the ear as letting him bounce off the walls and furniture at the apartment. My goal was to have him have lots of fun memories about getting his bigger ear. I am hoping we accomplished that goal but only Trey and time will tell us. As for me I will always remember this trip as a great thing that Trey got his bigger ear and a wonderful family trip to Disneyland that also included our first earthquake. Aaron wasn't as excited about the earthquake since he lived in CA before and has felt many.