Friday, November 9, 2012
The Last One.
Ethan has the last of his three surgery's building his new ear on Monday. What a trip this process has been. It's been one of those growing up things-
When I first saw my son after a grueling labor and realized he did not have a right ear, I didn't really care.
That sounds horrible.
What I mean is I didn't really care because I just thought it would be something unique about him, like my dad, and life would go on and be fine.
What I've had to come to terms with is the reality of living in this world with an obvious deformity right on your face and how that affects someone's life. Even though I didn't want to face it, just wanted to deny it, shove it under a rug somewhere, act like it didn't exist, I had to face this ugly reality that my son's life will be affected by the fact he was born without an ear.
And the kindest thing to do, I decided, was to try and fix it as much as we could.
It's not perfect and it's not going to be perfect. Our surgeon can only do so much with stolen cartilage and skin from other parts of Ethan's body. It's not like a boob that's just a nice round balloon you fill up or even a nose that has just a small amount of definition. Ears are complex and extremely detailed. Even the best doctors don't do them very well. Our surgeon ONLY does ears, all day long, everyday, and even he said it's a challenge for him to get it to look more like an ear and less like a "bar of soap".
I had my doubts going into the first surgery. Was it really worth it? The risk of surgery, being in a hospital, getting an infection...all for something that may take the small amount of skin he was born with and make it something into something bigger that may look more like a bar of soap than an ear?
But it has been worth it. Even with the eye infection and the horrible first stay in Shriner's that first time-
Ethan's face is now much more symmetrical and though his ear is not perfect it's much less noticeable than the little bit of skin he was born with. It blends.
He doesn't want to go back this time. I now understand why they give them toys and presents all throughout their stay-it's the only positive thing he can latch onto to make him want to go back. His first surgery I kinda thought it was overkill, all these toys at every turn. Now I get it and so does Ethan: surgery sucks. But at least there will be new toys.