For all those who complain about the health-care system that we have in this country, my advice is to close your eyes, pinch your nose and go jump in a lake.
For all the health emergencies we have had in our family, the medical care has been second to none. If we lived in one of the Third World countries, I would be dead by now.
I didn’t have to walk 10 miles to see a doctor. As a matter of fact, just a sniffle, and I’m a few of blocks away from a medical facility. It seems that more resources are spent on my whims than actual medical problems.
Every system has its own problems, and improvements may be needed. Our health-care system is no different, but by and large, we are some of the most fortunate people in the world with the care we do get.
Our fourth grandchild was born about eight months ago. With pregnancy difficulties and an even more traumatic birth, our grandson was born with a condition called metopic craniosynostosis. Try to say that fast three times.
That’s where his frontal skull plates were fused together in utero. This condition does not allow for growth, and as a result, development is slow. It is a situation that has to be corrected.
Right from birth to today, the care that he has received has been phenomenal. We have been amazed at the number of medical professionals who have been consulted and all the hospital and clinic visits that have been arranged. The general attention paid to our grandson has been overwhelming.
Not only is it amazing that while it is major surgery, the condition is not unknown. As a matter of fact, it’s quite common and totally repairable.
Since we learned about this condition, we have met many folks who either know someone close to them who has encountered this problem, or have themselves dealt with it, with just about every operation totally successful.
Even lost development time can be recovered at a rapid pace.
Time after time, we hear about how first responders are so traumatically affected when an issue involves young children, whether it is the pain from an accident or from abuse.
Having said that, the aftermath of this type of surgery is itself traumatic, and not just for the child, but also for the parents and the siblings.
Let me describe it to you.
During this operation, the doctors will have to break the plates where they were fused, clean the edges and reshape them to a more square shape, allowing for future growth.
Once that’s done, the doctors may have to fit the child with a custom-shaped, snug-fitting helmet, if needed.
Anyone who has had a broken arm can tell you how much fun a cast is in hot weather. This could become part of this little fellow for up to six months and be very taxing on everyone involved.
As more and more people hear of our grandson’s condition, one of the most common comments is how they hate to see small children suffer. That sentiment is very familiar and sincerely expressed, but we have to look on the bright side.
If the same operation were to be performed at an older age, the trauma would become a permanent part of a person’s memory, but for an eight-month-old baby, memories leave for the most part when the suffering stops, unless it involves abuse.
Not all memories for sure, but most of them.
Although it hurts to see little ones go through such a painful and traumatic event, we can be very thankful for the care and love that a child receives in one of the best medical systems in the world.
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.