If you are just beginning this story, click here to start from the beginning and learn about my daughter’s health. So we left off where my daughter had gotten this small cut on her nose (in the cleft where the nose meets the cheek). In a matter of weeks it had turned hard and bulbous. We were thinking it might go away on its own but it just seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. We were giving it until the end of the year to hopefully go away, but it didn’t. So we scheduled an appointment with an otolaryngolist (ear, nose and throat doctor) who specialized in plastic surgery.
After further inspection, he felt Kayla had a keloid on her nose, and his advice to us was to have it surgically removed and then to put a few stitches in that area to help it close up. A keloid is basically an overgrowth of skin which forms a firm, rubbery type scar. So we scheduled the surgery for February. Meanwhile, Kayla was starting to get self-conscious because a lot of people would ask her about it. The day of surgery arrived. Kayla seemed to be ready to go, while mom, on the other hand, was anxious about seeing her daughter go under anesthetics and have surgery. All of the nurses at the hospital doted on Kayla with coloring books and puzzles, and she seemed at ease.
During surgery the ENT came out and asked if it was okay for him to remove the old tubes we had put in Kayla’s ears since they were just hanging out in the ear canal. He also suggested putting a new pair of tubes in because her ears were both infected. What in the world? So I gave him permission to do this in addition to the removal of the keloid.
After surgery he came in and said he thought it was a hemangioma (swelling of blood vessels that forms on the outside of skin) and not a keloid because of all the blood during surgery. I listened but didn’t think much about it since it was removed.
Kayla was a champ though. She was very upset after surgery, but it wasn’t anything a hospital slurpee and a stuffed teddy bear didn’t remedy (evidence of the slurpee on her lips below). Here you can see the growth was removed and replaced with a couple of stitches.
The surgery seemed to be a success, and after a nap, she seemed back to her happy little self. We did the best we could to take care of the incision according to doctor’s instructions, and a week later my husband took Kayla back to get the stitches removed. (Momma couldn’t handle anymore.) The visit wasn’t without a little drama, tears, and fears, but the stitches were removed.
The incision area itched as it was healing, and we were constantly getting Kayla to wash her hands and not touch that area. We put Neosporin on it to help moisturize the skin so it wouldn’t itch. We also washed it according to the doctor’s orders and tried to keep it covered during the day so Kayla wouldn’t touch it, but three weeks and $2200 out-of-pocket later it was back and bigger than ever.
So we marched back into the ENT’s office, and he concluded it was indeed a keloid and not a hemangioma since it had come back. He suggested the same surgery with the addition of having her come in weekly for four to six weeks to get steroid injections into the area to ensure it wouldn’t come back. WHAT? You want to put my daughter under the knife again and then put her under anesthetics five times in a six-week period and inject steroids into her face? There was no way I was subjecting her to that.
Desperate, discouraged, frustrated, and completely at a loss as to what I should do next I decided to make an appointment with a specialist at Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Of course, I had to wait a month to get in. Meanwhile the “keloid” wasn’t getting any better and seemed to be bigger and more sensitive than before surgery.
During this waiting game, I had a conversation with a friend about something to try in the meantime…