I know I didn't stop praying all day. Praying for Ezra, the surgeon, the other doctors, the nurses, the NERVE...if it wasn't for that facial nerve wrapped around the mass I might have been a little more at ease. Surgery was supposed to last 3 hours, maybe a little longer. "Don't get nervous if it takes a little longer," Dr. Rimell said. I was doing okay at 3 1/2 hours, and still pretty good at 4 hours, but after that my stomach was in a knot. After 5 hours and 1 minute our little man was finally in recovery. The best news of all was that the nerve was completely intact! The nerve that could have caused complete paralysis on the right side of Ezra's face had not been severed. Thank you, Jesus!!
(1 day post-op) (2 days post-op)
(2 weeks post-op)
We've had several post-op check-ups and at his 6 month appointment the ENT said we didn't have to come back; everything looks great!! There is still some healing - the skin where the mass was has some internal stitches that are still working their way out and the incision has one stitch that is still working its way out. The indentation caused from the removal will also fill in over time because he is so young. He can never get an Atypical Mycobacterial Infection again. (Though I am quite paranoid around bird poop...I feel like I see it everywhere now!)
(2 months post-op)
(Today: 6 months post-op)
During the surgery, they ended up removing the parotid gland because it was in the way and part of the major mess that they found. Removal of this gland can cause Frey's Syndrome, and wouldn't you know, Ezra has developed it. It's nothing serious, just another very rare condition. When they removed the gland, they saved the nerves that were in it. These are salivary nerves and in some cases they "grow" into the skin causing the skin to turn red, and even sweat, when the person salivates. So when Ezra eats he gets a red mark on his cheek, we haven't noticed any sweating so far. (He was eating breakfast in the picture above so it's slightly noticeable, right above the mark from the mass.) It's something that may or may not resolve itself over time. Botox will temporarily fix it or there is a surgery to permanently fix it, but if it's not causing Ezra any discomfort (and it doesn't seem to be) we don't plan to do anything about it. We'll just have to remember to let his teachers know about it so they don't think he's having some kind of allergic reaction during snack time!
Amazing how one day can be so vivid in our memories, isn't it?! Though we will never know exactly how Ezra contracted this crazy infection, we are so thankful for the medical technology and doctors that were able to take care of it.
If you have more questions about our experience with Atypical Mycobacterium, please leave a comment or email me at thoner02k @ yahoo . com