It occurred to me today that I have not posted an update about Lucas for a long time. For those who are just now stumbling upon my blog, Lucas is my 6-year-old son who was burned quite severely in May 2007. He spent several weeks in the UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill, NC where he received top-notch treatment. Miraculously, even the 3rd degree burns healed without requiring surgery. So, here is an update on how he continues to progress and heal.
The 2nd and 3rd degree burns were on his left foot, lower left back, and the entire right hand, arm, and shoulder. His right arm and left foot are completely healed with only a barely perceivable difference in skin color. The lower left back has only a few thick scars that are very small. The skin will in time regenerate, and has already progressed quite far. It still has at least 6 months to go before it has built back up to a normal depth of skin. Right now, it is darker than his normal skin and still has "buds" on it which look like lots of little dark dots. In time, this will go away though as the skin heals.
The only real problem area that still remains is his right shoulder and upper right arm. It has developed a very thick hypertrophic scar over the entire area. The scar is still forming and has at least 6 months to go before it "matures" and stops developing. Basically, his body suffered great trauma and his healing senses kicked into overdrive and didn't know enough to stop. His body went overboard in healing itself. So, this causes two problems. The first is cosmetic and the second is the limitation of mobility in his shoulder.
His doctor in the burn center referred him to the UNC Burn Plastic Surgeon in January. The Burn Plastic Surgeon will continue to care for him, though there is currently no surgery available to correct such an issue in a still-growing child on the shoulder. So, basically, there's little that the doctors can do to help him. He currently is wearing a very tight "burn shirt" that squeezes him very tightly for the purpose of applying constant pressure to the scar tissue. He wears it during the day. Underneath the shirt he wears silicoln gel pads which have proven very helpful in scar reduction. I do massage therapy each morning and night where I press firmly on the scar and massage it to aid in breaking down the scar tissue. He goes back to UNC in two months at which time the surgery team may decide to start steroid therapy as well. Beyond that, there is nothing that can be done.
Mind you, I did not want my little guy to have to have surgery, but at the same time, I was hoping that there was something the surgeon could do for him. Still, when he said he could not help Lucas, I was discouraged only for a few moments. What this means is that God is our plan A and our only plan. I have been praying for the impossible for Lucas. I'm asking God to give him new skin instead of a scar. This is impossible. But it is what I feel God has asked me to pray for. In my human condition, I'm always thinking of the scientific and medical ways that this prayer could be answered. I found out at that last doctor visit that only God can do what I am asking. I would like to say that God has always been my Plan A on this, and at times, He has been. But in the back of my mind, surgery has been my Plan A. Now, there is only one plan and that is God. So, we continue to pray.
The little guy continues to absolutely astound everybody with his incredible little spirit that has not been broken by this. He came to me a few weeks ago and told me that he wanted to write a worship song about his burn. He began to sing as I wrote the lyrics as quickly as I could. It was such a beautiful song! It was all about how God made dead bones come to life and put new skin on them and how Jesus was dead and was then alive in just three days, so "when are You going to do that for me?". The main point of his song was such a child-like innocence in asking God, "When are you going to heal my burn?" followed with, "I love You and You love me- I know so!"
I am so awed by the faith of little ones. Lord, may my faith become like that of my children. They are so beautiful.