Powered by Blogger.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1992 Childhood Symptoms

While at work today switching books and movies out of our parent library, I came across a book titled Childhood Symptoms Every Parents Guide to Childhood Illnesses revised edition. Curious, I thumbed through the book and found spina bifida as one of the topics. I quickly looked at the date the book was published and saw 1992. 1992 wasn't that long I opened the book back to spina bifida and began to read. This is what I found.....

"Spina Bifida- a congenital condition in which the bony casting around the spinal cord does not develop properly, permitting the spinal cord and meninges to be exposed. This serious hereditary developmental abnormality occurs during the embryo's first weeks of life in the womb, when the creation of the protective tube around the forming spinal cord does not close completely. After birth, it can be associated with paralysis, deformities, and hydrocephalus (commonly known as water on the brain).

Spina bifida occulta is a milder form of the condition in which the neural tube around the spinal cord is not completely fused, but there are no problems or symptoms, and it may go undetected for years. It requires no treatment.

However, there are two other, graver types of spina bifida- meningocele, in which the membranes that cover the spinal cord protrude through to the surface of the back, and meningomyelocele, in which both those membranes and parts of the spinal cord and nerve roots are visible. Some spina bifida babies with severe meningocele or meningomyelocele have brief lives counted in mere hours, while those who do survive longer commonly have mental retardation and limited motor and muscle-control skills.

Action- Surgery can aid in relieving many of the possible complications. Parents should seek genetic counseling, for the risk of having another child with the same defect is greater than that in the general population. Amniocentesis can pick up signs of spina bifida. Professional help should also be sought to aid the parents and any siblings in coping with the familywide problems associated with this condition."

Holy cow. It really surprises me that this is the information that they had on spina bifida as late as 1992. And then again it doesn't surprise me. When we were given Lila's diagnosis we were told that her lesion was so large that she would probably never walk and would essentially be a vegetable. Terminating would be "understandable" in our case.It breaks my heart to think of all the children that were never given the chance at life because of a diagnosis. Also it infuriates me that "vegetable" would be used at all to describe these children. AAH! I promptly took the book out of the rotation (other info was outdated as well).
I am thankful that medical technology has improved and reading this today made me realize how blessed that Lila was born in 2010 with all this new information. Hopefully one day soon doctors will have even more information on spina bifida and deliver the diagnosis in a better way.

No comments:

Post a Comment