“What is that?” my wife asked in a slightly freaked […]
“What is that?” my wife asked in a slightly freaked out tone. She was pointing at the baby’s left eye.
I squinted and leaned in close.
Mustering all of my vast medical knowledge, I said, “I don’t know. It looks like some kind of bump.”
We were both masking our worry that it might be something terrible, like an alien life form growing in his skin. There was a noticeable bulge protruding off the side of his nose right where the nose transitions to the eye socket. We touched it and poked at it to see if the alien would emerge. Nothing happened, though, and he didn’t act like it hurt him at all. So, we just decided that we’d play it cool until his next scheduled visit to the pediatrician about a week later.
My wife called me the moment she got out of the pediatrician’s office. With relief in her voice, she explained to me that it was a simple dermatoid cyst. It’s nothing life-threatening and it’s usually easy to remove. The complication in our case is that the cyst is so close to the eye that the pediatrician didn’t want to operate on it himself. So, he referred us out to a children’s hospital that has a specialist in pediatric ophthalmology. We’ll be going to that office next week for an evaluation.
In the meantime, our pediatrician assured us that we could sleep easy. No aliens will emerge from our baby’s eye. The cyst will continue to grow slowly over time, but it poses no immediate threat to they eye or anything else. So, we can breathe a sigh of relief about that much.
A famous teaching of Jesus comes to mind in this situation. He instructed people to remove the log from their own eye before trying to get the speck out of another person’s eye. He was speaking metaphorically, of course, but this instruction came to mind in a more literal way in our scenario. We aren’t exactly removing a log from our son’s eye, but a cyst seems pretty close from the perspective of a worried parent.
I have to confess to having some anxiety over the whole situation. How much will it cost? What if the surgeon’s hand slips? What if the cyst diagnosis turns out to be wrong and it really is an alien? Ironically, just a sentence or two before this instruction about logs in eyes, he said something else interesting: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” These are the words I’m hanging on to as we near our next medical appointment.