Friday, February 17, 2012

Word of the day: Hemangioma

 The word of the day is ...

hem·an·gi·o·ma

[hē-ˌman-jē-ˈō-mə]
 
Noun
 
1.  a usually benign tumor made up of blood vessels that typically occurs as a purplish or reddish slightly elevated area of skin 
2.  also known as "strawberry mark" or "strawberry birthmark"
 
Used in a sentence:
Shaun, it's not funny to call Katie "Gorbachev" just because they both have hemangiomas on their foreheads!  I don't want her to get a complex and start speaking in a Russian accent!

I love this word for the following reasons:
  1. Sweet Katie has 3 hamangiomas (one on her forehead, on on her side and one on her buttcrack which is shaped like a heart and I pray no man sees it - except for those who change her diaper - until she's 30!)
  2. It makes me sound smart when I use it!  (I know, that's the "cop-out" excuse ... but it's true and I like being smart!)
  3. It gives me an opportunity to educate and talk to other people who freak out when they first see Katie's birthmark because they think it's a "boo-boo".  

There have been numerous occasions when we're in public and a little child says to their mama: "The baby has a boo-boo".  Instead of feeling self conscious for my Doodle Bug, I sweetly take Katie over to the inquisitive kiddo, squat down on their level and explain to them that it's not a boo-boo at all.  This conversation usually ends up with me, the child, the child's mom and Katie examining the child's arms to see if they have any "strawberries" on them too.


Most hemangiomas show up within 3-4 weeks after birth and rapidly grow for a few weeks or months or even years.   Then, as the baby gets older, the growth slows and the mark starts to fade.  The majority of these marks are no longer visible to the naked eye by the child's 10th birthday.  On the rare occasion that the mark lingers on and makes the child self conscious, the hemangioma can be removed and the skin resurfaced to minimize the evidence.

Hemangiomas themselves are typically harmless.  In rare circumstances, they form around an eye, ear, nose, etc. and  hinders a baby's normal development and function. 


Katie at 8 days old ... no mark yet.


Katie at 2 1/2 months ... It seems like it grew overnight!

Katie at 8 months ... the hemangioma stopped growing and will slowly fade away.


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