Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

IF I ONLY HAD A (HEALTHY) BRAIN

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I am posting a devotional from my book about my son, Parker's Story: Essays on Autism and Awesometism.

KEY VERSE:

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2

ESSAY:

One of my favorite films of all time is the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. The famous Hollywood musical features a number of song and dance numbers, perhaps none more revealing than the Scarecrow’s plea in his song If I Only Had a Brain.

            That song took on new meaning this week. My wife Stephanie is currently six months pregnant with our first child. A son, his name is Parker. We named him very early on and have been calling him that while he is in the womb. I even have some silly songs, though not as famous as the Scarecrow’s, I sing to him about his name.

            But there was no singing when my wife received the results from her regularly scheduled pregnancy checkup. During the routine and regular ultrasound appointment the doctor discovered a cyst on our son's brain. He immediately referred us to a specialist.

            We had our scheduled appointment with that specialist, a perinatologist, earlier this week. I would characterize most of what we learned as disappointing or scary news, but with the possibility that all might turn out fine. There is still a lot that remains unknown.

            The perinatologist did confirm that Parker has a cyst on his brain. The cyst is, to my eye, quite large, compared to the size of his brain. It is not on the skull, but inside on his actual brain. That is what makes it potentially so dangerous.

            They have determined, for now, there is no medical or surgical procedure they should do for Parker until after he is born. Stephanie has been referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon and for an appointment to have an MRI. The MRI will tell the medical professionals more about where the cyst is located on the brain and what the tissue surrounding the cyst looks like. The neurosurgeon will then interpret the results of the MRI for us and help us determine next steps.

            Best case scenario: Parker is born with a cyst on his brain. Damage to him and his brain would be minimal or nonexistent. And after birth they would perform surgery to drain and/or remove the cyst and that would be a successful procedure.

            Worst case scenario: the existence of the cyst is the result of, or indication of, some sort of leakage or bleeding on the brain. This would/could lead to damaged tissue around the cyst. That damaged tissue could represent permanent brain damage. This is what the MRI is supposed to reveal: if there is any brain damage at this time and if so, to what extent.

            Parker seems fine in every other developmental category except for this problem on his brain. If only it were a hang nail or a stubbed toe. But it is much more serious in that, like Dorothy’s Scarecrow, it involves his brain.

            We are, of course, singing out our prayers to God that there is no brain damage.

ABOUT AUTISM:

At this early stage, we are still not concerned about autism. It has not been mentioned, discussed or diagnosed. Right now we are dealing with all of the other brain abnormalities that the doctors are discovering our son has.

APPLICATION:

In our world we all know someone who is suffering a health crisis. It could be a loved one, a co-worker or even you, the reader. First, start off by singing some praises to God. Lift up your voice in chorus to our Creator and Healer. Then spend a few moments in prayer praying for that person. Thank God for their life and lift up current their health struggles.



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