Friday, August 3, 2012

Hospital time

So, this is what we've been doing the past few months...

As most of you know, Snail has cerebral palsy, and uses a wheelchair.  A lot of CP kids develop hip problems, mostly due to their lack of weight bearing in early development.  Your hips and femurs need walking and weight bearing to finish forming properly.  So a lot of kids with issues walking, and issues with muscle tone, end up with hip malformations which eventually leads to dislocations.

Which is just what happened to our Snail.

Over the past year, since an x-ray last August, we've known that Snail would need surgery.  Last August, her right hip was 40% subluxed (sitting incorrectly in the socket), early this year it was 80%.  A few weeks ago, we had a bad incident with her pain and when they did an x-ray at Emergency, her right hip was completely dislocated.

So, after living with that for several weeks, she had surgery 2 weeks ago.

Here is a simple link to what she had done.  She had a femoral varus derotation osteotomy on both sides (re-angling of the femoral head), and an acetabuloplasty on the hip socket (re-shaping the hip socket) on the right side.  Basically - it was an operation on both femurs, to reposition the head of the socket correctly, and to make sure her legs came out the same length after surgery (which is why they do the both sides at the same time).  She also had her right hip socket reconstructed into a more normal shape. 

It was, in the words of one of the registrars, a "big day out" in surgery.  One of her surgeons commented that it's pretty much the maximum amount of surgery they can do on a person, other than in a crash or something.  It was 4 hours, and took two surgeons. 
Towards the parent lounge, during surgery.
Surgery day was everything you might expect, horrible, torturous, awful.  And can I say there's nothing quite like having to spend the entire waiting time with your husband's ex-wife.  I'm sure she would say the same!  No way round it when we're all there waiting for Snail to get the awful thing done.

She looked AWFUL in recovery.  It was a shock.  You know that's what people are going to look like after surgery, but it's still horrible to see Snail go through it.  She was white as a sheet, with heaps of cords and lines everywhere.  She ended up having two transfusions.  For which we are so grateful for Australia's safe blood supply!  We're all going to donate blood in the next couple of weeks.  You should too: there are kids out there, like MY kid, who need it.

The first couple of days were predictably horrid, DinnerDad stayed at the hospital, I went up a lot as my Mum and Dad stayed a couple of days with Lolly (THANK YOU - you both rock!!).  She looked like death and was barely moving or awake.  She had a temperature, and part of her lung collapsed.  Both her legs are in these fabric splints, and hold a foam wedge in place so her hips can't move.  She had an epidural for four days.  They put a naso-gastric tube in as hospital and pain upset her eating and drinking, and she needed her regular oral epilepsy meds. So, you know, all that fun stuff.

By day four she was starting to perk up.  Truly amazing what our bodies can recover from, and so quickly.  She was more awake and interested in us all, and watching telly.  They got her chair organised, a reclining wheelchair as she can't sit at more than 45 degrees for several weeks.  We also have a hoist to do transfers, as she can't help with transfers and can't be moved much until 6 weeks afterwards.

This is day 4, trying out the reclining wheelchair and getting some sun!

Day 5 I think!  Watching Blue's Clues on her iPad and starting to look better!

The girls watching iPad telly :D
She went home after 8 days, back to her mothers for two weeks.  We'll do our catch up after that, and will have her here for a good while.  Can't wait, we miss her.

It's very strange to have a child go through this and not be with them (even if you aren't their "real" mother).  I feel for DinnerDad, it's been very hard on him not being with her, too.  Looking forward to having her here!!

No comments: