Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chapter 19: Hips

Like most children with severe neurological problems Kayda’s legs and arms were very tight. I knew that when sitting her legs were “windswept”: one leg twisted out and the other was twisted in. They looked like the wind had blown them over. I thought that we had done really well as she hadn’t had any surgery. In March when she had her feeding assessment the orthopedic surgeon just happened to be at the hospital and took time to examine her. He seemed to be fixated on the fact that she was missing most of her cerebral hemispheres and just did a quick examination. He said her hips were fine but at risk for dislocation. Early in May, I discovered that movement of one leg was causing Kayda severe pain. Every time she moved her left leg she jumped and winced. Being the stubborn child she was she kept moving it. I took her to our family doctor. She ordered xrays and said that the hip was probably subluxed and that she’d need surgery to snip the muscles at the top of her legs. A few days later we got the call that was to affect over 2 ½ years of our lives; Kayda’s left hip was dislocated and the right was on its way out as well. That’s when I learned that instead of a 1 hr surgery to snip muscles, she would now need a procedure that took 5-6 hours and involved breaking bones and bone grafts. I was devastated! I’ve always had a great fear of anything involving general anesthetic or surgery for Kayda. One of the children I had provided respite care for had died after surgery in the same hospital where Kayda would have hers. The other problem with this hospital was that it was an hour away and that it would be several months before the surgeon could even examine her. Then I remembered that an orthopedic surgeon who worked out of the hospital she usually went to had clinic days at the Child Development Centre in our town. He agreed to examine her and outlined the proposed surgery. I cried of course. He didn’t know how soon it could be planned as beds are closed during the summer.

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