Yesterday was D’s 6 week follow-up at the hospital. It doesn’t seem like it is only 6 weeks since his op, but it’s actually only 5 1/2! He has come a long way in such a short period of time. I am really proud of how well he has coped with it all.
As usual, there was nowhere to park at the hospital that was close, and so we had a long walk to get to there. D wasn’t happy that I made him hurry, as despite giving ourselves loads of time, we were still hit and miss as to getting there on time. We needn’t have worried, as it was the usual long wait. D though was happy to thrash me at table football while we waited. He then played on the Mario Kart wii game, where a boy probably twice his age was sitting and commenting to his dad about how good D was on it! I did some minor celebrity spotting while waiting as the STV newsreader was there with what I assume is her son!
Eventually we got called in and the consultants assistant – who had seen D several times a day while he was in hospital, watched him walk down the corridor to the clinic room. She then took the consultation. She was very impressed how well he was walking after a short pace of time. Before we went in, I had said to D he had to answer any questions put to him honestly – usually he will not tell a doctor if he is in pain, and then doesn’t get treated correctly, but today he did good. When she asked him about pain or discomfort, he spoke clearly and so she was able to get a good picture of what was going on. She actually apologised to him that he had been having problems with one of the wounds but she was satisfied that it was now healing. Then came the exciting part for D when she showed him the x-rays of the pins in his legs that had been taken in theatre. He was out of his seat and over to the monitor! The classic quote from the day has to be “they look just like real screws!” Without laughing, she explained to him that they were exactly the same as the ones in Daddys tool box! I was really impressed how she directed all the conversation to D. The appointment was about him, and she made him the centre of what was going on. I have said it before that nothing annoys me more when you go to the doctors with the children and they are talked through rather than to. Then she explained what happens now. The long-term is the plates can only stay in the legs for 2 years. This therefore means they have to keep an eye on what they are doing as he grows. Every three months during the next couple of years he will have to go for x-rays to check his legs are beginning to turn the way they should be. That seems simple enough, other than it is the standing up x-ray machine he will have to go on, and last time, it took ages to get him still enough for full leg images – standing still is just something D finds very difficult, if not impossible. That all sounds fair enough. Then she dropped the bomb shell that had D looking petrified. That should the pins have moved then they will have to take him in asap to have them removed! D was well aware that in 2 years there would be another op to have them removed, we believed it was important he understood that, but to tell him it could be at anytime got him a little worked up. She tried to comfort him by telling him that everyone she has ever done the removal op on says it hurts a lot less than the putting it. He just eyed her with suspicion at this!
When we got out, he let rip about how he didn’t want another op until his 2 years were up. I tried to pacify him by telling him that as long as he was careful and didn’t go out of his way to damage his knees, the plates and screws would stay where they were meant to and do their job! He wasn’t going for it, and so distraction techniques were employed and I asked if he wanted lunch – it was too late for getting back to school by then anyway! It worked and he calmed down!!
So it’s all go for him swimming, running and basically getting on with life. He just needs to do some growing so the plates start to do their stuff and he reaps the benefits of having straight legs!
At the moment he walks with a terrible limp, and when asked about it he says that he walks like that because it stops it hurting. I am not sure if he is really in pain, or if it is a psychological thing that walking oddly actually makes him think about is knees! Whatever it is, the limp is there, and it will be until he sees fit to stop doing it. He has started running around, and I shouldn’t take the mickey, but he does look very funny as he kind of rolls as he does it – a little like a cartoon drunk sailor! It is good that he feels confident to start doing going for it. The other evening he started spinning. It is his thing, M flaps, and D spins. He hasn’t been able to do it since the op, and I do wonder if that has been part of his frustration. The spinning is a totally personal sensory thing, and he keeps going round in circles until he has made himself so dizzy that he has to stop, be it by choice or by falling over! When he had finished spinning the other day, he looked so happy. It was as if he had been wanting to do it for so long but just hadn’t been able, but now he had, it just felt good! Sometimes his spinning is scary to watch, he is conscious he is doing it, but once he starts, almost another force takes over, and he has to keep going until he is spent. He also tried to go on the trampoline last weekend, but that wasn’t such a happy time, as screams and tears followed a minor knock on his knees. I think this is a lesson that while he seems back to normal he still has to be careful.
He hasn’t had gym at school since the op, but will return to that after the holidays. He will also get back to his beloved dancing classes -http://jas2jar.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/special-needs-dancing-fun/ . Both boys have really missed them, and are very excited about the prospect of returning. It is great that they have an environment that they feel so comfortable in.
I am proud of everything he has achieved in the last few months, and things can only get better as his legs get straighter and stronger.