Anyone who has read any of my previous ramblings may remember that D had an appointment with the school doctor way back in October – https://jas2jar.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/d-and-the-doc/, because the school raised concerns about his mobility in his hands. We went to the GP asking for a referral to OT but instead got to see the school Doctor. It did however prove to be a blessing in disguise as not only did we get a referral to occupational therapy – we are still waiting for this appointment, but we also got referred to orthopedic because of his wobbly legs!
Well, today was that day.
When D told his teacher he had a hospital appointment, he told her he would not be in all day, I made a point of correcting this with her, telling her we would be back at school if we could! He loves school, but I think the thought of an extra day off was quite alluring to him.
This morning D was mega hyper. I am not sure if it was his way of dealing with the nerves or if it was winding M up because he wasn’t having to rush about getting ready for school. Either way he was getting more than a little over excited.
Once I had dropped M at school, D and I headed into the city to the Royal Aberdeen children’s Hospital. I gave us almost an hour and a half to travel the short journey, but parking at the hospital is a total nightmare, and it is usually a very long walk when you do managed to find a spot. We were lucky and didn’t have too long a walk, but far enough for a little guy with sore legs.
The waiting room in the kids out-patients department is great, with telly, DVDs, wii, and an educational computer, as well as drawing materials, and books. There is so much choice, D flits about, needing to try out everything.
We were call through to see the Doctor, and he talked through why D had been referred. It was only about his legs, even thought he also has problems with his shoulders and hands.
He was put up on the bed, and his legs were moved all over the place. One of D’s problems is he wont speak out, and I could see it was hurting him, but when the doctor asked him, he said it wasn’t. We had told him before the appointment that he had to be totally honest about anything that hurts or any pain he has, but instead, he just clammed up.
The doctor concluded that his ankles were fine, and it was actually his knees that were the main problem. His hips were a little wonky, but nothing to worry about at this time. He measured the gap between his legs when they were at rest, and it was ten times wider than he would have expected for a child of his age, 22cm instead of 2cm. He wanted x-rays to check what was going on inside, so we had to head off to that department.
Another long wait commenced. We were told there would be a wait because there was a complicated procedure taking place in the x-ray suite needed for D, and then there was someone else in front of us. D was very quiet, as I think he is getting fed up with all the people he has had playing with his legs. He sat and did some colouring in, and then found great amusement with the water fountain, drinking a few gallons, and then going to the loo! We eventually got in, and the machine looked scary. It wasn’t the usual x-ray machine where you lay down and they snap pictures, no, this was a huge thing that you stood up on, and it moved around you. D had to climb onto a platform, and stand still like you do when you get your height measured. He was petrified. In fact, he was physically shaking, which didn’t help when he had to be still. I was allowed to stand near him, but I had to step back so as not to be in the way too much. The actual procedure took very little time, and when he came off the platform he was close to tears, as he was frightened, and standing still is painful for him.
It was then back to wait to see the doctor again. Luckily we found a Star Wars book in the rack, and he was happily looking at that and didn’t notice the time.
When we spoke to the doctor, the first thing he said was that the x-rays were useless as he had asked for him to me laying down so he could see them at their natural angle! So putting D through the scary and painful time was totally unnecessary. He said it wasn’t worth getting them redone – thank goodness, as he had already decided what needed doing and had just wanted the x-rays for the file!
D is going to need an operation to pin his knees. This should help them start to grow straight rather than continuing to grow at an odd angle. The problem is, the pin can stay in no more than 2 years, so that will be making him have two operations with a couple of years.
Upon hearing this news, D just got up, and walked, no, ran out of the room. I had to catch him, and bring him back. He wasn’t happy.
We went back, and the doctor explained what would be happening, and that it was a small operation which would only leave a tiny scar, but it would mean over night in hospital, because of pain maintainance. It sounds horrible, however gently the doctor spoke about it. He did say, that it would be in the new year, and not to worry about changing any plans for the Christmas period.
When the doctor had finished with us, D flew out of the room, and I finally caught up with him at the hospital entrance! There were chairs there, so we sat down for a while, and talked about what had been said. I told him he would have bionic knees like his Granny, and that he should talk to his best friend about hospitals as he had been in before. I then promised not to talk about it until we got the letter and knew when it was all going to happen.
By the time we got away from the hospital, it was too late to get back to school, and D happily told me he had said that would be the case. We stopped at McDonalds for a late lunch on the way home, as a special treat for him, as he is now a scared little boy who needs to process information that even as adults we have problems dealing with.
I am not looking forward to him having the op, but if it makes life better for him in the long-term, it has to be for the best.