D’s knees.


Anyone who has read my ramblings for a while might remember that this time last year, D was in hospital having plates fitted to his knees. The problem was that his legs were growing at an odd angle, which meant that the lower leg was growing outwards rather than straight – there is some long technical name for this, but I can not remember it, and even if I could, I probably wouldn’t be able to spell it!!!!!

Anyway, yesterday we were back to the hospital for an appointment with his orthopedic consultant. This was the third such appointment, the first about a month after the op, then six months, and now the full year. When they were fitted, we were told not to expect miracles, and that they could only stay in for 2 years, but they could but new ones in after that time if needed. Like all things medical, as parents, we do what we can for the long-term benefit of our kids, but watching D in hospital after the op was heartbreaking, as he was in pain and turmoil as he came to terms with basically learning how to walk again. We have always tried our best to be honest with our kids about things – apart from the things all parents lie about, Santa, tooth fairy etc, rather than giving half facts. I think we work on the idea that kids will absorb what that need and therefore its easier to talk in basic terms that invent something you are later going to have to back track on. D has therefore been well aware of the purpose of the pins, and the possibility they may not help, and the pain was for nothing, or they may give him the ability to move a little easier. Luckily the later has been the case.

When following behind him, it is obvious to see how much better he is walking. I do wonder if this is also part of the reason for his rapid growth spurt, that his posture is now better because he is standing straighter. When asked he says walking and running is much easier and therefore much more fun. All major positive points. As far as we are all concerned, the operation to fit the plates was a total success.

D convinced himself that because he felt his legs were better, the consultant would agree to removing the pins. While we also hoped for this to be the case we had to be practical, and work with the information we had been given, and that was that they may be in for two years. We tried to talk to D about this, so that his hopes weren’t built up too much, but he would not accept any other possible outcome to the appointment than the one he wanted. When asked that if he was told it would be reviewed in another six months, how would he feel, he said he would run out of the hospital – this may sound like the sort of empty threat many children give their parents when they don’t get their own way, but the day D was told he would be having the initial operation, he got in such a panic, that he bolted from the consulting room, through 5 sets of double doors, and made it outside, before I caught him – I wasn’t at all impressed with hospital security that a 5-year-old child could run for it like that and nobody stop them, but that’s another issue all together!

I spoke with his teacher to say he wouldn’t be in yesterday morning because of the appointment, but if things didn’t go as planned we may not be back at all that day. She was understanding.      As it happened, the usual hospital delays meant that it wasn’t worth putting him to school by the time we got back.

His Dad works right next to the hospital, and so took a long lunch and joined us – between us we should be able to stop him getting away!

After what seemed an age, playing table football, and Mario Kart, we finally got taken in – only half an hour late. The consultant looked at D’s knees and ummed and arred about them still being a little sticky outy – obviously a medical term!. D’s face was thunder. It was then decided to go for x-rays and see what the bones were doing. Another long wait. D really doesn’t like the x-ray machine as he has to stand really still while it moves around him, and still is something that is a totally unknown entity for him. He did really well though, and they got the picture first time. Then another wait to see the consultant again.

The human body is an amazing thing, I think we can all agree on that. Technology is also amazing. Put the two together, and being able to see the x-rays on the screen, comparing the previous ones is just brilliant. When the images of D’s knees were displayed next to each other, the difference was huge. His legs aren’t perfectly straight, but they are near as damn it there. One look at these, and D got the answer he was looking for, as we were told they may as well be removed, D punched the air at being told this – should a child really be excited about surgery? Not sure about that, but it will be one less thing hanging over him. We were told that because it isn’t urgent surgery, there could be a few months wait, but D is fine with that because he knows this chapter is drawing to its conclusion. Depending how well he copes, it could just be a day case, as he wont be needing the intense physio afterwards. Not surprisingly, D found fault with that, as being in hospital is apparently fun because you get to play video games all day!!!!

It is now just a case of waiting for the letter to arrive with a date. Hopefully it wont be too close to the holidays, as not being able to go swimming would really upset him. He says if it could be mid-August that would be great as it means he would miss the beginning of the next school year – he is a devious little so and so!

For now we play the waiting game, but have a happy wee man, all be it just slightly gross.     At bed time last night, he asked if it would be ok to tell his surgeon that he wants to keep the pins as a souvenir!!    Only a 7-year-old boy!!!    Or should I say, only MY 7-year-old boy!!!

If you want read about his time in hospital, here are the links to those posts.


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