The Daughter Chronicles

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey! Mia had some surgery today!

Yes, it's over. Today Mia had her surgery, and let's hope it helps her a lot. We'll see. We took her in this morning and sat around. They claimed she would get in a bit earlier than scheduled, but anyone who's ever been to a hospital knows that was a crock. She was scheduled for noon, but she didn't actually go in to the operating room until around one. That was okay, though - it wasn't a terribly long surgery, so she still didn't have to stay the night. I got some "before" pictures of her while we were waiting to go in. Look how happy and unsuspecting she is!

The surgery lasted about two hours. The surgeon told us that a good deal of that time was putting the cast on - the actual cutting and whatnot took about an hour. I've posted about what he was doing before, but I'll do it again - he cleared some scar tissue in her groin, did a bit of work on the hip capsule (which is the socket into which the thigh bone fits), and cut yet another tendon in her groin, which we hope will keep her adductor muscles from pulling her leg across midline and yanking her hip bone out again. We had a weird meeting last week with the doctor, at which he told us he was doing this to relieve her pain. When we got the X-rays done in January, he made it sound far worse than that, which is why we were freaking out a bit. I thought the surgery was to repair the structural damage in her hip, but apparently that wasn't all that bad. He was concerned about the pain she'd been having since November, and thought this would help. I'm glad she had the surgery, because she did need to fix the hip and get another tendon cut, but I guess we could have waited until April and it wouldn't have caused much more damage. I'm glad we didn't have to wait, though - it's always best to get surgery over with as soon as possible. I have my doubts about whether this will relieve her pain, though. Her pain, it seems, stems from her high muscle tone, and that's a brain problem. Until we deal with the pain at the source (and there are ways to do it, but she's a bit young and underweight to get into it now), she's always going to have some pain. I hope it can get down to "discomfort" level, but I have a feeling this surgery might alleviate some of the pain but definitely not all of it. She's already having muscle spasms because the tone is so high and she can't bend her legs. That's going to be the worst part about the next few weeks, I think - she has a prescription for Valium, but she can't take it on an empty stomach, and getting her to eat isn't fun at the best of times.

Anyway, she came out of the surgery and we went back to see her. She looked so cute sleeping that I had to take a picture:

We wanted to take her home right away, but we didn't want to force her to wake up. So we waited for a while. Krys left to get Norah at school and fill the prescriptions we needed. A few minutes after she left, Mia woke up ... not willingly, as a kid they had just brought into the recovery room threw up and started screaming. Mia woke up and looked over at the girl indignantly, as if to say, "Some of us are trying to sleep, here!" Well, as indignantly as she could look, as she was still extremely groggy. We hung out for a while until she was a bit more lively, and then I told her it was time to go! Yay!

There was, of course, a problem: her cast. The doctor told us last week that she wouldn't have a cast up to her waist, which was very good to hear. Her cast was only coming to the upper thighs, which meant we would be able to change her diaper without much distress. Even though we didn't have to worry about changing her, we still had to worry about how far apart her legs were. The surgeon cast her legs in a fairly extreme abducted position. How extreme? Luckily for everyone, I had a camera handy:

Yow, that doesn't look pleasant, does it? You see why her muscles are spasming, right? Sheesh, poor Mia. The big problem, as you can probably figure out, is moving her around. The cast is very heavy, for one. Plus, when I carry her, it helps to be able to get my arm under her knees, and it helps if her legs are together. That ain't happening here! So we had to get a good wheelchair for her. The one she's using right now is too narrow and doesn't have support for her legs if they're sticking out like they are in the cast. So we got a "standard" wheelchair - you know, the kind you think of when someone says "wheelchair" - and used that. It's wider than it needs to be - it's basically for an adult - so she kind of sinks into it, but at least it can accommodate the width of her legs. She fit in the car perfectly well, although I did have to take out the car seat and just put her on the regular seat. And moving her around the house is a bit of a pain, because the hallways are just barely wide enough for her to get through them. Nice.

So she's home, and she's not happy. She immediately started telling she wanted her cast off, which surely won't get annoying over the next 3-4 weeks, right? She did eat and drink a bit, so we were able to give her medicine, but after we put her to bed and she slept for a while, her muscles started twitching, which woke her up and made her cry. We don't know if the Valium will work - we certainly hope so! That's going to be the biggest problem, I think. The incision the surgeon made is tiny and, after a few days, shouldn't hurt at all. He didn't do enough work on the bone to cause her too much grief - she's allowed to sit up, for instance, which she wasn't allowed to do after her major hip surgery last year. But the high tone in her muscles causing them to spasm isn't going to stop for some time, and I hope the medicine helps until it subsides (if it does, that is).

She'll probably be out of school this week, and then the second week of March is Spring Break, so she doesn't have to deal with wearing the cast at school too much. We'll see how even going to school works with the cast - I really don't want to her to miss a second week next week, but who knows if she'll even be able to get through the door. I don't have a lot of confidence in her teachers and aides right now (a story for another day!), and this situation won't help. Oh well - we'll figure out what to do in a few days, when (we hope) her pain has lessened a bit.

Oh, surgery - how much fun it is!


  • Unfortunately, sounds like Mia's a pro w surgery. (The waking-up part of the story is hilarious!)

    Sorry for her discomfort, though. Hang in there, Mia and family.

    By Blogger Roger Owen Green, at 23/2/10 1:39 AM  

  • Yeah, she's had her share of it. The worst part is the aftermath - she sits around doing very little, uncomfortably posed, sleeping very haphazardly because of the pain ... no fun whatsoever, for her or for others!

    By Blogger Greg, at 23/2/10 10:48 AM  

  • I'm very sorry about your daughter's injury, Greg. I hope that she recovers as painlessly as possible.

    By Blogger Nitz the Bloody, at 25/2/10 7:06 PM  

  • Thank you, sir. She's a relatively fast healer, so we hope her convalescence won't be too long!

    By Blogger Greg, at 25/2/10 7:19 PM  

  • Wow Greg!

    That is certainly intense.
    I hope Mia is recovering well and the surgery helps relieve at least some of the pain.

    The picture of her in her cast is heartbreaking, but it did compel me to wander over here and read the story. My wife has a chronic pain condition and that can be difficult at times, esp. if she's having a bad day. I can't imagine how much worse it must be to see your child suffering.

    Tell me she at least got some good toys out of it. :)

    I hope you'll give us an occasional update over at CSBG.

    Be well,


    By Blogger WesC, at 26/2/10 10:42 PM  

  • Thanks. She went to school yesterday and seemed fine, so we hope she's doing okay. She doesn't talk much, so it's always hard to tell when she's in some pain.

    She's gotten a toy or two, for sure. This happens too often for us to go nuts, however!

    By Blogger Greg, at 27/2/10 10:17 AM  

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