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!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Update on Mia's surgery date!

Chalk this up to the squeaky wheel getting the grease: Mia's surgery date has been moved up. Good times!

I mentioned that her date was 14 April and I asked the nurse if it was possible we could move it up. I didn't hear from her for a few days, so I e-mailed the doctor. He's fairly good about getting back to me, so I figured I'd give that a try. He e-mailed back that they'd try to move the date up, and then his nurse called me back. She said they'd had a cancellation on 22 February and they could move Mia in there. I said that would be super. We'd like to get this over with as soon as possible, so moving it up two months was better than I'd hoped.

His nurse also told me she had spoken to the doctor before I e-mailed him and that he said waiting until April was fine. I would have been perfectly fine with that, but I'm a bit confused why she didn't call me back. I didn't feel bad about going over her head because I was worried about it and I thought if Mia got into surgery sooner, everything would be better in the long run. But I wouldn't have gone over her head if she had called me back. She's usually pretty good about getting back to me, so this was puzzling. But hey! it got the job done!

So Mia will be going under the knife in a week. This should speed the process up a bit. We can get her done and get her hips back in alignment and get her back into therapy. I just didn't want to wait for two months for this situation to get resolved. And now we don't have to!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The funniest words in the history of language!

Norah, as any four-year-old does, finds some very odd things incredibly humorous. Recently, the words that crack her up more than anything are "underpants" and "peanut butter." I guess I can see why "underpants" would do it, although it's not quite as funny as she thinks it is, but why "peanut" and "butter"? I don't know. It's the mind of a four-year-old ... we don't try to apply logic to it.

This has persisted quite a while, too. I'm not sure when she's going to find something funnier, but I'm perfectly happy with those. At least they're not really terrible words.

It's been two weeks since I posted, and I apologize. I've been in a funk, mostly because I'm vexed by Mia's surgery news. It's now set for 14 April, which seems an awfully long time to wait. I asked the nurse if she could run that date by the doctor to make sure it was all right, and I haven't heard back from her. So I'm grumpy. But at least we can all laugh at "underpants," right?