Monday morning was the early start, we know the procedure nil by mouth, so distracting Erin asking for milk is always a great start! Coupled with it being Dylan’s 8 th birthday saw us up and unwrapping gerbils all before 6.30am. Once said gerbils had been introduced to their new owner it was time to make a quick exit to childminders and the hospital.
Having the hip spica taken off was actually far more traumatic than I imagined it would be. Since we are now regular visitors Erin was keen to get to the playroom which doesn’t open till 8.30 am. We managed a quick chat with Erin’s consultant who explained he will next operate late spring – I do love these non committal conversation I have with doctors and specialists. Erin had some sedative drawn up, which apparently tastes grim. Erin wasn’t allowed in the playroom once it had been administered and had to stay in the cot as children will just suddenly become drowsy and cannot be left alone. As soon as she was asleep I was instructed to call the nurse for her SATs to be monitored. I watched and waiting then Erin started giggling and became happy, that lasted all of two minutes and then she became distressed and upset. One hour of screaming, crying and pulling the monitor leads everywhere all agreed that it was not having the desired effect. At the same time the plaster technicians arrived to do their job. They decided as Erin was already distressed just to plough on and get it off. Erin cried throughout the 20 minute removal, the bar was removed first. Then the saw cuts up through the fibre glass ready to be pliered apart. The process is noisy, dusty and stressful. My back knows just how heavy Erin has been these past four months and finally I could see why. The hips and legs were encased in plaster of paris then fibre glass layered on top. As they carefully moved away the casing that has weighed us all down I could see a massive blueish mark on her leg I immediately thought that somehow she had been cut or badly bruised. Then I saw it was the remains of the big blue arrow that had be drawn on in October.
Once the cast was off I found myself in tears at seeing her legs once again. The plaster technician even gave me a hug as I was quietly sobbing but trying not to look stupid! I didn’t expect this outpouring of emotion yet again! One thing with DDH is that it is the craziest and silliest things that have reduced me to tears. Like when It snowed and I thought Erin should be out there enjoying it.
Once off and alone I was extremely worried about hurting Erin. I didn’t know how to hold her, what to pick her up by and how to postition her. The nurse just said I’d find my own way and left us to it. I had taken flannels to wash Erin and she was demanding toast like she always does. As the sedation hadn’t worked they were happy for me to go home! So after a quick rinse I popped another dress on her and we left.
Since being at home it has been an incredibly tough few days, sleep doesn’t come easy and Erin is very tender. She can’t move really and isn’t yet trying. Its early days so I won’t rush her. Erin can’t roll or sit unaided she doesn’t have the strength. In fact she is more needy this week than she was in cast.