Mobility is something many take for granted but not us. Erin learnt to walk three times due to her many hip operations, each time she was casted she lost muscle and tone and therefore could not walk after the cast came off. Each time it took her a few weeks to gain the strength to will her legs to move. Each time she had to trust in herself that she could walk. Each time I cried with relief when she gained that confidence. Mobility is something we will never take for granted again.
When Erin was unable to walk confidently and had reduced mobility Occupational Health did a home visit and gave us some home aids. We were given steps to the toilet to help her have her independence, we also discussed having grab rails to keep her safe. We also had a ramp down into the garden all of this was invaluable in those early months of learning to walk. As part of Erin’s rehabilitation she had hydrotherapy and extra swimming lessons. The swimming activity strengthened her little legs and helped her get the movement back in her hip. However around water Erin was even more like Bambi on ice and unable to stand. Erin would be amazing in the water but as soon as she was on pool side she slid all over and could not get her balance. This demonstrates just how difficult it can be for those with reduced mobility around water. Erin still struggles with showers and is wary of slipping over.
Thankfully there are now many home aids which give people their independence back, these are ideal for the elderly but also those with mobility issues. There are a range of disability aids including walk in baths and walk in showers. These now look stylish and contemporary and would not look out of place in a modern home. There are a range of options and can fit into all bathrooms and add that touch of luxury. For many the freedom of a walk in bath or shower can keep people in their own homes longer and also make life that much more comfortable for those who have mobility needs. If you have elderly relatives a walk in bath will give peace of mind that they won’t slip or ever get stuck in the bath. It would be a small price to pay to give people their dignity but also enable them to stay in their own homes and keep their independence.
Erin is likely to have further hip operations and mobility issues in her future because her hip dysplasia was diagnosed later than it should have been. If in time she found it difficult to access the bath we would certainly install one to ensure that she is comfortable. Life shouldn’t be a struggle and we will do whatever we can to make life easy for Erin. We still don’t know what the future holds and next month is XRay time again when we will learn just how much her hip has grown in the past year. I am hoping to see more growth and that the blood supply is strong. Erin regularly complains of aches and pains and it can be difficult to distinguish whether the pain is caused by DDH and or caused by her hypermobilty. Many believe that hypermobilty syndrome doesn’t hurt but unfortunately that is not the case for many and hypermobility hurts my children. Therefore we welcome anything that gives people there independence and dignity back.