Friday, 23 August 2013

21st August 2013 - 6 month check-up

It was supposed to be 19th August, but apparently clinic days were changed. Of course the patient gets minimal notice of this change of appointment, no thought that we have plans, the kids have plans. We had to arrange someone to look after Hailie and Alan had to change a very important appointment at the last minute. We took the usual journey to The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, being an appointment at 10.20am means even though we are only a half hour drive from London, we still needed to allow for catching the back end of rush hour. We were pretty early, so went to the shop first, whilst we were standing outside, reducing the stress levels I said to Alan that in a way, it feels like our second home. This is saddening. We still had 10-15 minutes before Maisie's appointment, we decided to go up early, because she needed xrays first, logically thinking, if we get things sorted early, we have a chance of being seen quicker! When we got to clinic 3 and approached the desk, the receptionist recognized us and knew it was Maisie she needed to look for. This upset me a little inside, as it shows how many times we've been here. The lovely receptionist gave us the form for xray and sent us down for that. It looked quite busy in the waiting room, I think it was about 20 mins in total. Maisie as usual was good as gold having her xrays, doing as she's told and laying still on the bed. Once back up at clinic 3 Maisie went off to play with the toys they provide, I had to stand as there wasn't a seat, Alan had gone for more stress relief! I was standing for around 10 mins then a seat came available, we went to sit, literally sat for 30 seconds then the registrar called us. I have learnt that we only see the surgeon when things don't look very good, but still have some worry as they could call her in at any time. He sat us down asked how she is in daily life, pain etc. The registrar was silent while he loaded up Maisie's xrays and checked them over. He turned and told us that there is improvement on the femur! Yayy happy dance! We have bone growth, the left femur looks more like it should. He did say that the hip has a long way to go before they are happy with it and it can still dislocate at any time, we are not out of the woods completely, but we are getting there slowly and that is the main thing. After discussing the xrays, we asked about the instep that was requested last time - we still haven't received the appointment for this. He watched Maisie walking, went off and spoke with the physio and brought her into the room to discuss this with us. They measured her leg length and although there is still a slight discrepancy they both recommended that an instep being fitted now could cause more problems, plus so far she's done ok without it. We go back in 6 months for another check-up. For now, check out the xray!! The single hip is the left. The double is Maisie's left hip from February 2013 on the left and the new xray on the right. You don't need a degree to see the improvement!!

Steph xxxx

Monday, 4 February 2013

Another check-up

Today we had another check up at RLH. I had already told Maisie about this visit on Friday. Because she is now 3 and is capable of understanding things, I thought it would be best to tell her. We discussed that they were going to take pictures of the tops of her legs and have a feel to check they are getting better. Maisie seemed to understand. She asked questions over the weekend - which is what I wanted her to do! All was fine Sunday day time. Our eldest daughter Hailie was staying with Nanna to make things easier in the morning and so she didn't have to get up earlier with us.

The alarm was set for 6.30am. We had to get to London for 9.40am. Whilst getting ready, Maisie claimed her ear was hurting, she honestly convinced me & Alan her ear was sore, so we gave her some calpol. Most of the way there she claimed she felt sick and thought she was going to be sick, to the point she was gagging.

From arriving, we were, as always sent to the xray department. This time was slightly different from the last. This time she was able to keep her knickers on, before she was in nappy's so they had to be removed. I also was taken behind the screen. This alone makes Maisie so brave, laying there nice & still while they take each of the two xrays needed.

Waiting to be seen back in outpatients wasn't too long a wait, which was good. While in the waiting room I noticed a sign with Mr Paterson's name on, it said that in December 2012 he retired. Maisie is now back under the care of her original surgeon Ms Maizen.

Upon being called through, we firstly looked at Maisie's xrays, which are the best we've seen them! Although there is still a lot of growth needed, her femur head is now shaping to look somewhat like her good right hip. There is a noticeable hip socket height difference, that's just something she will have to live with. We explained our concerns over her recent rapid increase of pain, her refusing to walk short distances, and told how she now goes to nursery and dancing, generally more active. Maisie being more active coupled with growing and the below freezing temperatures are the probable causes for any pain and/or discomfort that she has felt. We then watched Maisie walk, first with her shoes on, then without shoes, socks or trousers. All other necessary checks were made on the bed and we're all fine. While Maisie was on the bed, I explained that while I was examining Maisie at home I noticed what felt like extra bone along side her hip socket, only a slight feel was needed before she explained, it is where they had to cut to do her open reduction, which was performed twice. The bone should have stuck itself back together, but Maisie's hasn't so has been left with a dip. As she grows and gets more weight around her hips it will become less noticeable and is just a deformity that she will have to live with. Maisie's leg lengths were measured too, there is still a discrepancy somewhere between 1/2 - 1cm for this to aid Maisie and relieve some of the pressure on Maisie's hip, we have been referred to Mile End Hospital, Whitechapel to have Maisie fitted with shoe inserts. We will go back to RLH in 6 months, more xrays and to see how the instep is going.

Steph xxxx