What a week. If you want to feel really unsettled, combine low iron with your daughter waking up on a Tuesday morning and not being able to walk on one of her legs. For. No. Reason. Yes – and you will feel like I did. A luscious combination of befuddled malaise and a sick worry in my guts. This was compounded by the fact that I couldn’t go with Small Z to the various medical appointments that followed as I had to stay home and look after Small DB (the most stress free scenario – for everyone except myself…)
M took her to the GP, who looked her over and was very puzzled. He couldn’t find any specialists to see her on short notice and so referred her to Frankston Hospital. We decided to wait a night and see if her leg was any better in the morning. In the meantime we took her up to see my physiotherapist, who examined her and suggested the same thing. She had improved by this time and was able to run around a bit, but looked like a puppy with a limp. Her hip looked all out of whack.
The next morning it was worse. Poor Small Z couldn’t walk without whimpering. It was so sad. M whizzed her down to the Emergency Department, where they spent a few hours. Five different people looked her over. There was talk of a biopsy of her knee, of septic arthritis, of blood tests… Argh! (I was oblivious of all of this as M did not contact me, for which I later briefly strangled him. I was so out of the loop.)
The last super-specialist dismissed all these suggestions and told M to take her home and bring her back if it was still bad in the morning. It was. They went back. This time for five hours. M said that the facilities there for kids were just amazing – toys, television, free food, games – the works! Small Z had a ball (despite the fact that she was limping everywhere). She eventually had an x-ray and an ultrasound. And finally a diagnosis.
In my worry I had begun to stupidly google her symptoms. Oh gosh. I had decided she had Perthe’s Disease. Not a life-ending situation, but not a good one either. I had a night of wondering what the hell we were going to do with a kid who needed to avoid putting weight on her right leg for a few years *boggle* Thankfully the diagnosis was of an ‘irritable hip’. Makes it sound like a grumpy relative had just decided to stay and bother her for a bit, doesn’t it? ‘Irritable hip’ came to visit just before Christmas. Huh. Apparently it’s caused by some little infection in the hip joint and likely to disappear in a few days. Which it has.
How do parents COPE with situations like this when the diagnoses are not so trifling? I cannot imagine. My relief was h-u-g-e. Small Z thought it was all a great adventure. M and I aged about a decade. Blood tests and biopsies? She’s never even had an antibiotic! We are limp. And of course, everything is back to normal and it’s like it never happened… Thank goodness for our health system. None of it cost a thing.