So, after finding out when Smiler was almost eight that his hips had been dislocated since birth, and wondering around the country trying to find a treatment option that would hopefully not drive him (or us) completely round the bend, we had made a decision ~ we were going with the option that we felt offered the best balance between short term trauma and potential positive long term outcome. Smiler and I were going to take up temporary residence at Southampton General Hospital, and keep our fingers crossed that this as yet untested surgery would work as the eminent surgeon performing it thought that it could.
I'm purposefully skipping the op itself ~ I find it quite difficult to think about for reasons that will become clear once I've written about it. I'm not sure when it will make its way into a post, so you'll just have to watch this space!
So, poor Smiler ~ this is what we did to him.
You can imagine the fun you have when you have an eight year old with both legs in plaster and toes over a metre apart.
He didn't fit through the doorways in the house ~ Mr Manley and I had to carry him through on an angle. Smiler weighed around 35kg, so carrying him plus the cast was difficult, even if you ignore how painful it was for him. We had a hoist in his bedroom to get him in and out of bed, but he was decidedly not keen...
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In the hospital he found it all too much, so got in the habit of putting his sheets over his head ~ just so you know, it seemed to unsettle the nurses just a tad ...
Don't panic ~ having two legs in plaster isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds...
I was surprised how much he was still up to doing, so long as we kept dosing him with the pain meds.
He could enjoy books ... I think that looks like the much beloved Charlie and Lola:
I have this little sister Lola, she is small and very funny...
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He could cook ... and particularly enjoyed chocolate brownies (as did we all ... yum).
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He could pick rhubarb from the (fortunately within walking distance) allotment...
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And then there's always water play. The weather was pretty good that spring, so Smiler was able to spend time in the garden ~ I think it helped prevent him from getting too bored. Three months with no school, no journeys in the car, no bus rides (we did try ~ but he didn't fit through the doors) ~ he was obsessed with Madagascar, and I still remember pretty much every line, he had it on so often, but we had him out in the garden as much as we could. Because moving Smiler anywhere for any reason took both of us (even with the hoist), our world shrank to the same size as his ~ it was difficult for all of us, including Petal and Noah.
Have you been housebound for any length of time? What helped break up the boredom for you?