Thursday, 3 September 2009
Because we just don't have enough doctors in our lives
Today we added another one.
Drive to the orthopaedic hospital, calling at Mothercare on the way to pick up some uniform trousers for Little Fish. Only pairs they had left were age 5-6; these will fit her comfortably in about 3 years time but at the moment are as long as she is. They'll just have to work; she doesn't walk, so does it really matter if her feet are absent under rolls of grey polyester?
Park at the hospital, and check in a satisfying 15 minutes before our scheduled appointment. Ask whether we need an X ray and on being told no disappear for a drink. Come back to a receptionist avoiding our eyes and a sheepish nurse handing over an X ray form and pink identifying slip.
Trundle down to X ray where Kittle Fish has one of her finer tantrums at having to wait behind the glass as I hold Mog onto an X ray chair. Wait for the machine to be fixed, try again, repeat screams. Beg radiographer not to try to entertain LF as this makes the screams louder. Plead with him NOT to pass her a bottle of cranberry juice knowing from experience what an unpleasant stain it makes once thrown.
Back to Outpatients and then to see the Doctor. not a consultant, not a registrar, but a "Fellow". He takes a history, asks me if Mog can talk, Mog says yes, I point out to him how Mog says yes, and he asks me again if she can talk. Mog switches off, he switches on the computer and shows us this fine Xray, pointing out the curve, which is apparently 29.5 degrees. 30 degrees is when they would start one intervention, 40 another, and beyond that we are talking surgery apparently. He disappears to find a colleague.
Nice chap this; he gives us his secretary's phone number, tells me there are no silly questions, and tht we should phone any time we like. Both doctors get very excited about the presence of both girls in one family until I dash their hopes by revealing the adoptive relationship.
To brace or not to brace; this is the question.
And the answer seems to be, not, or not for now. Review in six months unless things change sooner. The standard warning "this will get worse as she grows, it's inevitable", but much praise for the wheelchair and a recommendation for her to be in it as much as possible.
Handily, a spine Xray is also a chest Xray, and the doctors had a good look before telling us her chest was clear. Good news this; she is coughing for England and needing suctioning ridiculously often and for no apparent reason. Whilst a chest infection would give us a nice neat explanation I suppose it's good she doesn't actually have one.
So, no chest infection, scoiliosis yes but not worrying at the moment, a nice "please call me" doctor; always useful, and arrived home just in time to catch a Community Children's Nurse clutching a big box of suction catheters. Excellent.