It had been just over a year since we had to go to children’s emergency so it must have been time for us to go again, as happened Wednesday evening.
When I went to pick up JJ from childcare on Tuesday he wouldn’t walk. All we could establish was that both his knees hurt. I had to go and fetch my car and we had to wheel JJ out on a bike then I carried him to the car. He weighs 23kg so he’s no lightweight. I tried bribery to get him to walk which didn’t work, and he hobbled like an old man.
It even hurt him to turn over in bed as I found out at 3.30 the next morning when I took him to the toilet. When he got up later on he managed to walk a bit better to the toilet so I took him to childcare as normal. When I rang them up a bit later that morning they said he had hardly moved so I made an appointment to see the doctor that afternoon and went and collected him from childcare.
The doctor was an hour late seeing us and this was just the beginning of our wait. The doctor we saw looked like she needed a doctor herself. She obviously had some sort of medical condition and spoke so quietly I had to keeping asking her to repeat herself. She had a look and admitted that she had no idea what was wrong, so went and got a physio to have a look. The physio recommended getting some x-rays of his hips as that’s where the movement was hurting him.
We went over the road to the radiologist and they got us in straight away for x-rays. It turned out a paediatric radiologist was on that day and after looking at JJ and looking at the x-rays (which showed nothing out of the ordinary) he helped to an ultrasound of JJ’s hips. This showed that he had fluid on both hips.
The radiologist made an appointment back at our GP (a different one this time) who didn’t enlighten me that much but told us to go to children’s emergency because as JJ was not walking it was fairly serious. After our last casualty experience, I stopped off at home and had dinner, fed the dog and packed some overnight stuff (we’d been warned that as JJ had real trouble walking he might have to spend a night or more in hospital) and some more snacks.
By this time I was starting to freak out and think the worst. I’ve never heard of someone just not being able to walk very well without some sort of trauma preceding it, and this hadn’t happened with JJ.
Luckily for my foresight we did pack all this stuff. After waiting around in emergency the doctor told us that we could either stay in hospital that night or come back the next day if he wasn’t any better. Either way they would put his legs in traction so his muscles didn’t sieze up. I decided to do it straight away so up we went to the ward.
By the time JJ’s legs were wrapped up and he was tractioned it was after 11pm. He did so well – bless him. I held it together pretty well too but wasn’t looking forward to my night on a narrow fold out bed in a busy hospital ward. JJ crashed out in about two minutes and I took considerably longer. I’m pretty sure I got some sleep but I know it wasn’t that much.
The next morning the orthopaedic surgeon came around and didn’t really enlighten me that much. Apparently fluid on the hips can just happen or it can be due to lots of full-on activity. A four year old boy is always pretty active so it could have been that.
The traction came off not long after which was just as well because he didn’t want to pee in the bottle and held on till he was able to walk to the toilet. The traction must have worked wonders because he just hobbled a little bit to the toilet.
We had to hang around for most of the day in the hospital and I was dreading having to spend another night in there. Luckily we didn’t have to. I’ve been told to keep JJ at half speed which ain’t easy as he’s feeling a lot better. We’re so lucky that this was nothing more serious. The blood tests had come back clear so it was just his bad luck that he had irritable hips.
Because we were on the orthopaedic/burns ward there were mainly kids there with broken bones. One kid had been there for three weeks so we got off very lightly with only having to stay one night. I don’t know how I would have coped with three weeks. They encourage a carer to be with the child the whole time and as I’m JJ’s main carer I guess I would have to take time off work if he had to be in hospital for any length of time. Hopefully this will never happen.
They do have a pretty good setup there though. There’s a play coordinator and volunteers come in to help the kids make stuff and do stuff so they don’t get too bored. There’s nothing to stop the parents getting bored out of their brains though. I thought if I did have to stay there with JJ for any length of time I could duck out at night time when he’s sleeping and go out for a few hours, as the hospital’s close to town.
Last night I was supposed to go out on a dinner date but I rang up in the middle of the day and postponed it. I’m glad I did because I ended up in bed at 8.30pm and both JJ and myself had a very good sleep. He’s got a follow-up appointment at outpatients next week.