Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another day spent at HSS...but not for me!

Being the mother of 2 sort of crazy kids, I count my blessings that we have never had a serious injury or required stitches, though we have been close on more than one occasion. About a month ago, my nanny mentioned that she thought Jk hurt his arm in the tub. When I asked him, he said he had a booboo but L had done it. He seemed to be alright, playing, climbing, jumping, throwing himself off of the couch etc. IT really only seemed to bother him if you touched his elbow and if you got him dressed too quickly. So I have been careful getting him dressed and sort of been keeping an eye on it.

Last week my nanny got mad at me and said the arm is not better and I have to take him to the doctor. So I did. First, I made an appointment with someone who I thought was a great pediatric OS and have even had friends use, but he did not take our insurance. I made the appointment anyway (the consultation fee was $350) but J freaked out and demanded I find someone in network. His rational was that we don't even know if anything is wrong, figure it out first and if there is really a problem, we can explore other doctors. Fine. So I found someone.

We went on Thursday. He found that Jk couldn't really extend his elbow all the way and said it was either fractured or he had a subluxed radius (nursemaids elbow). So off to x-ray we went. What was nice was that it was a whole pediatric floor, so the x-ray tech dealt only with kids, the nurses dealt only with kids, and there was even a nice lady handing out snacks for all the kids. It made me feel better about having switched to this OS.

Jk was so good during the xrays, he sat nicely and put his hand where it needed to go, and he was rewarded with tons of stickers! He couldn't have been happier. As soon as we got back to the doctor's office (right down the hall) he came in to look at the x-rays, and lo and behold, a fracture.

Shit. What kind of mother am I, my kid has a broken arm and I had no idea. He said it was too late to cast it, but he is pretty sure the olecranon (proximal end of the ulna) is fractured, as is evidenced by new bone growing and some soft tissue swelling, and Jk needs PT. The mechanism of injury must have been him landing on or hitting his elbow on something. Obviously this is most likely. If he is not better in a few weeks he will need an MRI, which becomes a huge ordeal because he needs to be put to sleep.

I wasn't quite sure what to do about the PT thing. He needs the kind of PT I do, and that we do in my office (orthopaedic) but we don't generally treat kids that little. I have a lot of friends who are pediatric PTs but they treat mostly developmental delays and torticollis, and they don't take private cases. We have one pediatric PT in my office but I was not even sure what she treated. So I frantically called her and she assured me that she would love to treat Jk and she has done this a lot, and that it is a very common injury.

So he has his first PT session on Tuesday. I also have an OB appointment that day, and he has a special enrichment program at school for Thanksgiving. I see the next few weeks looking something like that, running around from PT appointments, to OB appointments, to swim lessons, to OS appointments!

Never a dull moment here!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1 Year Revision Anniversary

It has now been one year since my last (and final) surgery. How the time has flown. What a great feeling it is to know that my surgeries have been successful and I have no limitations from them in my life.

The joint feels perfect! I will have a post-op x-ray at some point after the baby is born to check for signs of arthritis or anything else, but I suspect nothing will turn up. I do occasionally battle some muscular issues, which I mention on this blog when they come about. Like currently, my ITB is not too happy, but again, who knows how much of it has to do with my actual hip joint and how much has to do with being 7 months pregnant. Since I got pregnant so soon after surgery, many of these questions will remain unanswered. The only question I can answer is that 3 hipscopes have not really affected this pregnancy. I do have significantly more swelling in my feet than I have had in my previous 2 pregnancies, but a) it is unclear whether it is directly related to the hipscopes and b) in the grand scheme of things, it is merely an inconvenience.

In other parts of my life, J's surgery went extremely well last Monday. He is already down 32 lbs since beginning the 2 week pre-op diet, and having been "banded" for 6 days. My brother has been in PT for about 5 weeks with no change in his pain level. He does report feeling stronger though. He has decided that he probably wants surgery. My only request to him was that he PLEASE call Dr. Kelly and discuss this ASAP because I would really appreciate it if he had the surgery before the baby is born. He has yet to call.

Jk will turn 3 this month, marking the 2 year anniversary of when my hips "fell apart", a lot has happened in 2 years!

Many of you have been sending me questions by posting them on older posts. I will usually read your questions and then forget to write back! If you would like a response, your best bet is to email me directly

Sunday, November 9, 2008

J's Surgery

A few weeks ago I tried to start a second blog about J's upcoming lapband surgery but realized that I barely have time to maintain this blog and answer all of your posts and questions, so nixed the idea. But things have been kind of stressful and crazy around here in anticipation.

See, in order to have lapband surgery, there are many hoops to jump through (much more than I could have ever imagined, and so many more than for a hipscope!) He finally attended a seminar given by the surgeon, obtained 6 months of medically supervised weight loss, saw a psychologist, saw a nutritionist, had a physical, saw the NP at the surgeons office and finally met with the surgeon. This over a course of 17 months. (I remember going to the seminar with him on crutches).

Part of the drama has been dealing with a semi-incompetent surgical coordinator at the surgeons office (who definitely hates me). At the time that we scheduled the surgery, she thought we would have a problem since J's 6 months of documented weight loss did not have an entry for the month of March, rather one at the end of Feb ad one at the beginning of April. Imagine waiting that long, and going through all of that to be told that this tiny little glitch would bring this entire, delicate house of cards crashing to the ground.

Being that I have assumed the role of "project manager" with his surgery, I quickly (and quite hysterically) called the insurance company to straighten it out. I was told that this indeed may pose a problem, but they would do their best to get this approved. The next day I received a phone call telling me that the surgery would be approved! YAY!!

When we left the surgeons office, we were given a packet with instructions (that the coordinator hastily went over with us) but were rather unclear and quite confusing. J had to have his medical doctor fill out some paperwork approving him for surgery which he was to take to the pre-admission testing. Pre-admission testing would fax it to his medical doctor who should fax it to the surgeons office. Retarded? I think so!

This past Tuesday I received a call from the woman in charge of collecting the aforementioned paperwork, looking for approval from J's medical doctor for the surgery. I informed her that it was on page 22 of the fax that had been sent to them (I am not kidding about being "project manager"). Everything seemed like it was all set to go.

Friday morning (the final business day before his Monday morning surgery), the surgical coordinator called me and told me she was missing the medical clearance form fro J's medical doctor. Shit. I told her to look for that page 22 letter again. She informed me that this was not good because it was dated prior to the pre-op testing.

I hit panic mode, and yelling mode. How the fuck did they not realize until THE DAY BEFORE THE SURGERY that they were missing this quite important piece of information. J was having trouble getting through to the doctors office, I was yelling at the surgical coordinator in between patients. It was quite a sight. She needed the paper by 3PM. At 2:25 she did not have it, J was frantically leaving messages. At 2:28 the surgical coordinator called me and said that they would just go with the original letter they had. At 2:33 the fax went through.

So now we are 19 hours away from surgery. Unlike me, J is not frantically cleaning closets or getting a mani-pedi! I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This is HOT!!!

Clearly what you have in mind is NOT what is on my mind right now! If you could see the box that these stockings came out of, you would see that it reads: "Recommended for: tired and aching legs, swollen and minor fatigue, minor heaviness".

I was at wits end today, my ankles no longer exist. They have been replaced by what used to be "cankles" but today became fat feet oozing out of shoes, to put it gently. I was no longer able to stand on my feet, much less walk and function, so I broke down. I had a quick break at work and literally raced to the nearest surgical supply store in search of these. Sexy, right! Mine are black!

I found the store, ready to buy my super cool, black lacy stockings (with moderate compression), and imagine my surprise to find that it is "manned" by 3 old men. Imagine walking in Victoria's Secret to find THE outfit, and have men helping you.

Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but eww. Plus, there was no one else in the store, so all 3 were "helping" me.

Once we all determined what I needed, I happily left with my new piece of wardrobe, ready to attack all orthopaedic ailments that would walk through the front door of my office. I grabbed the bag, ran tot he bathroom to put them on, and to my horror, there was a brown pair in the bag. Shit.

So another 2 hours of tortuous leg pain got me through the rest of the day so I could make another run for the store. This time, there was only one old man working there, who politely informed me that they were "final sale, and no returns". As usual, the patheticness of my situation made him feel sorry for me and he quietly swiped the brown pair for a black pair. I also ended up purchasing a knee high pair to wear at home, when no one is looking!

I am not sure why I am having this much swelling, but it is pretty bad. (Bad enough for me to buy compression stockings!). I have an OB appointment tomorrow, I am hoping that this is a problem limited to my feet and legs, and will resolve in the near future. There is always the little voice in my head asking if there is a lymph issue from my surgeries, but since it was not a problem when I was not pregnant, I am confident that it will clear up after this pregnancy!