Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Treatment so far

I thought I'd give a rundown of what L.E. has been through so far. Two hours after she was born, our pediatrician diagnosed her with DDH. He referred us to a pediatric orthopedist, whom I shall call Dr. P. Her first appointment with Dr. P. was an emotional one for her dad and I mostly because Dr. P. is very cold. He bluntly told us that she would be in either a harness, brace or cast for the first year of her life. Even if her hips fused into their sockets, he is holding fast to this recommended aggressive treatment. I cried in the examination room and Dr. P. showed no emotion towards me whatsoever. I know doctors make up for their lack of compassion with their expertise but I expected a little bit more from someone specializing in pediatrics. Especially from someone who has children of his own.
Dr. P. prescribed L.E. the Pavlik Harness and sent us over to an orthotic place for it. The people there were fantastic. The gentleman that outfitted L.E. took such good care of her and was extremely patient in teaching us how the harness works. He told us she could wear it either over or under her clothes. I was shocked by how stiff and scratchy it felt but L.E. doesn't seem to mind it at all.
We've had follow-up appointments with Dr. P. every week. He hasn't warmed up much but has gotten a little better. He checks her harness' fit every time. At our last appointment, he said that her hips were definitely in their sockets. Once again, I asked how long she'd be in a harness and he is sticking with his one-year assumption. She'll be in the harness for three months and then a brace for another three. After six months, she'll only be in the brace at night.
He scheduled us an ultrasound for last week. L.E. was so good for the whole procedure! She was awake but didn't fuss at all. After it was done, the radiologist asked us why we were there. We were taken aback and said that she had DDH. He shrugged and said, "OK. Whatever." Again, another doctor lacking a personality. I took that as a glimmer of hope that her treatment is working faster than Dr. P assumed. I guess we'll find out once he looks at her ultrasound images.

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