It’s ‘that time’ again – review time...
Our journey has not been as challenging as some, but not as fast as others; it is our journey and no two are the same. For those of you who’ve only recently come to know about hip dysplasia and Healthy Hips Australia (HHA), I am Sarah, HHA’s founder, and this excerpt is from my story that I shared two and a half years ago:
"Eve was breech, and when she was three weeks old, we were told a short stint in a Pavlik harness would correct her shallow hip sockets and we could put it all behind us; that did not happen. Eve wore a harness then brace 23/7 for 10 of her first 12 months of life, she got the green light to stop nighttime bracing just before her second birthday. We are confident she has avoided surgery, but have learnt to keep an open mind.
Maya kept her head down during pregnancy and we thought she would therefore avoid any trouble with hip dysplasia. Her 6- and 10-week ultrasounds were promising, but by six months she needed to go into a brace. Maya only needed four months of 23/7 bracing and eight months using a brace during nights and naps."
Every time we had a review I would progressively get more and more anxious in the month leading up to the appointment. I know I am not alone.
So why are reviews so daunting?
You just never know what to expect. I’ve heard good news, bad news and news that nothing has changed; you almost feel cheated that nothing has changed. The rate of growth of the hip joint can be a bit like watching grass grow; you do everything you can to help things move in the right direction but at the end of the day there are factors beyond our control that influence the outcome.
It is not easy for the treating specialists too, who must feel like they are trying to look into a crystal ball when faced with the question, “how much longer will we need treatment for?” Getting a vague answer is often a source of frustration for us as parents, but perhaps knowing that you aren’t the only one getting no definite answer will help. If someone invents a reliable crystal ball I’m sure it’d be put to good use.
5 Tips To Help Cope At Hip Dysplasia Reviews
- Recognise that you might feel increasingly anxious in the lead up to the appointment; most of us do.
- Plan some distractions in the time around the review. It helps to have other things to focus on and look forward to.
- Let your family and friends know it's review time. They might not understand what the day-to-day impact of managing hip dysplasia is like, but sharing your worries can halve your load. Someone might even offer to come with you to the review; I’ve found this extremely helpful (especially with two children to wrangle).
- Write down your questions for the specialist. Have questions prepared for both good news and bad news. If you forget a questions remember you can call and ask for it to be clarified.
- Remember that no two journeys are the same.
These are photos of Eve and Maya in October 2015, when I first wrote this blog, and now in 2019:
Starting Healthy Hips almost 4 years ago now, my motivator was for no parent to feel like I did - overwhelmed, uninformed and alone. I hope by sharing these photos and tips with you, along with the other support initiatives and resources we now offer, that it makes an overwhelming time a little less daunting. Remember that hip dysplasia is a complex condition - there is no crystal ball.
Written: October 2015. Updated February 2019.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Every effort is made to ensure this information is up to date, accurate and easy to understand. Healthy Hips Australia accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading. This can be reproduce with acknowledgement to Healthy Hips Australia. Handouts are available to download free of charge at www.healthyhipsaustralia.org.au