Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Like a Greek Tragedy over Here with the Knees

So, every day's not working thus far. In my defense, I've worked all three days that the Papoose has been at day care this week. And I REALLY need to be cleaning house in preparation of my brother-in-law's arrival tomorrow morning. He's flying in for the weekend to help the Husband with the kitchen remodeling. Is that sweet or what? We like him.

In the meantime, we seem to have triggered mass hysteria with our overly brief mentions via Facebook and email of the Papoosekin's pending knee surgery, so let me lay it all out with some bullet points lest our friends and family make their way here to lynch us on the grounds of incomplete detail-sharing.

  • The Papoose's knees have snapped, crackled, and popped since she was a newborn. I seriously remember her being weeks old and us commenting on how her knees sounded like mine already - all loose cartilage and crap. We probably should have mentioned that to someone earlier, but we were dealing with other things that seemed more important at the time, like, you know, jaundice and feeding her through effing tubes and her lack of weight gain and my PPD and Hey! Let's move across the country! You know, that stuff.
  • This past fall, we started hearing the popping more and kept catching her popping the knee herself, like, as a fidgeting motion, over and over and over. Luckily, the Husband's father is a retired pediatric orthopedic surgeon AND he happened to be visiting for Thanksgiving.
  • He examined her while he was here and suspected a discoid meniscus. Now, for all of you who are reading the word "meniscus" and remembering my surgeries from almost ten years ago, yes, same part of the knee. Mine was torn. Hers has too much cartilage: instead of being c-shaped, hers is solid. This is preventing the bones from sitting properly in their little space and causing them to slide and twist and pop out of position.
  • She had an MRI last week. It sucked. It's very scary to see your baby in a hospital gown. It's even scarier to see her with an IV in her hand. And oh! It's LOTS of fun to have her go limp and unconscious in your arms as they sedate her, and have to leave her tiny body on that huge MRI table, surrounded by half a dozen adults in white coats and have to exit the room for an hour and a half.
  • I also realize that in the grand scheme of things, this is NOTHING. It's fixable. We are truly blessed if this is the biggest health challenge we have to face with her. I know that very well; I work in a hospital. But still. It's my baby.
  • So, the MRI showed that there is now a tear in the meniscus, so it's going to get worse if they don't operate. Also, when it pops, she falls, and that's happening more and more, and resulting in secondary injuries (minor, but still, a busted lip here, a banged head there, it's no fun). We don't think she's in any pain.
  • The surgery will be Wednesday. It will be arthroscopic, just like mine were. We expect to be stuck on the couch with her for about a week. Like with my surgeries, she will be weight-bearing, so it's just a matter of when she feels ready to walk on it. I can't find much online in terms of suggestions for dealing with post-op toddlers other than that now is not the time to worry about how much tv or sugar they're getting.
  • The Husband will be granted some time off work, too, so it won't be me stuck with what's sure to be so much fun in dealing with toddler pain management and entertainment all week. Still. It's gonna blow.
  • Please don't tell me that it's good that she's so young because she won't remember it. I remember having to have knee surgery. It wasn't traumatizing; I could talk her through the scary parts if she wasn't two. If you have any ideas on how to explain to a two-year-old why she can't run and jump and play and climb and get out of the g-d house for a week THAT would be information I'd be interested in hearing because THAT'S the major problem. That, and why she's in so much pain and why mommy can't fix it.
FML. I'm just sayin'.


Unknown said...

Actually sweetheart,,, it really isn't so hard.. During the 7 years I worked in pediatric orthepedics I found that kids are amazingly resilient. They will stay off something that hurts, and given toys or distractions will roll around the floor if needed to be active... Do you know the post-op precautions yet?? Let's talk... xoxoxoxoxo Pam, mil,mom,

Becca said...

Oh, your poor baby girl - knee surgery already. Our little one had surgery - it's frightening, but focus on the positives - it does help.

Sarah Berry said...

I agree with Pam - don't put too many adult logic questions and adult emotions into her brain, think WAY simpler.

This hurts, so I won't play on it. Now it doesn't hurt, so I *will* play on it. Mommy is letting me eat popsicles and watch my cartoons all day, so I will.

When she hurts, you'll give her medicine. Even when she asks "why" it's not the deep, introspective way that we do, it's simpler.

Think simple! Remember what we were saying, she'll only attach as much stress and trauma (for the most part) as you do.

Keep in light and not tragic! It will probably be way harder on you and hubby than it will on her :)

You'll do absolutely great, and so will she!

die Frau said...

Gotta agree with Pam and Scarlet-- Her knee has a big owie and she has to help make it better. I may be wrong, but I think she's still at an age where the response to "Why?" doesn't have to be that complex, as long as she buys it, as Scarlet pointed out.

Good luck to ALL of you!

Leslie said...

Oh! I'm sorry you have this to deal with but YOU'RE GETTING IT FIXED. And that? Equals GOOD.
I'll be thinking of your little one :)