Hip dysplasia is not a very fun problem to have, but it’s a problem that can be caught early and fixed relatively quickly. An ultrasound to diagnose, six weeks in a cloth-and-plastic-and-velcro harness, a few check-ins with the orthopedist, another ultrasound to confirm its fixed, and Bob’s your uncle, you’re free.
At least, that’s what I tried to tell myself as I counted down the days. (At one point I calculated the remaining hours until her six-week appointment.) For those six weeks, this harness has been really, really annoying. It gets cruddy and gross, but it’s hand-wash and drip-dry, which takes several hours, and we were only supposed to have her out of it for an hour a day. (We did wash it the two times she succeeded in urinating or defacating on it.) Also, velcro is the supreme enemy of knitters everywhere. I just had to give up on defending my handknits from this evil, or I would have been unable to wear sweaters during the prime spring sweater season. But several of my sweaters are a little more pilly, and all the velcro is crammed with sweater-poo.
Naomi herself was getting more and more unmanageable in it. I found that she would sometimes nurse better if I let her out for a few minutes, and she quickly figured out my system. When we got in position to nurse, she would cry a little and flail her top leg around, then look at me expectantly until I let her out. Stinker.
But there’s nothing like sitting outside the orthopedists office to put this short inconvenience in perspective. Most of the kids who go to the orthopedists, or at least this one, had broken limbs or serious birth defects or learning disabilities. Their parents would be coping with these issues for much longer, with a lot more pain, and in some cases for their whole lives. Both they and their kids are freaking heroes for keeping on. As I said, Naomi only had to be in the harness full-time for six weeks, and she will be in it at night for another month. That’s more than half of her precious little life thus far, but a drop in the bucket when place next to all the time she’ll get to spend running and playing as a perfectly normal little girl. Gone unchecked, hip dysplasia can mean a serious limp and major corrective surgery, and worse or later-caught cases than hers mean longer in a harness or even a cast.
So it is with humility and grateful joy that we celebrate getting our little girl out of the harness. There will be some adjustment as she gets used to two flailing limbs that have been effectively swaddled for six weeks, but any rockiness in transition will be more than mitigated by a plethora of harness-less cuddles. And watching an almost-eleven-week old try to stand up on her own power.
Jared is still slogging through his final paper, so Mom took me to the appointment. Being slightly high strung women, we were biting our metaphorical internal nails during the several waits we had for our beeper to go off. Waiting at the radiology checkin, waiting in the radiology waiting room, waiting in the ultrasound room, waiting at the outpatient greeter, waiting at the outpatient checkin, waiting outside the orthopedic pod, waiting in our room – there was a lot of time to fret. But we had already agreed – no matter how this turns out, we are going yarn shopping afterwards. If the results are positive it’ll be celebratory; if they are negative it’ll be retail therapy.
(Yes, we just spent a buttload of money on wool last weekend. Nope, wasn’t about to stop us. [Okay, Mom did the only actual money spending. A poor seminarian has to at least mostly stick to her budget.])
We each picked out our favorite skein at Natural Stitches, and Mom wound them both up as soon as we got home so we could cast on last night. You get one guess as to which belongs to whom.
The yarn is to celebrate Naomi, but we’re making things for ourselves – souvenirs of a very happy day. I know some people buy souvenir yarn that never gets knit; I understand the impulse but don’t find myself with the same inclination. I want to have something I can use, that I will see regularly, that will actively remind me of what is being commemorated. I got Tosh DK and am making Wanderlust; Mom got 2 skeins of Cascade Casablanca and is making Cabled Legwarmers. (Nothing like a solid, literalist name.) We both cast on during DnD last night, when (we thought) Naomi was asleep for the night.
Once again, welcome to the family, Nay-nomes. We love you, and this is how we roll.