Thursday, February 28, 2013

The past three months

The past three months have been a busy time for our family, the most notable updates about Maddy are as follows:

1. In November or so last year, Maddy had an MRI done of her hips and spine. Orthopedically, they are her two biggest areas of concern. Her hip joints are shallow and the head of her femur is flat and misshapen. The ortho was previously talking about the possibility of surgery, but after this last MRI, they have decided that there is nothing they can do for now. Any possible surgical interventions on her hips have the possibility of making things worse rather than better. The "good news" is that Maddy is mobile and healthy so her bad hips are not currently affecting her. The "bad news" is that they will probably deteriorate with age and use and it is not unlikely that she will end up needing a hip replacement at a young age (maybe 20's-30's, but as with everything, it is wait and see). 

2. The above picture is Maddy's spine (with a couple of my fingers helping her to stand still ;) ). Even to the untrained eye, there is an obvious kink right around where the lungs are (the "thoracic spine" is the technical term). This scoliosis is currently at about 32-33 degrees, and to quote the amazing ortho we saw at our last visit: "This spine will definitely need surgery sooner or later". Spinal surgery is pretty scary and to be honest I had a bit of a freak-out after hearing that. I hoped and prayed that Maddy would avoid the spinal complications of her dwarfism - but ultimately, this is the situation and we will deal with it as we go. I should write a big long post about this particular ortho though - he was a British guy here for 6 months or a year, and we had a long talk about the Hong Kong medical system and it's pros and cons.

3. We have always known that since Maddy has a restricted rib cage, her lung capacity is also reduced and so she is more at risk for complications of the flu or other colds. Her scoliosis also affects her lungs, since it is in that region. She seems to have made up for that with a fantastic immune system and has mostly avoided just about every sickness that has made it's rounds. At Christmas time, however, we all were down with a nasty cold. Maddy got it too and was pretty miserable. One day, she slept 23 hours and we noticed her breathing was very fast, with some "insucking" or "indrawing" as they seem to call it elsewhere (see if you want to know what I mean). We took her to our GP who advised that we should take her to hospital. I could write another long post about that - but basically the infection had spread to the lungs and she had bronchiolitis. 5 nights in hospital and she was rearing to go again. It was our first private hospital stay and compared to the public hospital, it was heaven! 

4. Maddy's speech is really coming along. She's still delayed but she is doing AMAZINGLY. It has been such a concern over the past 2 years really, it is good to see her catching up. Her understanding is fantastic for her age, her vocabulary is about average - her main issue is with articulation (ie, she doesn't form the sounds correctly and can be difficult to understand). Even that is improving though... it also warrants another post at a later date...

For now though, I think this will suffice as a very general overview of what's been going on medically and developmentally since last time :)

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried Chiropractor for her scoliosis? We use a good chiropractor specialised for young children. Let me know if you need his contact.