29 May 2012

Very Bad Scoliosis


The news isn't good.

Two years ago, Vera's spine curvature was 25 degrees.

In the X-ray today, it's 60 degrees!

An unmistakable kink jutting out at her lower rib cage.

If the orthopaedic doctor says it is bad, I don't think he is exaggerating.

It's so severe he's suddenly talking about surgery and putting screws in.

I was totally floored by the news. What happened??? How did we go from routine visits that said, "let's keep monitoring" to this?

Was it because I'd skipped too many of her ortho appointments, thinking there'd be not much change?

Okay so, there must be something we can do right?

Wrong. Even if she needs surgery, the surgeon is not able to do it because there is no space to position the screws because of her small size.

Will bracing help? No.

Will lying supine help? No.

So there's nothing we can do to stop the further bending of her spine. It's just part of the physical deterioration process of Trisomy 18.

I left the room in tears.

Such is the journey of Trisomy 18. One moment you are happy that all seems well and stable, and then suddenly something hits you straight between the eyes.

As a mother, my first instinct is to blame myself. How did I let it slip? I've always been the ever vigilant one.

It is a stark reminder to me, that Trisomy 18 will rear its head, no matter how "fine" things are.

Yet there was a silver lining to the day.

Vera has not been taking well to the new Phillips Resperionics Profile Lite Mask that I got for her. Sleeping badly and waking up drowsy. Red mask pressure marks on her nose bridge, mask gel pressing on the side of her eyes.

Desperate for a solution, I called the Respi team at the hospital, and explained the urgency. They immediately tried to find a mask for her. I was so relieved when one fit beautifully! The Phillips Resperionics Comfort Classic M size. It's an old model and thus unavailable from vendors in Singapore. I will have to ship it in from the US. Times like this I REALLY wish I lived there!

I noted though that M was the largest size. So what next, I was already thinking. But we'll cross that bridge another time.

For now, I'm off to make my happiest online purchase ever.

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