Monday, April 23, 2007

Sad child 3

This morning as we drove down Wattle Street, Ultimo, Ms Nominative Determinism spotted another member of the family of sad graffiti children that I have blogged about before (here and here).

At last we know why they're so sad. Obviously, they're Bill Posters' kids, and they're worried about their dad being prosecuted!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Selling the Dude for medical experiments

Yesterday the Dude underwent a minor bombardment of radiation: x-rays and computed tomography on both feet. Today the orthopedic specialist looked at the results and declared that there is no sign of the "coalition" of the subtalar joint (hooray!) but that there are signs of arthritis in the talo-navicular joint (boo!) and that surgery will still be advisable (boo!) but an orthotic heel support might do the job for a couple of years (hooray! Wait, did you say $500 for a plastic shoe insert he'll grow out of in less than 12 months? Boo!).

However, before we make a final decision either to proceed with surgery now or to go for the orthotics first and surgery later, Dr Ortho offered us the opportunity to get a second, third, fourth and seventeenth opinion all in one go by asking whether we would allow the Dude to be sold for medical experiments -- or at least put on display at a meeting of the orthopedic staff of the hospital so they can all have a look at him and give their opinions. I'm guessing this is a kind of Grand Rounds for outpatients. The idea of several specialists brainstorming the best treatment for the Dude appeals to me, and Dr Ortho said that quite often someone will ask an innocent question that leads to a whole new perspective on the case. The least that can happen is that they will simply confirm Dr Ortho's own preference.

Surprisingly, when I discussed the idea of selling the Dude off for medical experiments with the Dude himself, he was quite keen on the idea... until he figured out that he wouldn't actually get any cash.

Auction day is May 18th. Updates to follow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dude news

Last week we went to the orthopedic clinic at Sydney Children's Hospital for the Dude's two-year check-up. (For those who don't know, he was born with severe talipes equinovarus or club feet, just like such sex symbols as Lord Byron and Dudley Moore. He's already had two lots of reconstructive surgery.)
Scrawny Dude, five days old: with flippers

He has recently been complaining that his right ankle hurts when he walks, even after just a little bit of walking.
The orthopedic specialist thinks that there may be a "coalition in the subtaler joint" or, in plain English, a bridge of bone or cartilage forming between the bones of the heel joint just below the ankle. Alternatively, it might simply be wear and tear on the joint as a result of his earlier surgeries. The prognosis is that he will probably need surgery to fuse the joint, removing the small amount of movement that he has, but also removing the pain.
Tomorrow we return to Sydney Kids for x-rays and a CT scan, then back to the clinic to see what the scan shows and get the diagnosis from the doctor. He may prescribe orthotics in the short term, saving the surgery for when the Dude is a bit older, but we are steeling ourselves for the worst-case scenario.
On the plus side, it's probably only the right foot that will need the surgery, so if he does have it he can use crutches while he convalesces, rather than a wheelchair. I couldn't imagine lifting him in and out of a wheelchair at this age!
It was interesting going to the orthopedic clinic last week because it is school holidays. Usually when we go there are just a few kids, mostly like the Dude coming for routine check-ups on existing conditions, and the odd broken limb. Last Thursday there were five children with broken arms and one with a broken leg, fresh from the emergency ward, all lined up in one examination room -- and that was at 8.30am! I'll never doubt those ambulance officers and pediatric ER nurses who dread the school holidays again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hair today

This picture of the Dude represents nearly 18 months of growth from when we shaved off his Christmas 2005 mohawk. The gorgeous mane of red, wavy hair had, unfortunately, earned some unwanted attention. Lucky Mark took him to the local chicken shop, where the server insulted them both in the space of one sentence by asking, "Is this your granddaughter?"

Sigh. I loved those curls. I hated sweeping them up after the haircut, which took place in the kitchen at home.

Temporarily short. This was one of the first cutting and styling efforts by Ms Nominative Determinism.
Next, the clippers (pics to come).