Spica Cast Change Day

Spica Cast change day started unnaturally early.  My daughter was due at Bristol Children’s Hospital at 07.30 so we had to leave the house close to dawn to be there on time.  It felt strange pushing my daughter in her pushchair, down our rain-splashed street, as I have done so many times before, but on this occasion so early and to a different destination other than supermarket, pre-school or playgroup.
Last time we were at Bristol Children’s Hospital, when our little girl needed her operation on her hip, she had been called to theatre early.  However, as only a spica cast change was required and because there were other children there who needed some quite serious operations, today involved more waiting before it was her turn to go into theatre.

It is tricky to kill time when you have a young and hungry child, who is not allowed to eat or drink.  I carried her around the ward a gazillion times, pulled faces at her to encourage smiles, put on a Carebears DVD and took her to the ward’s play room for a time to occupy her and take her mind off her growling stomach.

In the hospital ward playroom

My husband and I took turns to nip off for cups of tea and chocolate bars to keep us awake and alert; hard to be when you have had an early start and when there’s not much to do but sit around and wait.
And then suddenly the nurses came for our daughter, ready to take her to theatre.  I had a cuddle, pressed a quick kiss upon her face and then she was gone, walked to the last point before theatre in my husband’s arms.
He was back five minutes later and we went to the hospital cafe to kill yet more time, though this time without our daughter and in a far more anxious state.  I was surprised at my anxiety, I thought that it would be much easier this time around, knowing that it was simply a spica cast change rather then an operation.  But I found it still difficult, sat there knowing my daughter was lying in theatre, unconscious and under general anaesthetic rather then in my arms cooing and giggling and giving me little kisses.
Following our breakfast we went back to the ward to wait for the news that she was out of theatre and in recovery and ready for me to see her.  We were situated opposite the nurses’ station and I watched the nurses’ busily working, talking about beds that new children to the ward would occupy, updating and amending their whiteboard and going about their day.
I started to worry.  Where was she?  Had something gone wrong?  They said she would be only 30 – 40 minutes!  Why was it taking so long?  
The phone in the nurses station rang and a nurse picked it up and I watched her face.  The call was for us, our daughter was now in recovery, awake and ready for me to collect her!  I leaped off the bed, walked the short – but oh, so long – walk to recovery, to reach my little, crumpled child, in a brand spanking new spica cast, this time in a beautiful shade of pink 🙂
All was well and we were officially halfway through our journey of our child being in a spica cast.

Please read ‘The End of a Difficult Few Months’.

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5 responses to “Spica Cast Change Day

  1. I don't expect it's ever easy! Glad she is halfway there.

  2. My three year olds daughter is suffering from a facture femur. She is in spica cast now. After 4 weeks, the X-ray result is very bad (I & my husband cried when we saw the result), even worse. 2 ends are still far apart. Her femur is not match at all but the doctor said that it is acceptable. I'm very doubt about her recovery prospect. 4 weeks past but I don't see any improvement. We have to pay 3 weeks more until the cast is removed. However, I wonder if at that time her femur is jointed or not?
    Please kindly give me some experiences. How long had she had to take the spica cast? How long does the femur match? How does your daughter X-ray result look when the spica cast is removed? When she can stand and try to walk again?
    Thank you!

  3. Hi Thuy Chi,

    I am sorry to hear about your little girl, that must be so worrying for you.

    My daughter has to have a Spica cast because she has a condition called 'Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip'. This means that she was born with a malformed hip joint which resulted in her hip becoming dislocated and one leg being longer than the other. She had to have an operation to put her hip back in socket.

    She has to wear the spica cast for 4 months in total. She had an MRI scan after her operation and it showed her hip was definitely in socket. She is due to have another MRI scan in the next couple of weeks to check her hip is still in socket.

    Hopefully, in 7 weeks time, my daughter's spica cast will be removed and that should be the end of any more treatment.

    I hope that your daughter's fractured femur is sorted out soon. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

  4. my daughter will be going through this in 4 to weeks time, im very scarred and i worried how we are going to cope as i also cant walk far as i have ms.we think my husband is going to have to give up work to help and i only just manage now.lisa

  5. Hi Lisa, even though we are now in touch, I thought I would just reply properly to this message! I hope all is going well with Elena's spica cast and things are easier now the first couple weeks are over. xx

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