For the past week, I've been reminded again how difficult it can be raising a child with achondroplasia because of the unpredictable medical questions that often arise.
Last week, I took Liz for her annual appointment with the orthopedic specialist. At age 4, this is fairly routine now. We do Xrays, chat a few minutes and usually are on our way out the door. This time was different. He noticed some concerns that led him to believe her neck may not be stable. We did the Xrays over and over again and the pictures showed the same thing.
We rushed over and completed the CT test. As luck would have it, 24 hours later (before we got the CT tests back), Liz began vomiting all night.
Immediately we wondered: Was it just a flu bug, or could it be something neurological? After speaking with her doctors in the middle of the night, we took her to the ER to be on the safe side.
Everything checked out and they said it if were an immediate neck/neurological problem, she'd have other symptoms. That was good news that she didn't have any neurological symptoms.
Then, the CT results arrived earlier this week indicating that in fact one vertebrae in her neck is slightly tilted - causing more concern.
After dealing with much red tape, I got all of the scans and sent them over-night to her neurosurgeon, Dr. D.
Dr. D's at the well-respected Children's Memorial in Chicago and has been following her since she was a month old.
I've learned along the way that often radiologists and other doctors get quite nervous when they look at scans of kids with achondroplasia. Part of that is simply because kids with achondroplasia have a different skeletal makeup.
Radiologists are trained to point out when anything is different - but other specialists like Dr. D. are trained to look at Liz's scan and see if this is consistent with kids with achondroplasia and whether it poses a medical problem.
For the past four years, Dr. D. has been consistent and offered cautious and measured opinions. I kept reminding myself not to be too concerned until he saw the scans and gave me his opinion.
Today, he made me Halloween day, when he called and reported that this is nothing to be concerned about. Whew! He felt the tilt was hardly noticeable and won't impact her neck stability.
That is good news for us and Liz's biggest worry tonight will be getting the biggest load of candy that she can bring home. She's celebrating with Mimi and Papaw in Goshen.
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