It’s been quite some time since I posted anything on my blog and this is for a number of reasons, the most relevant being that the computer stopped talking to the TV, which acts as a monitor, and it took Mud a few weeks to figure out what the cause was. I think it turned out to be some change or other to the display settings which came through in an update but it was such an oddball change that it never even entered his head to check it. There were mutterings of ‘I don’t believe it’ and much groaning, when he finally realised what had happened and a quick switch of a cable from one port to another rectified in seconds, that which had confounded Mud for weeks.
Of course by then quite a lot had happened in Mudville and where to begin was the issue and so I’ve decided to begin with updates on the Mudlets, well two of them at least because, mercifully, Little Mudlet has enjoyed good health and hasn’t really required much attention from our beleaguered health system.
So first the good news: Muddle Mudlet has been discharged from the Physiotherapy department with instructions to continue with her daily physio exercises at home, until she stops growing. We had only been attending the physio department for a little over three months, when the lady who was treating Middle Mudlet decided that she no longer needed to see her, unless the pain returned or she hurt her knee etc. This is due 100% to the determination of Middle Mudlet and her conscientious attitude towards the exercises she had been given and which she has to do for 30 minutes every single day until she stops growing, so for the next 3 or 4 years at least. Although her right leg is still significantly weaker than her left, it is far stronger than when she attended her first physio appointment, where it shook like a jelly when she tried to lift it independently of the other leg. There was barely a quiver during her last appointment and the pain that she had been suffering 24/7 for the last year or so, is now a distant memory – although she gets the odd twinge every now and again when she tries to do too much but these instances will peter out as she continues to build muscle strength.
My biggest concern over the last weeks however, has been Eldest Mudlet. It was a Wednesday evening about 4 weeks ago when she phoned to say that she had been admitted to hospital, with suspected appendicitis and she was being kept in overnight for tests, with a view to operate the following day (Thursday). As it turned out, when the test results came back late on Wednesday, appendicitis was ruled out but as she was in excruciating pain, they needed to find out what was wrong.
A scan on Thursday morning identified a 6cm ovarian cyst as the problem. What followed next can only be described as a headless chicken party, as conflicting opinions on the severity of the situation meant that we were all kept guessing as to whether or not they were going to operate or not. Now I’m no expert but 6cm seems pretty big to me and with the amount of pain she was in, removing the cyst seemed like the only viable option in poor Eldest Mudlets’ mind. Having been starved Wednesday afternoon and evening in case of an operation on Thursday, my daughter was quite keen for someone to make a decision one way or the other but the doctors kept dithering and so she found her self going without food for the whole of Thursday as well!
By 6pm Thursday, she was at her wits end, weak from lack of food and frustrated by the lack of direction. Finally one of the nurses checked with the consultant to see if Eldest Mudlet could have something to eat and the answer came back ‘yes’ as any operation that might take place wouldn’t be until Friday at the earliest. Never has a sandwich tasted so good!
Friday morning rounds, the doctor said that Eldest Mudlet could go home as it was unlikely that Gynae would operate on a cyst, preferring instead to monitor the situation. My poor daughter couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Unable to move without assistance due to the extreme pain she was in (and that was tanked up on codeine and Morphine), she had no clue as to how she was going to manage at home. Thankfully the duty ward sister saw how distressed she had become and reassured her that she wouldn’t be going home until Gynae had seen her but it still took a firm phone call from Eldest Mudlets’ father before the appropriate doctor actually bothered to put in an appearance, confirming that with the level of pain she was in and the size of the cyst, surgery was the only option.
So Eldest Mudlet was nil by mouth again but as Friday afternoon drifted into Friday evening, it became apparent that the operation wasn’t going to happen that day, so a call was put out to the boyfriend to bring a burger, cola and chocolate immediately! Having only eaten two sandwiches and a round of toast since Wednesday lunchtime, I think even my equine loving eldest child would have happily eaten a horse by this point.
The operation finally took place at midday Saturday and by then the cyst was 7cm long! Thankfully there appears to be no lasting damage to the ovary in question and it was with a great deal of relief that Eldest Mudlet finally left the hospital, around 8pm that night with enough painkillers to knock out your average bull elephant.
For the next week, Eldest battled with the pain and fatigue the surgery had left her with, all the while worrying about Prince, her horse. The other owners at the stables where she keeps him, are a lovely bunch and her specific friends had been checking on him and sending her reports to help assuage her worries. He had been turned out to grass for the duration of Eldests recovery and though she desperately wanted to see him for herself, in those first few days she didn’t dare risk it. Prince is a very loving horse but incredibly boisterous and his favourite way to greet his owner is to give her a gentle nudge with his not unsubstantial head ….. in the belly! So it was with some trepidation that Eldest made the trip to the yard, some 8 or so days after surgery, to see Prince.
“He was grazing,” she told me later, “I called his name and he looked up, saw me and neighed, before trotting over.”
With friends poised ready to act as a barrier if he was too energetic in his approach, Eldest watched as he ambled towards her but instead of his usual head-butt, he stopped in front of her and with infinite care and careful movements he greeted her, standing stock still to allow her hug him. The photo I received of the two of them together will always be one of my favourites of all time. It was as if he instinctively knew that she was fragile and needed careful handling.
Unfortunately that meeting had to last Eldest for another 10 days or so when it became apparent that she had developed an infection, causing her more pain and discomfort and which only started to dissipate after two rounds of strong antibiotics. Friends and family alike can’t believe how long it took the doctors to make the decision to operate and are shocked by how much weight she has lost due to her complete loss of appetite brought on by pain and illness, weight which she could ill afford to lose in the first place.
Thankfully Eldest Mudlet is now back on the road to a full recovery and hopes never to have to go through this again. She has been able to get back down to the yard, where Prince has once again proved that he has been aptly named and is indeed a Prince amongst horses and sensitive to the needs of his owner, treating her as though she were made of china and when you consider the nature of the illness she lives with on a daily basis, this can only help to ease my mind, as my first-born embraces her hobby and continues to live life to the full.