Today on my blog I have a fellow blogger and wonderful friend Natalie Trice. I have followed her blog Just Because I Love for many years and love chatting with her on twitter. She has recently published her first book Cast Life after her son Lucas was diagnosed with DDH. I will let her tell you all about it, but she is a true inspiration as is the courage and spirit of her son Lucas. I am very proud of them both. Over to Natalie;
Lucas is my second son and he has Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). This is a common condition that affects between one and three children in every thousand and whilst it isn’t life threatening, it has certainly been life changing for us as a family.
DDH, also known as congenital hip dysplasia or ‘clicky hips’, occurs where the ball and socket of the hip joint fails to develop correctly and therefore doesn’t fit snugly together.
The earlier DDH is detected the better because treatment can begin and the likelihood of pain, hip replacements and disability is reduced. Lucas, like so many other children, was a late diagnosis with the condition only being confirmed at four and a half months. This was disappointing given the strong family history and ‘clicky hip’ detected at birth but I’m just glad I followed my instincts and pushed for the relevant tests or things could have been much worse.
Lucas is now six and has spent around a year in various casts and harnesses, has endured many X-rays and examinations and has suffered more than any child should. He has just had his fourth operation, which involved breaking and resetting his pelvis and pinning it in place. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress when he was three and has been having nightmares since the latest operation and whilst all of this breaks my heart I know it has to be done for his long-term health and mobility.
I believe there needs to be greater awareness of DDH not just amongst parents but also midwives, health visitors and GPs who are crucial in identifying potential cases and referring them onto specialist consultants.
When we were told Lucas had DDH I instantly turned to Google for information. Big mistake. Rather than pointing me in the right direction it simply uncovered horror stories and barbaric images, because that was all there was.
I didn’t want anyone else to feel that despair and fear and decided to address the gap in the market. As well as writing about DDH on my blog, Just Because I Love, I took a non-fiction book writing course and at the end of it I was delighted to secure a deal for writing Cast Life with Nell James Publishing.
I’m not a medical professional but I am a parent who has been on the DDH journey for six years and I wanted to pass my knowledge onto others. My book covers everything from explanations about the condition and treatments, to family life and dealing with emotions, as well as first person comments and advise from experts.
Professor N. M. P. Clarke ChM, DM, FRCS, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Southampton University Hospital, wrote the foreword and commented, “DDH is one of the most common congenital abnormalities and it is remarkable that there is so little information out there. This book is essential reading for parents, and indeed healthcare workers, who are involved in the care of children who have the condition and I would love to see it in clinics around the world.”
Alongside the book I also founded Spica Warrior, a small charity that empowers parents by giving them the information they need to make the best decisions for their child.
As I carry on caring for my son, I hope the book he inspired me to write will show parents that whatever DDH throws at them, they will be able to deal with it if it means healthy hips for their child.
Thank you Natalie for helping others and raising awareness on DDH. Since writing this guest post Natalie has sent me through this wonderful update on Lucas which I am sure will have you smiling.
BRAVE SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY KICKS DDH INTO TOUCH AT THE START OF 2016
13 January 2016: Just two months after having his pelvis reconstructed as part of ongoing treatment for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), Buckinghamshire based Lucas Trice has walked into school this week much to the delight of his family and friends.