Ten months ago, my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with Developmental Hip Dysplasia and underwent major surgery called Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO). The story of how she wound up in New York for the diagnosis and surgery is a long one and I’m happy to share it with anyone who has interest. Our journey to that point took several years and my daughter and I both benefited greatly from others who had been down that path before us. We hope to do the same for others.
My daughter has recovered beautifully and we went back to New York last week to have 5 screws removed from her hip. This was a relatively minor procedure and I’m happy to say she is doing fabulous.
Okay… now onto the lighter side of this! When my daughter found out she was going to need the PAO, we knew she would be on crutches for at least a month. She faced the possibility of maybe having to be on them much longer. And because the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree when it comes to BLING, she and I decided to be proactive.
The day before her surgery, she met with a physical therapist. Regular protocol would have called for the PT to bring the crutches to her several days after the surgery. We asked for them in advance. With the doctor’s blessing, they were fitted the day before and she and I started work the night before. It gave us a nice distraction before she was admitted to the hospital.
Step one was to cover all the metal parts of the crutches with pink, holographic duct tape. You can now find all kinds of colors and patterns in duct tape in stores, but a year ago, I had to find it online. Honestly, just being covered in pink would have made the crutches far prettier than the standard old metal.
For the underarm padding, we had taken the advice of a new friend from England who had had taken us under her wing in the weeks leading up to the surgery. We bought the zebra covered pads from www.crutchcozies.com. It’s a great product and can be purchased in many colors and patterns.
The bling was my job. When they wheeled my daughter to the operating room, I had a lot of nervous energy. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to have a project to keep me busy. I worked right in the waiting room. Six hours is a long time when you are under that kind of stress.
The original design was pretty simple. She had wanted the crutches to be totally covered with the rhinestones, but I quickly realized the technique I was using would have taken forever. I came up with another design that took less time and also saved my fingers. For this go round, I used super glue and a bag of assorted sized rhinestones from Joanns. Here’s what they looked like then:
She used them for just about a month. She was happy to be done with them and tucked them away in a closet.
This fall her hip started bothering her again and it was decided that those screws that were supposed to be permanent had to come out. We scheduled the procedure for last week and out came the crutches again. If I’ll say one thing about my daughter, she is determined. While she loved the original crutches, she knew that with this second go round, she wanted her original design.
And so we went to work. In the two weeks leading up to our departure, the crutches stayed on my family room coffee table. We used Elmer’s Glue this time, so we were able cover a larger area to fill with rhinestones before the glued dried. We also didn’t have to stop periodically to unpry our fingers from each other… one of the downfalls of using super glue. The glue isn’t as sturdy as the super glue, but this time, it was projected that the longest she’d be on them was two weeks. We figured that wasn’t such a long time and we’d touch them up at the end of each day. Here’s a that close up again:
As I write this, it is just one week from her surgery. The screws are out and she’s walking fine. In fact, she dropped the crutches 2 days ago.
So far, a happy ending. Feel free to share this crutch idea. It was fun to see all the great, positive responses she got from people while she used them.