Ithaca can wait.
We have a plan. The least invasive soft tissue, muscular intervention possible. It will take just over half an hour. Recovery will be a few days in hospital. Rehab will be a few weeks. The expectation is that, with a bit of luck, Pádraig’s femur will slide back into his hip socket, his knee and hip will not hurt him. His balance and right leg movements will feel different and really good rehab and exercise will be crucial. Nearly sounds too good to be true but it is worth giving this intervention a try.
Last Monday, Pádraig had an appointment with a consultant in Munich, Tuesday we were in the Therapy Centre in Burgau, the last few days back here in Pforzheim. Having listened to the people we trust and some new experts, Pádraig was happy with this decision and we decided to go for it.
The hospital is booked for 12 August. Rehab will follow.
Given the circumstances, we’re going back North. Two days on the road. We’ll go South to Munich in a bit more than two weeks’ time. Another two days drive.
We’re getting really good at packing and unpacking. (Good practice for the trip to Alaska.) Living a few weeks or sometimes even days here, another there. Having had the opportunity to talk to what are probably two of the four experts in the field of neuro-orthopedics in Germany, to some of the best therapists and neurologists, really helped us to understand Pádraig’s hip problem and to agree to the plan we’ve got now.
How do I feel about it? – It’s good to have a plan and to know where we’re heading. That’s a big improvement from where we were a month ago. I feel lucky that so many people were there, when it mattered, to help us. From the advice we got, the time people took to think with us about the options, to writing the referrals, to just staying with us.
How do I feel about how we got where we are now? – It has been complicated and involved and exhausting. It didn’t have to be like that. And if you ask me, it should not be like that.
There are so many questions in my head and most of them have the same answer: those with a severe Acquired Brain Injury, like Pádraig, are not on the radar of the vast majority of health care professionals. They aren’t because they don’t matter anymore. We are lucky because we have found people, friends, who don’t share that view. They make all the difference.
We now know that the hip problem Pádraig developed is a well known and pretty common secondary complication of his initial injury. It always needed expert attention and could not be dealt with by doing a few stretches.
We are on an Odyssee when we should be in Ithaca. But then – isn’t that what life is all about, the journey? Ithaca is the final destination. We’ve plenty of time to get there.