When the cold strikes

There are days when I can almost forget that Celine has Perthes Disease. Bright sunny days where Celine keeps up with her younger siblings no problem. Days when she feels no pain at all. Days when she is so active she makes me tired just watching her.

Celine using her crutches
Celine using her crutches

Then there are days like we had this week when a cold snap hits. When a lovely warm Spring day turns cold and wet. When the cold makes her hip ache so much that she just jumps straight into the warmest pajamas she can find and snuggles on the couch with a blanket. When the ache is so bad that she asks for the pain medication that she hasn’t needed for weeks or months.

Winters in our little area of Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand can be very mild. Quite warm some days in fact. Rain doesn’t always mean cold and cold doesn’t always mean rain. When Spring hits the weather generally gets warmer and obviously Summer is usually the hottest season of all. Cold wet snaps have been quite rare in our experience of living here although they do happen on occasion.
Usually Celine gets through these cold wet snaps just with the occasional request of pain medication on the worst days. Sometimes though, she reverts back to her crutches and sling to get around because of the pain. I don’t make her do this. This is something she decides on her own like she did yesterday. She uses them until her hip no longer aches and then she’s back to her active bubbly self.
As her mother, it can be hard to see her revert back to those even though it’s what’s best for her. Not because I

Snuggled on the couch with her blanket
Snuggled on the couch with her blanket

don’t like seeing her on crutches. I’d rather her use her crutches for pain management while she can use them than try to cope without them. What’s hard for me is knowing that she will have to work out some sort of pain management for the rest of her life.

As much as we want to believe it, Perthes Disease doesn’t stop when the specialist tells you that you’re cleared and healed. It has long lasting effects to the child suffering through it. Just like people who have broken bones are, the perthes hip is prone to arthritis when the child reaches adulthood. It may not happen until late in their adulthood and it may happen before they even reach adulthood. But there is a high likelihood of it happening and as I’m sure many arthritis suffers will tell you, cold wet snaps aggravate their arthritis much like it has Celine’s hip this week.