Dear {you} | {by Natalie Trice}

This month the blog will be focusing on Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip {DDH}.

DDH is a subject very close to my heart – as some of you may know my daughter Penny was diagnosed at birth {more on Penny’s story coming soon}. This week I’m excited to share a guest post by Natalie Trice, founder of DDH UK, the author of Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH {see bio below for more information}.

I was first introduced to Natalie by Vicki Psarias {from Honestmum.com} and she has since been a great support during both Penny’s diagnosis and treatment. Her charity and book provide much needed information and advice and she has opened up a forum of support for which I will always be thankful for.

My son will be ten in June and for the past decade, we have been on the emotional roller coaster that is developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). 

DDH occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit snugly together and it affects between one and three children in every thousand. One of those children is my son, Lucas. 

I didn’t find the information I needed when he was diagnosed, and this left me feel alone and confused. I didn’t know what to expect, where to find people in a similar situation and it was a pretty dark time. 

As the years passed Lucas continued on his treatment path, and while I closed my business to look after him, and his older brother who was also going through this strange time, I wrote Cast Life and set up DDH UK, a charitable trust that today supports thousands of people around the world trying navigate this challenging condition. 

This is a letter to all you hippy parents and I hope it will offer you some comfort and support. 

Dear you, 

I read your posts and I feel your pain.

Your anguish is real and it isn’t going away.

I have been there many times and wish you didn’t have to do this.

I wish your baby didn’t have to be put to sleep.

To have an operation to help their hips become healthy.

But they do, so I want to offer just a little solace so you know you aren’t alone.

You want your child to be ok, that’s all any of us want.

You are scared for them, and for you.

That’s ok.

It’s normal.

That’s what makes you such an amazing parent.

I wish I could be there to hold your hand.

Wipe your tears.

Walk along the corridor to the theatre.

Buy you a cup of tea and chat as the clock ticks and your heart pounds.

I could say don’t worry, but that is all you have done since the diagnosis was made.

I could say it will be fine, but I am no doctor and know from my experience, that cannot be guaranteed.

But I can say, I am thinking of you.

That this isn’t fair.

That you and your child shouldn’t have to go through any of this.

But, you can do this.

I know you can.

There is no other way.

Yes, they might be cross when they come into recovery.

There might be pain and crying.

But the staff are there to help you.

They will make sure your little one is as comfortable as possible.

Ask questions.

Ask for help.

Take all the information you  can.

Go home when they are comfortable.

Take your time.

Take it all minute by minute.

Don’t think ahead or ask, ‘what if’.

There are so many people thinking of you.

Loving you all.

Willing those hips to heal and for life to get back to normal.

Go on Spica Mummy, put on your best smile and show DDH who is control.

Big hugs and lots of love.

Natalie

{Lucas}

Natalie is the founder of DDH UK, the author of Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH and a member of the International Advisory Board for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

She is often seen in the media talking about the subject with passion and professionalism and is dedicated to raising awareness of a condition that has changed her life.

Natalie lives in Devon with her family, and when she isn’t running her PR business or writing books, she will be found on the beach walking her dog, she loves coffee, shoes and she never takes anything for granted anymore. 

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