Our daughter’s diagnosis, surgery and recovery: Diagnosis

Each year, July comes by with a bang.

While we still have significant months throughout the year, July seems to be the only consistent one.

This year, it was Kid3’s surgery.

Sometime in the middle of June, I noticed that her right thumb stayed in a bent position.

The first time it was in the evening. She gave me a double thumbs up, but it was semi-dark in the room and I thought she was just playing around.

The next morning while I was dressing her, something nudged me to have a look at her thumb again, and sure enough, it was still bent. After gently trying to push it back, we realized it was going nowhere. I made an appointment at our GP to have it looked at while thoughts ran through my mind.

Could it be broken? There was no swelling or discoloration. How long had it been like this? How had I not noticed it before?

She hadn’t complained about any discomfort or pain, so what could it be? The first social media update I did about the situation, one mama commented on it explaining her daughter’s similar case and the procedures that followed. Of course, I looked the topic up online and it lined up with all symptoms Kid3 had.

The GP sent us for X-rays, confirmed that nothing was broken but we would need to go see a specialist in order to find the cause. Honestly, I was already convinced it was the diagnosis I read up on (as it was the only thing that made sense) but hey, I’m no expert, duh!

HB took Kid3 to the same specialist we used when Kid2 needed surgery with his dog bite incident. The GP wanted to use someone else but I insisted on ‘our‘ specialist because I knew that we would be in good hands.

The specialist gave his diagnosis: trigger finger. Exactly the case the other mama had told me about.

What trigger finger is, summed up: your thumb or finger(s) gets stuck in a bent or straight position. It occurs when the affected finger’s tendon becomes irritated and inflammed.

It’s not easily noticeable with younger children because their dexterity isn’t as developed as an older child’s would be, or an adults. Kid3 never complained about pain or discomfort, and it never bothered her because she’s not at the age to constantly need to do detailed tasks with her hands. The specialist said she could’ve had it for quite some time now and it’s actually very lucky we picked up on it at this age.

Do you think this made me feel any better, as a mama? Nope.
I’m supposed to see these things, not wonder for how long this was right under our noses for? While his explanation did bring some form of relief, the mama guilt still lingered. We’re also ‘lucky’ (strange term to use in a case like this) that we picked it up early because children of a younger age bounce back faster.

We then had to wait a couple of days to take her for a sonar so that he could confirm the diagnosis. We took the trip back to the hospital for the sonar and then visited the specialist again.

I have to mention this: throughout all the up and down’s to the doctors and the X-rays, and the sonars, Kid3 was an absolute trooper. She listened to instructions and wasn’t difficult during the procedures. Which was a relief because the checking into the hospitals and doctors’ rooms was already a migraine and a half with all the Covid-19 procedures. It felt like we spent more time checking in than actually being at the doctor. I get it, it’s what it is: it doesn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating with a toddler.

The specialist confirmed with the sonar that it was indeed trigger finger and then he uttered the word I was dreading to hear: surgery. He proceeded to explained that the surgery wouldn’t take too long and that it wasn’t complicated, that we’d be going home the same day.

While I was hearing everything he was saying and explaining, the only word ringing in my mind was surgery. My two-year-old would be needing surgery. I mean!!

But first, with the new Covid-19 regulations, she would need to have a test done in order to be admitted at the hospital. Now someone we know had gone for a test around that time and told us that the test included a nasal and throat swab and that the nasal one wasn’t as comfortable as you’d hope it would be.

That was the new stress factor for me. The test. I was more worried about that than the actual surgery. We needed to have the test done three days before her surgery date. I left with a stack of paperwork to fill in at home and a few extra worries on my plate.

Added to those worries, the hospital’s system was hacked earlier in the year and they still weren’t online so any paperwork emailed or faxed wouldn’t reach them. I’d have to bring the forms with me to admissions, and in the meantime, hope that they received the memo from the specialist that we had booked her surgery on that day.

The day before I had to take her for her Covid-19 test, I called the specialists assistant to get some extra information for S-Day and she insisted that we take Kid3 for the test a day earlier because there was a backlog of tests and she was worried we might not get the test results in time. Also, it wasn’t a question of if she tested positive, they would have to postpone the surgery, she would just be placed in a specific ward where the protocols would be specific to people that had tested positive as well.

This makes sense, and smart, especially after hearing from a nurse about another a local hospital that didn’t get a patient’s results, placed them in a normal ward… and well, you can guess what happened next.

I took her for the test the same day and it went quicker than I expected, once again I already had all the forms I needed, and just needed to sign it for them to do the test. They only did a throat swab thankfully, but the screaming was still real. She refused to co-operative with the nurse assisting us, attempted to bite my fingers and while the screaming wasn’t fun, it helped the nurse to finish the procedure.

This was three days before S-Day. We received the test results just before midnight on the same day. Maybe hers was bumped up in the queue because I was quite adamant on needing the results or she couldn’t have her surgery.

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  1. Ah mama, don’t be hard on yourself! Sounds like your little girl is in good hands, held safe by your love. Best of luck for the recovery and all else that is to follow!


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