Lately I have been trying to explain some good news we've had in our family. It goes something like this:
'Our daughter has a shadow of bone growing in the empty cavity of her hip joint. She will be susceptible to arthritis and will be disabled.' Those are her newborn, healthy, little feet and legs you see above.
I often get the raised eyebrow, silently asking, and this is good news?
The rest of it goes:
'The other option was that the bone had disappeared all together. This would mean our daughter will be susceptible to arthritis and will be disabled. But at least now there's hope.'
That is the only difference at this stage, a word, a feeling - hope.
Hope that she may grow a 100 per cent normal hip ball joint. Hope that she won't even have a limp, let alone be the proud owner of a wheelchair. And - please God - hope that she has no pain.
I sound rather dramatic to myself at times, when all these words come out of my mouth. I am well aware on the scale of sick children we are on the 90th Percentile of Hope. Every time we see our wonderful doctor at Sydney Children's Hospital - aka home of much 0-10 Percentile of Hope - I am quickly pulled into line with my dramatics.
However, at times the issue has swamped me.
But now we have hope.
And I'm telling you, it feels better than Christmas.