My nephew could really use your prayers
He is my sister’s son, and a really great, smart, athletic kid. He and my son are 5 months apart, and we live in the same town, so they go to the same school (1 grade apart) and have been on several sports teams together.
My nephew was diagnosed with a potentially fatal adrenal gland problem when he was a baby, and he had to take steroids, specifically cortisol, quite often, since his body didn’t produce any itself. He has since sort of outgrown the dangers of that condition, and it is no longer a threat.
But in the past months, he has been suffering increasing hip pain on one side. They have taken him to doctors and gotten several opinions. He definitely has something called Avascular Necrosis, where the hip bone has died in spots, due to lack of blood flow at some point. It turns out that about 20% of cases are caused by steroid use.
At first, they thought he was over the worst of it. He wore crutches for a few weeks, and they thought that should help him heal. Kids are able to regrow the bone, if pressure is relieved. But on subsequent visits, it turned out that his condition was quickly deteriorating. His doctors did minor surgery this week, cutting his ligament, so that he could have more range of motion. Then he was fitted with this abduction brace, which will keep his hips at the right angle for the bone to regrow.
He will have to wear this brace for at least a year, maybe 18 months. It keeps his hips and legs at that angle, to relieve the pressure on his femur. Hopefully, this will help the bone regrow fully. The heartbreaking thing is that this is a kid who is very active in three sports, and he will have to give up all of them. On top of it, this contraption is so darned conspicuous, and his gait is beyond ungainly. He has to move side to side and forward at the same time, clicking and creaking with each step and taking up about twice as much room as he used to. I do know that he is lucky to still be able to walk at all and to not be dying. Really, I do, but this is going to be really hard on him. His dad is trying to figure out the simple things like how he is going to walk to and from class each day. It will be harder next year when he is in middle school and has to change classes. Not to mention the social pressure of having to go through this right when he is entering junior high. His two “best friends” pulled his pants down at school a couple of weeks ago when he was on crutches, since he couldn’t use his hands to help himself. He has always been an athletic, outgoing kid, but he was already having a hard time this year, and they seem to have been kicking him while he was down. I know he will get through this, but I hope it doesn’t cause him to change his personality too much. Monday is the big day when he will have to go back to school, so please keep him in your prayers. Thanks!