Dysplasia of the Hip

It wasn’t too long ago when I expressed my doubt in prayer. I was in a gathering of like-minded people. This group was actually composed of relatives and neighbors who were meeting for the sole purpose of praying. But before praying commences, there is a time for talk. A leader is chosen to speak about a certain topic after which the group may respond through an open discussion.

That night was when I was chosen to lead but instead of going through the motions, I decided to shake the foundations a little bit. I questioned the very act of prayer itself. It wasn’t a totally radical idea in my view. In fact I’ve read about doubts with prayer from Christian authors. I just raised the questions to my group.

Why do we even pray? If God already knows what we want, why do we even have to ask? Why does God not heed the prayers of suffering people? Why does God let newly born babies suffer and die when they have done nothing yet? What about the prayers of the parents of these babies?

Some of these questions caught the attention of one of the members of the group - a mother whose first child died of an inborn illness. She related how she prayed with all her heart for God to help her. She wanted nothing more than for her baby boy to get well. But despite her pleadings her child suffered and died.

I’ve read about these awful scenarios but I’ve no wisdom to impart to her because I was only a young student then. I only knew things from books. I didn’t have a child of my own. I had not known or experienced suffering to give a comforting statement. Unlike her, the story she related reinforced my doubts of prayer not strengthened it.

This dilemma would not come to me again until I came face to face with the reality of a trying situation. It has been many years since that initial encounter questioning the validity of prayers. Ironically, I faced the very thing that I've put forward that night. My own son has been going through a series of struggles due to his inborn illnesses.
The latest was what the doctors call hip bone dislocation. This condition, if inborn, would normally be detected by doing tests after his birth. But I guess the doctors and nurses were not as observant as they should have been. My wife and I noticed a limp in his gait when he started learning to walk.

We consulted some doctors about it but they never suspected anything near the true problem. It was only when we thought of consulting a specialist on bones that we found out the real cause. The xray revealed that his right hip’s ball joint was not in its socket where it was supposed to be. Instead it was a couple of inches above it.

The medical term for this condition is dysplasia of the hip. Dysplasia denotes a problem during physical development since birth. It is also commonly known as congenital hip dislocation which is the result when the formation of the hip joint is abnormal.

When I received news that my son will go through another operation, I can’t help but feel sad for him. He has been through two surgeries when he was born to correct his Hirschsprung disease. I’ve seen how difficult it has been for him. My only consolation was that he won’t be recalling those painful experiences when he grows up. But to know that he’ll be having another surgery was just not easy to accept.

But if we wanted for him to live a normal life without disabilities or handicaps, we knew full well that surgery was the only way. So we planned for it and made the necessary arrangements to get it done as soon as possible. We spoke to the doctors who will do the procedure and those that will make sure he will be taken care of.

It was a trying time for me and my wife. We needed to be there for our son so we were willing to sacrifice physical and emotional struggles to make him well. We wanted to know what to expect so we spoke directly with the doctors. And being doctors, they told us the possible complications and risks.

The surgeon also encouraged us not to forget to pray for the operation to be a success. At that moment I forgot that I had doubted prayer before. I wished with all my heart that God was really there hearing my pleas. I felt helpless against the outcomes I have no control over. It was really a form of surrender. I have no other recourse but to cry out for help.

Today my son is in a cast to support his newly fixed hip bone. It will stay that way for one more month before the cast is removed and replaced with braces. We will guide him as he learns to walk again hopefully without the limp that he had before.

It’s tempting to say that my prayers were answered. That would be just faith talking.
I know the outcome may have been the same had I not said a word of prayer. I am not a particularly religious person. In fact, I would consider myself rational rather than faithful. But as I grow older, I’ve come to realize this can change. How my beliefs will evolve is affected by how my own life unfolds. I hope I will be wise enough to learn the true lessons that are yet to come.

Post a Comment