D is accident prone. No, that is a total understatement. If it can be tripped over, he will trip over it, even if it is nothing there. He can’t help himself. With his hypermobility, we do make sure he’s not doing himself any real damage, but I am a great believer in the kiss better school of medicine. I think many children see adding the extra fuss when they’ve had a little knock gives them so much attention that it makes it worth while. As parents, we have to weigh up the difference between a real hurt and an exaggerated one, not always getting it right! When M was only 4 he fell of a wall and hurt his arm, it wasn’t until the next day we took him to the hospital as he still wasn’t wanting to use it, only to find it was broken – bad Mummy moment! So, getting it right isn’t always easy, in fact it can be an impossible thing.
Because D is always hurting himself, it has become a bit of a family joke, which he also joins in with. We now call a fake cry, a “D”, because he puts it on beautifully. If he doesn’t do a “D” when he hurts himself, it usually means he is actually hurt.
Towards the end of the last school term, he kept complaining he had a sore ankle. I took a look at it, and nothing was visible, so I put it down to wanting to get out of gym – he enjoys games and exercising, but does get extremely self-conscious of his size when getting changed at school. I told him it was possible he had twisted it, and so it would feel better in a couple of days. As a child I was always twisting my ankle so learnt to ignore the pain. D continued to say it was sore, and pointed to the back of his heel. With still nothing visible, I gave him a tubigrip to wear, which seemed to help for a bit.
Towards the end of the school holidays, he was in obvious discomfort when walking. He could barely put his heel down some days, and would come in after just short periods on the trampoline – somewhere he could live ordinarily, saying it hurt too much.
We decided enough was enough and made him an appointment to see the doctor. yesterday was this appointment.
D was brilliant during the appointment, answering the questions he was asked. I was also really impressed with the doctor who talked to D rather than me during the examination. He prodded and poked at D’s heel and calf, with D hitting the ceiling when he touched the sore bit!
He concluded it was a problem with his Achilles tendon, something he says isn’t uncommon in children this age because of all the growth spurts they are having. He opened a picture of a foot on his computer to explain to D exactly where the tendon was and what it did, which D lapped up. The doctor said that while quite common, the fact it has been going on for so long he thinks it needs to be dealt with. He has given D some stretching exercises for his calf muscles, which involve leaning on a wall, and looked hilarious as D and the doctor gave it a go! He has also suggested a week of regular anti-inflammatories, which he says should settle it enough to allow it to stretch to how it should be. If this doesn’t work, he thinks it might be a good idea for D to have physiotherapy to make sure it is strengthened. He is concerned that with D already having joint problems, he needs to keep everything as strong as possible. D isn’t keen on the idea of physio as he still remembers in great detail the pain he was put through after his knee operation. He called them evil then, and I think it will take a lot to change his opinion of them. I just hope that at the end of the week of tablets he is honest about how the pain is feeling, rather than say its fine just so he doesn’t have to have the appointment with the physio.
It is a sign that he is growing up, as it is the first time he has had tablets, rather than liquid medicines. He got a little confused with swallowing and drinking to help it on its way, but got there before it began to dissolve in his mouth.
We will see how it goes, and fingers crossed it will settle before the next growth spurt!