Nearly a year ago, I blogged about an unusual and unexpected problem with my younger son’s legs It stressed me out for a few days, then I forgot all about it. Until Boxing Day, when it came back to haunt us in truly spectacular style.
On the evening of Christmas day, my younger son was more like his old self – smiling, chatting, making people laugh and bouncing around. Although he had taken huge quantities of Calpol and Calprofen over the course of the day. I was feeling confident that things could be getting back to normal on Boxing Day.
My eldest got up in a cheerful mood with no temperature, my daughter got up and was still NOT ILL. Then I heard a scream from the bedroom. My boy was lying on the floor saying he couldn’t use his legs. And he literally couldn’t. He couldn’t put any weight on them at all.
I’ll be honest and say I was terrified. This stupid illness had obviously taken an unusual turn for the worse. I carried him to the toilet (he weighs nearly 6 stone and I’m only 9 stone) and sat him down – he couldn’t stand up to wee. Then I sat on the floor outside the bathroom and I cried. I’d stayed outwardly strong for all the days they’d been ill, though stressing internally, because I’m really rubbish with kids being ill My son saw me crying, said ‘Don’t cry’ and burst into tears himself, still sat on the toilet.
I carried him to the settee and rang the out of hours doctor. They said they could get a doctor out to him, but it would be much later in the day and it would be better if I took him in. So within minutes, I was dressed and we were off. My mum came along to help, my daughter went to stay round with my dad and I left the two poorly people at home.
I parked the car and picked up my boy and carried him across my body like a newborn baby. He was very heavy. I had to stop and crouch down with him across my knees to get my breath back before the final push. The waiting room filled up quickly and we were 20 minutes late going in.
We saw a nurse at first who asked lots of questions about his illness, did all the routine tests and moved his legs around. It was my mum who eventually butted in and said what I hadn’t had chance to say – that we were told by the doctor nearly a year ago that his hamstrings were tight and he can’t, or won’t, walk on his flat feet.
She got a doctor in. The illness was forgotten. It was all about the legs and feet. He moved my boy and poked him in every possible way, not caring if it hurt him. Then he told him he wanted to walk across the room on flat feet, then on tiptoes, then on his heels. I knew he couldn’t do it. He can’t walk on his heels at the best of times. He made it on the very highest point of his tiptoes, much higher than he usually walks – he looked like the cruellest parody of a disabled child. When he tried to put his feet flat, his legs just buckled.
The doctor half told me off, half moaned about the previous doctor – why hadn’t this been followed up/ investigated/ referred a year ago? How has he got away with walking like this his whole life?
He wanted to give him an injection of strong painkillers, but the nurse wouldn’t let him. They discussed what strong painkillers he could take orally. Could he swallow tablets? They weighed him. How many mg could he manage?
We were in the surgery for a whole hour in total. Eventually he was given a prescription for codeine to be taken four times a day, on a full stomach, just 6ml at a time – very carefully calculated, checked and double checked to be appropriate for his weight. He was to go back to the GP the following day for an urgent referral to the children’s physio. If the codeine didn’t work he was to go back to the out of hours doctor the same day or he may need to be admitted to the children’s ward.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how all of this made me feel.