‘Broken’ legs

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.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Well, I hope you have that referral for physio stat. What a way to round off Christmas Day.

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  2. I’ve told they will see him ‘as soon as possible’ – suspect that won’t be today, which means Monday… We gave up on the Codeine after the first dose. He’s walking a bit better now, but still very high on his tiptoes and still can’t do more than walk through the house.

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  3. That must have been a dreadful experience. Just to encourage you a friend of mine had this with her son also – he has had a lot of physio and it has really helped. Xx

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  4. Oh Sarah it is so awful for you and for your lovely boy, I just hope that you manage to get it sorted so this doesn’t happen again xx

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  5. Hang on? Have I got this right? Your son has got to 9 years old only walking on tip toes and nothing being done to help him? Blimey that’s awful! Poor kid 🙁 hope you are all ok and manage to get the help needed soon x

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  6. So sorry to read this, hope something will get done asap what a terrible ordeal for you and your son (((hugs))) xxx

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  7. Thanks very much everyone. He’s walking a lot better today and we’ve seen a private physio and are waiting for our NHS physio appointment. Now I just have to get him to do his exercises!
    Emma – possibly it’s my fault, he’s always been so fit and healthy – and a very fast runner and brilliant football and rugby player – that it never worried me. I should probably have got it looked into sooner! x

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  8. ah this is awful. so worrying, I am awful too when the kids are ill, always imagining the worst. doesn’t help that one of my best friends daughter is battling cancer at the moment. I do hope his legs are sorted soon and physio helps. it sounds like his hamstrings have gone into some sort of cramp and can’t relax. x x x

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  9. Thanks very much, ladies. He’s getting a lot better now and is walking on his tiptoes again. He just needs some exercises to loosen his muscles up and get him walking on his flat feet all the time. Thanks very much for your comments, I really appreciate them. x

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  10. This is the fourth case of this that I know of over the Christmas period – albeit the other three are younger kids who have woken up and said they can’t use one or both of their legs!!! Very bizarre – must be a symptom of these nasty viruses that are going around. Hope he gets better soon and can then get his tight muscles sorted out. Sounds like you’ve had an awful Christmas – fingers crossed the New Year brings happier (and less poorly) times. xx

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  11. That is just the most awful story, I can’t believe you weren’t referred right at the start.

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  12. hope he is feeling better soon and walking better as soon as he can, good luck with physio etc. And positive thoughts to you, how terrifying for you both.

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  13. Oh hun I am so sorry to hear about your son. I hope he is getting a long a lot better now

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  14. Thanks very much, everyone. It was very scary, but he is back to his normal now – walking up on his toes. It’s good that it’s been picked up by doctors now and he will get physio to strengthen and stretch his muscles out.
    Joceejo – someone else has said this to me, yet both the doctors we saw were quite mystified by it! x

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  15. You’ve had such a terrible time this Christmas, I hope things start to come right soon. This whole experience with your son must have been terrifying. x

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  16. I hope your lovely boy is back fit and fighting very soon. You’ve had such a tough time these last couple of weeks. Stupid viral bugs!! Sending you good wishes for a happy healthy 2013

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  17. Thanks very much, ladies. The leg problem really was a low-point, but things are finally picking up now!
    Now if anyone comes near my family with norovirus, I won’t be responsible for my actions! x

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  1. Poorly drive - Mum of Three World - […] strange post-viral foot problems – two years ago my younger son was actually unable to walk following a bout…

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