I know what my dad will say, in a broad Yorkshire accent….
Eh Jane, you couldn’t make your life up.
Today, I would be inclined to agree.
My eldest daughter, Molly, the one who is a bit of a star with her Type 1 Diabetes, went to the hospital today. Not to her usual clinic where she is checked every three months, but instead, she went to her sister’s favourite spot – orthopedics.
It all started with an ache, just after Christmas Molly started to complain of pain in her heels whenever she ran, danced or played outside. Like any good parent I totally ignored her. Hell, we missed diabetes for six month, missed a dislocated hip in her sister for the best part of two years. Why should this condition be afforded the luxury of being picked up early.
Until April, we dismissed the heel pains. We bought her new shoes, my Dad fitted them himself (Molly has a Granddad who owns a shoe shop), but still the complaining continued.
And she was getting louder in her grumbling.
Eventually, frustrated, I turned to my more trusted medical guide, and typed in…
Heel Pain, Girls, 8 years old
If you pop those six words into Google, you will find pages and pages of references to Severs Disease. An apparently common problem for kids between 8 and 13.
I grew up in the north and have no recollection of Severs Disease, or whilst I am on the point, hand, foot and mouth disease. I think these must be southern ailments.
But I digress.
Google hinted (quite loudly) that there was a real condition, that did really hurt, and it seemed likely that Molly was suffering from it.
I thought I ought to let the GP in on my findings, perhaps he, like me, was also not aware of this new disorder.
On this instance, he was ahead of the game, and had heard of Severs. He agreed Molly was its latest victim and prescribed anti inflammatories, and rest, lots of rest.
We were to come back in two weeks if it hadn’t gone away. You see, Severs is a short term problem, which if you treat and rest should go away quite quickly. It is growing pains at its worse – but staying off your feet should cure it.
Except in extreme cases….
With a medical history spanning epilepsy, through Hip Dysplasia, to Type 1 Diabetes, in just four years, did you think we would ever be as so lucky to get a mild case….
Two weeks later we were back at the GP’s, the pain was worsening….
We were referred, the earliest appointment being today, June 4th, to see an Orthopedic consultant.
Since April I have watched my normally athletic girl become a slow, limping, pain riddled child. One by one she dropped all her extra curricula activities. Ballet went first, P.E a close second, now she doesn’t even go out for break. Instead she sits with her feet on an ice pack, nose pressed against the window watching her mates charge around, doing what 8 year olds so.
Today we saw a consultant who said she was a severe case of Severs.
He prescribed casts – for both feet – for four weeks.
Now luckily, I am a bit of a cast pro, thanks to the little one spending 3 months in a spica. Molly was so excited that her feet may not hurt for a month that she almost applied the cast herself.
We chose not to see this as a setback, but the first (painfree) step on the road to getting better.
In fact as she put on the Shrek styled shoes to coat her potted feet I got a bad case of the giggles, which earnt me a frown from the physiotherapist.
We drove home, happy to be on the mend, ignoring the fact that her feet were cast to the knee and she would have to put all the fun stuff on hold for a month. We both accepted that swimming was off the menu, and that the gala she was due to represent her school in tomorrow would be off limits.
God help me, everytime I looked at her legs I giggled.
I am a terrible mother.
We went to school and I walked her in, laughter at the situation still bubbling under my skin. Then I saw it, and it stopped me dead.
Molly, walked slowly on, her legs hard to maneuver with the casts on, so her gait resembled the Tin Man. Her face was a mix of apprehension and nerves. On her side hung her insulin pump, her hands which are subject to 10 blood tests a day, hung loosely by her side.
She didn’t deserve this new thing, she has enough to contend with, without wobbling around in two walking casts. If this was sent to test us, then it can go back to where it bloody well came from. We don’t need any more testing, we have proven time and time again how resilient we are.
She was terrified.
Outside her classroom she paused, ‘no one will laugh will they mummy?’
Instantly I felt shame for my chuckles earlier, my only defense being that I was trying to make light of a crappy situation.
But I shouldn’t have laughed.
No one else did, instead looks of concern were passed around the classroom, except for her brother whose eyes were on stalks as he stared at his sister with a mix of envy, worry and love.
I heard her sigh beside me, and watched her body relax as she hobbled to her chair and began telling the tale of her morning.
Four weeks in a cast…
Wish her luck.