Blog 54 z...Appointments & children...
Things suddenly became quite hectic at the end of last week whilst we tried to cram a lot into the remaining days of the holiday period and then this week has been one of those times when all the appointments come at once…I know I said I wanted to be busy but this is ridiculous!
The ‘Cutie-pie’ had a follow up appointment at the Podiatry Clinic to check how his insoles are. I am always nervous about this particular appointment…
He has needed support for the past 5 years due to some kind of condition that makes his feet appear banana shaped and the muscles at the back of his legs don’t grow as fast as he is growing which causes the awful tightness and cramping of his legs.
As a little one everything was fine and then one day I was watching him in the playground before school started and he appeared to be limping…he actually had started to adapt his walking and running in accordance to how his muscles were developing. I felt so guilty as he had complained of pains in his legs but I’d said it was growing pains…mm typical response I suppose! Then I said the cramp was due to not eating enough salt in his diet…where the hell do I get these notions from? So after a few nights of rubbing the backs of his legs I took him to the doctors to ask what could be done for painful legs… then followed the usual waiting game and then appointments and then finally a diagnosis and a referral to the Paediatric Orthotist!
The ‘Hubby’ had to take him for an x-ray…bearing in mind that he was only 8 years old at the time and rarely spoke a word to anyone other than family; he had to endure sitting in the x-ray room by himself and watched whilst the radiographer positioned his ankle, the back of his foot, the heel etc. in order to get a comprehensive x-ray of his sweet, little foot! All during the x-ray he said nothing and was politeness itself when asked if he was okay…then the ‘Hubby’ and the ‘Cutie-pie’ had to wait to see the Consultant who pushed and poked and said he would recommend some physiotherapy as there was nothing on the x-ray to be concerned about.
“Is there anything you’d like to ask me young man?” enquired the Consultant.
“Well…” answered the ‘Cutie-pie’… “I just wanted to know why they x-rayed my right foot when it’s my left foot that bothers me…”
I have since tried to encourage him to always speak up for himself in the vain attempt to avoid any further mishaps but he just kept quiet for the most part and then he became adept at dropping both his parents in the deep end with Consultants and Physiotherapists alike!
He had to follow the set of exercises that the Physiotherapist sent home with him on a sheet…we performed these religiously until by some quirk of fate I lost the damn sheet in amongst the recycling and had to encourage him to do them from memory…of course at the next session at the hospital when asked how was he getting on I said we performed the exercises each night but from somewhere the ‘Cutie-pie’ found his voice and informed the physio that I had lost the sheet and was making the exercises up! I felt my face redden when she then suggested a new sheet for me and an extra copy for him that he had to keep in his bedroom!
Over time the physio did work and the pain lessened…enter the Consultant who advised specially fitted insoles for his shoes. The ‘Cutie-pie’ had his feet measured and squashed in foam and then a few weeks later he had gel pads for his shoes. As his feet grew he was progressed onto stiff, specially shaped insoles which were hard wearing and would support his feet and aid his walking and running.
Excellent I hear you say…well the first set of insoles were a great success…he wore them all the time in his school shoes and then transferred them into his trainers. That’s where the problem lay. I put them back into his school shoes the wrong way…I know, hard to believe isn’t it? But there you have it…and of course when we went to the follow up appointment the Consultant asked the ‘Cutie-pie’ to take his shoes off so that the insoles could be checked for size and see how his feet were looking and feeling.
“Who put these in?” Asked the Consultant in an angry tone.
“Oh my mum did”; replied the ‘Cutie-pie’.
“They are the wrong way round…”
“I know but you can’t argue with her…”
Please let the floor open up and swallow me…I know it’s wrong to want a child to take the blame but I was so, so embarrassed.
“Well then I shall make a note that the new insoles are marked Left and Right…for your mother.”
Ha well, could it get any worse…you know full well it can! During another appointment I insisted that the ‘Hubby’ came with me. ‘The Consultant wouldn’t remember the earlier problems …’ suggested the ‘Hubby’ confidently; but I was taking no chances and of course I was right to feel apprehensive.
After the usual check up procedures and the affirmation from us both that he performed his exercises and that we always had his feet measured for his school shoes and that they were correctly fitted…the Consultant looked sternly at us both…
“Could you explain why his trainers do not fit correctly?”
“Don’t they, I never noticed,” answered the ‘Hubby’.
Dear God I wanted to curl up…what on earth was he talking about…?
“Well look at them…there’s a huge gap at the back of this one and this one has no space for his big toe…”
Dear God help me out of this I prayed… “Oh?” was all I could say…
“Take them off again please and let’s have a closer look.” He said sweetly to the ‘Cutie-pie’. Then looking sternly at us both he produced the trainers close up so that we could see that the left one was a size 5 and the right one was a size 7.
“Oh he must have picked one of his brother’s up by mistake…” I offered weakly.
“No I didn’t,” said the ‘Cutie-pie’; “his don’t have the blue stripe at the side.”
“One presumes you must have been given the wrong sizes by the shop assistant,” ah yes that could have been our get out clause if only the ‘Cutie-pie’ hadn’t decided that now was the time to discover his inner confidence…
“Oh no, we get my trainers from the supermarket, I showed mum and she picked them off the rack…”
Dear Lord, hung out to dry by my sweetheart…
“I’d like to suggest that in order for your child to benefit from this department that you ALWAYS check his shoe sizes and that you ALWAYS ensure the correct insoles are in the correct shoes…” [Dear me he remembered that and he must see 100’s of patients…]
So you know now why I was dreading this week’s check up…not too bad except that it isn’t a good idea to say that you run around in bare feet because mother doesn’t want the carpets to get dirty in reply to “…and how are you getting on with the insoles during the summer break…” Of course I was then informed that if he was not experiencing any problems when not wearing the insoles then this could be a good thing…phew…and it would suggest that his muscles were stronger and all was working well…yeay! I escaped practically unscathed and now will be informed within the next two weeks of an appointment regarding larger insoles AFTER he has had his feet measured for his new school shoes!
The ‘Cutie-pie’ just looked at me through his beautiful long eyelashes and…kept quiet and smiled!
Funny how the innocence of children though can get you into trouble…the ‘Cutie-pie’ has become an expert…
When he was an Infant pupil, say about 6 years old, he began to look ‘chunky’ just one morning when he came down for breakfast in his school uniform. Over a few days I kept looking at him as I couldn’t understand how he was suddenly getting a bit bulky in his uniform. Then I received a call from school to say that he was refusing to get changed for P.E. and that it would be in the best interests of everyone if I could persuade him not to wear his pyjamas to school. What?
That night when we got home I sat him down to ask about the pyjamas…well of course that’s why he was so cuddly, nothing to do with a growing spurt …the ‘Cutie-pie’ was too cold in the morning to get undressed so he just put his school uniform on over his pyjamas…oh and by the way could I get him some new black pumps for P.E. as, according to the letter from his teacher that he then gave me, he was struggling to get his pumps on his feet…well naturally I investigated. I discovered that not only had he not been taking his pyjamas off, he had been keeping his socks on too so that by the end of the week he had 5 pairs of socks on…no wonder he was struggling!
It’s not just the ‘Cutie-pie’ though; the ‘Intelligent-one’ has his moments too…he had only been in school for the first half term and brought me a letter home from the secretary. This was to inform me that I owed school £28.00 outstanding school dinner money and that an appointment had been made for me to see the Headmaster. Sure that they had made a mistake I popped into the school on the afternoon of the first day of the new term to politely inform the secretary that as my son brings a packed lunch to school everyday there was a mistake about the money…expecting some form of apology for any embarrassment caused I was then ushered towards the Headmaster’s office…a bit confused, I was made to feel like some kind of criminal for not paying an outstanding balance. Hackles high and at the ready for battle I was then informed that the ‘Intelligent one’ frequently stood in the dinner queue and chose a hot lunch and sat with friends; without ever bringing in any payment. How could this be? Whilst trying to convince the Headmaster and the dinner lady and the secretary that they must be mistaken the poor child was hauled out of class and stood in front of the adults whereby he was to ‘confess’ to stealing a school dinner…
“But mummy I don’t always like what you pack…and I want to sit with my friends…” was the reply to my request that he needed to tell everyone that he didn’t have a school dinner because he had a packed lunch in his 'Thomas The Tank Engine' butty box.
Red faced, shamed faced, furious at looking like a fool [thank God I hadn’t sworn at the headmaster…!] I produced my cheque book and duly wrote a cheque for the £28.00 only to be informed that he had actually had another dinner that day and I owed a further £1.75…
That night I was discussing the whole situation with the ‘Hubby’ and that I had no idea what he was doing with the lunches that he hadn’t eaten…only to be informed that when the ‘Hubby’ had collected him from school they would sit in the traffic jam and the ‘Hubby’ would ask:
“Well son, what left overs have we got to eat today?” and the ‘Intelligent-one’ would duly open his butty box and the pair shared the goodies…
Ah well, that’s the menfolk in my household for you…
…by the way tomorrow I have the Optician’s with the ‘Cutie-pie’ and the ‘Intelligent-one’…wonder what trouble they’ll land me in there…no doubt something like…”Oh yes we wear our glasses all the time as instructed; but the mother makes us take them off if we are having our photographs taken” and what could possibly go wrong at the Dentist at the end of the week…most likely that I keep forgetting to buy the packets of Dental Floss for them all...
Blog 54 coming again soon…