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Henry’s story part eight – Good and bad news

Henry relaxing at home with his frame, looking forward to ChristmasI feel awful! Henry’s had an infection in his foot, at one of the pin sites at the front of his foot. I took his split off on the Sunday night to start doing his physiotherapy and realised that his foot was really swollen, red and warm to the touch.

As well as feeling guilty that I hadn’t realised earlier in the day that his foot was swollen, I was then faced with deciding what to do next. My first instinct was to take him to A&E, but the kids were in their PJs ready for bed, Melissa had school the next day and being on my own we would have all had to go to A&E. Rightly or wrongly I decided it would be best to leave it until the morning when I knew there would be a better chance of being seen by someone who knew about Henry’s treatment.

I called Rose (Henry’s Nurse Specialist) first thing on the Monday morning and she said to bring Henry straight over and she’d see him. On examination of his foot she confirmed what I had feared, that there was a pin site infection. Rose took a swab from his pin site to send off for testing, but got us a prescription for antibiotics so as we could start treatment straight away. We were told to stop the turns on his frame for 48 hours and let the swelling go down a bit before starting again.

I know we were warned at the start that there was a high probability of him getting an infection with the open pin sites, but you can’t help feeling like you’ve done something wrong for him to get an infection; we have been so careful making sure his dressings stay intact and attending all the outpatient appointments to get his dressings changed. Henry was ok on the Sunday night (before we had the confirmation of the infection) but after being seen on the Monday, he was quite unsettled. Henry was complaining about pain again, something he’s not done since he’d recovered from the initial operation. He has also been up during the night, struggling to get off to sleep and then waking up in pain. I actually had to give him pain relief during the night, which I haven’t had to do for a few weeks.

Henry was gutted that the infection meant he couldn’t go to hydrotherapy. Instead he had physio in the Physiotherapy Department, which he enjoyed, but not as much as going into the pool!

And the good news!

We were seen by Mr Nayagam just over a week after Henry’s infection first started. The infection still hadn’t cleared so Henry’s been put back on antibiotics, which is unfortunate because Henry hates the taste of them. On a positive note though, Mr Nayagam is confident that we’ve got the full over-correction of his foot so has said we don’t need to go for the day case procedure anymore, but instead he’s scheduled him to get his frame taken off at the start of January! That’s a month earlier than we were anticipating which is amazing news!

I’m so pleased for Henry that he’ll be out of the frame soon, but in a selfish way also pleased for me too – it’s been hard work juggling things with Henry in the frame, so to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel is a great relief!

Henry’s thoughts

My infection has been quite painful at night and when I’ve been getting my dressings done. I don’t like it when Rose cleans the pin with the infection with the wipers. It’s very sore and makes me cry. I’ve been missing out on hydrotherapy and I don’t like it because I love hydrotherapy. It’s been quite good doing physiotherapy. In the Physiotherapy Department I like playing on the Wii and I pretend to go asleep on the bed.

The antibiotics are not that nice and I have to drink water with it because it tastes yucky.
It’ll be good to get my frame off in January so I can play football and play out with my friends.

Henry’s story continues soon. You can read previous parts of the story on our News and Media pages.

Sarah works at Alder Hey and is telling hers and Henry’s story to help raise awareness of Bilateral Talipes (club feet). If you enjoyed reading this, or if you are a parent in a similar situation, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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