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Henry’s story part five – Hydrotherapy

Henry in the Hydrotherapy pool with Physio JackEverything is more settled now – Henry doesn’t seem to be in as much pain anymore and is thankfully sleeping through the night. We’ve also got more of a routine for doing the turns on his frame and giving him his medicine.

Henry had a visit from one of the Alder Hey school teachers, Carolyn, who came to do some school work with Henry. Henry’s school have been sending some work home for Henry to do, as well as some reading books. Henry wasn’t too keen initially, but once he’d settled into the work he seemed to really enjoy it and was asking Carolyn when she’d be back again. I think the plan is for Carolyn to come to the house every Friday morning for a couple of hours. At least this way hopefully he won’t be too far behind in school when he finally goes back. It will also help with the boredom factor too – although Henry is still quite enjoying being off school!

Henry has been going to the Physiotherapy department on a Thursday since being discharged home. We’ve been shown some exercises to do at home a few times a day to help keep the muscles in his right leg (leg with the frame on) working properly while he’s leg is out of action. After going to Physiotherapy we have an Outpatient appointment in D1 clinic with either Rose or Alison (Orthopaedic Nurse Specialists) where his dressings around his pin sites are taken off, the pin sites checked for any signs of infection and then re-dressed. Henry’s not keen on the pink stuff they put on the dressings to keep the sites clean as he says it stings, but we’ve found distraction helps so he plays games on my phone or he brings the tablet from his dad’s house to play on. Henry was really pleased because at the last clinic appointment Rose felt his pin sites had dried sufficiently to allow him to go into the Hydrotherapy Pool.

My mum / Henry’s Grandma came up to visit Henry and Melissa and to give me a much needed helping hand too. Mum was surprised to see how well Henry was getting around the house on his bum and how relaxed he was about moving his leg around. Mum also came with us to watch Henry in his first Hydrotherapy session. It was a bit nerve wracking, as parents are asked to take the dressings off the pin sites prior to the children going into the pool – up until then Rose had been removing the dressings (though we did have a bit of a trial run with Rose in clinic the previous week!).

It was so great seeing Henry in the pool. Anyone looking at him would not believe he had a frame on his leg the way he was jumping and splashing around. I think for him it was good to get properly wet again! You have to keep the dressings dry so showers and baths are out of the question. The other great thing was that Sharon, Dave and the other physiotherapists make the time in the pool so much fun that Henry didn’t even realise he was exercising his leg. The hard bit was getting him out of the pool – think he’d quite happily stay in all afternoon!

Henry’s thoughts

In the Hydrotherapy Pool I played with lots and lots of sticks and rings and blocks and I made my own games up with one of the Physiotherapists who was in the pool with me. I like playing volleyball and basketball and I headed the ball in volleyball. I never even feeled anything on my leg in the Hydrotherapy Pool. I like going under the water. I miss going to proper swimming pools and having my swimming lessons because Melissa (sister) went swimming in her pyjamas in her swimming lesson and I couldn’t go and that makes me feel sad.

It was a bit strange having a teacher come to our house. I did some maths and dot-to-dots. I miss school because I love going to my normal school and I miss my friends. When we drop Melissa off at school I do see some of my friends but not all of them.

Henry’s story continues next Friday. 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. 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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