The title would suggest that this will be a lovely entry about visiting the park, having fun playing, enjoying being a child. But no, unfortunately this entry is about my anxiety about my middle child.
As I have mentioned before, Logan has A.S.D. which is Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This year he was also diagnosed with a condition called Persistent Femoral Retroversion, which is a deformation of the hips (think Charlie Chaplin) and tight hamstrings. Since his diagnosis I have been searching for further information on P.F.R. and as my luck would have it, it turns out that it is relatively rare particularly in comparison to the opposite problem (which is called Anteversion) and information is scarce.
We are currently trying to correct the hamstring issue, which we hope will also ease the pain he suffers in his hips. He is on his second pair of specialist boots, but unfortunately at our last review the physio told us she doesn't believe he is getting the 'heel strike' which means the boots are not doing their job, and now we need to take it further.
The physio has referred us back to the GP, who will now in turn refer us on the paediatric orthopaedic consultant. That is where the title of this entry comes in, not only is it a pinball machine of referrals, there is also a 20 week waiting list currently. In the meantime Logan will continue wearing his boots in the hope that they will help in some small way before the next round of treatment starts.
The physio does not believe that serial casts are an option due to Logan's A.S.D. as it is highly unlikely he will tolerate them, and she is quite right as he barely tolerates the boots. The other option we are looking at is injections. Neither of these options sound particularly great to me. I just want my boy not to be in pain any more, and to be a normal kid.
I want him to be able to run and play with other kids and it breaks my heart that it isn't just his Autism that makes that difficult, he can't even do the running bit anymore. His boots are heavy and cumbersome, and he has pain in his legs and hips from both the hamstrings and the P.F.R. which means he is reluctant if not unable to be as active as he or I would like. It is so unfair, like he does not have enough to deal with in his little world without this being added on top of it.
Luckily the children at school are largely understanding of Logan and his difficulties, his teacher assures me he is popular with the other kids, and also that he is making progress academically, albeit a little slower than would be ideal, but he is trying very hard and we are very proud of his achievements. The kids have told him his boots are cool, which has made it easier for Logan because he doesn't feel like even more of an outcast because of them, something else that makes him different.
He never asked for any of this, he didn't cause it or bring it on himself, nothing he or I did made him this way, and I hate that he has to deal with all of this when he is still only eight years old.
The school has been fantastic, moving the boys there was the best thing I ever did and they are thriving there, I cannot even bear to think what would have happened if I had left them where they were. I am trying not to worry about the future, and what will happen when Logan moves up to secondary school but it is something that worries me, that I think about on an almost daily basis.
I just have to keep it together and keep fighting his corner, getting him everything he needs and preparing him (and myself) for when the hard times come back around. Because they do, over and over again. We deal with one issue and then another comes along.
But - what doesn't kill us will make us stronger, I won't let this defeat me or Logan. This isn't ideal, but I what I keep telling myself is "It could be worse". Logan is a cracking kid and I am so lucky to have him, and I wouldn't want him any other way.