"My son's reaction as he hopped to the..."
What I liked
What I did not like.
My 12 year old son had received a football injury by being kicked on each side of the right ankle simultaneously and was carried from the field. He did not go to school the following day as he could not walk because he was unable to to put any, repeat any, weight on his right foot especially the heel. He recovers from knocks quickly so I waited until the afternoon to see how he would be. By the afternoon there was no improvement. His symtoms were not consistent with a kick to the ankle and he was complaining about his heel, so I took him to Stroud Hospital. We were seen by a nurse, after I had helped him hop into her room, who asked what the problem was! I, and my son, told her he could not put any weight on his right foot and especially his heel. She put him on a chair and pushed the bottom of his foot and yes it hurt. She then asked him to walk normally across the room!!!. He tried to do so but was unable. We had a conversation and she said that he should have an x-ray, as she was unable to diagnose his problem. As I started to help him hop out of her office, she went to get a wheelchair, but warned me that he would not get crutches if his bones were not broken. We returned after the x-ray, and was met by a different and seemingly more senior nurse who explained that the first nurse had gone. She immediately said to my son, 'what I want you to do is get out of the chair and walk across the room'. He said that he couldn't and I said to her that the previous nurse had tried that.. He then tried to walk one step and could not. We were then shown his x-ray, and told that no bones were broken. I then asked what the diagonsis was. I did not get answer. The senior nurse then started to say that the radiologist was very competent and then left the room to go and talk to the radiologist. When she returned she said that there was definately no broken bones. I told her that I had not asked for a x-ray. Contd
What could be improved
I wanted to know why he could not put his weight on his right heel. When I felt his leg in the lower calf and achilles tendon area, my son said that it was sore. The nurse manipulated his tendon for the first time and said that it was not torn, I would think not as he would probably have screamed. She also said that his bones are still growing, at 12 years old I would hope so, but why was that relevant. She said that he should have paracetomol and Nurofen, and then went to get some. She then said that he should take the painkillers so that he would be able to walk. I asked should he not be resting. She said no he needed to keep moving, otherwise it would stiffen. I thought that was ligaments. I was then told that it was general bruising and that that could be as painful as a break. Why the fixation with the bones I do not know, perhaps it was the cost. I asked should I get some cold compress on it and she said no it was too late. Giving up on getting a diagnosis, I left her room, helping my son hop to the exit.
What could be improved. Appropriately trained staff with a positive attitude. They should be able to discuss a boy's condition with a concerned parent, without becoming defensive and dismissive. I left disappointed, not knowing what was wrong with my son's foot and leg. If the nurse could not diagnosis his injury, he should have been referred an appropriate doctor who might have been able to.
I have had my son rest his leg for the past two days and have applied ice to the ankle, heel and tendon and he is improving. Thanks.