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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Birmingham Children's Hospital

'This is a great building and is really interesting and ornate inside, it was built in 1862 in Steelhouse Lane Birmingham

Today we had an appointment in the morning at Birmingham Children's Hospital.  It was a check up for Euan with the Orthotics department regarding his insoles in his shoes.  Euan was diagnosed with a 'club foot', or talipes at a twenty week scan.  Talipes effects 1 in 1000 babies.  Before the scan I sat waiting and said to my partner "For some reason  'My Left Foot' has come into my head".   I know it is unbelievable but Euan's left foot is the one affected.   He was on the books at Birmingham Children's Hospital before he was born.  He made an unexpected early arrival in to the world, my due date was September the 4th 2004, he arrived 'Fit and well' at the beginning of July ( he has been in a rush all his life!).  He was in a plaster cast at five days old before he even weighed 6 pounds.  The cast went from his toes to his hip and needed to be changed each week.  He had this treatment in four week intervals, I cannot remember how many times.   Euan has been fairly regular at the 'Children's Hospital' ever since.  He had a series of plaster casts and when he was not in cast wore 'Boots and a Bar' for 23 hours a day until he was about two and then he wore them at night until he was about three and a half.  We had to shop for baby clothes that were easy to get on and off and my Mom would alter the legs in his clothing so I could still change him easily. He also had an operation at 10 weeks old.  Looking back it was all very stressful, but the Children's Hospital is a humbling place and I was always glad to be coming out with my own problems rather than other peoples.  At the same time Euan had his treatments Henry also had three lots of ear surgery and a 'Bone Anchored Hearing Aid fitted'.   We were always up to Birmingham with one or the other and by coincidence on several occasions they would have appointments on the same day in different departments.  We made a right family day out of it!  I have done a few over night stays on a children's ward.  Euan actually had his last surgery the day before his sixth birthday so we woke up to his Birthday on the Ward, he was treated like a Lord and remembers it fondly!   I always went overboard buying them presents when either of them went to hospital so they actually looked forward to going rather than dreaded it.  I am a 'Spoon full of Sugar' kind of Mom!  Many a tantrum has been averted with Cadbury Chocolate (another Great Product of Birmingham's Heritage) or a toy!
We did worry if our son would be able to walk properly and be comfortable.  In 5% of children the casting and boots treatment does not work.  Sadly Euan was one of those 5%.   He has had four surgical procedures on his bones, tendons and muscles.  These really helped him gain good structure and function of his foot.  He spent weeks in a wheelchair with us carrying him everywhere.  He will need further surgery at some point when he is older.  Currently he just wears insoles in everyday shoes and is fully mobile.  They take an imprint of his feet at the hospital and then it gets sent to the USA where the insoles are made and posted back.  He has been as 'Good as Gold' with any of his treatments, he is a very resilient boy.  He appears to have a high pain threshold and is a very active boy, he goes to sports club at school, and he likes walking and riding his bike.  If you watch him he walks with a slight limp to his gait.  Occasionally he will complain of pain in his foot or leg.  My parents take us to appointment and I am very grateful.  Birmingham is a big, busy city and it took us an hour this morning to get to the hospital.  We left home at 7.45am.  The city was a sharp contrast to the Forest yesterday.  Our appointment was an hour late, I grumble 100 X more than Euan.  He is a 'Mini me' sadly for him.  He really looks like me and has inherited several of my traits, including a fear of heights and quite extreme motion sickness.  Neither Euan or I can travel far at all in the car without feeling nauseous.  My poor parents have to suffer the two of us huffing and puffing in the back seat.  We do not make good passengers.  I am not sure crocheting Granny Squares in the back seat helped with my 'Motion Sickness' today!


  1. It is a very humbling place isn't it. We've seen the inside of it too, but only for a day and a few appointments.

    Tut, tut at crocheting in the car! As a fellow motion sickness sufferer the last thing you should be doing is things like that!!

    Hope the appointment went well.

  2. I also suffer from motion sickness, not a pleasant thing and I empathise with you both.

  3. Oh my it sounds like such an ordeal. I swear us mom's have that sixth sense! I didn't realize that it effected that many babies.

    It sounds like an amazing place that helps many people.

  4. Sounds a wonderful place, amazing how children do cope (and parents!)
    I'm ok travelling in the front of a car but not in the back.
    Carol xx

  5. Sounds like you've gotten to be quite familiar with the Children's Hospital over the years. Kudos to Evan for being such a trooper! I'm sure your glad today's visit is over. Hopefully you can avoid another long distance ride for a while now!

  6. Dear Lucy, thanks for telling us your story. I actually had my two older children born with foot issues. Amy had to wear shoes at night with the heels attached and Shawn had a cast put on as a baby for the same thing. We're lucky that our children have the medical opportunities for fixing things.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Thats quite a tale and a hospital I know well by reputation. I hope your visits become fewer.x

  8. Thanks for sharing yours and Euans story - he sounds like a right old trooper! The building looks fantastic, and it never ceases to amaze me how the Victorians really went to town on Civic buildings :0

  9. Thanks for sharing your story, Lucy.
    One big bear hug for the little hero and you!!



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