It sounds awful and writing it down makes it sound quite worrying when actually my Four year old is healthy and happy but after years of discomfort in her ankles and several doctors/specialist visits i wanted to share my experience as a parent with a child who has Hypermobility.
All my questions about some of Olivia’s struggles in the past have been answered recently. Now again, Olivia is healthy and strong so when i say struggles i am referring to some personality and general growth traits.
My Daughter has never been a good sleeper. Easy to settle but always waking up for no apparent reason. Olivia was a bum shuffler and never did crawl. She finally walked when she was 19 months old. Late for some the health visitor would say but i could see my Daughter was on form and happy so i never did let it bother me as a parent. Then i noticed Olivia would always get worn out easily. She would leave her friends to come and have a rest and a cuddle. She was sometimes be weary of climbing, running and even jumping. I thought that maybe she was just shy like her Daddy and would hopefully gain her confidence as she grew older. Again no biggie, Mummy will get you through it.
So as soon as Olivia was old enough to talk (something she was an early learner with) she was able to tell me what was wrong. During the night she would wake with an achey ankle and i would massage her little foot until she fell back to sleep. This became a regular occurrence as she started to grow and within the past year sometimes she will be up twice a night for five nights out of seven. It is physically and emotionally exhausting for us both but having a diagnosis helps me to understand what my child needs.
For the past 6 months Olivia has been suffering hypermobility in both ankles. This means her joints are almost double jointed and her muscles are working twice as hard.
This is why she gets tired, is sometimes weary and holds back.
Since starting full time school Olivia has been playing tennis, she really loves it and her hypermobility does not affect sports at all. But in the evening after a tennis session she feels the pain. I am finally able to admit and understand that the pain is good. Because her muscles are getting stronger every time they are working hard.
Eventually when all the growth spurts stop, Olivia will be pain free and hopefully start to get a good nights sleep. We have a set of stretches to do before bed so we are really working on it.
One final time – Olivia is not affected by her condition in any way apart from a little discomfort. But it does not affect her personality or her ability to play with her friends. I think the only thing it has affected is her confidence.
If you are worried your child’s pain is a little more than a growth spurt then do get it checked out.