We didn’t see it coming at all.
Looking back the signs were there but boy, they were subtle, sneaky in fact.
During the run up to Christmas, Felix did seem overly sensitive and at times seemed to lack his usual playfulness and good humour. His birthday springs to mind which was just before Christmas. It felt like he was about to either fall asleep during his birthday meal or have a full on tantrum over nothing. I simply put it down to over excitement, the end of the long Autumn term and possibly hormones. There were occasions when he was dog tired at the end of the day, quiet and subdued. I endlessly questioned if everything was ok at school; are you struggling, have you fallen out with friends or is someone upsetting you? He would assure me that everything was OK, give me a cuddle and tell me not to worry. There were also the odd football training sessions that he said he was too tired to go to. Again it was winter, right in the Christmas season – I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to go out on a cold, damp and dark night. That’s normal isn’t it? Then there were the pains in his legs when he ran. We googled it and sure enough this was common for boys of his age. We went out and bought the heel supports that were recommended, job done! As for getting up in the mornings, the boy that used to burst into our bedroom in the mornings was certainly becoming a teenager. I now had to cajole both him and his sister to rise and shine in the morning. Pesky kids eh!
At the time, in their singularity, each symptom could be explained with either it’s winter, it’s Christmas or it’s his hormones. They were so subtle they couldn’t even make up a big picture.
The catalyst was an infection that he had betwixt Christmas and New Year. He had had a similar one three years previously so we visited the GP and he was prescribed antibiotics. There was nothing alarming at the time, but I just had a feeling that a 10 year old boy should not be getting infections like this. I shared by concerns about his immunity to the GP who referred us for a blood test. There was no urgency, let the antibiotics go out of his system and make an appointment for the end of the month. That was it, we didn’t really think any more about it.
I carried that envelope round in my diary to remind me to book an appointment at the local hospital. I nearly didn’t bother – he was fine now, was there really any need? I eventually booked an appointment for the last Thursday in January, the day after he returned from a 3 day residential with the school, a nice 8.00am slot so that we could all get back to school.
The appointment was efficient and sleek. Despite the morning traffic we arrived early, Felix proudly offered his veins and bravely flinched when the bloods were taken. We left and skipped back to school, proud that despite our little diversion we all got to school on time.
No worries in the world; just a normal, sunny January day.