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Faking it?

(5 Posts)
vincentvangogh Fri 26-Aug-11 12:47:57

My DS1 has a tendency to overdramatise the severity of his ailments. Not all the time, and he's generally a good boy, but the howls of agony he can emit when given a tiny push by his brother would put some professional footballers' dives to shame.

He has just recovered from a chest infection. He had a cough, and a temp between 38.5 and 39.5 for over two weeks. Temp was particularly bad at night. The first GP we saw said it was a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler. The second we saw (after 3 days when he wasn't any better and temp still very high) changed the antibiotics and said don't use the inhaler. The third we saw (after another 2 days when DS1 still no better and now vomiting) said it's probably viral, don't use anything except calpol. Five days later and DS1 is gradually getting back to normal.

Now suddenly his knee hurts, apparently. Although it's not all the time, and he doesn't want to walk on it in case it hurts, but then he tries it (after some persuasion) and realises he can walk on it. It started when he was getting out of the bath on Wednesday - he didn't appear to injure it on anything. He was okay on and off yesterday. At times he didn't want to walk but when told to he could, with no problem. We have more of the same today. DS1 has said (on other occasions) that he likes being ill because of all the attention he gets, and that he's not really looking forward to going back to school. He is nearly 6. Does this seem like a plausible knee problem? I realise that by being sceptical about his problem, if it's genuine, then I'm a bad bad mother. But I also don't want to cart him off to the GP yet again to have him leap around the waiting room as if sprinkled with holy water and waste the GPs time (and mine).

Any suggestions?

Esian Fri 26-Aug-11 13:45:10

I think I would wait and see. Is it stopping him from doing anything he really wants to do? My DD tends to forget all injuries if she's at soft play or the park, then remembers when it's time to walk home.
Perhaps you could be really excited about the things he's doing at school this year, like football, and remind him that he'll have to help the younger children not to be scared now that he's older.

DeWe Fri 26-Aug-11 18:11:18

I have dd1 who didn't admit to cronic pneumonia until she was pretty close to collapsing (she managed 2 dance shows and a swimming party without complaining) and dd2 who can sprain six different parts of the body and be in agony for each separately (recovering inbetween) in half n hour. Both are near impossible to know how bad they are.

My theory with dd2 is take her to the park, or something. If she runs off and forgets about it until afterwards it's not too bad. Lost count of number of times she's gone to school "in agony" and only been sent home twice, and once she was definitely trying it on. I have pointed out to her that because she makes a fuss so often I don't take it seriously so she's only herself to blame when it really does hurt, because she makes exactly the same fuss.

vincentvangogh Sat 27-Aug-11 18:16:40


Got DH to take him to soft play this morning. Still limping. He can walk on it, but finds it hurts if he bends it, apparently. Although it's okay when it's bent - just moving between the two that hurts. Seems a bit stiff to me. I can't work out how he did it as he's not really had the chance to injure himself, as he's been ill for two weeks. Looks genuine though (or at least he has us convinced, but will probably start the Riverdance act if we seek help for him...)

Lougle Sat 27-Aug-11 22:54:21

It could be transient synovitus. The virus your DS may have had can spread to the joints, and cause swelling, and pain. Often in very young children, it is actually the hip that is inflamed, but the child feels the pain in their knee. I would imagine though, that at 6 he would probably know whether the pain is in his hip or his knee, though.

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