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I from a GP's perspective, unfortunately had to learn a similar lesson. My 10 year old son, just seemed to get slower and slower when walking. If we walked 20 yards, he would be 15 yards behind us. He never complained of pain and I put it down to lazyness.
It was when I came home one day to find him going up the stairs on his bottom that I finally clicked something wasn't right. But still, I bypassed my GP partners, who would have been more objective, and took him to a physio who said he needed orthotics. Luckily for him , the only way into orthotics locally was via a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, who actually took the time to examine him for the first time.
It turned out, following a biopsy of his growth plate, he was diagnosed with Chronic Relapsing Multifocal Osteomyelitis!
I have learned never to treat my children, or indeed any relative since that time. Its a valuable lesson we can all learn from!