Hi Claire and Andy,
This is a real hard one to decide really. As you know I have thre kids all with HMS all effected differently, with differing levels of pain and fatigue. I am constantly battling with them, me, schools and physio...to get the right balance for them all.
Hannah is right that the exercise is important.
It is really important to keep Ben strong but it sounds like he is doing too much, the idea is that he does enough exercise but is able to continue the rest of his day without being exhausted. I guess I would do what you are considering...let him do the football if he likes it, and it isnt causing too much injuries etc.
But I would knock the swimming lessons on the head for the time being. Keep him going with his physio exercises tho. I would then do as you said, take him swimming yourselves, but keep his time in the pool down, start off with 20mins (remembering that just being in the pool he has to use muscles etc to stabilise himself), once he can do the 20 mins swimming, the football and his exercises a week without being completely and utterly shattered then increase the time in the pool.
If he cant manage the 20 mins reduce the time by 5 mins until you get the right balance. You could also drop the physio exercises the days he is doing football and swimming, both activities will work on different muscle groups anyway.
It is hard to get the right balance, I have only just tried to let my eldest manage his PE himself, he is 14 now, and decides which PE he is doing, knowing he may dislocate and be in pain and fatigued...this term he decided not to do rugby but swap it for cross country
The first Friday, he walked in the house after school in agony and completely fatigued before practically sleeping all weekend!! I debated about gently speaking to him about it but decided to wait and see, yesterday he was sort of ok, and today he has been out all day, so guess it wasn't too bad yesterday...(or he opted out, which he is allowed to do!)
I guess Ben is also having PE each week at school, how does he cope with that?
love Donna xx