How do you know where to start when.......

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    difficult child can't explain what is going on!

    I don't know which health professional to start with because difficult child cannot really put into words what is happening.

    It started with him going to the nurses' office for headache medicine. The nurse called and said he has visited there daily since last Friday. So, I called neurology and set up a migrane check. They have an opening tomorrow but since I am driving there on Friday for other appts we scheduled it for Friday.

    difficult child then ended up in the nurses office and when I picked him up, he says, This is not really a headache. More that I can't concentrate but the Motrine helps a little.

    He is also talking symptoms he had during the time his anxiety was heightened (senses angels around, cannot concentrate, maybe panics because he is getting scared because he cannot concentrate). So, I called therapist's office. I told them we have appointment for Friday late afternoon but wanted to let therapist know what is going on now in case he suggests change in medication or dose. They have an opening today at 4:30.

    I question if I should keep the migrane appointment. But then difficult child states he does get a headache that is like a ring around his head at the forhead level. So the old circle of if this is a migrane does it cause the anxiety to rise or is it the anxiety contributing to the migrane?

    So much being thrown at us today as he is trying to put it into words.. difficult child just told me that he makes the connection that this stuff happens when he is bored and thinking about himself.

    difficult child says that he feels like he is in a fog like the Claritn commercials. So allergies?

    So, therapist this afternoon and migrane check up and psychiatrist Friday afternoon.

    It concerns me that it feels like the anxiety route we were on three years ago. However, we have all the professionals in place to help combat it at the source/start - trouble is, which one to go to? I think I have the main ones covered through this weeks appointments! Though we may be sent to his pediatrian to check on the allergy route?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well the fog thing could be his way of explaining a bit of depersonalization (I think that is the word). You know that feeling where you kind of feel like you are behind a mask and looking outside your body from another perspective? I dont know if I can even explain it fully. I kind of felt like I had a mask on and was standing to the side looking out at the person looking out of the mask. Does that make sense?

    Some medications can cause that. Anxiety can bring it on. I suppose illness can. Well I know illness can. I felt that way a lot coming out of the coma but that is obviously not the problem here but then again, migraines are neurological so there is that.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That "ring headache" I'd be looking at tension/anxiety but wouldn't rule out sinus pressure or eyesight issues.
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Where the ring around his head could be any number of things, sometimes migraines can cause funny sensory issues and still might be the cause. When I have a migraine I feel like I am separated from the rest of the world or in a tunnel. This happens about an hour before the pain starts. And migraines don't always have pain. (Which is an oxymoron as pain is part of the definition, but sometimes the same cause for persons A's very painful headache will only give person B the funny side symptoms.) I would keep the migraine appointment just so that you can rule it out.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It could be migraine related. If he is experiencing anxiety that could definately bring on a migraine. The ring around the head feeling could be what he feels when the migraine is coming on. My sister gets something similar to that.

  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The neurologist sounds like a good idea. "Sensing angels" is a symptom from activity in the temporal lobe. Best to rule out that nothing physical is causing the angels, halos or fog.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What time is he taking Ritalin? And what time do the fuzzy head/ring around his forehead symptoms start?
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you! I think you are all correct on this one.

    Smallworld, you are most correct with the Ritalin. He was feeling like this about 1 - 2 hours after a dosage. I am soooo glad therapist was able to get us in. We restarted the ritalin last Monday and the health problems started on Friday. (they could have been going on all week but we didn't take notice until Friday?) therapist believes the "fog" (depersonalization as Janet mentioned - Thank you Janet it has been a long time since I have had to remember this terminology - it is now coming back :(. ) is from the ritalin dosage being too high. We are going to try lowering it for tomorrow (10 mg instead of 15 at breakfast and after lunch) and then try Adderall on Friday morning (5 mg) to see if he can tell a difference. There is no school Friday afternoon. If he has not decided between the two, then he can try the Adderall again on Sunday afternoon/evening when he returns from hunting.

    difficult child states that the ritalin helps a little but not like it did last year so I am suspicious that lowering the dosage will work? I trust that maybe it will once the depersonalization is gone he will feel it working better?

    If neither is helping or they make him feel the same, we may try the process to get him on Strattera. I am not sure how I feel about that since he does not always need the stimulant but therapist said Strattera would be for both anxiety and ADHD. He also questioned difficult child on if he really feels he needs this and on a scale of 1 - 10, difficult child said he would grade it about 4 or 5 of need. It is worth a try though.

    Unfortunately, therapist is leaving the middle of December. We are going to try to get something figured out before he leaves.

    I am keeping the migrane appointment on Friday afternoon.

    The receptionist asked if we wanted to see psychiatrist since we were in. However, it would have only been a 1/2 hour appointment. Normally that would be enough but I have a huge issue to bring up and 3 pages of notes for psychiatrist to go through so feel we need the entire time slot. I left the pages so he could review the information before we arrive.

    therapist stated the issues could also be part of the ritalin dosage being too high but I know the anger issues have been there and that some of the incidents occured before last Monday when the ritalin started.

    HaoZi - I think difficult child is overdue for an eye exam so I will set one up

    Aerong and Bunny - You are both correct about migranes - I had them from about 15 years old until I became pregnant with Diva. They are just now making a come back. When I had them however, they were more like weird major headaches controlled with Tylenol if I took it right away. No one would acknowledge they were migranes because they did not disable me to my bed. A doctor working with difficult child told me that what I had was migranes. I did have one last week when the 1st winter storm hit - the change in barometer had my eyes a swirling!

    Daisy - Thank you very much!!! I was putting the "angels" with the anxiety but will now bring it to the migrane check.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I didn't read the other responses, so I apologize in advance if I have repeated something.

    Have you ever read about depersonalization/derealization? Does he ever say he feels like he's in a dream or that he feels disconnected from the world? That's a huge anxiety symptom and quite terrible to go through. It does feel kind of like you are drugged. It would be very hard to explain. I was a very verbal kid and I used to say to my mom,"It feels like I'm in a dream." It got really scary because I was afraid I was losing touch with reality, although I wasn't. It's not a psychotic symptom. Often it goes along with depression. Maybe that's what he meant...? Certain medications made it worse while benzodiazapens for me were a godsend. They helped the depersonalization/derealization for me, however, that does not mean they would be good for your son.

    Good luck and hugs to you and your little one.
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you Midwest - He does talk about being unable to connect though I think it is more in the area of not being able to concentrate. This clears up when his medications are adjusted. Today he went down to 10 mg of Methylin. He stated it helped a lot but still has a little of the can not concentrate feeling.

    We will try 5 mg of Adderall tomorrow morning and see what that does.

    He did not ask for Motrin or say that he felt weird today (1st time in 4 school days) so that is a very good thing.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Glad he's doing better. :D
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My difficult child has depersonalization. It was really hard for him to describe. It actually took about a year for me to realize this feeling has not gone away in TWO years. His anxiety..shaking, sweating, thinking he was having a heart attack or what ever pain it is at the time, I am told this is part due to depersonalization. He explained it at times like a his ears are on the back of his head, he can hear things but doesn't feel part of it, confused, can't concentrate, feels like at times he doesn't know where he is. Finally, psychiatrist started him on Klonnippin (sp?) been about 6 weeks, but he said the anxiety is gone. Took the edge off of the depersonalization, but it is still there. My difficult child also suffers from migranes.

    I hope things check out ok. I am interested in the "fog" feeling, what helps him with that.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    He talks about the "fog" feeling when he tries to explain why he can't concentrate. I think we are putting that into the ADHD list.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hmmm... he feeling overwhelmed by having too many things that need doing or ways of doing them and not knowing how to prioritize them or organize them?
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I don't know - Could be - If he doesn't know how to do something, he tends to just ignore it - doesn't understand the homework than will just not do it instead of asking for help from a teacher. Things could easily pile up on him this way. However, he is doing very well in school A's and B's and it appears that all his assignments are being handed in (I get a daily report from the school with each class assignment). I think there would be a lot of F's if he wasn't getting them in on time.

    He doesn't act like he is overwhelmed. But then again, he is so layed back in a "whatever" state of mind much of the time and a very determined nothing is going to stop me now at other times. Either doesn't care/try enough or cares/tries too much. Maybe his inbetween times are the foggy times when his brain doesn't know which end to go to?
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Possible they're tired spells? You know how when you're not physically tired but your brain is, that kind of thing. I don't know, might help more if he documents when they happen and exactly how he experiences them if you can get him to.
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hey andy i'm so sorry i missed this. knowing difficult child, his past stuff. My guess would be it's nothing physical at all, its' all symptomatic of the anxiety stuff. detatching is like everyone said a huge anxiety thing, difficult child gets it, it's kinda right before a panic attack at times or even during one. yet you will know a panic attack when you see it.

    i'd say head to dr. for medication check and change. you have done neurologists already if memory serves me. so i wouldnt' waste your time there again honestly. it's anxiety related, why I don't know either. anything change as of late? he's also only in his 3rd mos of new grade. difficult child used to present with anxiety later into adjustment to new grade. went thru honeymoon period some years than reality of what was giong on hit and anxiety rose. kids can actually delay their response to anxiety at times. odd i know difficult child does.

    does he go for weekly therapy anymore? id' say medication check weekly therapy. than he'll level off again.

    good luck dont' panic i know you've been on a good run it wont' go sour like it did years ago. your wiser now for having gone thru it, have doctor's in place. youll nip it in the butt before it goes haywire :)

  18. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you Jena and HaoZi! We did do the migrane check and determined it was the ADHD medication (Methylin) that was causing the headaches (atleast the pain part). doctor said that was common with stimulants. I think we introduced too high of a dose too fast. Hopefully the switch to Adderall at a less strength will help. Time will tell.

    I also agree the other part of disconnecting, fog, ect. could be anxiety symptom. We all know that our kids with anxiety even display symptoms over the happy events that are coming up. difficult child went hunting this weekend and had a great time, next weekend I will be gone and there is still stress around what he will be doing (who will be watching him) while I am gone, his bowling team is advancing to the State level, we are kenneling the dogs next weekend (if difficult child and husband will be gone), Thanksgiving weekend and possibly the weekend he goes to state bowling so I am sure he is a bit anxious about all of that even though he tells me his anxiety is under control and he can handle it. I say even though he is using his tools to defeat it, it is still there and a few times catches him off guard which scares him which makes it stronger.

    I ordered two books from amazon. One is on helping with anger and one helps with ADHD. I told him that he is not full fledged either of these but what he learns from the workbooks (geared toward teens) will help him understand more of what he is going through. I hope they help.

    We have cut down to every two to three months psychologist appointments. I did make a follow up for a month and if difficult child feels it will be helpful will go to weekly as needed. Psychologist said he will work on the books with difficult child.

    He has figured out that when he is bored and can not find anything to do, then these things/thoughts happen. Sometimes you can't do anything like waiting in a doctor's office so he needs to come up with more tools such as find something he likes to read (near impossible), bring something along to pass the time (like his I-pod that has games on it), learn to use quiet times to reflect on beneficial things like formulating to do lists, thinking about how something works, singing a song, ect.

    All your responses plus the psychologist, psychiatrist, and migrane check up appointments have put me back in the battle. I feel that I am better equipped to go on.

    Thank you!