Score: 1 for difficult child - 0 for Mom

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Remember I mentioned difficult child's throat problem? How I was basically ignoring it? Well, I was very proud of myself for putting it back onto him to deal with. You know, minor pain (3 on scale of 1 - 10) so difficult child can just live with it under my new 1 -10 rule of not wanting to hear about it until it is about 9 or 10 but preferrably a 12? It back fired on me today. Though I promise to continue working on ignoring other minor aches and pains! Apparantly I need to learn what is minor and what is not!

    therapist's nurse suggested I take difficult child into walk in clinic today to rule out meningitis because he woke up with stiff neck and headache. Neither of us felt he had it but the symptoms are a red flag so best check it out today.

    While there, we asked about his throat bothering him. Remember, he has thrown up 9 out of 27 days this month (including this morning) and feels he is loosing his voice. He does not have meningitis (no surprise) but is being referred back to his peds doctor to look at possible esophagus issues due to throwing up so much this month (surprise)!

    O.K., I will give him that one. Maybe I should have let him look it up on the internet? No, I did the right thing. It would have shown up sooner or later at a docs office, not the internet. doctor says it COULD be a sign of puberty (voice changing) BUT there would be other signs first so most likely is not what is going on at this time. Most likely esophagus issues! Oh come on, I really needed to be right on this one! I ask for so little! Can't he just live with that? Can't it just be a minor minor pain that I was right on not giving any merit too? Guess I may have chosen the wrong little pain to start being so nasty about ignoring?

    So, any input on how far up the ladder I should prioritize this one? Should I wait a week or two to see how it is progressing before trying to get an appointment or should I just go for it? difficult child was told to take Mylanta (adult strength) up to four times a day. If we see an improvement, then it is most likely the esophagus causing his throat pains. So, we will try that for now but would welcome any input as to how serious this really is or can become.

    Thank you!
  2. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Oh I remember Mylanta well I use to have a bottle that I would sip from all day on my desk till my medical benefits kicked in and a doctor put me on xanax and xantac, along with practically a babyfood diet. Vomiting from stress is the worst, my nervous stomach went to the point of ulcers. Until he gets the stomach part under control you might want to keep him away from any kind of acidy foods for me the worst were tomatoes or citrus; many pop's have lots of acid too.

    With kids its so hard to know when to take their complaints seriously; Angel never complains about anything even when she should (I don't think she registers pain) and my 12yo she complains all the time when nothing is wrong other times I will glimpse a week old bruise that is horrible that she never bothered to tell me about. It would be so much easier if kids came with an owner's manual or a crystal ball or something but for now you just have to follow what your gut tells you. I hope you and difficult child get some relief soon.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Is his throat red? Did they check for strep? You can vomit from that...

    Is it possible he has reflux?

    Some kids have hiatal hernias and you don't know it -- that can cause reflux. difficult child 1 has one (found it when he was scoped for Crohn's). Turns out I have it too, but mostly likely made worse by my (ahem) weight, and that's why I've got reflux now.

    If it's becoming a chronic pain, even if it's minor, lasting more than a week, I'd pay attention. Other than that, I think you're being prudent in putting it back on difficult child. It's important to check for other signs though that usually go with the pain... swelling, redness, fever, etc. Pain usually does not exist by itself. It's a symptom of something else.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. I know you are trying hard to get his anxiety about his health lessened. But I have some experience on this one.

    As a teen I was on LOTS of medications for a form of arthritis. I would become VERY ill about 3 hours after I took it (it HAD to be taken at a certain time, the SAME time every day so it didn't react with other medications, foods, etc...). At aobut 2 1/2 hours after I took it I would be able to settle my stomach by eating crackers or toast.

    Sadly, I was in a biology class at that time the year this was teh worst. It was teh class before lunch. The teacher INSISTED that I was just "spoiled" even AFTER the doctor himself called her and told her I HAD to eat at that time and I could NOT improve my handwriting because the arthritis in my hands.

    We battled for many months over this. Even after the principal approved the eating a few crackers (if I didn't have them THEN, when lunch came around I was in the bathroom vomiting. DAILY) at that time, the teacher refused.

    I ended up with some rather nasty scars on my esophagus, and much much pain because I vomited so much. It was NOT anorexia or bulimia, it was the medications, but there was very little I could do.

    I still, to this very day, have problems with my esophagus. It spasms if I eat very hot or very cold things, I have a lot of pain there, and if I get a migraine that lasts several days or a flu bug I end up with tears in my esophagus where it joins the stomach. The stomach doctor actually showed me the problem areas on the video of my endoscopy.

    I would make an appointment and get him in soon. You really don't want to have him get into a pattern of vomitting from stress (or any other reason) because the effects can last through his life.

    I wouldn't make it an emergency appointment, but would get him in soon. You will want to ask the doctor about using prilosec or zantac (both are OTC) and can be used for long periods of time. Prilosec works better for many people, but zantac is also effective.

    I am sorry he is going through this. Puberty is scary enough with-o this kind of stress. For difficult child too!
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would tell him that even though the pain is minor (a 3), that because it has gone on for so long you would like for him to see a doctor just to err on the side of caution.

    As one that lives with chronic pain, I have to tell you that 9-10 on the pain scale is what I consider excruciating, out of my mind with pain. If you tell a doctor you're at a 10, they react quickly. A 12 would be inpatient with IV narcotics - and hopefully unconscious. I don't know if you have a pain chart up, but I would start taking an interest between 6 and 7.

    Trust me, I fully understand what you are dealing with. My difficult child used to agonize over every little twinge. And I would take a stand on something and this same scenario would happen and not only do you feel like a heel, your kid no longer trusts you when it comes to this issue. That's why I think it's really important in how you word it and that you not make a big deal out of it, i.e., schedule an appointment for after school as pulling him out of school for an appointment may give the impression that it's more serious. I would also talk to the doctor ahead of time so the doctor knows to weigh his words and tone.

    Fortunately for us, as difficult child's anxiety has gotten better, so has the pain/illness concerns.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, due to my own hypochondrias, your son isn't worried about how much it hurts. He is thinking that it is something that will kill him. In our minds, a sore throat is throat cancer slowly eating us up inside and a headache is a brain tumor. A hypochondriac never goes for the small stuff. I can not tell you how irritated my mother used to get when I constantly thought I had some lethal disease, but it was very real to me. I could handle terrible pain as long as I was assured that it wasn't terminal. The problem was that it wasn't about the pain--it was about the fear that it meant death.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Andy, I'm a firm believer in ruling out physical illness before assuming it's psychological, especially in kids who are anxious. Because sometimes they are sick for real, and it needs to be treated both for physical and emotional comfort.

    I agree with gcvmom that your difficult child needs to be checked for strep, which can cause sore throat, stiff neck, headache and vomiting. That should be done today, if at all possible.

    My father is an adult GI doctor, and esophageal issues can be very serious. Persistent stomach acid can wash back through the esophagus and cause ulcers and even permanent damage (I have something called Barretts Esophagus, which is a permanent change in the esophageal lining that requires me to be on acid suppression medications for the rest of my life). If strep is negative, I strongly recommend you get your difficult child evaluated for esophageal issues sooner rather than later.

    Hang in there and let us know what happens.
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you!

    I will call the peds doctor today for an appointment.

    Flutter, you make a good point about "how long". He makes comments about things so I can keep a mental note on how long each issue is lasting but I will add that to the question, "On a scale, what number and when did this start?" I will also be kinder about the number I look at to get involved with. I just get so angry when he gets so into his pain and by the time I remember to ask what the number is what I believe is a 9 by his behavior is only a 3! (feel like screaming, "And you wasted my fears on a 3?") It willl be harder for him to draw me in emotionally if I know the pain is minor and as you pointed out, I also have to consider the chronic part of this - minor chronic pains can be issues as well as 6 - 7 pains.
    Midwest is correct that he does believe every twinge is a sign of death.

    He did see a doctor yesterday who looked into his throat - no redness.

    I will ask for an appointment toward the end of the day. Our doctor's office is 1 hour away so he may likely have to be taken out of school.
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    OMG - don't let him look it up unless it is going to give him the answer YOU want him to have. been there done that. difficult child looks everything up. Every ache and pain, then tells me what he has.

    I vote to stick with the Mylanta (for us it is and see how it goes. Some how I think it would be good for him to know that the Mylanta IS going to make it better. That way he will think it is suppose to work regardless. That would work for my difficult child. If he thinks it will work, it usually does unless it is really not the issue.

    Sure hope he feels better soon.
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Update - When I called for a his regular pediatrician to see him, they had an 11:00 am appointment.

    No strep, no esophagus problems, continue with Mylanta to prevent any esophagus problems with the throwing up.

    This doctor is convinenced the throwing up will end when Summer arrives. (aka = no school)

    We will keep an eye on this. Just don't tell difficult child!

    OMG - the walk-in doctor talked about emerging tics so when this nurse asked if we were there for the tics, difficult child says, "YEAH". I am like, "NO, the tics are not a problem - there is nothing that needs to be done about them." difficult child is looking for them now, "Mom, sometimes I feel like I have to ......" STOP LOOKING FOR TICS! Or maybe I should let him because he KNOWS they are just what they are, not a life threating thing, just something to say that something is wrong. It would keep his mind off the other stuff that he believes he is dying from? LOL!