What to do next..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child continues to have headaches. Taking excedrin migraine, advil and on the more painful ones Tylenol #3. Took the last two of those last night.
    He also isn't feeling well. Says he can't explain it, doesn't feel "right". Sick. Stomach upset too.

    Talked to his doctors Thursday for about 45 minutes. Nurse went over all the blood work that has now been back. Everything is normal.
    She said the doctor still suggests Childrens Hospital in Milwuakee. I just don't want to do that. He has done this all before. All the tests and always normal.

    She then asked if he is under any stress. Said the stress could cause the headaches, but unrelated to his back pain. She asked if he has any anxiety. If his mind is going all the time in all different directions this could cause headaches.

    Well, obviously you can see right here this is a new doctor/nurse. The others all know him. His mind is ALWAYS going. He worries about absolutely everything. His anxiety levels are extremely high. Nurse suggested counseling. Tried that SO many times. difficult child refuses.
    Nurse suggested psychiatrist. Have one.

    It is hard to see him in pain and not feeling well. I am afraid I have caused all of this. When I hear from school he hasn't done his work, after he told me he did, I get so angry. He yells at me because he hates doing work. I yell back and then just lose it. The other day this happened. We were just going at it. I lost it and said many things I shouldn't of. I told him I cannot do this anymore. He promised new school, would do good. No more lies. I told him to just quit. I cannot do this. I told him if he doesn't want to do it don't...quit. difficult child then calls easy child. All of a sudden I start getting these awful text messages from easy child. Saying what an awful parent I am, how bad I am, how I told both my boys they were failures. But he can handle it and difficult child is only 13. I think he texted me every 15 minutes for two hours with a new comment about what an awful parent I am. All I wrote him back was he wasn't there and he has no idea what is going on. Also that I never told either boy they were failures. He hasn't talked to me since.

    I think he believes this. So now I feel like I should just pack my bags and move across the country all by myself. They obviously don't want me in their lives. I have fought for both of them, stood by them, supported them. Apparently I am the cause of everything.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    KJS, don't beat yourself up. They ALL think everything is the parents' fault at some point. I try to remind myself that neither me or difficult child caused the issue, but it will ttake both our efforts to deal with it and try to manage it. So, sure, there probably are things that we could change to make things worse or better. Those things have to be identified first.

    It sounds like you are starting to look at that and ask yourself "would it help if I handled this situation that way instead of the way I've been doing it". So on homework, try backing off the fussing and try to get some classwork and homework reduced from school or a way to get more done at school and see if this helps. It helped my difficult child and both our stress levels at home. But, I spent a couple of years fussing at difficult child about getting his school work completed prior to this- just like any GOOD parent would- and that's what you have done.

    Don't beat yourself up!!
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh I so hear your hurting. My kids make me feel the same. Why did I ever think I would be a good mom? I have come to the conclusion that they don't trust me and are trying to make eveything my fault. I know it sounds bizzare, but my very first thought of easy child when I first laid eyes on her was, "This is not what I signed up for." I could already feel her energy - her demands that nothing is ever good enough - her DIVA attitude.

    I know you are giving your kids all the right messages. They just don't want to listen. The best thing I like about difficult child's psychiatrist is when he affirms my words, "difficult child, your mom is absolutely right. You need to listen to your mom." I know I have given my kids the right messages, it is that they don't trust my judgement and refuse to listen because it is not what they want to hear.

    I refer to easy child and difficult child as my pride and joy. easy child is my pride in that she does so many things that wow me. I know, they are normal things for all kids but being the first child, you don't take those things for granted - such fussing over the first steps, first words, ect. difficult child is my joy - he brought joy into our lives just by being so easy going - never did anything spectacular - after all, he was my 2nd child those normal things had become normal.

    My little pride and joy can cause me so much anger. I promised myself when I was young that I would never swear. These two have made me break my promise - they are the only two people on earth that can make me so angry that I start to swear. I am working really hard to stop doing so.

    Does your difficult child have calming techniques? Maybe he needs to find ways to stay calm. I know the stress eraser is expensive - I wish there was a way for you to test one to see if it is something your difficult child would like (my difficult child loves his). Check your local GNC store to see if they have one or can order one for a test (it is in their on-line catalog).

    I wish he would be open to seeing a therapist, someone he would like. That person will most likely give him the same advise you do but for some reason, it will sound more important from someone other than you. Our kids just don't hear us.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My difficult child's therapist told him that to stay healthy he needs to focus on:

    1. Getting enough sleep 10 - 11 hours per night
    2. Getting enough exercise - I think it is hard for kids to find ways to exercise - does your difficult child have any way to burn off energy at the end of the day? A pet dog to run with? A sport?
    3. Getting a balance diet - eat healthy (we have cut caffene, chips, candy, cookies to a very bare minimum - hardly ever have) Push fruits and veggies
    4. Reducing stress by imagery breathing - focus on one favorite event - remember how it felt, tasted, sounded, looked like, sounded.
    5. Calming breathes - Deep breath in, slow breaths out

    Maybe focusing more on some of these may help? Let your difficult child know that in order to help him, he MUST take on some of the responsility of following through with suggestions. This will be slow but if HE focuses and does the work, I think he will see results within a week?

    Life would be so much easier if our kids would only agree to listen to their moms.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am sorry if I am being a pest about this -

    I do so worry about those headaches - I think when they are so severe, the docs should be trying harder to figure it out. Can the stress, etc. really cause them to be so continous and severe? I don't know, but like you and difficult child, I would be scared also.

    So, my suggestions as always are just to try to alleviate pain but do continue the medical search to make sure there isn't anything like a tumor (sorry, hard for me to even mention) that is being missed.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, you are NOT in any way a bad mom. Parenting is the hardest job, and we ALL, every single parent, lose it occasionally. You ahve gone through a lot, worked hard to advocate for your child, and it really HURTS and HOOVERS to see them p$ssing it all away by not working.

    Find a way to get difficult child to have help at school wtih the homework/assignments. At the very least, step OUT of the school stuff and have your spouse deal with all of it for a while. Spouses are there to tag team with us and help in this situation.

    second, your easy child needs to step out of the parenting gig. HE is NOT your difficult child's parent, and needs to have a boundary FIRMLY established that he is NOT to say a WORD about you or your parenting to difficult child. PERIOD. it is none of his business and he has no business disrespecting you like that. Period. finito.

    For the headaches, I really think stress is at the root of them. Possibly a learning disability? or some other thing, or school is just really really hard. Try other medications to prevent them. difficult child is also probably having some rebound headaches from taking the medications too often. He MUST get through that, and it is veyr painful, because until he isn't having the excedrin and tylenol 3 so often he is going to be in a vicious cycle. The medications relieve the headaches, but then they cause another one. ANY headache doctor will tell you this.

    Have you considered taking ALL the test results you already have (you own those, have a RIGHT to have copies of them, including films from xrays and MRIS) and going to a headache clinic with your son? Then let the docs who specialize in headaches tell difficult child how to handle them. If they have copies of the tests they will be able to tell you if they need to be repeated or not. The clinic will be able to suggest things like chiro, physical therapy (helps strengthen the neck and back muscles to prevent some headaches), APPROPRIATE medications to treat chronic headaches (excedrin just simply is NOT appropriate, esp since if he has a cold the aspirin in it can KILL him by causing Reyes Syndrome. This is NOT a joke, I am NOT kidding OR exaggerating.Google Reyes Syndrome and read about it yourself.)

    I really think difficult child is having stress induced headaches. NOT brushing them off as "just in his head" or anything like that. Stress headaches (if that is the right call) is a GREAT diagnosis, because there are SO MANY things you can do and learn to prevent them. Biofeedback is awesome, massage, so many many things (including appropriate medication).

    Forgive yourself, be gentle with yourself, set a FIRM boundary with your easy child to BACK OFF, and then see if you can find a headache clinic.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Big hugs. You're not a bad mom. As I sit here with my left side of my head throbbing from my jaw to my ear to my mid skull, two things about headaches come to mind.

    Is he grinding his teeth? I would have his dentist look at his mouth for signs of it. Most people with anxiety also grind their teeth and it causes terrible headaches.

    How is his posture? Does he sit all scrunched up or with feet flat on the floor? Has he been examined for scoliosis? Whether his posture is good or not, yoga might be a good thing for him. I know that boys don't want to do yoga, but you might be able to con him into it. I imagine that like the other 94% of kids out there he is playing video games. Does he have a Wii? If so, you might invest in one of those Wii Fit games. Let him earn time on the regular games by doing the yoga or aerobics game. Even without bad posture, exercise would be a good thing for him. It raises endorphins and makes you more aware of your body and health.

    As for easy child? Tell him you are glad to hear that he has parenting all figured out, and ask him when you can drop difficult child and his belongings over at his house because clearly you aren't up to standard. The little brat! If he doesn't have help to offer he's old enough to know that he has no business interfering in his brother's upbringing. Harumph!
  8. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I think you should take yourself out of the middle of the school stuff. Let him be responsible directly to his teachers for the schoolwork. It sounds way too stressful for both of you for you to have to be so involved. I remember how frustrated I used to get with my difficult child 2/easy child over schoolwork and it didn't help either one of us.

    Sounds like a headache clinic would be a good idea if you have one somewhere near by. I don't know how your difficult child is managing school at all to tell you the truth if his head is hurting so much. Also, the anxiety that would come from fearing getting a headache--I can sure understand that.

    So, forgive yourself for not being perfect all the time, and go on from here. I'm sure there isn't one of us here who hasn't said things they shouldn't have said or gotten into a screaming match with our difficult children!

  9. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Have to put in my two cents and tell you that you are a good mom, and as a matter of fact, if your kids are telling you you don't know squat and you're a bad parent, you are doing something right!

    Sending hugs your way, and hoping by the time you read this you will already be feeling better from the good advice given before. I am amazed at the number of children who have migraines these days. My difficult child, boy, age 15, has had two or three killer headaches that made him throw up, without fever, but they are so infrequent I haven't pursued it.

    A headache clinic sounds like a great idea. I second the possibility of TMJ - nighttime bruxism, or tooth grinding. That gives me bad headaches when I wake up. I also have sinus-related headaches that are centered in the forehead, just above the brow ridge.

    One possibility: some kind of biofeedback where the computer monitors your son's heartrate/breathing and he learns to calm himself through breathing and relaxation. Sometimes they like worling with the machines because they can see their stress levels rise and fall -- it's almost like a video game.

    Tell easy child thanks for the advice, but you'll take it from here (my son is an expert at parenting his younger sister, or so he thinks).
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Did you see my post under one of your previous posts? About the Cluster Headaches? has he ever used Oxygen Treatment? Or the lidoderm patches? The Diamond Headache Clinic is really wonderful. Even just for info.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, how awful. I feel for you.

    You've already gotten some great ideas here.
    I'm not sure what to add, except that your leaving will not help, it will make things worse. Your son needs consistency. He needs you.
    And there are even quotes on the Internet and items you can buy that say, "If your child hasn't said 'I hate you' at least once, you're not doing something right."

    Tough to hear, but oh, so true.

    You will get to the bottom of the headaches.
    It may end up that your son ends up on an anti-anxiety medication and starts taking yoga and gets Cs and Ds in all his classes. Hey, whatever works.

    Maybe when things calm down, you can apologize for losing your temper and you can tell him you'd like to chat, and to change some rules in the house. Ask for his input. Do NOT tell him or your other kids that you feel like you're a bad mom. Don't belittle yourself and don't put yourself in a vulnerable position. They will use it as ammunition, sorry to say.
    I wish I could send you a massage over the DSL line.
    P.S. Don't forget to make a chiro appointment.
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    You are a great mom dealing with difficult circumstances. Please be gentle with yourself. The suggestions given here are excellent. Thinking of and praying for you. ML
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Kjs,
    I've so had those days when I felt like leaving, like the kids would be better off. Those days just plain stink. You are not the cause and like others have said we all lose it at times. You have been a great advocate for your difficult child. You just get no appreciation for it at home-we recognize it here-we know how hard it is and what a good advocate you have been.

    The others are right about backing off on the hw. I know I am trying really hard to do that with easy child but it is certainly easier said than done. Hugs.
  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Totoro beat me to it.

    The Diamond Headache Clinic is here in the city, on the north side. Heck, I could meet you there! We could walk to the zoo afterwards. My mom went there for years. Give them a call.

    And stop beating yourself up. You are a terrific mom.
  15. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    You are not a bad mom, you are a frustrated mom with a difficult child who is pulling in ammo (easy child) against you. You are doing everything you can.

    Has your difficult child ever been on medications for anxiety? I know before my husband was on medications his overall pain was so much worse. Now he is on medications (several) and while he still has chronic pain, it is better. Just a thought. What does your psychiatrist say about the headaches? Ask if they could be related to anxiety. Ask if the overall feeling bad could be related. Hang in there, and remember he is a hormone charged boy. Very emotional to begin with.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Kjs, the possibility of TMJ is worth checking out.

    I can hear where the nurse is coming from, thinking of stress. Not that this makes it your fault - but it's certainly needing to be kept in mind because the age is a factor, the current school placement (ie new) is a factor, the difficult child-ness is definitely a factor...

    We went through months of testing, of trying different things, of having difficult child 3's teacher INSIST that he was suffering form some undiagnosed medical condition and those idiot doctors just were wrong, when they kept saying that it could only be stress. She said to me, "You tell those doctors to call me, I'll tell them for you. I've seen that boy sitting in class seeming perfectly fine, then he suddenly changes colour and his head goes down on the desk - it's obviously something wrong physically."

    But she was wrong. The confusing thing for us was - he was SO sick, the onset would be so sudden. Plus he was running a low-grade fever with it as well.

    difficult child 3 wasn't "bunging it on" either - he wanted to be at school, so school avoidance didn't come into it. difficult child 3 himself kept saying there was something physical wrong, he just didn't feel right, and if it was just anxiety then he wouldn't feel so dreadfully ill. He was convinced he was dying, he felt so bad.

    But after ruling out ALL possibilities (it took most of a year, eventually - he had attended no more than half his school year, over the entire grade) we were told (carefully, because by this time I was following the teacher's lead and insisting this was physical) that difficult child 3's problems were ALL down to anxiety. Very bad anxiety, to be sure. Anxiety so severe that just mentioning school, even in a positive way, induced nausea and low-grade fever. Taking him onto school grounds triggered vomiting. Repeatedly. But everything had been ruled out.

    However, difficult child 3 didn't have headaches. Well, only minor ones. Nothing like your difficult child has been experiencing.

    Bruxism could cause headaches this severe. It's certainly a good idea, and one that doctors can often miss because it's usually a dentist that picks it up (at least here). It's also moderately easy to treat, as well.

    Your difficult child has just started a new era in his schooling. Even though he is bright, even though he is probably wanting to do well and capable of it (if he can stay focussed) it could still be just enough added change to tip his anxiety over the point where he can cope easily.

    The other important thing - like difficult child 3, he may not realise, or even accept, that this all could be due to anxiety. difficult child 3 still insists that his anxiety isn't that bad - but I've since seen it for myself. The trigger wasn't school, it was ANY situation where we knew difficult child 3 felt anxious and had warned us he was likely to be nervous. But while he was enduring it and feeling sick, he was convinced it had to be something far worse. There was a sense of dread with it as well, and his mind had to find a logical reason for the emotion as well as the way he felt physically.

    I hope you can find some answers soon, Kjs. This really can slow our kids down in their efforts to do well.