Worried about Matt - medical

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Steely, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So, I will try to make this brief, but I am just a bit concerned and baffled right now right now about Matt'e health and mental health, and I am hoping you guys have some ideas.

    When Matt got out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in 2/09 he was about 210 lbs and 6'4. They told him consistently he was overweight there, and wanted him to be 180 - which set up an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thing with him. (Don't even get me started - to top it off - he has big bones. He is not "skinny" - 200lbs would be perfectly fine for him.)

    I then transferred him to another facility, where the kids were a lot more independent, made their own meals, bought their own groceries, etc. They only had 50.00 to spend a week, so they ate a lot of junk, and a lot of milk, which Matt is allergic to. He was extremely sick the entire 3 months he was there. I mean, completely incapacitated with headaches and diarrhea. They finally took him to a Dr who ran bloodwork and his blood calcium level was high. I have no idea what that really means, except it could have been tied to the Lithium he was taking. He dropped about 10 lbs in his 3 months there.

    Then he went to live with his Dad for 3 months in Dallas. His dad convinced him to go off all his medications cold turkey. He wound up in the ER - duh? For about 8 weeks out of the 12 he was in Dallas he was sick with headaches and diarrhea. Again, he didn't have money to eat well and he dropped about another 10lbs during this.

    He got to AZ last year at about 190lb. In AZ he seemed to do OK. I got him back on his medications, and on Zyprexa, and his appetite picked back up. Well, this freaked him out because he started to gain weight. He became obsessive about his weight and d/c'd the Zyprexa. Still, overall, his weight and appetite were not a worry, and he maintained the 190lbs.

    So now we are here in Portland. Between August of this year and now he has dropped down to 157lbs. 6'4 and 157lbs. Not good. About 45 lbs in 4 months. Some of it stems around this body dysmorphia that he has, and some of it stems around his agoraphobia and not wanting to go out of the house to get food - but there is definitely more to it than that because he has always had food in his house, and I know he eats everyday. He also is having horrible night sweats, that make him get up every night at 5am to take a shower.

    Of course getting him to a Dr has been a huge challenge, "because everything is fine", you know. Finally he told psychiatrist, and psychiatrist ordered thyroid blood work so we will see how that turns out.

    He is at my house for weekend and really sick again. He has not been eating dairy, but he has been eating some junk food that I shouldn't have bought that has preservatives. It is like he can barely eat anything without getting sick. Oil, dairy, anything with sugar, preservatives all make him sick - not to mention all the things he doesn't like to eat - makes his food intake minimal.

    In the last 10 days he dropped from 162lb to 157lb. His Dr thought it would be "OK" to stop the Depakote without increasing the 200mg of Lamictal he is on - and he is periodically raging. If it is his thyroid, the raging would make sense - otherwise - its medication related? I guess?

    I am SO confused on what to do to help. That coupled with his resistance to get help or try more medications - makes this all start to get serious. He just flipped his lid on me, here in my house, while visiting. We have not had that happen in a long, long time. I went into the backyard for a 'timeout" to get away from his rage - which is not something I have done in years. BAD memories - triggering many PTSD issues for me at the moment.

    What other disorders would cause this long list of malladies?
    Diabetes? But he is not thirsty all of the time.
    An auto-immune disorder? My sister and Mom both had/have an auto immune disorder, but they were both different. My sister had some sort of stomach thing similar to Matt. For a long time she was diagnosis as Crones disease.

    Any input would be very valuable - I know I should just take him to a Dr for a full work up - but he is 21 and resisting. He is starting to now be a bit worried, and perhaps will start re-considering.
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi Steely, I was going to suggest thyroid but the doctor seems to have that covered. IBS and chron's could account for the digestive upsets. So could parasites. It could also be gallbladder or liver dysfunction. I hope the doctor can find something and that Matt gets medical attention until that time. I am afraid there might be a long period of "ruling out" things before a doctor is able to make a diagnosis. Matt needs to stay the course. How you are going to get him to do this is another question. In the meantime could he maybe try those nutritional supplements for geriatrics? I believe they are soybased not milk based.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Crohn's is what jumped at me too, since I'm all too familiar with that. It can cause significant weight loss and some of the other symptoms you've mentioned. But, it could be something much less complex, as well. I hope you can convince him to get checked out.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    No ideas, but sending hugs and prayers for you and Matt.
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Steely, Crones makes sense. It can cause all those issues. It is cronic and can come and go with the symptoms-flairs as it were. Hopefully the thyroid will come back (usually takes 48 hours) soon and maybe psychiatrist can encourage a doctors visit. I'm hoping for the best.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    He just told me he plans on dying this way....he does not want to eat....because he wants to die.
    I feel sick.....
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Time for a trip back to ER it sounds like. Once he's better, maybe a professional nutritionist or physical trainer can help him to get that "180" out of his head for something more in favor of "healthy body weight range." Has he been fully tested for allergies as well?
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    He was tested for allergies back when he was 9 or so. Often times, subtle allergies like dairy will not show up. There is no way I will get this kid to the ER without an act of God. He has been in so many, so many times. I really don't know what to do. I could invoke the Baker's Act but it is too soon to jump to that....I am hoping I can reason and talk him into help without once again forcing it down his throat.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ((HUGS)) No advice really but wanted to offer support. One thing though- allergies can show up later in a person's life so don't rule that out altogether, especially when there's been a move to a new geographical area.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Multiple challenges, some of which work against each other... and no easy answers.

    For the immediate picture, I'd be concerned about:
    - hydration - because getting "dried out" affects the brain and the hormones, among other things
    - blood sugar balance - if that is out of order, it majorly afects moods as well as energy level
    - basic nutrition - vitamins and minerals, especially... protein is not critical in the short-term, but is important.

    I have no idea what he WILL eat... but if you can get him to eat small quantities of healthy, bland food, it may address some of his "edgy-ness". Applesauce, (yogurt would work but you said no dairy...), banana, squash... anything to break the cycle. Sometimes, bland juice (watered-down apple juice, for one) also helps.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. On the less serious side, the first thing I thought of is Irritable bowel Syndrome. Although it's not serious it can make you sicker than a dog and unable to eat.

    My brother has had Crohn's Disease since childhood. Does he have any bleeding? Lots of diarrhea? Fevers? One thing I remember from when my brother was first diagnosed. I'm sure I will spell this wrong, but his sedemetation??? rate was fast, which was a big marker for Crohn's. Cedementation? Anyone know what I'm trying to say? My brother weighed 90 lbs. at fourteen. He literally could not gain weight, even when he did eat a lot (and sometimes, when he felt better, he tried).

    Praying for Matt to get the right diagnosis. and treatment so he can feel better very soon. Hugggggggz.
  12. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Steely, it sounds like that with many with mental health issues, his mental health is impacting his physical health. I hope he will start to eat, and if he does not he really needs to get help. It sounds like he does not want to eat, does not care if he eats.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    When low blood sugar throws the hormones out of balance, it causes nausea. So you don't feel like eating.
    Just like... morning sickness.
    You have to eat to solve the nausea - which is counter-intuitive, because most of the time, if you feel that way the worst thing to do is eat.

    (and yes, the mental health layer only complicates things... but even without that layer, many people get themselves into trouble...!)

    If you can't get him to take anything else, see if he'll drink peppermint tea with a bit of honey in it. The peppermint helps the nausea and the honey helps the blood sugar...
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    He does want to eat, and he ate tonight, it is more he is not eating enough for his size, nor does he want to. I don't think he will stop eating altogether, but it seems like the mental is impacting the physical, and vice a versa. He feels sick, like you all said, because of blood sugar...and then when he eats he feels fat and sick, and stops.

    OMG....not to deter anyone, but this all started when he started an AP and he gained a lot of weight. Then he took himself off them, and good god, everyone had to say how great he looked. Really? Did anyone ask how he felt?
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ask how he FELT? No. Of course not.
    Not unless... you've been there - yourself, or supporting someone who has...
    Because most people don't WANT to know how you are feeling.
    Its part of our twisted society - or the twisted human psyche - not sure which.

    Right now, I'd focus more on getting high-nutrient foods in, if possible - stuff that doesn't trigger the nausea but does help with electrolyte balance, blood-sugar balance, vitamins, minerals... Even good old "chicken noodle soup" helps.

  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    No bleeding or fever...just lots of headaches and nausea. He diagnosis himself when he went on the no migraine diet when he was 15. The results were amazing.
    I felt quite remiss that I had not done that diet sooner with him -- yet he was not in a place where he would have followed the diet.
    Now, it is obvious he needs to be on the AS diet. He cannot eat nuts, dairy, gluten, etc without feeling sick.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steely...180 is way too low for him. Jamie is 6'5.5" and he looks pathetic at 220. Of course he has muscles but now he is 240ish.

    My laxatives say that they effect liver encephalopathy as well as constipation so I am going to assume that both constipation and diarrhea and be coming from the liver area and malfunctions. It also said something about moods having to do with something there and how with getting things straightened out in that dept, the moods should even out. I know I had been saying I was having more mood swings lately and feeling like I was in menopause with cold chills and night sweats. Nausea. Sound familiar? Well I dont think Matt is in menopause.
  18. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am hoping that his moods are because of his eating problem, because he is a mess. We will let the thyroid panel come back - but I think it is something else. Janet are you saying it could be his liver functions - I guess you are. If thyroid comes back normal, than it is time to get a full blood work up.

    He is 157lbs! I am so mad at that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for so many different reasons! At 157lbs he has no muscle or fat. And I think he is malnourished.

    I went to the store and searched high and low for high protein drinks without milk. The ONLY ones I could find were Odwalla SuperFood drinks (which he happens to love) but they are so expensive. I had him drink 2 of those today. He did eat a salad last night with almonds and woke up in a TON of pain - which kind of lends itself to possibly Chrons.

    He has continually told me that a zillion foods make him sick for the last 6 months. I keep thinking he is exaggerating or being picky until I read the list of foods not to eat if you have Chrons.

    • alcohol
    • caffeine
    • carbonated beverages
    • dairy products, if lactose intolerant
    • dried beans, peas, and legumes
    • dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
    • foods containing sulfur or sulfate
    • foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
    • hot sauce, pepper
    • meats
    • nuts, crunchy nut butters
    • popcorn
    • products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
    • raw vegetables
    • refined sugar
    • seeds
    • spicy foods, sauces
    These are all the foods he has been complaining about - It was when he started telling me he couldn't eat butter without getting sick that I began to wonder.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, now... sounds like time for the good old standby: plain white rice. Its the most neutral single food...
    Add cooked - or add when cooking - some veggies for flavor and food value.

    High-nutrient cooked veggies include squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatos... corn is high in fiber but not much food value.

    One big challenge is protein... if meat, beans, nuts and seeds, and dairy are all a problem... that covers a LOT of protein sources! Smooth PB still works, but that gets old really fast. Does he like eggs? Ignore what "they" say about eggs not being good for you. For where Matt is at right now? An egg every day would be a good thing on more than one front - because that same egg is loaded with vitamines and minerals, as well as quality protein. If he wants two eggs, that's fine too... (scramble two eggs with a tiny bit of water, add some veggies and make an omlette... etc.) "Some people" can handle processed soy, such as tofu - also very bland.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why cant he eat more than two eggs? I would let him eat as many as he wanted. He can certainly use the weight. Sometimes folks who cant handle dairy can handle cheese. If he can, add cheese to the eggs. If he can do corn, grits go good with eggs. Very bland or you can add sugar to them and almost make a sweet fake cream of wheat.