Thursday, August 10, 2006

And The Award For Worst Mother Goes To...

drumroll...Drama Queen's Momma!

My daughter is a worrier. She got it from me. I was so proud of myself for learning not to worry so much anymore. However I just traded one bad habit for another. I figured out in the last month that's how I gained all this weight. I've been eating so I don't have to think about things that I don't want to face. Once I'm done, I focus on how stuffed I am, again avoiding the issue at hand. But enough about me.

We had all kinds of problems last year when school started. I had requested a certain teacher for Drama Queen. DQ was put in her class, but the teacher left to teach at a different school about a month before school started. The new teacher was completely new to our school and not a good match for Drama Queen at all. It took a month of fear, tears and phone calls to the counselor, principal and the teacher before everything was somewhat smoothed out.

Drama Queen's stomach started bothering her during that time. No surprise there. The power of suggestion is very strong for her, so I put lavendar in her bath, gave her chamomile tea and peppermints to suck on before school, all in an effort to calm her down. The stomach aches reappeared during the year whenever something out of the norm happened or DQ got upset. Again, no surprise. I don't do change well, either.

School was over at the end of May and everything was great. No stress, no change, no problem. About 6 weeks into the summer, the stomach aches reappeared. Drama Queen came into our room almost every single night complaining about her stomach and begging to sleep in our floor. I at first thought it was a way to get to stay in our room. Then they started happening during the day. I was really stumped because I couldn't figure out what could be happening that would upset her enough to give her a stomach ache.

When it got to the point that Drama Queen thought she was eating too much and causing her stomach to hurt, I had lost my patience. I knew that it was all in her head. The child has never eaten too much in her life. As of three weeks ago, she's at the 25th percentile for weight.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I figured out that's what it was. Since I had felt like that for as long as I could remember, I thought it was normal. Going on medication helped tremendously. Because of that history, I watch my children carefully. I was convinced that Drama Queen was going through the same things I did as a child. There's no way I want her on medication since it causes suicidal tendencies in kids. (Good grief, could I change verb tense any more in that paragraph?)

I finally called the pediatrician, knowing full well that my child was suffering emotional problems. I expected to hear, "Sounds like she's a worrier" and was hoping to hear some ideas for what to do to help her calm down. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, that kind of thing (We've tried them all already, but I was desperate). Instead the doctor asked that I bring her in to rule out a few things. An exam, blood work, urine sample and x-ray later, the doctor told us her diagnosis. She thought DQ had acid reflux, but looking at the x-ray showed that she was very backed up. She put her on a softener to clean out the 'ol pipes a little bit easier. She thought that could have contributed to the reflux and that maybe it would stop it. I was to check back and let her know how things were going after two weeks.

The softener did the trick but the stomach aches still persisted. Drama Queen was now having stomach aches every time she ate. I noticed when we were camping that she would pile blankets under her pillow and prop herself up for a while and then go to sleep later. She even commented that she couldn't go to sleep too early at home or her stomach hurt. At mealtimes she would eat some and then announce that she wasn't going to eat any more or her stomach would hurt.

When I called the doctor back this week, she skipped the first med she was going to prescribe and went straight to the strong stuff. She told us that it should really help her feel better if it was reflux and that if she wasn't better in 10-14 days, she'd send us to a GI specialist.

At this point I was still convinced that 90% of the problem was emotional and only 10% really physical. We started the medicine Monday night and everything was the same old same old. Tuesday passed and Wednesday morning it occurred to me that DQ hadn't complained at all about her stomach the day before. It's Thursday now and she hasn't had one complaint since Monday night!

I would think that maybe she's doing better only because she thinks the medicine is helping (placebo effect), but we have been through bottles and bottles of Rolaids and Mylanta that have helped temporarily but never lasted longer than a few hours. This medicine really and truly seems to be helping. It's like it never even crosses Drama Queen's mind anymore at meal time or bed time that her stomach may hurt.

So since I was convinced my child was causing herself pain by getting all worked up emotionally, she has really been suffering for far too long. I'm so glad that I called the doctor!

I humbly accept this award presented to me. Everyone else can breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn't given to them.

(Just so you know, I'm writing this tongue-in-cheek. I'm doing the best I can as a mother. It took me awhile to figure out what to do, but at least we got that poor baby some relief!)

Posted @ 1:17 PM ~ 3 comments

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