Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Again, the Dreaded Words

I am one stressed-out mama. I've been trying to take this stuff one day at a time and be positive, you know the whole "power of positive thinking". But it's not working. My oldest child is still fighting the stomach bug. Tomorrow, it will be FOUR WEEKS of the vomiting and diarrhea, on and off. On Saturday, it will be ONE MONTH of it. He has been to the doctor two times and I've called three times for advice and reassurance. He has been tested for celiac disease, diabetes, autoimmune issues, even cancer. I am really starting to worry that something is really wrong.

He was really, really sick last Thursday. Throwing up, diarrhea, and he was having SEVERE stomach pain. This went on for about three hours on Thursday morning. After that, he slept for several hours and then felt fine the rest of the day. He went back to school on Friday. On Friday afternoon, he called from school, saying he felt sick to his stomach, the words I dread to hear, so I went and picked him up. The rest of the day he acted fine, and he ate a decent dinner that night (we had beef stew, but I only let him have the potatoes from the stew and some fruit and bread on the side).

On Saturday through Monday, he acted normally and ate normally and seemed totally back to normal. He even did this morning. But, at 1:30 today, he called again, telling me that his stomach felt sick. He hadn't thrown up yet, he wasn't sure if he felt like he would, so I told him I wasn't going to come get him. I called his teacher to get the whole story and then felt like I needed to go to the school and talk to him, but by the time I got there, 2:30, he had already gone back to class and the secretary said he just felt better and wanted to go back to class. But he didn't act like his normal self all afternoon--he was sluggish and quieter than usual and just seemed tired. I took him to piano lesson anyway and he did his homework. He ate a decent dinner and when asked, said he didn't feel sick anymore.

So now I don't know what to do. Something isn't right. I checked into problems with bullies or academics or just being bored at school, but his teacher didn't think it was any of those things because he always seems genuinely disappointed and upset when he has to miss class.

I wonder if he's psyching himself out. At family prayer this morning, he blessed himself that he wouldn't feel sick. At the blessing on the food at dinner, he blessed the food that it wouldn't make him sick. Maybe he is so paranoid about being sick again that he is making himself sick? Is that even possible for a seven-year-old? I know the power of the mind, so maybe it's possible that he is doing this. But how do you get a seven-year-old to change to more positive thinking if that is indeed the problem?

I was really feeling great yesterday and today, feeling like we'd finally seen the end of this horrible stomach virus. But now I'm worried that it's something else that happened to coincide with a stomach virus or maybe there's something in our house causing him to get sick? And how on earth would I ever figure that out?

What do I do? I just don't know what to do next. Help!


swedemom said...

Is it possible that he is picking up on your stress and transferring it to worry and additional stomach aches?
Children are very, very attuned to the stress level of their parents, but aren't always able to articulate it.

Royalbird said...

It is possible, but I've tried very hard this week to keep positive and not focus on feeling sick. In the mornings, we've just done our usual routine, I haven't asked him if he's feeling well or sick, just how he slept, and after school, I've been asking how the day was, what the favorite part was, etc., trying to avoid bringing it up because of all the worry.

Today (Thursday) he came to me several hours after getting home from school and told me he had a terrible headache and an upset stomach. But then he proceeded to eat a normal dinner, so I'm not sure if the headache caused the stomach upset or if he wasn't really that sick, I have no idea. I don't want to press him for further details because I'm afraid that will make him stress out about it more. But we've been dealing with this on again off again thing for a month now and I just don't know what to do. His regular doctor is now on maternity leave, so if we take him in, he'll have to see someone else we've never seen before.


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