As you know, my family has been struggling with some pretty big issues with my daughter’s well-being and her mental health. Unfortunately, I, too, have been unwell. I’ve been suffering from very debilitating vertigo for the past 6+ months; which the doctors have been unable to find the cause of. Since my focus has been elsewhere, I’m ashamed to say my son has slipped through the cracks and is not doing very well at all.
My handsome, 11-year-old son is developing ulcers. He has missed so many days of school I’ve lost track. Initially I thought it was a stomach bug then I thought he was faking (it wouldn’t be the first time). After 2 1/2 weeks of listening to him moan in pain I finally took him to our family doctor who prescribed Ranitidine, which the pharmacist described as a fancy antacid. The following week I took him to see the pediatrician who confirmed the tenderness in his abdominal area and ordered blood work and an x-ray.
I asked my son to step out of the pediatrician’s office while I shared with him the news of the break-up of my year-long romance. The doctor feels that Alexi is suffering from circumstantial anxiety caused by the separation from the man who was the closest thing to a father Alexi’s had in the last few years. I believe that this separation has also unearthed the feelings of abandonment he experiences due to his father’s absence in his life. Makes bringing home a bad report card, something I always feared, seem pretty trivial.
A possible solution to help reduce his anxiety level is to increase the dose of Zoloft my son takes nightly. In my son’s case Zoloft was prescribed for its anti-anxiety properties. The pediatrician feels that my son wouldn’t benefit from increased medication, but would be better served with counseling. I agree, however, the 1 1/2 to 2 year wait for counseling at OECYC isn’t going to help address the immediate physical ailments Alexi’s suffering from.
This morning he begged to stay home, claiming a sore throat. His ear seemed red so my mom was kind enough to arrange for an appointment this afternoon with our family doctor. The doctor checked both ears and made him stick out his tongue and say “ahhhhhhhh”. His ears were clear, his throat fine. The doctor asked if he grinds his teeth. I don’t know for sure if Alexi grinds his teeth, I know I do, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he does. The doctor explained that Alexi’s pain in his ear is likely caused by the stress placed on his temporomandibular joint, the joint at the back of the jaw, from grinding or clamping his teeth together.
The doctor said the best solution would be to lower his stress level. Um, yeah OK, hasn’t worked so far. The next best thing after the impossible would be 10 mg of Amitriptyline daily. Amitriptyline is a muscle relaxant and, in this case, would cause the jaw muscle to relax and reduce the amount of pain my son is experiencing. I take 30 mg of Amitriptyline nightly for chronic headaches and know it can help. Our family doctor doesn’t want to contradict the pediatrician, which I understand, so he did not prescribe the medication. So at this point there’s not much I can do, but wait.
Did I mention patience isn’t one of my virtues? It’s kind of an ADHD thing, oh wait, I’m not allowed to use my diagnosis as an excuse for poor behaviour (that’s what I tell my kids) – phooey. I guess I’ll have to learn patience the hard way, by being patient.