I’m at a Loss…


My son has missed WAY too much school this year. He’s attending a private school where he gets one-on-one attention and learns at his own pace, so he simply falls behind and the charges for missed classes just keep adding up.

He had gastroenteritis earlier this year (which we all had and which we all still have lingering GI symptoms from). This morning he complained that he had a migraine. I do not know whether he truly has a migraine, for his symptoms are not as severe as they were before he took preventive medication.

Our psychiatrist has told me that I should stop taking Matthew to health care specialists, that he needs to learn to live with migraines, and that I am enabling him. Hard to have your child live with chronic, cyclic pain and vomiting. Those in the mental health profession tend to pathologize physical symptoms as “somatic” and dismiss very real suffering and pain. I, too, have been guilty of doing so in the past with both my son and my husband.

Yes, I’m at a loss as to what to do, as to how best to care for my son and myself.

52 thoughts on “I’m at a Loss…

  1. Viv@Grief Happens November 2, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    I’m so sorry. Many of my husband’s family members deal with those debilitating migraines and they are awful just to watch. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to live with them or to be the parent of a child who struggles with them. My SIL couldn’t take bright lights and would throw up regularly from migraines when we lived with her during her & my husband’s undergrad years. I was definitely not as sympathetic until I witnessed it first hand. My heart goes out to you. What a horrific experience to go through.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      It’s terrible. He’s suffered since he was a toddler. He takes prophylactic medication, but we reduced his dosage because he didn’t like the side effects.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tertia November 2, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    My situation is similar, and I don’t have answers. I, too, get messages that I may be protecting her too much and she needs to learn to suck it up and function with her pain. However, I feel that after she is out of high school she will have CHOICES about her lifestyle that she is not allowed to have now. The part-time home teaching I do for her is designed to help her reach that place with a shred of self-esteem and sense of agency. You are not alone and neither is he.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience with your daughter. It’s so tough. People have little compassion for those in chronic pain, or for those caring for them. It’s tough.


  3. Bipolar1Blog November 2, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    If your son isn’t. Pain, you have to attend to him. Sometimes psychiatrists can be quite stupid! Do you have a medication you can give him when he gets one? I take Amerge , it’s a triptan, actually Naratriptan and it works like a charm for me. Or Excedrin as well. Sending you more hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 4:10 pm

      As he is still an adolescent, aspirin is counter-indicated. He takes Topamax for prophaxis and Maxalt, a triptan, and naproxen for treatment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bipolar1Blog November 2, 2016 / 4:58 pm

        Since it works for me like a charm, I would recommend Naratriptan. Maybe you can ask about it. 🤗🤗🤗

        Liked by 2 people

  4. jjjcampagna November 2, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    Your son falling behind due to aliments are beyond your control. Tuition costs mounting up adds stress to everyone in your household. Your parental instinct to take care of your family is strong. Balancing your well fare is crucial during these times. There is a difference in how people are treated for physical pain and mental illness. You have options. Second opinion. Dietary changes. Maybe some exercise. Talk with people that support you. You find yourself at a loss, and it’s okay. It gives you an opportunity to discover something new about yourself. Take advantage of it. You are a dynamic person and a wonderful writer. I’m inspired by your blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Anonymous November 2, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    No advice. Just think you do amazingly well with all your family obligations, especially with all the needs everyone has. Thanks for keeping us posted and what you do for us too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. maggie0019 November 2, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    I suffered with migraines from the time my menses hit til the day I had a hysterectomy. No one should be telling your son to learn to live with it. My (former) neurologist told me that migraines can lead to strokes and dementia. So the accent should be on preventing them. Maybe your son is taking valproic acid as a preventative? I would get another opinion, hopefully, somewhere that specializes in migraine therapy, even if you have to go out of state. Since money is being an issue I would try St. Jude’s for children. They might be a good starting point. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 4:07 pm

      Thanks, Maggie. We’ve tried valproic acid in the past, as well as Elavil which is used for pediatric patients. Now he’s taking Topamax, but doesn’t like the side effects. His child neurologist is a specialist and suffers from migraines herself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • maggie0019 November 3, 2016 / 9:27 am

        I’ve been on all those meds. The valproic acid didn’t do diddly/squat, Elavil did nothing, and Topamax was hailed as a miracle drug for me. However, it had limited success. The only relief I found was Imitrex, then developed a reaction to it. I really, really, hope they can get to the bottom of this. I am keeping good thoughts for you and your son. Please keep us updated. Sending soft (((Hugs))) and Woof!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Lynn Thaler November 2, 2016 / 11:56 am

    That’s a tough place to be, you want to do the best for your child and you don’t know what to do. I hope you are able to find a doctor willing to listen and offer help.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      We have tons of doctors: pediatrician, psychiatrist for depression and anxiety (ADHD in past), neurologist for migraines, gastroenterologist (cyclic vomiting with migraines), metabolic specialist (to rule out metabolic disorders), allergist/immunologist for allergies and asthma, dermatologist for eczema, and endocrinologist (at my son’s request to rule out endocrine disorders). Unfortunately, chronic illnesses are chronic because they are not yet curable. For all our advances in medicine, we have SO far to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. no face woman November 2, 2016 / 11:43 am

    I don’t know the answers, but I know it’s amazing that you can juggle and care for your family members in this way, and I think you’re super strong ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 2, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      Thank you so much. My psychiatrist says that I’m “too good” of a mother, coddling my son so that he doesn’t learn to do for himself. There is truth to that, but it is not the absolute or only truth. My son does have special needs. He is not typical.

      Liked by 3 people

      • no face woman November 2, 2016 / 1:43 pm

        Every child is different aren’t they, and you’ll do what you feel is right for him 💛

        Liked by 2 people

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