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.
My son struggles with multiple health issues: migraines, cyclic vomiting, weak immune system, allergies, eczema, depression, and anxiety. The newly defined spectrum syndrome ALPIM (Anxiety-Laxity-Pain-Immune-Mood) describes his constellation of symptoms, but does not yet give us answers as to how to cure or treat the underlying genetic disorder.
Monday, August 31st would have been my son’s first day back to high school after summer vacation. Unfortunately, he was unable to get out of bed to start the school year. He spent last Sunday night and early Monday morning vomiting. No doubt he is stressed out. He said he was worried about throwing up at school. He was probably stressed out about making up his incompletes from last semester. At the end of the school year he was sick and missed taking his finals and completing missed assignments.
I gave my son the option of enrolling in an online high school program, which he chose to do Monday morning as I tried to wake him for school. So last Monday I enrolled him in a k12.com school, California Prep Academy San Diego. My new job is to be his “learning coach,” supervising his progress. We’ll see how that goes. It’s an ongoing process for the two of us.
Sometimes simply taking a bath is a major achievement. Not quite sure when I last bathed or showered – Friday, perhaps? I really can’t recall.
Yesterday I actually exercised. Yes, that’s right, I exercised. Worked out with weights, used a treadmill for a couple of minutes (very little), and used an elliptical for several minutes. Not a huge workout – not enough to work up a sweat. But today I can feel it in my glutes and pecs. (Don’t I sound like a gym rat? I just call them my ass and chest.)
Anyway, this morning, after taking my son to the school, handling email and updating social media, I took a bath. Then I managed to go grocery shopping. In the afternoon, I took my son to his allergist for an immunological work-up. We have a lab requisition for a long list of tests. Once the lab results are complete, we return to the allergist to see the results and take the next step. Got to get my boy healthier so he doesn’t miss as much school next year.
By the way… I’m absolutely exhausted. Just spent.
Chronic illness is chronic illness is chronic illness. I so wish that I had a magic wand that could make my son better, that would stop his migraines, asthma, eczema, allergies, depression, anxiety, GERD, and stop him from getting every single virus that comes to town. But, I simply cannot. I’ve taken him to numerous specialists ever since he was very young, and he still gets sick A LOT. I get tired of people expecting me to find some magic potion, simple answer or a cure. There is NONE. We treat, we manage, we medicate, but he remains sensitive. Tried acupuncture. He was not a fan. Tried psychotherapy over the years. He doesn’t find it helpful. I am exhausted. Truly exhausted.