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To think tranks (in the short term) are ok?

(12 Posts)
GilbGeekette Fri 09-Nov-12 08:07:30

My ExH and DDs (14) father has terminal cancer (lung & pancreas). There is no treatment, just palliative care at the necessary point. She's been dealing with it remarkably well but she's started having screaming night terrors 3-4 times a night. It's quite full on, she's waking up shaking, drenched in sweat etc etc. So to add to the awfulness of being 14 and having her father dying she's utterly exhausted. She bursts into tears at the drop of a hat, is white as a sheet and has huge bags under her eyes.

DH and I are supporting her, encouraging her to talk (which she is) and we've offered her counselling (as has school who are being great) but she has refused, saying she'd rather talk to us. GP has said there isn't anything they can offer other than counselling... She's seeing her Dad and SM every other weekend (they live about a 2hr drive away) I can't think of anything else to do.

What she's really struggling with is lack of sleep, which is magnifying everything and making her even less able to cope. ExH has approx 3 months to live but that's an average, he could go next week or not for 6 months...

WIBU to give her Nytol or Kalms or some equivalent? I'm aware that they aren't a long term fix but I do think she would really benefit from a few nights where she actually sleeps through, rather than waking up terrified. Part of me feels awful thinking about it, but it's killing me to see her so worn out and fragile.

RedHelenB Fri 09-Nov-12 08:11:37

How many weeks has this been going on for? Have you tried using sleep balm? Is she gettin g fresh air/exercise?

mutny Fri 09-Nov-12 08:15:21

I am so sorry. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you and your poor dd.
My gut instinct is that I wouldn't. Not at 14. But I am basing that on the assumption the labels say they are not suitable for that age. I may be wrong.

I would really try to get her to the doctors as they may be able to help and give her something age appropriate.

Good luck

GilbGeekette Fri 09-Nov-12 08:15:25

About a month now. She walks to school and back which is 4 miles/day because I'm mean and goes out to the beach a lot with her friends. I've banned tea and coffee after 5pm, tried lavender baths, soothing music (I know but it worked when she was younger and still works on me), going back to a bedtime 'routine', removing mobile phone at 8pm so she isn't wound up by teenage drama, ditto the computer, encouraged her to read quitely before she goes to bed. Nothing has worked sad

WelshMaenad Fri 09-Nov-12 08:19:50

I would go and have a chat with your doctor. They may be able to suggest something better/more appropriate for her such as melatonin.

Failing that, isn't there a herbal version of Kalms? Would upu feel better about that? Have you tried Valerian tea? It helps me in my insomniac phases. Try holland and Barrett etc.

However, if it came down to it, I would give my dd whatever it took to get her through such a horrendously difficult time. I'm so sorry for what you are all going through.

cozietoesie Fri 09-Nov-12 08:53:29

I think most of us have probably known what it's like to feel you would simply kill for a few hours of sleep. After a night of tossing and turning, you end up the next day being fit for nothing and it's a vicious spiral.

Personally, I'd have a word with the GP and be more assertive (with full details of her problems) about seeing if he can prescribe something for her for the short term - even if only for a couple of nights. You can keep hold of it and dole it out if he's concerned about medication at her age.

So sorry for your situation.

Justforlaughs Fri 09-Nov-12 09:54:47

Again, very sorry to hear about your situation and my heart goes out to all of you. I would speak to your GP again or get a second opinion. You could also try a sleep clinic.

cozietoesie Fri 09-Nov-12 09:56:53

Just one thought, OP. It's sometimes quite difficult when you're low to sleep alone in a bed. Do you have - say - a cat that she could take to be with her to snuggle? A warm furry body beside you can sometimes make all the difference in the dark of the night.

GilbGeekette Fri 09-Nov-12 10:44:58

Thanks all - might have another stab at the GP, and thank you for all your kind words. Cozie, cat stays downstairs at night (much to his disgust) and I have offered to sleep with her (she has a double bed) but she's adamant that she's too old! I have snuggled with her post nightmares and that does help. Thanks again folks, it's nice to have somewhere to dump all this smile

cozietoesie Fri 09-Nov-12 11:04:40

If were you, Gilb, I'd let the cat go up with her - or at least try it for a night or two. It's not unhygienic if the cat's been properly de-flead (mine have slept with me all their lives) and could make all the difference.

Best of luck

GilbGeekette Fri 09-Nov-12 11:08:30

Heh - its not about the hygiene grin it's more about His Nibs thinking that the humans in the house should be willing to amuse/feed/cuddle him whenever he wants it. Even if that's at 3am. It's taken a long time to break him of the habit! However, desperate times call for similar measures, therefore it's worth a go (anything is at the mo!) His Nibs will be made up, regardless of whether it makes any difference to DD wink

cozietoesie Fri 09-Nov-12 11:15:18

Do you know - I'm not sure you know your proper place in the world vis a vis cats!

grin wink

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