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DS says 'not feeling well' too often

(14 Posts)
cakedup Wed 14-Feb-18 15:18:34

DS (12) has form for very easily diagnosing himself as unwell and has done ever since he was a small child. Symptoms are arbitrary, for example: slightly nauseas, head feels heavy, bones ache, or the old "I think I'm coming down with a cold" (which then very rarely manifests in an actual cold).

I find symptoms are normally at peak when: he is doing something he doesn't like (e.g. shopping) or I tell him to come off playing the computer (he can spend hours zoning out on computer games, I mention this because I think it's a big part of the problem), and about 50% off the time after he comes home from school.

He simply cannot actually be unwell for as many times he claims he is. I put most of it down to:
tiredness
growing pains
being psychosomatic
being a bit of a hypochondriac

So, what to do? Do I need to do anything about this? I just don't think it's a healthy mindset. Do I ignore it, not make a big fuss and carry on as normal? Or, another idea I had was to tell I'm concerned that he is not feeling well much of the time and that we should keep a diary of all his symptoms. The idea being, we can then look back and see how many of these symptoms never developed into anything, and also to see how regular the symptoms are. Perhaps even take him to the doctor and show the journal.

He has had full blood tests before and the only thing that ever comes up is that his iron levels are a bit low, so he takes iron tablets for this.

Anyone else experienced similar?

GreenTulips Wed 14-Feb-18 15:22:52

Anything bothering him?

How's he doing Academically?

Can you pin point 'Wednesdays?' Etc

cakedup Wed 14-Feb-18 15:48:03

Well he hates school altogether, he has learning difficulties/dyslexic. That is an ongoing issue. But no, not particular days.

GreenTulips Wed 14-Feb-18 15:52:37

I knew it was dyslexia!

It's another symptom!

I just say 'tell a teacher they'll ring me later' tough love

NorthernSpirit Wed 14-Feb-18 16:14:44

Are you being tough enough with him? I’ll give you an example, my mum was tough on us as kids (childcare was a nightmare for her) so we would have to be very ill before we got a day off school. On the rare occasions we were off school. We weren’t allowed any screen time (didn’t exist then), TV, phones or basically fun. We’d have to stay in bed and entertain ourselves. God it was boring and to be honest we didn’t want to be at home. If he’s genuinely ill then no treats!

AtSea1979 Wed 14-Feb-18 16:18:40

He’s going to get head aches in he’s zoning out on screens for hours. You need to limit that to an hour after school and 2 hours at wkends/hols.

Sounds like your saying all the right things. If he’s been doing it for as long as you say then it’s unlikely to be growing pains/hormonal fatigue etc.

VioletCharlotte Wed 14-Feb-18 16:47:59

He sounds exactly like my DS (now 16). He's better than he was now he's at college, but still has higher than average sickness absence. I find it really stressful. He had a lot of time of sick at school and achieved poor results in his GCSEs. He really struggled with school work and I'm sure a lot of it was he just didn't want to be there. On the other hand, he did always seem unwell, so it could have been a result of poor diet (v fussy eater).

I haven't really got any solutions I'm afraid, but just wanted to let you know you have my sympathy.

purpleprincess24 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:04:00

He’s 12 you decide how long he can spend on the computer not him

Asiaticlily Wed 14-Feb-18 17:08:17

My sister does this when she doesn't want to do something and says she has a headache.

It's something you can't see, so they are excluded from the thing they don't want to do.

Maybe insist he goes to a doctor for tests until you can resolve it/ don't excuse him due to it and see if it helps?

cakedup Wed 14-Feb-18 21:41:20

GreenTulips oh really! That explains school days but what about today for example, it's half term. Although I told him he wasn't allowed on the computer all day.

NorthernSpirit I see what you mean but the thing is, if I'm ill, then I don't even want to read a book (and I love reading books) all I'm good for is watching TV. So if he is genuinely ill (and I'm talking vomiting and/or temperature) then I let him have the screen because anything else is a struggle!

That's odd, VioletCharlotte DS is also a very fussy eater. I find it a real challenge especially as I've always been quite tough - I hardly get ill anyway and if I do I soldier on quite well. All my recoveries (even from ops I have had) tend to be really quick and I do wonder if it's from having a positive state of mind. Whereas if DS is telling himself that he isn't well...then the body is just going to start responding to that.

The computer thing is probably a whole other thread...I've created a monster there I know that. DS hates school so much, I feel bad that school makes him so unhappy, so I let him do the thing (computer games) that makes him happy when he comes home. Additionally, he is at home along for a couple of hours and I would rather he be playing computer games than anything else because I just feel he is safe, less likely to get scared or do something silly. Also, at the back of my head I thought I'd be relaxed about screen time thinking then it wouldn't be forbidden fruit that he wants more of. But I think that sort of backfired.

Today I told him he's spent long enough on the computer this half term, so no games all day. But then he does this whole ill thing, then he just kept lying about instead of doing something else. However...this improved later on in the day. We played board games and he helped me cook, and he was really chatty and jokey.

GreenTulips Wed 14-Feb-18 21:52:52

Why would you ask a dyslexic to read a book?
Have you looked at '37 signs of a dyslexic?'

What are school doing to raise his self esteem and help with work ?

Does he have the use of a laptop or typing lessons? Are they working on his self confidence?

cakedup Thu 15-Feb-18 00:07:27

I haven't asked him to read a book, think you misunderstood my post. I have always fought worked closely with his school to ensure he is getting as much support as possible. We are currently applying for an EHC plan.

GreenTulips Thu 15-Feb-18 00:32:00

I was replying to the other poster

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 15-Feb-18 00:38:38

We had this with DSD, often if she didn’t want to play what her sister wanted or if she didn’t fancy the dinner that had been made - every time she said it we would tell her she needed to go lie down in her bed as she was poorly, she loved being downstairs doing whatever we all were doing so that would immediately weed out the fake times. If she was really feeling unwell then she’d want to go lie down in the quiet! It made being ‘ill’ not fun and not getting her spoiled (ie previously she’d end up stretched out on the sofa with a quilt, hot chocolate and her favourite film etc with the rest of us all looking after her (fine if she’s really ill but it was becoming waaaay too frequent to be real)).

This really worked, within a couple of weeks she’d pretty much stopped ever saying it and was happy joining in with whatever we were all doing.

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