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So stressed out

(15 Posts)
Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 08:25:20

Hi all,

My son is 13, I'm a lone parent. Since November-ish he has been having problems with his health, we've had everything....... He has asthma which occasionally flares up, we've had sickness, diahorea, tummy ache, headaches nearly daily, constant cold, cough, tonsillitis three times! I've been back and forward to the GP and they think he's had glandular fever? I know this can take ages to get over. He's now at the point where he's waking up every morning with something wrong, he's missed loads of school, the last GP visit checked him over thoroughly (nothing wrong) and she suggested a phased return to school which we are starting today. Yesterday he was off school and I contacted them to talk about this phased return. His head of year was lovely and helpful and said he would meet my son this morning and have a chat to him etc. My son went totally ballistic whe I told him this. Said I was the worst mum ever I was an idiot I've ruined things????? I've tried on numerous occasions to chat to him to find out if anything wrong at school he keeps telling me no? He gets good grades and I've not had any negative reports from school. I'm at my wits end as I'm completely alone, no support (his dad has him sporadically but is no real help and does not live local). I can't keep running to the GP but I'm trying to hold down a stressful job and it's got to the point where I'm in trouble as I've had to miss work for my son! I'm so fed up I spend most days in tears and I'm vomiting all the time my tummy feels like it's constantly in knots! I've made a GP apt for myself soon to address this. All my son wants to do is lie in bed on his phone/iPod. He eats ok. Some days I can't fill him! He's gone off this morning to meet his head of year, very reluctantly, saying how poorly he feels. I'm at my wits end with him. Anyone help???

Scatter Thu 25-Feb-16 10:32:45

Hi Stressedmum

Not sure I can be of any help but just wanted to give a bit of reassurance that I have a 13 year old son and I swear, he has never been so sick as he's been the last few months (since September I would say). Like you, he has had sickness/tummy upsets, constant colds and headaches, ear infections. We've been to the doctors a couple of times but it seems to be nothing major, just a never-ending series of bugs.

I definitely provide a balanced diet for my children at home but I know that since they started at secondary school they just eat paninis, pizzas, bacon rolls for their lunches and sweets whenever they have any money to get them. I had never given either of my children vitamins but I have started now - I think their bodies maybe are just growing and changing so fast that a little boost doesn't hurt. We buy multivitamins which they take sporadically, and I give them an effervescent vitamin C with zinc if they seem under the weather.

We don't allow phones/ipads in bedrooms and if you can, I would suggest changing your rules so that he only uses those things in the public rooms of your house. They can be pretty addictive and we've found that over use definitely seems to cause headaches, over-tiredness etc. which can't be a good thing.

I hope that things soon improve for both of you.

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 10:42:55

Scatter thanks so much for your reply. I'm sat here in tears it's such a lonely place to be. I have no support and like I say I'm trying to hold down a demanding job so it's not easy. I'm day off today my anxiety has reached fever pitch. Every time my phone beeps I jump, convinced it's school ringing to say he's unwell again. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in this as you explain your son is similar? I'm so split as half of me is saying trust the doctors, it's nothing serious, at worst glandular fever........ Then the other half of me is thinking what if I've missed something? What if it's something sinister? What if in not seeing something? This morning he said mum I'm not getting better! Yet last week (half term) he was fine!!! Again part of me tells me a lot of it maybe is physiological but then my son himself said he didn't do anything strenuous during half term so felt better due to that? Also if ur is glandular fever I know the symptoms can come and go? I do feel I'm feeling 100 times worse as I'm alone and I feel if I did have somebody to share the burdens with........ Someone to say all will be ok....... X

Scatter Thu 25-Feb-16 11:00:37

Stressedmum take a couple of deep breaths. You can't change whether or not the school will phone today, but you can change whether you sit there crying and anxious all day. Can you try to find something to do to keep yourself busy, even if it's just having a nice relaxing bath and painting your nails or trying on some clothes or maybe planning tonight's dinner. A walk is always a good thing for pumping the anxiety out of your system. Or maybe watch a programme. Just give yourself an hour at a time of freedom NOT to worry about him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that he makes it through the day at school and that when he comes home you can both relax, maybe watch a movie together and have a nice dinner. xx

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:09:20

Thankyou Scatter I'm pushing ahead with the never ending housework lol then I'm going to sit and watch something funny. My logical head tells me it will all be ok but anxiety is a bitch! It consumes me. It's been never ending 100% constant since November ish I feel I'm completely exhausted with it. I dread going into his bedroom in the morning as I dread him saying how poorly he is feeling, which is he doing daily at the minute. I have to leave him home alone if he's off school as I can't take anymore time off work and on the days he does go into school i dread home time when he rings me to yet again tell me how poorly he is feeling. sad

BigSandyBalls2015 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:12:28

I haven't got any advice, just sympathy, as in a fairly similar situation with my 14 year old DD. Every morning I wake up with a knot in my stomach wondering how she's going to be that day. Some days ok, others she feels sick, headache, anxious. Like your son, she says there are no problems at school and she can't really explain how she feels. Her attendance is now down to 86%.

Strangely enough she's much happier to go into school if she knows I'm working at home, but I can't do this all the time. Work have been great but it can't go on indefinitely.

Best of luck, I think there are a lot of teens out there who just don't like school, can't handle the pressure of it all, and there is a lot more pressure than when I was at school in the 80s. She was fine last week during half term, and fine at weekends.

BigSandyBalls2015 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:14:20

I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do really, but when my DD does stay off school I take away her ipad and phone. Part of me thinks this is unkind of she's truly unwell, but there is another side of me thinking wouldn't we all like to stay off work and chill on the sofa with our ipads. Very difficult.

salsamad Thu 25-Feb-16 11:18:00

Has your GP ran blood tests to confirm it was/is glandular fever or has he just thought it maybe that because of the concurrent on-going illness. I had glandular fever as a teenager and was ill for several months and it left me feeling exhausted. I attended school as much as possible (but didn't do
PE) but I didn't improve during the school holidays, I just slowly improved over time. Do you think he could have been genuinely ill initially but is now "exaggerating" symptoms as he prefers not to be at school? The fact that he was fine during half term but now his symptoms have returned is puzzling. Is he better at weekends - does he go out and meet his friends? Was he active at half term? Is he still doing after school or wkend activities eg scouts or football? I can understand that this must be very worrying for you and you are doing the right thing going to see the GP for yourself. flowers

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:25:12

Thanks for the recent comments. No the GP didn't run tests s X I kind of agree with her thinking and advice that they tend to only do so if exams looming or important events looming that need 'proof'. As she says even a positive result doesn't change the approach as glandular fever has no treatment other than time and rest.

Yes i do kind of agree with the rule of taking phones/ iPods away however I DONT do this purely because ( and I may be wrong ?) when he's poorly with tummy ache/headache etc he's not wanting to sleep he's wanting to just rest so I, maybe stupidly, feel as tho he's at least resting albeit on his devices???? He does air cadets too which he loves, he aspires to be a pilot, is very passionate about it, but he's missed a lot of cadets too due to feeling dreadful. I'm hoping that my GP will give me something to alleviate my anxiety which will in turn hopefully help my son as I will feel stronger.

wavedancer68 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:36:00

So sorry to read of your situation.

Although your DS has obviously been unwell on and off since November it might be worth investigating whether or not there is something that he is not enjoying about school. It might not be something obvious and may not be bullying - he could be unhappy about something that seems very small to lots of people, but for him it has become something he hates. You mention he went ballistic when you told him the Head of Year would meet him and have a chat. That might indicate a school problem. Does he have a friend or friends in his Form, in lessons or someone to be with at break and lunch? He may have got behind with his school work after having been off quite a bit and not want to admit that and is finding it hard to catch up so in his mind it is easier now if he can stay off school. Even something like having 'lost' his particular seat in lessons because when he was away everyone just moved along or his friend ended up sitting with someone else and now he has to sit alone or with someone he isn't very comfortable with. Without him knowing could you have another chat with Head of Year or someone else at the school and go through various possibilities.

It must be very difficult for you not to think on it all day but Scatter has some good advice.

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:40:01

Hi wavedancer thanks for replying. I'm hoping to speak to his head of year (without his knowledge!) so yes I will explore all these possibilities. The school appear to be supportive. I've never had to experience this before. I'm pretty sure there's no bullying going on but I appreciate there may be some issues like you say struggling a little and it's escalated? Will see how the next few weeks Ian out I guess? X

Scatter Thu 25-Feb-16 14:50:51

Stressedmum you're nearly there today! What time does your DS usually finish school or come home? It's good that it seems like he made it through the day. Let's hope when he comes home he is feeling a bit better. If he's anything like mine I expect he wants to be completely left alone for an hour or two and not to say anything about his day, but will love you all the more if you can leave him alone and bring him milk and cookies at the same time! I have to wait until around 5.30-6.00 for either of my sons to say much to me, which is the time I tell them they have to get off the PS4/ipad/TV/computer and come and help me get dinner ready!

Good luck anyway - hope he's ok when he gets in and that you are feeling a bit less anxious. xx

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:16:24

Hi scatter. He came home at lunch time today as he only did half day, as suggested by Doc. He said his head of year had a word with him ...... Never really elaborated more than that! But seems happy? Then he said he was starving so we nipped to the supermarket he was craving a spag Bol lol! On the way I tried to chat to him he reassured me nothing was 'wrong' at school but then he told me he feels anxious. I told him what anxiety is and how it can make you feel he says he feels like this! This is the first time he's ever mentioned it! He says he feels like he wants to do really well at school but missing lots is making him feel bad. So I bought him some rescue remedy drops. Will see how he goes? I think he has had physical symptoms, I think they are maybe being exacerbated by stress/anxiety? X

Scatter Thu 25-Feb-16 16:00:49

Oh well that's good that he did the full half day and that he seems happy. Definitely feed him up well! It's amazing how much and how often they need to eat. They do have a lot going on - pressures of secondary school, changes to their body, worries about the future and so on. Why don't you let him know that it's normal to feel anxious about things, or even to feel anxious in general, but that there are things he can do to counteract his anxiety.

Number one, keep going to school so that he doesn't get any further behind.
Number two, keep himself physically healthy by eating well, taking vitamin supplements if necessary, getting lots of exercise and outdoor time each day and getting plenty of sleep each night.
Number three, talking to you or someone else about his anxieties or fears so that others can help him work through them or support him as he works through them.
Number four, taking deep breaths to calm down and distracting himself with hobbies or pastimes that make him feel good.

Let's hope that things improve for him over the coming days and weeks. I am sure that they will - it sounds as though he has a fabulous supportive mum. I also work and find it hard to juggle it all, but it sounds as though you are doing your best and I'm sure he will recognise that so don't be hard on yourself. I hope that your anxiety lessons as he begins to feel better.

Have a good evening!

Stressedmum1972 Thu 25-Feb-16 16:09:47

Scatter Thankyou all your comments are really helpful and supportive. I really appreciate all the comments on here it's a great support when in real life I don't have any xx

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