Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stress and sickness

I really don't like it when Monster Man is sick.  When he's sick, it's a whole new experience compared to what it is like when Angel Baby and Little Man are sick.  With Monster Man, even a slight cold can completely knock him out and make him miserable.

Take today, for example.  He started coughing a little last night, but it was nothing major.  In fact, it almost sounded like he was making himself cough, something he's done off and on in the past as one of his tics, so we just kind of ignored it.  This morning, he woke up feeling miserable.  What had started off as a fake-sounding cough last night had turned into a sore throat, headache, stomach ache, body aches, slight cough, and a low-grade fever.

I could barely get him down the stairs when I woke the kids up for school, let alone get him to get dressed.  Even though he knew he was staying home and that he needed to get ready for a trip to the doctor (I thought maybe he had strep throat since it was going around and his tonsils were rather large), it was still a battle to get him to get up and eat breakfast.

It didn't take long for Monster Man's body temp to start to rise.  While I couldn't find the thermometer to take his temperature (which isn't an easy task to begin with when he's ticcing), I could tell that he had gone from being a little warm to burning up.  It's not uncommon for Monster Man to spike a fever like that, and he has even been known to develop a fever when he is stressed out.  And Monster Man was definitely stressed out this morning.  He was convinced that he was majorly sick, and the stress not only added to the fever but also to the severity of his tics.  While in the waiting room at the doctor's office, he was so concerned that his head was shaking almost nonstop during our wait.  The head-shaking didn't slow down until he realized that he was going to get to see his usual pediatrician (who has recently returned from maternity leave).

The trip to the pediatrician's office revealed that he didn't have strep throat after all.  The doctor said his symptoms appeared to be viral.  Amazingly, once he realized that he was going to make it and that he didn't even need a prescription, his temperature started dropping.  By the time we walked back out to the car, he was even smiling and asking if we could go to the store.

It's become apparent to me that Monster Man is able to make himself sick whenever he gets worked up.  It's almost like the stress triggers his entire body to start acting up.  I don't really think that he knows he is doing, just that he gets himself so worked up that he makes himself sick (and not just the usual sick-to-the-stomach kind of sick that usually accompanies stress).

Hopefully we'll be able to find a way to help him cope with his stress without becoming so sick.

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