Thursday, 19 July 2012

A sincere thank you

I consciously try to keep my blog focussed on sewing and gardening. However, I feel the need to deviate just briefly, as a way of saying a big thank you to everyone for your support of my daughter in her illness. The many messages you have left on my blog in the last 11 weeks have been universally positive and encouraging for her, and even more so for me :)
To fill you in a little, my daughter has had constant abdominal pain and headaches since May 1st. She missed most of the last term of school. After some medication to treat a bout of constipation, her pain and headaches remain and are not able to be relieved. Abdominal ultrasounds, a brain MRI and many, many blood tests have all returned normal findings. Of course, it is good that nothing sinister has been found for her. We are very thankful for that. The cause of her pain remains a mystery. I have imposed a gluten-free diet to see if that helps. We are being advised to get her back to school and for her to deal with the pain as best she can.
It has been a tough time for our family. It is horrible to watch your normally uninhibited, happy-go-lucky, cheerful child suffering and not be able to ease her distress.  
It was her 11th birthday on the first day back at school this week. The mandatory class cupcakes were consumed enthusiastically. She has adopted the attitude that if she has to be in pain, she might as well be in pain with her friends! At least the term has started with a little brightness for her.
One of the ramifications of caring for a sick daughter is that my blog, garden and sewing have been neglected. Hopefully, this will take a turn for the better soon.


My daughter's name is Olivia. It is timely that John Mayer's new album has a song called 'Something Like Olivia'. While the lyrics aren't perfect for an 11-year-old, the sentiment is sweet. And when I crank it, and dance around the kitchen like a loony, it at least returns a beautiful smile to my Olivia's face. Hope it brings a little cheer to your day too. Bloom x


27 comments:

  1. it's a bugger you can't work it out........goodluck with the diet.......I have done elimination diets here and it is hard work on specific diets......

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    1. Thanks Donna. It's been a bit of a nightmare. Poor kid is so tired with it all. She has made it through two full days of school, but is struggling. You're so right about the diet stuff. Hard work! It's been said before, but we really shouldn't take good health for granted. It's sure come tumbling down around our ears for Olivia! Thanks for thinking of us. Ros x

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  2. It is awful when your child is unwell...persevere, you will find answers and then solutions, but the main thing is that Olivia knows she always has the unconditional love and support of her family!

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    1. Thanks Alison! I will keep going in to bat for her with the doctors. The poor kid is so exhausted. And because she doesn't look ill, it is difficult for her friends and teachers to appreciate the level of pain she is suffering. You are so right - we will keep the unconditional love and support flowing :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing about your daughter. Can't imagine how hard it is to watch your little girl in pain & not be able to figure it put. I went through something similar in high school. Went to doctors for about a year because of headaches. In the end it was anxiety related the neurologist was grasping at straws & put me on a medication to see if it would do anything. Hope you find answers soon!

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    1. Angela, thanks for your story. I do wonder if my daughter's problem might be puberty related; whether her hormones are changing which has triggered some response that is causing her headaches. I am pretty confident that it isn't an anxiety issue. You'd never meet a more laid back, happy child! Her mother on the other hand ... !!

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  4. Oh, I have that album! How wonderful to have Olivia smiling again, sometimes, through the pain of it all! It must be so difficult for all the family! Good luck in finding a solution you can all live with.

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    1. Great album, huh? We are really enjoying it. Thanks Suz for thinking of us. It has been a really horrible time, but we are hoping it will pass soon.

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  5. Have you tried taking your daughter to the osteopath? I used to suffer from a lot of pain and after regularly visiting the osteopath (12 months) I'm good as new. Maybe some ligaments or muscles are not where they are supposed to be and are contributing to the problems? It is worth a try. Good luck!

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  6. I hope your daughter gets back to full health soon. It is so hard to watch one of your kids going through so much pain....

    I LOVE the cupcakes... so cute.

    Sending hugs...

    sandyn

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  7. Hi, I haven't commented before, but as your daughter is still not doing so well I thought I would add my experience with my son to the mix as an option. My son had every test known to man for unexplained pain in the stomach, in fact it was so bad one night they were considering removing the appendix. I also took him off all the things that normally cause allergic reactions, wheat milk chjoclate egg. He too had all normal blood results ultrasounds etc. His peadetrican finally diagnosed stomach migranes. He was put on sadamigrane (a preventaive for 12 months) it took three weeks but he was a different child from then. Your daughter sounds much worse than him but I thought it might help. He was about 12-13 when it started. He is fine now, he does get adult migranes from time to time but they are manageble. Good Luck! Anne

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  8. You are the best Mummy...thinking of you all....great song..xx

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  9. My niece suffered from the age of 11 up to the age of 18. Over the years she had multiple tests, stays in hospital, missed lots of school, given a lot of painkillers . lost a lot of weight, she endured psychological testing for eating disorders and much, much more. Last year when she was 18, she underwent keyhole surgery to investigate this undiagnosed problem when by chance it was discovered she had ENDOMETRIOSIS. A very rare case for such a young woman. She has had a couple of operations and is having treatment and now she is like a different person. all that suffering all through her teens! never once did they consider endometriosis.!

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  10. Stomach migraines? What an amazing condition Anne. I am pleased your son had his illness identified.

    Missus Bloom, my heart is sad for Olivia's pain but all of me is so pleased she has parents who are fighting her corner. Perhaps discuss the osteo route w yr doctor and find a really good medical herbalist (properly clinically trained) to help ease the symptoms.

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  11. I am so sorry about your daughter. Have you tried cutting out sugar from her diet too? It's one thing when we as parents have to deal with our own health problems, but a child is on such a different level. Keep heart!! And blessings to your family.

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  12. Sending hugs and hopes that this mystery illness will just disappear, Bloom. You must be about worn out with worry, I can't imagine how awful it must be to see Olivia hurting and not be able to make it stop. Don't give up, keeping trying things like changing her diet. It sounds like she has strong attitude in the face of her adversities - what a trooper! Thinking of you and your family. Take care.

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  13. Glad to hear she is back at school even if she is still unwell, I know the feeling... My boy returned this week but may have been a bit premature as he is home again today, we just have to take it one day at a time I guess. Thinking of you all. Pen xox

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  14. I am a regular viewer of your blog, and have felt bad for your families suffering. I dont think it is my place to tell you what to do....but.
    My husband had kidney stones, the doctors addressed and took care of that issue and did not check anything else (other pains) chalking them up to the stones. I pushed and pushed and he finally went to another specialist and they found and addressed the bigger problem.

    I recommend (with care) that you continue to see other specialists, and dont give up. The only reason I say that is if there is something else going on then it can be addressed before it becomes more than it is now.
    Our surgeon said we were lucky, usually his condition "does not present" until it is to late.
    Trying hard not to scare you, but instead show that persistance prevailed.

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  15. So odd that I happened to stumble onto your blog as I was browsing through pinterest and then found one of your pictures on flicker and then found your blog. My daughter has suffered from headaches and stomach pains and generally being totally exhausted for the last few years, with many tests from the doctor, and even going to a neurologist. Not much was found by traditional medicine (though the neurologist said that she had no known reasons for her headaches, but a very good headache cure was to take 2 advil with a sugar (non-diet) caffiene soda.) this did give her some relief, but she had still suffered, and missed a year of college this past year. I visited with a cousin who I hadn't seen in many years, and found out that she is a Nurse-Practioner and works with people who haven't been helped by typical medicine. She felt that it sounded like my daughter may be suffering from food allergies. I took her off corn (reading labels very carefully, since corn starch and corn syrup are hidden in many foods!), but within 3 days she was starting to get a little energy back and feeling a little better. She's had a few setbacks when something with corn has slipped into her diet. My cousin also ordered a food allergy blood test to be taken, which we are in the process of doing. My daughter also had a "standard" blood panel taken and was found to be very low in Vitamin D (my cousin said this is typical because when you have food allergies, your intestines are under so much stress that they aren't absorbing nutrients properly.) My daughter was told that it was just anxiety and that she needed anti-anxiety meds, (and that she needed to force herself to go to school: sounds like what they told your daughter), but she felt that that wasn't right. I'm pretty disappointed in traditional doctors, for I feel that they said "We couldn't figure it out, so we're going to quit trying: it's all in your head." I'm feeling blessed to have found my cousin who is willing to listen and treat this as a real problem that she would like to help with. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, for I know how helpless and distressed you feel as a parent of a sick child. You'd do anything to help them!!!(hlebrett at live dot com)

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    1. You might want to look into GAPS. It's a diet for healing your gut and entire body with food. I have Hashimoto's (an autoimmune disease) and I went on GAPS to treat it and it's been extremely successful. I started off allergic to dairy and eggs but have healed to where they don't bother me. I'm still very sensitive to gluten and gluten free grains though. If I eat them I get stomach aches and rashes and have emotional problems.

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  16. I really hope you do get some answers at some point...it's no fun when you have to suffer, but even worse if it is your child. I have spent the last 6 years trying to work out what was wrong with me and in the end it turns out I was Vitamin D deficient...who knew something so simple would take so long to diagnosis. Don't give up, keep asking, keep challenging, the answer is there. Hopefully all these comments will yield something useful too. ((hugs))

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  17. In bocca al lupo per la tua Olivia, che possa presto stare di nuovo bene come merita che sia!

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  18. Sorry to hear Olivia has been unwell for so long...I hope you find an answer soon enough for her to get back to her Normal adl's...
    Hope you are keeping well regardless too.
    Take Care
    cheers

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  19. Have you read the book "Wheat Belly"? You might find it interesting and perhaps useful as you navigate a new path with your daughter. Good luck!

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  20. Thank you for the update. Your family is in my thoughts!

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  21. Do you think it could be food allergies? Maybe she is gluten intolerant.

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  22. My daughter was off almost a whole term....we got little sympathy, the school were more worried about her absence record!!!

    No diagnosis was made other than stress and no tests carried out!

    She has had this for just over a year and the headaches have finally become migraines and have co-incided with the start of her periods! Lets hope it now falls into a pattern or now eases off.

    I hope your little beauty can overcome her troubles....she is so amazingly positive.....what a girl!

    Much love xx

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