Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She Comes by it Honestly

Okay, all you moms out there in the bloggosphere -- put on your doctor hats because I need your advice.

One of our daughters (whom I'll call "Monkey") has a recurring stomach problem. It is rather unpredictable, which makes it difficult to pin point the "common denominator". We had thought it was maybe a lactose intolerance issue -- but even with limiting her diet and taking an occasional Lactaid tablet, the stomach aches (cramping) continue to flare up here and there.

Well, she had gone most of the summer without any of those symptoms, and our hope was that she had outgrown this phase in her medical history.

No such luck. The school nurse called last Friday, and I had to go retrieve Monkey from school for that very reason. I wasn't too worried about it, as she had overdosed on the pizza buffet the night before, with an ice cream chaser. Even the hardiest of us lactose tolerators would suffer consequences -- can I get an Amen?

The weekend was uneventful, with few complaints. But then ...... it was back to school time and the stomach aches started again. My gut feeling (pardon the pun) is that she has a "nervous stomach".

The school nurse just called me .... again ..... we're becoming well acquainted. Monkey is lying down in the nurse's office as I type this, with stomach cramps. She'll call me back to come get her from school, if that tummy doesn't settle down soon.

As a kid, I don't remember having a nervous stomach, but I was definitely a worrier. And a chewer. And a picker. I spent the better part of middle school with tiny bleeding spots around my fingernail bed. And I still have lots of nervous habits, which I fear I've passed on to my Monkey. She's always got her fingers in her mouth.......

So, any advice on what can I do for her? Any ideas, before I have to take her to the doctor?

I'd welcome any comments ...... and in the meantime, I'll sit here chewing my fingers, willing the phone NOT to ring.


Jenny said...

HI Sharon!
When I was in third grade I had "stomach aches" everyday and my parents had to come get me frequently too. I even stopped wearing any pants with buttons and zippers to try to remedy it. But, the thing I never told my parents is that I had a really scary (to me) teacher and was constantly worried in her class. Mix that with the fact that I never ate school lunch because it was gross, you can see why I missed more days that year than any other. I could be completely wrong with this, but especially when you said she was fine on the weekend and having trouble at school, it really made me think that might be the problem. I even talked to a gastroenterologist about this one time because he had seen it so much that he wanted to publish a study on this very thing.
Now with all this info what do you do?? I have no idea...I'll leave that to another blogger. I just want you to know from a grown up who was been there that "nervous tummy" at school is definitely real.

Courtney said...

These are some random thoughts: with being back to school and all the longer sitting, maybe it's gas from inactivity. Would a Tums or something help? My oldest sometimes gets gas cramps after eating and having to sit around. Once she gets moving, the pains go away.

Maybe it's a food sensitivity to gluten or something like that. You could do a food elimination diet if it's ongoing to rule out the culprit.

Or nerves, like you said. If it's nerves, then you should see it go away as she gets more comfortable in her new routine.

Good luck diagnosing!

Courtney said...

Glad it's all working out. Thanks for updating me!

Busymama Kellie said...

I'd love to hear the diagnosis for this too. When I was around 11 or so I suffered from debilitating stomach cramps as well. To the point where I'd have to go home from school. The doctors could never figure it out and it eventually just went away after a year or so. The only thing I could think of was that it was, umm, gas. I was going through the stage when I was very self-conscious and was too embarrassed to "remedy" the situation even if I was alone. How's that for bottling it up? Of course, I have no problem in that area now. To the dismay of my husband.