My husband has been out of town since Sunday and I have been feeling super anxious since he left. I couldn’t figure out why but every day my anxiety was getting worse. Thankfully, I take medication for anxiety and depression so it really helps, but I couldn’t help this feeling that something was wrong.
Yesterday I got a message from my son’s SPED teacher showing me some of his writing work samples from this week. His writing ha gotten very erratic and almost illegible. She also said that he had started making noises more frequently in class. These are red flags to a PANDAS/PANS parent. It usually means he is going through or at the beginning of a flare up.
He was louder than usual that morning and just all over the place until I turned on Wallykazam and he settled down. I’ve hads a feeling this was coming, but I had to just see how he was doing for myself, so I went to his school and had lunch with him. He was fidgety and, sure enough, his pupils were completely dilated, despite having a hat on (he is allowed to keep his hats on in school because the awful lighting hurts his eyes a lot of times) . These are an indication that he is going through a flare up and that there may be some inflammation in part of his brain. I always carry children’s ibuprofen with me, so I took him to the nurse’s office after lunch and gave him some. It’s the first course of treatment anytime he starts flaring.
I have an appointment tomorrow with his doctor and for now I keep giving him the ibuprofen every eight hours to keep any inflammation down. I guess my intuition was trying to tell me something and I just couldn’t figure it out until yesterday.
PANDAS is an acronym for PediatricAutoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infection. It is an autoimmune condition initially triggered by strep infections, which disrupts a child’s normal neurologic activity. PANDAS occurs when the immune system produces antibodies, intended to fight an infection, and instead mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the child’s brain, resulting in inflammation of the brain (basal ganglia section) and inducing a sudden onset of movement disorders, neuropsychiatric symptoms and abnormal neurologic behaviors.
The signs of acute-onset OCD are different:
- It’s as if child is suddenly “possessed” by OCD symptoms
- Severe separation anxiety
- Handwriting suddenly becomes unrecognizable
- Drawings look like scribbles
- Has trouble eating
- Starts wetting the bed
- Can’t manage the math or reading he could do effortlessly the previous week
- Emotionally erratic
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
My son has several on this list, but thankfully suicidal thoughts is not one odd them! He had been rather emotional dating he doesn’t deserve certain things or that things are all his fault once he calms down emotionally.
Bottom line…Mamas know when something is going on with their children. My gut has never been wrong when it comes to my Chipmunk and I trust it. I know him better than anyone and we are very in tune with one another, so when my anxiety level went up my gut was trying to tell me something. Now I just have to get him through it. We’ve been here before and i’m confident in myself and his doctor!