Tuesday, September 8, 2009

oh, my Emma

Well, i have decided to put Emma, my 7 year old, back in therapy. It makes me sad to do it, but I am at a loss as to how to handle her anxiety and must defer to those who know what they are doing.

Last night Emma came home from her dad's house late, so I got her to bed pretty much right away. She started to itch her skin and couldn't stop. When she was little she had some mild eczema, but hasn't had it for a long time. And she isn't itchy all day, just at night. Anyway, she could not stop itching, even after i put lotion on her skin. She began to cry and really get hysterical and at one point she said "it's like the world is ending" which sounded kind of dramatic but if you were there you could see that she was really feeling that way. My heart just went out to her. I remember having panic attacks when I was a kid and feeling like it was the end of the world. i never wanted this for my daughter!

I called the pediatrician today to discuss the itchy skin and since there was no rash they didn't really want to see her. They said to use hydrocortizone cream on her skin 3 times a day for 3 days and see if that helped. But it seems like alot of ot is psychological. She just gets so worked up and the more upset she gets, the more she itches. The other thing she does sometimes at night is uncontrolable movements. She cant sleep at night because she cant stop stretching and contracting her fingers (tiger-claw style) and moving her legs. She says she cant stop and gets really frustrated about it and starts to cry, which just makes it worse. The only thing that has helped is if I sit with her and give her a backscratch to help her relax until she is sleepy enough to go to sleep. I did this last night when she was itchy, too.

I feel so helpless as her mother that she is experiencing these things. I want more than anything for her to be a happy, normal little girl. I don't want her to grow up with the identity of being mentally ill, which can sometimes happen when therapy starts at a young age. And please God, I do not want her to be put on psych meds!

But, I have to get her the help that she needs. And i'm hoping that if I include enough other things in her life, she will be well-rounded and not feel like the only thing that is special about her is her mental ilness (like I did when I was a kid). I have signed her up for art lessons at the local art center, and am always looking for ways to get us involved in fun community things as a family.

The therapist I found for her is in a practice that includes psychiatrist, therapists, and a nutritionist. They specialize in children and seem to look at the whole child to try to help find solutions. It really was the best place I could find. Her first appointment is tommorrow.

Because of the stress I kind of fell apart this morning and purged several times. But then I had a healthy lunch and am trying to salvage the day. I know that I have to be healthy if I want to raise healthy children. I want to havee another baby some day and I can't do that if I am purging (well I could but it wouldn't be the healthiest choice). But lately I've been kind of down thinking "how can you think about having another child when you already have one in therapy? You've already screwed up one blah blah blah". But I know really a large part of it is genetic and it's not my fault. At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself.


Eating Alone said...

Ok calm down. Your not a bad mom. Your working on fixing your child. 1st you need your strenght so when you feel the urge to purge just think of her, if you hurt yourself who will take care of her? 2nd if they try and put her on psych med's get a second op, and a third and try and get other options. All you can do is what you think is right for her. That's WISE mind stuff. You can't be there if your not strong enough. Be strong. Do whatever it takes. I said it before put a picture of her up right beside the bowl so if you try and purge you'll have to look at her picture to do it. It's hard and it suck's so fight hard. I'll keep you both in my prayers.

lisalisa said...

who am i kidding. I will never get off my meds. i will never have another child. i am just way too f'ed up.

Keely said...

You are a wonderful parent! And if you want to have another baby, you can do it! Just because Emma has anxiety, doesn't mean your a bad parent.

PTC said...

My heart breaks for your daughter. Poor thing. I hope that this therapist if helpful. It's awful to see a child suffering.

Alexandra Rising said...

Best of luck with the little one.
And there is nothing wrong with being on medication if they help you. Dont think of the stigma that follows them.

now.is.now said...

Everything about this points to you being a wonderful mother. I hope the therapist helps Emma. I feel so badly for her to have to go through that. An identity as a therapy patient or medication or any of those things is better than dealing with such strong anxiety it would seem to me. I wouldn't worry too much about her identifying herself as mentally ill; I think that is something that can be addressed and prevented. You are a wonderful person, Lisa. I hope the art classes are fun for Emma.

I just can't emphasize enough how highly I think of you. Please don't doubt yourself - it's not an effectie strategy anyway. You are doing the best you can - and that seems to be a pretty awesome job anyway!