My son is having headaches…

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    The other night I had to take my son to the emergency room. Ultimately I don’t have the emotional energy right now to explain everything that has been going on, but both me and him are still trying to get out of crisis mode and into some sort of normal life.

    I still worry about my son going with his dad. I know his dad has always been very physical with him. For example he will pull on his hair, cup his hands around his face and get right up in his face, pulling at his neck…all with the appearance that he’s just playing.

    We were in a devastating car accident that was my ex-husband’s fault in 2012. They had said that my son was ok, but as a mother I knew he had suffered whiplash. I knew something was different.

    My son has been diagnosed with PTSD as well as me. He also hit his face on the playground twice in one year, causing one tooth to actually die which will need to be removed this summer.

    My son has been experiencing headaches for months now. I have started to give him massages. They don’t seem to be helping. He also has TMJ I think from stress…He grinds his teeth and night just like I do, which is total stress.

    I took him to the ER because I thought it would be the best place for him. He had a headache that just wasn’t going away. They didn’t do much. They asked me a lot of questions, checked his vision, and ultimately the attending doctor recommended cranial sacral massage. She thinks it’s an accumulation of injuries, and she thinks that he may have gotten a concussion when he hit his head on the playground…but they didn’t run ANY tests or scans to be sure. I feel like the doctors were just shooting bullets in the dark.

    I was shocked that the doctor also recommended acupressure and/or acupuncture. Isn’t that woo woo medicine? She told me to give him ibuprofen for the pain. Typical American response there…

    I know that my son’s neck is messed up from all of these things. I don’t think his dad is hitting him but I know he’s still rough with him. I stressed with him that he needs to take care of his head and neck. I’m not sure that he even believes me.

    Yesterday I asked my ex if he would be willing to take our son a little earlier than normal because I wanted to meet up with someone for a coffee date. He agreed, but said that I would need to take him grocery shopping. So I took him shopping and he took his sweet ass time…more than he ever has. It was deliberate I think to ddddrrraaaaggggg it out because he knew I had somewhere to be.

    Then he was very rude and passive aggressive in the car on the way back to his house. Then as I was trying to leave he said, “I’m going to send our son in the house and I need to talk to you outside.” When we got outside his said to me, “I don’t like the way you are acting with _______and I want it to stop.” And I said, “What do you mean?” Our son came outside….he was hugging on me and didn’t want me to leave. My ex said, “We’ll talk later.”

    I am almost sure of what he’s going to say. He’s going to tell me that my son’s headaches aren’t real and that they are all in my head. He’s going to tell me I’m crazy and over-reacting…

    The sheer fact that I know a conversation like that is looming on the horizon and that things are going to be like this again….it’s sent me deeper into the depression I’ve been fighting. I’m heartbroken to see my son suffering every day and trying to help him and being told information that I don’t know if I can trust by doctors. And to know that his father doesn’t take it seriously or care and blames ME…adds an extra layer of stress.

    I’m seriously depleted and trying my best not to break down. I feel my own sanity slipping away slowly and the stress building up. The fact that I know my ex-husband is about to verbally attack me and blame me….it makes me sick to my stomach and it has put me back in a place I don’t want to be in. I feel like he’s already attacked me and he hasn’t even said what he needs to say.

    I had thought that we were getting along well. It’s been months since any major problems…but I can feel that he’s making up for lost time. I’m going to be assaulted and I am already feeling physical effects in my body because of it. I’m sick to my stomach. tense. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep well. I’m failing in school because depression has taken hold of me so strongly. I’m worried about my son.

    My PTSD symptoms have returned. I keep having mental images of being raped that I can’t get rid of. I think that becoming a phone actress was a bad idea. What the fuck was I thinking?

    I had an appointment to see a therapist on Thursday. I was so excited….then come to find out she double booked me with someone else. So I left with no appointment. it was our first appointment together….

    I am feeling very scared for the future. My health has deteriorated and I am trying to stay positive, but I’m slipping. I know that my son is experiencing similar feelings. He doesn’t like his dad and never wants to see him ever. I want to move back home to Albuquerque, but it’s full of gangs, violence and drugs. I don’t want my son to have to live like I did growing up.

    I feel like on one hand I’ve grown a lot. I’ve seen a glimpse of hope that my life can be what I want it to be…but I still feel like I’m in prison. Trying to live close to my son’s dad so he can have a relationship with him and know him…but what if we’re both better off without him? I’ve always hoped that the good mixed with the bad is better than my son having NO dad…I’ve always tried to be supportive of their relationship….

    I am thinking that it might be better to move…somewhere….I don’t know if I’m thinking rationally. I just want to survive and thrive. I’m very tired of living in fear waiting for the ball to drop…waiting for the next assault from him. I would love it if I didn’t have that stress every week. but I’ve tried to allow my son to still see his dad…

    After yesterday it was a strong reminder why I left. I had almost forgotten. I thought he had changed. He has not…He is never going to praise me for being a good mother. He is never going to say thank you for getting his green card. He simply doesn’t give a shit about me…and he is always going to try to make me feel horrible about myself.

    I am depressed. I am scared. I don’t know what to do. I’m growing weary of fighting. I am going to try cranial sacral massage for my son. The problem is that insurance doesn’t cover it…and I have NO money…



    My older daughter had visual symptoms of migraine (without headaches) at 9 years old, but we didn’t realize it was migraine until years later when serious headaches kicked in. Before anything gets diagnosed, try to be aware of potential triggers like something in the diet, and (like you say) TMJ. My daughter had (probably genetic) TMJ and finally got treated in her early 20s by an orthodontist so that her jaw would sit more comfortably, which helped. With internet research maturing, I’ve effectively diagnosed a few things now that I couldn’t have several years ago, so learn what you can and have higher level discussions with med and psych workers.

    Don’t give up on the system! It has its own problems, but most of the people in it still care, and you should at least have someone to talk with who can keep your circumstances and history documented. I know you know that, but do your best to beat the depression, which is itself debilitating. Find the best friends possible you can do things with, and don’t blame yourself even when you make mistakes. Maybe think about other people in your situation, and wonder what they might do, or what you might think of doing to help them. (I made a lot of progress by turning my depression around that way… seeing if I could gain insight just by imagining I’m in other people’s shoes who deserve better than what they have.)


    Simon Paynton

    Personally, from where I’m sitting, it makes sense for you and your son to get waaaaay away from his dad, and get him out of your lives.


    Nina va der Roos

    Acupuncture is definitely not woo-woo medicine, I use it for morning sickness for my pregnant ladies all the time with very high levels of success. The interesting thing is that you could almost call Ibuprofen woo-woo medicine when you see the real figures for it’s efficacy ! Where modern medicine excels is trauma and acute care but after that the case gets really blurry, really fast. Between my 17 years as a nurse, midwife and partner to a woman with an extra-ordinary knowledge of physiology I have come to realize that for chronic and sub-acute health issues medicine is not just totally lacking it is actually dangerous.

    It took me a while to come around to my wife’s view of health but in the end I could not argue with her results – what we eat is everything, the state of our small and large intestine determines pretty much every single aspect our long term health. While I cannot say I have seen her cure autism I have seen a child turned from a screaming monsters to a placid sweet child able to learn and love living again. I have seen her normalise sky high blood pressue. I have seen what had been diagnosed as a severe case of pustulent psoriasis covering arms, legs torso and face transformed into healthy normal skin in four weeks.

    Mind you I suspect many people would recoil at some of the things she makes us eat in our house, including clay, fermenting cabbage, tangy yoghurt that bubbles but I cannot recall when any of us (inc of four children) have had a cold or an upset stomach, or any illness for that matter. Anyway i am deviating, Belle Judith has signed on AZ now, have a chat to her.
    Love, Nina.



    @Bellerose I wholly support Nina’s statement that acupuncture is not woo. I’ve seen it work and experienced it doing so even though I dislike the needle concept. It won’t fix a broken leg, but it does stimulate nerve endings to achieve some remarkable results, and best of all, there are no side-effects.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 10 months ago by  Strega. Reason: Typos :)


    Good to know…I thought acupuncture was woo woo, but I guess not…I do believe in the “you are what you eat…” We do not eat like the typical American. I cook at home and make almost everything from scratch. We eat the healthiest form of Mexican food you can imagine. I make homemade quinoa tortillas as our bread, we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and say WAY away from processed food…

    I’m almost positive that what’s happening is related to the physical abuse of his dad and the car accident…I’m going to get him in for a cranial sacral massage as soon as I get my financial aid money…and I’m going to keep giving him massages myself…and I’ve already taught him about meditation. we listen to meditation music every day and he closes his eyes and breathes…

    I hate giving him medicine. Friday was the first day in his entire life that he took ibuprofen and only because his headache had just been going on for days with no relief. It has helped and not been back since…anyway….Thank you for the information Nina and please let me know if you hear of any natural remedies I can try. Thank you!!!!!

    Thank you Strega! Thank you Pope!!!

    @SimonPayton, I am not sure that getting his dad out of our lives is possible. There’s good mixed with the bad…and it’s a matter of managing the bad to allow the good to shape him as a man…that’s the goal anyway…

    Update: I was surprised that my ex-husband didn’t bite my head off like I was expecting. He respectfully told me today that he didn’t want me to “ask” our son if his head hurt but to just allow him to tell me when it hurt. he was worried that I would by suggesting it make him start to say it hurt for the positive attention he might receive for it. I understand his point and simple explained I had only been asking the last couple of days because this pain had gone on for months now and i needed to know what to tell the doctors. I’m not starting a diary to document when he tells me it hurts, the circumstances, etc…

    I’m relieved that he didn’t verbally attack me like he would have before…maybe he had changed…I am relieved to know I don’t have to be on the defensive. It has calmed my nerves down.

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