About 3 months ago my 7 year old son started to vomit frequently. He vomits whenever he is in a car or at school. I have had to fetch him from school countless times because he just continues to throw up all day while he is there. He also throws up in public places, out at parks, and when there is a lot going on, for example christmas, new year.. with lots of food around and people around.. Other than that, he tends to sometimes throw up before bedtime as well. For the rest of the time, whist home and things are quiet he is fine, apart from the odd bits that come up now and then.. there is not really a pattern. I have tried taking him off dairy and looking for triggers, but there doesn't seem to be anything in particular. To manage it, we avoid milkly drinks or letting him eat too much at one setting. He does have a very healthy appetite and he is a big child for his age and a bit tubby. The school are very concerned with it, and keep telling me to go back to the doctors.. I have been to the doctors about 6 times about it.. They say he is fine and he is doing it to himself. The 4th visit they agreed he needs to be checked out and ordered blood tests. The school then said to take him straight to the A&E at the hospital. Which I did, and waited for 6 hours while he puked the whole time. It is not projectile, more like he just opens his mouth and it comes out, sometimes in large amounts, but mostly in little bits. The paediatrician at he hospital said it does need investigating but that the doctors need to refer him back to them.. so the blood tests came back fine, and he is being referred, although the doctor referring him seemed reluctant as I can see she thinks he is forcing himself. She said vomiting would be projectile and his isn't, so they will probably just refer him to a child psychologist. So now school is back after the christmas holidays and oncce again, I was called into school to take him a change of clothes as he is vomiting again. They are now writing a letter to take to the doctor to get them to hurry up the referral.. My son now has another symptom of a burning feeling in this throat down to him stomach. He had that over the weekend for a while too. I am at my wits end now, as he has missed so much school, and I get called in there nearly every day he is there to fetch him. I don't know what to think.. or how to treat him about it. Do I give sympathy or tough love? How do I know if he is faking it or if something is really wrong that he cannot help? Has anyone ever had any experience with something like this before who can give me any insight as to what is going on with him?
Well, SOMETHING is wrong, that is for sure. My guess is that he is distressed by school and other situations, and he vomits. It might have a psychological trigger, but there is also the physical component. In other words, it might be out of his control and he is not doing it to be defiant or naughty.
Of course his throat and esophagus would be burning, he has been vomiting a lot and that can damage and erode the esophagus. (Look this up under anorexia nervosa, where little girls try vomiting to make themselves thin. The damage to the esophagus from the stomach acids can be tremendous.) You'll also notice when you read up on anorexia that illnesses in which a mental reason makes someone physically sick are very difficult illnesses to treat.
If he is OK at home, and not OK in social situations or going to social situations or at school, also look up agoraphobia.
I would seriously consider:
- Talking to a child psychologist in depth as soon as possible
- Trying to assess whether the kids are teasing him or being cold or cruel to him at school
- Considering putting him into some kind of treatment and changing his school when he is well.
Thank you for your advice. it really helped.. I have finally after much perseverance seen another paediatrician who really listened and took me seriously. Her diagnosis at this stage is ADHD.. She also said it is definitely not something he can control although it is a mental issue, and the symptoms need to be taken seriously. Now hopefully we can work on getting him back on track with the right people for the job.. Funny thing is, it relates to a lot of stuff we have dealt with throughout his life, all connected. And to me that is a big relief to be able to make sense of it all.. I just thought I had an extremely difficult child. Anyway, thought i would let you know the outcome.. thanks again!
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