Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anxiety

We are still dealing with Neve’s extreme throw-up phobia over here. I was sure it would be a short-lived phase, but instead it’s getting worse.

When Neve's teacher told the class yesterday that she would be at a conference today and there would be a substitute teacher, Neve sunk to her lowest point yet. Not only was the next day (today) a Thursday (the day the first child threw up), it’s also the day I can’t pick her up for lunch because I go in to work. She was beside herself with worry; among other things, she was worried that the substitute teacher might throw up. The same teacher subbed one afternoon last week and the only reason Neve agreed to go back to school after lunch that day was because her regular teacher was also there, doing student testing. I had to talk to the sub and make sure she was aware of Neve’s issue. It makes her feel better if her teachers and lunch supervisors know about it; not really sure why - maybe so they can shield her from any vomit-related situations that arise. I believe I’ve spoken to every staff member in Winnipeg School Division #1 except for the superintendent himself.

Anyway, last night she could hardly eat dinner and nothing we did could get her mind off her anxiety about the next day. Reasoning with her was about as successful as me trying to convince Chloe that Justin Bieber isn’t awesome. I was pretty sure that once the school day was over (assuming the teacher kept down her lunch), she’d say it wasn’t that bad and would be proud of herself for facing her fears. But she was so distraught and bordering on hysterical last night that I finally gave up and asked Grandma if Neve could skip school and spend the day with her instead. I don’t know if that was the best parenting decision I’ve ever made, but the relief that came over her when I told her she could go to Grandma’s made me think it was the right thing.

I’ve wondered if there’s some deeper issue involved, but she seems to love everything else about school, her teacher, and her friends. It’s frustrating because her irrational fears are casting a shadow on all of the good things. Even though I think it’s ridiculous, I know it is very real to her and I’m not sure if we just wait it out and hope this phase passes, or if we need professional help. If anyone has any advice or insight you'd like to share, please do so!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Daniel must have some advice how he deals with his puke & poop phobia! I have no other advice than that, we're focused on trying to make it through our road trip with 2 sick kids. Sorry. Jim

Anonymous said...

Oh Ellen, I feel so bad for Neve and you guys. What a tough thing to deal with. My best advice is to ask Todd Sellick. He's really great at answering questions like this and does not mind being asked them.

Hang in there.
Sheri-Lee

Anonymous said...

Oh, Ellen. It's not funny anymore, is it? I think you should talk to someone. I think when anxieties start interfering with life, it's a good idea to get some advice. And maybe it's nothing more than a childhood fear that Neve will grow out of, but there is nothing wrong with just making sure. Or even just advice on helping Neve learn new ways of easing this anxiety - a tool she can use for more than just this. Thinking of you! xo

Sio.

Corinna said...

Maybe buy some fake puke somewhere and just make her stare at it for a long time...okay, go with someone else's idea. Todd Sellick is great, for sure, I've asked him kid anxiety questions before and he's always very laid back and makes me feel like I'm not a screw up parent and that my kid will be okay. Did she have one particular, very scarring puking incident herself? Puke is rough; Julio is our official puke handler around here.
And I think sending her to gramma's was a great idea...really, school is there all the time, but one-on-one's with gramma don't happen every day. My mom's philosophy on school was that we only needed to be there 80% of the time...any little stomachache and I was home.
Said a little prayer for Neve, hope today is totally puke and anxiety free!

Rose said...

I feel your pain, Ellen! I'll send you an email about our family issues with anxiety.

L said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and emails. It's good to hear from others in similar situations; I appreciate you taking the time to share your issues.

Neve had a great weekend; as the end of the weekend came closer, the fears returned. We are working on some coping techniques for now - for me, not for her. haha