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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My best friend's ds (29 mos) just had surgery to remove his tonsils and adanoids (sic?). The surgery was very necessary, as the organs in question were desperately infected. "Sam" is still nursing, and cosleeping, and has a SAHM who loves him to pieces.<br><br>
Here's the problem. He has Post-tramautic stress as a result of the surgery and hospital stay. He has enormous tantrums every day. He won't take his shirt off; he won't leave food behind, or let you throw it out. She has bread crumbs, CRUMBS, in her fridge because he will freak out if they aren't there. And he will check.<br><br>
It's getting to the point where they can't take him out in public, because they know something with set him off. I saw one of these tantrums, and quite frankly I was shocked. I've never seen a two-year old go off like that. Hysterical screaming for 30 minutes, and he was completely unable to stop. And she couldn't help him. They came downstairs where I was, and I finallly got him calmed down with skin-to-skin and gently blowing in his face (I know, it sounds weird, but he couldn't catch his breath; I was thinking that sometimes hearing another person breathe slowly helps us to slow our own breathing - heck, it worked in childbirth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
She's at her wits end, and I don't know how to help. Any thoughts???<br><br>
-Melissa
 

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Honestly, if it is that bad, I would make an appointment with a counselor. Obviously this is a very loving mama, who has done all she can right, and this hospital stay has really messed with the child. I normally am more of a wait and see, keep loving on the child type of person. But if it were my child, I'd see a counselor and get the professional help with this. Sorry I can't say more. I just would hate to see things go so downhill for this family <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> So sad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the worst part... she did. His advice was to give "Sam" a particular stuffed animal to hold when he melts down, to try to calm himself. Needless to say, it doesn't work all that well. "Sam" doesn't have a lovey, and never has. He's always had his mama right there for him, and he never seemed to need anything else. She tried to get him to attach to a bear once, but he wasn't really interested.<br><br>
I don't know if he (the counselor) gave her any other info... that was all she told me about anyway.<br><br>
-Melissa
 

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If you were to read Aletha Solter (The Aware Baby, & Tears and Tantrum), she'd recommend letting him cry it all out (and NOT in the CIO way). She believes that tears serve as a very useful outlet for releasing pent up emotions and emotions people don't know how to otherwise handle. Her method involves holding a child quietly while they cry and doing nothing to help or get them to stop. Speaking in a soothing tone to empathize and talk about releasing the emotions is helpful. She claims that once a child is "done" crying they will stop on their own and be ready to play or sleep. I wouldn't know, because when my daughter cries and I try this, dd wants to nurse and if we don't nurse she is crying about not nursing and that doesn't seem helpful to me.<br><br>
It is worth looking into. Solter has a web site:<br><a href="http://www.awareparenting.com/" target="_blank">Aware Parenting</a><br>
I recommend Solter with a grain of salt, though because she has lots to say that I don't agree with. I think she takes her basic premise to far (she doesn't believe in BF for comfort), but the basics make sense to me. If your friend thought about how she'd react to a friend of hers crying in a similar manner to her son, she'd hold that person, say soothing things and let them cry as long as they needed to and as many times as they needed to.<br><br>
Give her (and him too, poor kid) lots of hugs.
 

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the more I think about it, your frined should think about how she would respond if a friend went through a trauma (car accident, loved on dying...). You wouldn't expect them to get over it quickly and you have them stay home and not go out for a long while and you'd let them cry on your shoulder. You'd feed them their favorite foods and help them sleep and keep the lights low. You'd talk about it when they wanted to, but you wouldn't push.<br><br>
Perhaps that kind of perspective will be helpful.
 

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Has your friend gotten a copy of the hospital records from her son's surgery?<br><br>
The only person I know of who has had this kind of post-traumatic stress from a hospital stay is my MIL. Back when she had her first child in the 50s they gave her the twilight sleep drug which is supposed to make you forget everything. Well, she remembers everything, how out of control she was, how she was tied down, the pain. And when she tried to convince her husband and her dr. that she had all these memories, the dr. would only say that she didn't really remember all those things and she must have made it up.<br><br>
What I am getting at is that even though the surgery was necessary, scary things may have happened which would help to explain his behavior. Some of this might be in the hospital records. In a less litigious society you might even be able to talk to the doctors and nurses and ask them what happened - especially regarding his shirt - maybe he woke up momentarily and was upset to discover that he wasn't wearing anything.<br><br>
Even though he is only 2 yo, maybe his mom can talk to him about what happened in the surgery, what might have been scary.<br><br>
I'm kinda grasping at straws. Anyway, I would certainly seek out another therapist who will take your friend's concerns more seriously.
 

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I would try some music therapy at home, Mozart works very good. Also try to investigate a little what happened at the hospital, maybe the little one can make a drawing of the experience and that will lead to some answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone who posted!!! I am very grateful for all your thoughtful and loving advice, and will pass all of it along.<br><br>
Grumo: thanks for the website, I checked it out, and it looks interesting.<br><br>
Corriander: wouldn't it be nice, if we lived in a society where your physicians were partners in your COMPLETE care, and not more concerned with their own survival??? Luckily, "Sam" is very verbal, and I will pass along your suggestion to my friend. He might be able to tell her what happened.<br><br>
Again, thanks everyone!<br>
-Melissa
 
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