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Hi, mamas!<br>
It's been rough, rough times here and I'm crying myself to sleep at night worrying about my little man. Where do I start? Brief as I can be:<br><br>
Last summer he came down with a bacterial infection (thought it was rotovirus but was something more) that ended up being H.U.S. (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) and he went into kidney failure and was put on dialysis for 12 days -- 4 blood transfusions and 3 surgeries...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: We almost lost him and they couldn't tell us what caused it - whether it was e-coli or another form of a genetic disease...but he is all over that now.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/praying.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="praying">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/praying.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="praying">:<br><br>
He has had some anger/tantrum issues that are age appropriate but very aggressive - head banging (which seems to have subsided but very, very physical - flailing arms/legs). I'm learning to help him through these and know his triggers. Our ped says normal because of what he went through and I just hold him and talk him through.<br>
BUT<br>
Now he has to have tonsils/adnoids and tubes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I cried just worrying about how much he has suffered over this last year. People have said, "He won't remember...he'll be fine" but he is very smart, intelligent and has the most intense personality of any child I have known.<br><br>
Any mamas that can give my some insight? Do you think he'll remember all this? We have a great relationship with lots of communication because he has really strong issues with transitions so we talk, talk, talk everything through until it is all talked out<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If we openly talk about what he has gone through do you think it will ease the traumatic memories for him?<br><br>
When he was so ill last summer (22 months) we weren't able to hold him a lot because A) he was in severe pain with dialysis hourly B) he was hooked up to the cathater which made it hard but I would hold him until he wanted to just lay down alone again. He didn't understand a whole lot and was pretty out of it most of the time. Hopefully he won't remember too much of that. He's great when we go to our Children's hospital for checks and is very excited about seeing the neat things there.<br><br>
Sorry so long, but I am looking for some hope and help as to what we should do to help him through this awful year.<br>
Hugs,<br>
Beffy
 

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Beffy- if I recall correctly, the brains of 2 year olds are not wired to remember anything. They just can't do it- that's a developmental deal that evolves with age. Chances are he won't remember much of this at all, and what he does remember will be so fuzzy you can easily replace it with a softer version of the story. When he asks about being so sick when he's older, you can tell him about how brave he was, how much you love him, and maybe that he was really sick but he was strong and loved and recovered well. You know what I mean? The spin you put on it will be much more important than the fuzzy memories of being a patient in the hospital.
 

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i think he's more likely to remember the good parts over the bad, like having a special toy to take into surgery or the food he gets to eat in the hospital.<br>
my daughter broke her leg due to a congenital deformity in her tibia when she was 20 months old. she was in casts for a few months and had xrays and an mri, as well.<br>
last fall, a routine xray showed another site and the doctor was concerned about her bone growth. she had a biopsy and casts again for another few months. she was completely beside herself coming out of g.a. and in lots of pain.<br>
now, she doesn't seem to remember the pain or the bad parts or scary experiences. she talks about the stuffed toys she had with her, the stickers they gave her and the popsicles she got after surgery! very positive outlook, toddlers have!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s to you and your ds, this must have been such a difficult thing to go through. I will speak from my experience only, and also my instinctual feelings. I have done no research, can't quote books or "experts", etc. My dd was deep suctioned directly after birth due to meconium staining. When my milk came in 3 days later, she started crying almost every time she nursed. We spent <i>months</i> trying to find the cause. We wondered about reflux, food sensitivities (I did a total elimination diet to no avail), etc. My life was a living hell with a baby who cried inconsolably an awful lot. It was directly related to nursing, and I kept having these thoughts that maybe it was tied to the suctioning. But my "rational" brain kept telling me I was being silly. I mean, how can a newborn "remember" what happened just after birth? It didn't make any sense.<br><br>
Well, I eventually stumbled across <a href="http://www.iahe.com/html/therapies/cst.jsp" target="_blank">craniosacral therapy</a> when my dd was about 4 months old. I found the loving and healing hands of a chiropractor as well as a massage therapist who specializes in CST. Between the two of them, they healed my dd's trauma from the suctioning, and for the first time I was able to nurse her without feeling like I was torturing her. The CST sessions were incredibly intense, with my dd releasing the emotions she had stored from the trauma. I blogged about this <a href="http://shasta.blogsome.com/2006/06/06/birth-story-part-9-epilogue-for-m/" target="_blank">here</a>, if you want to read about it in more detail.<br><br>
I was so amazed by CST, I started going for sessions myself. My CS therapist talks to me during the session, asking me what thoughts and feelings are arising while she works on me. During one session, my head kinked into a very uncomfortable position, and she asked me how I felt. I told her I felt "trapped" and "stuck" (these were the first words that came to mind in response to her question). We spent some time talking about other times in my life that I've felt this way. When she asks me questions, the answers come to me as words, thoughts and images that float up in my mind. When she asked me when was the first time I had felt this way ("trapped" and "stuck"), I was shocked at what came up. This is no joke ... I saw a neon sign in my mind that was flashing the words "BIRTH CANAL". I swear to god! I'm not kidding! I started laughing right there on the table, because it seemed so cliched, but there was no denying what my body was telling me.<br><br>
For the rest of the session, we explored my birth and "re-lived" it, and by the time it was over my head was straight, and I could look farther to the left than I had known possible. I had been carrying a kink in my neck since the time of birth, and didn't even know it (this session happened when I was 35 years old!).<br><br>
Did I remember my birth in the way you and I as adults remember things? No. But the memory of the event was clearly stored in my body, and when my CS therapist asked questions, certain images and words came to me. By accepting those things, and then re-imagining my birth, I allowed my body to heal.<br><br>
I also had a conversation with my mother after this session, and confirmed several things with her that I had not known previously, but came to me during this session; such as the fact that I was posterior. It's not uncommon for posterior babies to have tipped (acynclitic) heads (in fact, that was my dd's experience, too). So it's very likely that my head was tipped during birth, and I experienced it as very scary and painful, felt "trapped" and "stuck", as well as the fact that it messed up my neck.<br><br>
I tell you about these experiences because they have led me to believe that there are different kinds of memory. There is the kind of memory that is readily understood and accepted by adults. We remember what we did yesterday (maybe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). I remember what I had for breakfast this morning. I remember where I put my car keys (hopefully!). And so on. But I also believe in tissue or muscle or body memory. The body remembers things that we may not remember in the "traditional" way. And the mind can remember things differently as well. There's a fabulous book called <a href="http://www.nofreudnoprozac.com/" target="_blank">The Instinct to Heal</a>, written by a psychiatrist, that talks about the difference between the "primitive" and "cognitive" brains, and how emotions and trauma are stored in the "primitive" brain, and the best way to access and heal this trauma is typically through body work (he cites things like acupuncture, meditation, nutrition, exercise, etc.). To me, the work he has done goes hand in hand with my belief in tissue memory.<br><br>
But we are each individuals. There are plenty of newborns who are deep suctioned who don't have the response my dd had. I have come to believe that my dd happens to be a particularly sensitive child (she has proven it to me over and over <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). I think every one of us carries the memories of what happens to us, but we don't all respond to those memories in the same way. So here is where the mama instinct comes into play. From what you've written, it sounds like your gut feeling is that some of you ds's behavior is linked to the trauma of what he went through. Well, by all means then, <i>believe yourself</i>. I let my dd, myself and dh suffer for many months because I didn't listen to my instinct about the suctioning.<br><br>
If you want to try to help your ds heal, I have a few suggestions. I think CST is an incredibly powerful tool. You can search for a practitioner at <a href="http://www.upledger.com/home.htm" target="_blank">this site</a> (click on "Find a Practitioner" towards the bottom). You can search by geographic location, and you'll be able to see the training everyone has had. I have looked into this extensively, and have even taken some CST training myself, so I would recommend a therapist who has had CSI, CSII, SERI and CSP (pediatrics) at a bare minimum. There are good and bad CS therapists out there, so see if you can get some recommendations, or if you're not happy, find someone else. They should have a lot of experience working with children. And if your ds is carrying trauma, there WILL be crying during the session. A therapist who tries to minimize or redirect the crying is doing your ds a disservice.<br><br>
Another thing you might look into is crying in arms. Here is a <a href="http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/bonding/connection.html" target="_blank">link</a> to a great article on this that was in Mothering a while back. This idea has been discussed at MDC before, you can read some of those threads <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=403845&highlight=overlooked+healing+benefits" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=487907&highlight=can+we+talk+re%3A+solter" target="_blank">here</a>.<br><br>
My dd is up from her nap, so I have to run. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them or PM me. Good luck!
 

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Beffy- I could read with out replying. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you and your little man and all that you both been through...<br><br>
Shanana- Great post... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I was born with a congenital hip defect and had to be in casts and braces for the first two years of my life. My Mom has told me about it and showed me pictures but I have no memory of it. Apparently the brace was quite painful and I had to sleep in it. I would cry and cry....<br>
Some days, the only thing that kept my Mom sane, or so she tells me, was the knowledge that I would not remember any of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Beffy,<br>
I think you are already doing all there is to do! Talking to him about it and giving him loads of love, being there for him and cuddles etc. is the best thing for you to do!<br>
As the previouse posts said your little guy will most likely not remember a thing of it in a few years. I know how hard it is for you, as my little one had to go through an operation as well early in his life but it is luckily a momentary condition which they will not remember.
 

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I have a few memories from as far back as just barely 2 years old. The memories are not like real, clear memories from later in life. They are like "flashes" with no time to recall emotions or experiences or feeling. It's a "flash" of sitting in my toy box, a "flash" of seeing my new bedroom, etc. So quick that it is like the blink of an eye. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I'm sorry about all the traumas your baby has endured, mama, and I think you are doing everything you can. I think the likelihood of him remembering anything more than a flash here and a flash there is very small--if he even remembers that much. Most people I've talked to don't remember anything before 4 or 5.
 

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I remember a great deal from the year from 2-3.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you all.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I had a pretty serious loss in my family when I was around 2/2.5 and I do remember the reaction of my mother and the emotional chaos that filled our house.<br><br>
My mom never talked much about that day, so I think that is part of why it is such a powerful memory. No one ever offered more info and so it became more intense.<br><br>
I believe Emmalola's comments about the story and how you tell it to him later will help.<br><br>
I do believe that even if we do not remember things in the traditional sense, our bodies remember them. Shanana mentionend craniosacral therapy. I would encourage you to look into this for maybe you and dh also. This was not only a trauma for your little man, but for all of you.<br><br>
All I can say is thank goodness you are all through the medical crisis. What an ordeal. Blessings on you, you babe, the daddy and all your family.
 

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I was in the hospital to have tubes put in my ears when I was about 2, and all I remember is a mean nurse telling me not to stand up in my crib <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> and that my parents bought me an owl necklace at the gift shop before we left.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to you ALL for helping and offering such great advice. After we get through the turmoil of his next surgery I will seriously look into craniosacral therapy. I am hoping that this might help him deal with some aggressions that he seems to have and let him enjoy being the fun-loving toddler that he should be without all of these extra added emotional burdens.<br><br>
Thanks, mamas....hugs to you all!!!<br>
Beffy xx
 

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I also don't think he will remember. I mean, I suppose little snippets are possible, but they will probably be fuzzy and he may not even be able to destingush them from reality. So, take heart in that he won't remember it.<br><br>
Also, when I kind of get bogged down by medical stuff and stress and guilt from a sick kid, I try to remember that I didn't make them sick and the best I can do is comfort and help them and that is my part in it. I may not be able to take away the pain or prevent what I know is going to cause them pain, but I can be there for love and support, and that is what a mother does. I remind myself that there is more of this to come- that I can't prevent every scraped knee or broken bone, every cruel comment, every unfulfilled teenage crush, every loss he will endure when those we love pass, every time he is confronted with his weaknesses and doubts, every time he comes up short or must deal with guilt and remorse, every rejection, every accident, and G-d willing, these will be the worst he has to face, but life can sometimes be very, very hard and I don't know what is down his path. But, there is only so much we can do. We can't "make it all go away" and there are some boo-boo's that don't get better with a kiss, but we as parents are not meant to stop these things, but to give love, support, strength and hope when our children hurt. That is all we can do. And often, that is enough. It doesn't take away the pain, but it can make it bearable and help heal over time.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Beffy -- <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> hang in there! you've been through so much. I don't have anything to add to all the good pps you've already received, but I'm sending positive vibes your way!<br><br>
Shanana -- wow, terrific post (including your blog entry!) You've inspired me to look into CST for my DS, who suffered similar birth trauma. thanks so much for sharing your journey.
 

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I agree w/Shanana that trauma can be stored in the body with or without conscious memory. What we need is to experience and release the related emotions. I would definitely encourage ds to talk about anything he does remember, and especially to talk about how he felt when it happened. Just saying it out loud can be greatly healing. (Of course he may not want to talk about it, don't force it, but make sure he has plenty of opportunity.)<br><br>
The other thing you can do you are already, that is, making his life as stable and supportive and loving as possible. It's the early positive experiences that give children the buffer they need to get through the inevitable traumas without undue long-term effects.<br><br>
Craniosacral therapy is great, I would esp. recommend it when there has been head trauma (like the tube/adenoid surgery). Other kinds of bodywork can be just as effective in helping to integrate/release emotions. There's also rebirthing, but I am not sure it is appropriate for children.
 

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i can't answer from the perspective of a mother but i want to answer from the perspective of someone who suffered a lot of trauma when i was 2<br>
he might remember and he might not but whether he remembers or not he might suffer some emotionally but he has a wonderful mother! and you are already paying so much attention to his emotional health and because of that he will be able to recover from trauma he suffers now. you can help him and if he needs more help than you can give you can find other forms of help for him and that is so good. i have known many people who suffered different types od trauma at young ages and the people who had loving parents who where aware of what was going on and helped them to recover where able to recover completely but the people who's parents for whatever reason where not there for there children they found recovering much harder. i speak as one of the ones who's parents didn't notice my pain but even in that case as an adult i have been able to recover and heal. it takes a lot longer to recover from things when they fester a long time but even then a person can heal completely. i am so sorry your son has had to suffer so much but i am so glad that he has such a loving wonderful mother who is so aware of his needs.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pookel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7977388"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was in the hospital to have tubes put in my ears when I was about 2, and all I remember is a mean nurse telling me not to stand up in my crib <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> and that my parents bought me an owl necklace at the gift shop before we left.</div>
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You know, this reminded me of something. I had a HUGE sliver taken out of my foot in the ER at this age, and I remember how horrible it was. Namely, one of the nurses SITTING on me (it took two of them plus my mom to hold me down)!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Of course now, I know that the woman did NOT sit on me, I swear that is how I remember it, and it still makes me feel stifled thinking about it. So bear in mind your baby might have worse memories? So talking it out would be very good for that. Don't allow those memories to become beasts.
 

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This isn't what you want to hear, but, I had surgery when I was 2.5 and I remember it. Not just little snippets like people are saying here, and not just the good stuff like the gifts I got. I remember a lot of things from that entire period of time, between the age of 2 and 3. I remember doctors appointments, going into surgery, the hospital stay, etc. I remember the pain, and I remember the fear of the experience as well. I have body memories too. It was a significant trauma in my life, and it affected me deeply. It came back up when my son was born and his birth was so traumatic for me. Now I am recovering from two traumas.<br><br>
I'm sorry that your son is going through this and that it is hard on you. Don't tell yourself that he wont remember it though, and don't listen to people who tell you that. Long term memories can be made at the age of 2, but generally speaking they start at age 4 or 5 so people are not usually aware of that fact. Other types of memories can be made before that time. For example, someone I know had eye surgery at age 1.5 and when he went to a hospital to visit a friend he fainted when he smelled a certain smell that his mother said was related to his own hospital experience.<br><br>
I don't buy this theory that there is an age where anything can happen to a person and they wont remember it, or you can later convince them that it wasn't that bad. Birth trauma, and early traumas in childhood are stored in the brain in one way or another. I think it depends on the individual as to what type of memory it is stored as, and how these difficult memories will affect their life.<br><br>
I recommend the CST as well.<br><br>
Also, when your son goes in for his next surgery, can you accomany him into the opperating room and be there with him until he is sedated?
 

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Hello mama, I just wanted to tell you about some of the experiences my family has had with stress and medical issues. My now 4 yo had nursemaid's elbow when he was almost two years old, we brought him to the hospital because we thought that he had broken his arm. The doctor in the ER decided to try to put the elbow back in place without the benefit of an X-ray and just pulled his arm without any warning of what would be happening. Our little boy turned gray and immediately started to scream hysterically. They performed an X-ray and said that it didn't look as if anything was broken but that the elbow did look a bit out of place. He continued to scream for hours in the ER and finally the doctor decided to have another look at his arm, she did manage to get the elbow back in place the second time but he was in pain for quite a long time after. He would not let anyone touch his arm for days and when he finally did, he would cry if you did much more than very lightly brush it. A few weeks later he dislocated it again and we decided to go to our chiropractor instead of the ER, our chiropractor is a good friend and although it was 11pm he had us come to his house and he adjusted the arm. Our son was beside himself and would not use his arm the next day. After taking him to see our pediatrician we decided to go to the ER to rule out anything more serious. The doctors at the ER were upset that we had not brought him in immediately and wanted to give him some Motrin for the pain. We declined the medication but asked instead for an X-ray to rule out any other damage. After having us sit around for a few hours they finally xrayed the arm and determined that it was not dislocated and that he was faking the pain for attention( a two year old). Even though the doctors wrote on his discharge paperwork that he was uninjured and that he was overreacting they would not let us leave the ER without giving him Motrin for the pain ( that they said he was imagining) . After this my son began screaming for hours every day, he would wake in the morning and scream for 3 or 4 hours. He would scream louder if we approached him or tried to comfort him, thankfully our chiropractor's wife is a child psychologist. He recommended that we take our son to her for play therapy, we did and it had a very wonderful effect on our son. She recommended that we take him for craniosacral therapy and that was also a very large part of his recovery. He was suffering from PTSD from the very rough treatment at the hospital.. He has since recovered very nicely although he does still have some apprehension with regards to medical procedures. He needs all of the treatments explained to him and we talk about everything until he is very comfortable with what will happen.<br>
My youngest child was in the NICU and had some sensory issues that benefited from CST. For the rest of our family it has been helpful to discuss his stay in the NICU and the feelings surrounding that time using a book that I made with the story of our family and many pictures of the hospital and the Ronald McDonald House that we stayed at. It has helped to answer alot of questions that the older children had about the NICU and the reason we were there. He also has had tubes and will be having tubes put in again on Tuesday of this week, I will be with him until he is asleep( they are using gas) and I will be there when he wakes up.<br>
I hope that you find an answer for you and your family.<br>
laura
 
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