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Disconnected from Reality - Personal Thread

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  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    Sometimes I hate being a man because I have to play the tough card of the family....

    About a year and a half ago, I had a sheet that separated my bedroom from the rest of the apartment to help trap the airconditioning in the bedroom. Long story short my 5 year old wrapped it up and was spinning on it, she got dissy and fell against a corner of a wall, that took 5 staples.

    About a year ago (me and my wife make the joke ever six months), my daughter was jumping on her bed like all kids and tried jumping from her 7 year old sisters bed to a bunkbed, long story short she missed either bed and cracked her head open on the bottom of the top bunk ( 7 stiches ).

    So my daughter acts a little "goofy" (she's 5 right all 5 year olds do). However she remembers items of her life from a year ago when she was in daycare, she talks about kids at daycare like she just seem them yesterday, though it's been a year. If we do something (Go to the mall, go out to eat, etc) she'll wake up the next morning asking if we're going to do that event today and how I told her I would take her...but later on in the day she'll talk about going to do the event, with the occurances that had already happened (e.g., Daddy I remember you eating a big steak like the one at this place, so I'm gonna order one tonight, if I explain we're not going tonight she gets upset because I told her we would.), and other kinda "goofy" things. She also seems slow to catch onto time-space concepts....which makes discipline hard, (if her mom tells her to go play in her room, and she messes it up, before bed I tell her to clean her room she wont and say mom just told her to go play...and then start playing exactlly with what she was earlier in the morning)...etc...kinda like a groundhogs day -1 +12 hrs (rand).

    Anyways today my wife took her to see a psyhcologist who spent 2 hrs with my daughter...after that she asked to speak with my wife alone....my wife said the doctor told her she might have (ADHD (acceptable), BiPolar (my wife is also acceptable), and maybe a touch bit of schizophrenia + maybe brain scarring from the damage she has done to herself (not acceptable)*.

    So here I am, at the coffehouse...amongst people here who (some) share the same intelectual stimuli as I do, a better relationship than I have with my brothers and sisters, a good career, a loving wife and kids, and a daughter that has no sense of reality. It's kinda scary because the only things she remembers are things that are good...but has no concept of negative items, meaning discipline, death, have no concept for her....what do you do?

    I say death because she would play at my older daughters school before my daughter had class, well a boy had decided that he didn't want to wait for the teacher who was 10 feet behind him to walk across the street with him so he ran out in the road, getting hit by someone who thought the speed limit in a school zone is 35, the boy died on impact...in front of over 50 kids...my daughters were waving bye to him as he walked across the street to the art class....

    Needless to say my 5 year old thinks that tomorrow she's gonna play kickball with him...it's been 6 months since that happened, school isn't even in this time of year, and she hasn't seen this boy in 6 months. Try explaining that....

    *Not Acceptable as in not something explainable by means of conventional thought process.

    Sorry for the rant, but after trying to play "Reasonable Man" for the past 6 hours while my wife rants on about what are we going to do, it kinda wears on you...

  • User profile image
    CyberGeek

    Um ... wow.

    I'm honestly rather speechless. I've been sitting at this reply window for awhile trying to think of something good to say, but everything I write hardly seems to carry any meaning. I'm not a father, and I'm not married. Basically, I can't really say anything along the lines of "I know how you feel." All that I guess I can say is that you have my deepest sympathies, though I doubt that saying it does much to help.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    I'm sorry to hear this...

    Err... Does it really "everthing bad" that she forgets? Or haing some problem on the short-term memory?

    If it's the first case, I believe that it could be her brain just blocking out those kind of memories, she could have recovered some time later.

    Best wishes to you and your daughter.

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  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    cheong wrote:
    I'm sorry to hear this...

    Err... Does it really "everthing bad" that she forgets? Or haing some problem on the short-term memory?

    If it's the first case, I believe that it could be her brain just blocking out those kind of memories, she could have recovered some time later.

    Best wishes to you and your daughter.


    No not everything bad, not everything good....she's more remembering random things at random times...or not remembering things at random times...

    If I had to compare it to something I would say it's like being drunk, in the middle of Iraq, and falling in love....

    What do you remember, what has the most impact, how long can you focus, etc...

  • User profile image
    Zeus

    Hlynur úti í vatninu

    This is my little boy. He turns 4 years old in august. He was born 10 weeks early, and had to stay at the hospital for almoust 2 months before he got to come home.

    He had a little brother which is not with us anymore. 5 years ago we had our firstborn, which was born almoust 15 weeks early. Sadly, he did not make the first week.

    Regardless of what you have been through or are going through at the moment, your one job in this world is being there for your kids, no matter what. If you have to quit your job, sell your house, move to another country for your kids you do it. No questions asked.

    Our kids are the most important thing we have in life, and we must do what we can to nurture and protect them, regardless of the problems they encounter along the way.

    So my advice to you is be there for your entire family, not just the little girl who is having some trouble right now. The seven year old needs attention too.

    Best of luck ...

  • User profile image
    s_jetha

    Although I can't say anything that I feel will ease your pain, I agree totally with what Zeus said. You have to be strong for your family, and that means that you do have to play the tough card sometimes.

    And I feel for your loss too, Zeus. But even through all the hardship you still have courage and strength, and I commend that.


    There was a programme that I saw on TV a little while back where a guy in his mid 20s had a problem with short term memory. He wouldn't be able to remember anything, but could easily tell you thing that happened several years ago in his life.
    He eventually met a girl, and was instantly able to tell you everything about what they both did together. The resturant they went to, the food they ate, what they did afterwards, etc.
    I guess this might shed some light on your daughter's situation. It seems that when there are effects in the brain that promote happy or positive sensations, there is more chance of them moving from short term to long term memory, and therefore, to be able to remember them in the future.

    Even though you seem to have put ADHD and BiPolar as acceptable by normal thought process, and based purely on what you've said in your post, I disagree with you accepting them. I think that your child is just a bit more active than usual, and I personally believe that ADHD, in most cases, in wrongly diagnosed; but I digress. There's something here that I don't want to say that is related the the 3rd and unacceptable conclusion that was made about your daugther's condition, because I feel that it'll make you sad and angry, so I'm going to just end this paragraph, and hope that you know where I'm going with it.

    I hope for for you, and your family, that you have the strength and courage to carry your family through their lives.

  • User profile image
    jsampsonPC

    My brother and stichesI can relate to so many parts of your post, Cyber.

    My younger brother, when he was about 8 years old had been jumping on the bed in one of our old homes. He jumped off and hit his head on one of the old radiator heaters in our home. This brought him about 5 staples, I believe.

    A couple years later we were riding bikes downtown, and he wanted to ride mine. Mine was a bit bigger, but I let him. As we went along he began to lose his balance trying to reach both peddles. He eventually tipped over and hit his head again on a brick wall. As he laid there I ran to a pay-phone about 10ft away and dialed 911.

    He received about 10 staples from that, if I'm not mistaken. A couple years later, we were building a bicycle, and it broke as he was riding it. This threw him over the handle-bars and onto the pavement (my poor brother has been through alot!).

    He's a wonderful guy, and I truly couldn't imagine not having him.

    Your daughter and memoryRegarding your daughter. I sympathize with you completely, but I wonder if you guys have done a few other tests to see what she is mentally capable of.

    I once spoke with a gentleman who suffered a near-death illness as a child which caused brain-trauma. Today he's still a bit slow, but has acquired amazing savant abilities.

    He currently holds a record for reciting the value of pi up to around 25k decimal places. He doesn't "do" math, but can solve just about any math problem you give him - he claims to see "shapes" in place of numbers, and the equations become "terrains" in his mind, solving themselves.

    I also agree with one of the previous niners that the human brain is an amazingly crafted peice of work. It has never ceased to baffle humans since the conception of its study. There's no telling when she may "come to", or "click" back into the real-world. So don't lose hope!

    jsampsonPC as a young pupADHD and AttentionWhile I was in gradeschool, daycare, all that, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I remember my mother bringing home new medications to give me. One time, I remember taking my medication, and going to school. As I sat there in class, around 4th grade I believe, everything got extremely confusing - I really didn't understand what was going on, so I just laid my head down on the desk. I guess I laid there for an hour or so, which caused my teachers to be alarmed. I eventually was sent home, and taken off the medication.

    Please be sure to do your own personal research on any medications they suggest for your daughter.

    In closing. I'm married, but not a father yet. I can only hope to be as much a father as you have demonstrated you are.

    You will all be in my prayers!
    Take care.

  • User profile image
    Antitorgo

    Dude, I totally feel for you. I don't think there is anything harder in the world than when something happens to your kids.

    Best advise I can give is to a) take her to a psychiatrist (not a psychologist) b) take her to multiple psychiatrists and get second and third opinions if needed c) Be a rock for your wife but also remember that you need help too sometimes. Any family in the area that you can lean on?

    I'm curious as to whether this psychologist did any medical tests or not. If he suspects it was from his earlier accidents, did they do any scans or her brain (CAT/MRI)? I'm guessing not, because a psychologist isn't a psychiatrist (big difference, a psychiatrist has a medical degree).

    A warning bell went crazy in the back of my head when you mentioned that (I don't know exactly why though).

    My prayers are with you. 

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    Cybermagellan wrote:
    
    Anyways today my wife took her to see a psyhcologist who spent 2 hrs with my daughter...after that she asked to speak with my wife alone....my wife said the doctor told her she might have (ADHD (acceptable), BiPolar (my wife is also acceptable), and maybe a touch bit of schizophrenia + maybe brain scarring from the damage she has done to herself (not acceptable)*.

    So here I am, at the coffehouse...amongst people here who (some) share the same intelectual stimuli as I do, a better relationship than I have with my brothers and sisters, a good career, a loving wife and kids, and a daughter that has no sense of reality. It's kinda scary because the only things she remembers are things that are good...but has no concept of negative items, meaning discipline, death, have no concept for her....what do you do?

    I have a stepson and three daughters, all of them older than yours now.  Ranging from 11 to 24.  That's a lot of injuries, ER visits, head impacts, heartache and worry.

    Honestly, from what you describe I think you shouldn't worry so much about your little girl.  She sounds a little different than some kids, but there is a tremendous amount of variation.  Maybe she's a little "goofy", but at that age all kids are a little "goofy" in some way. 

    My youngest girl sounds a little like yours, and when she was a toddler she had this autistic-y thing about averting her eyes whenever you tried to look at her - she wouldn't make eye contact.  I was massively angst-ridden that there was something wrong.  My wife took her to a few doctors, some said "Worry!" and some said "Don't worry!".  We chose the "don't worry" approach, and that was the right one - she grew out of it after a few years and is a "normal", happy, smart, engaged kid.

    As you know, a psychologist is not an MD.  Her opinion about brain scarring etc. is no better than yours and mine.  My oldest girl had two concussions when she was little (4 years old, she ran full speed into a staircase post, and 6 years old she fell on a concrete floor trying to balance standing on a basketball).  CAT scans both times to see if any serious damage had been done and they were negative. She's a perfect GPA high school student now.  Children are tough, tougher than we give them credit. 

    I'd be happy to talk more in email / IM.  Take care.

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    BruceMorgan wrote:
    
    My youngest girl sounds a little like yours, and when she was a toddler she had this autistic-y thing about averting her eyes whenever you tried to look at her - she wouldn't make eye contact.  I was massively angst-ridden that there was something wrong.  My wife took her to a few doctors, some said "Worry!" and some said "Don't worry!".  We chose the "don't worry" approach, and that was the right one - she grew out of it after a few years and is a "normal", happy, smart, engaged kid.

    As you know, a psychologist is not an MD.  Her opinion about brain scarring etc. is no better than yours and mine.  My oldest girl had two concussions when she was little (4 years old, she ran full speed into a staircase post, and 6 years old she fell on a concrete floor trying to balance standing on a basketball).  CAT scans both times to see if any serious damage had been done and they were negative. She's a perfect GPA high school student now.  Children are tough, tougher than we give them credit. 

    I'd be happy to talk more in email / IM.  Take care.


    yeah I know...this has been the whole approach I have taken to date and will continue to take. It's just "sad" because me and my wife both grew up without any "wierd" family issues and so my wife is blowing it outa proportion. Me trying to support her is agreeing with some of the things she is saying and so I dunno, maybe it's just hitting me the possiblilty is there...

    Thanks everyone for the supporting words,etc....

  • User profile image
    Antitorgo

    Cybermagellan wrote:
    

    yeah I know...this has been the whole approach I have taken to date and will continue to take. It's just "sad" because me and my wife both grew up without any "wierd" family issues and so my wife is blowing it outa proportion. Me trying to support her is agreeing with some of the things she is saying and so I dunno, maybe it's just hitting me the possiblilty is there...

    Thanks everyone for the supporting words,etc....


    Hey, quick thought. From what I've studied on schizophrenia (Adult onset, knew someone who had it and did a research paper on it - so by no means an expert in any way), there seems to be a strong genetic tie to the disease. And you saying that you and your wife grew up w/o any "weird" family issues jarred that in my head. That being the case, unless there was a family history, I'd be even more suspect of this psychologist's opinion of possible schizophrenia.

    I'm hoping that this psychologist was speaking out of his rear-end and just throwing it out as a very remote possibility (quick google search had it as 1 in 40,000). But, being a psychologist, he shoulda known better than to freak out a protective mother.

  • User profile image
    brentnewbury

    What you're going through is alot for one person to hold in. Quite simply; don't.

    Just because you're the one that guides your family (playing the "touch card") doesn't mean you have to don that role every second of everyday. Every unit needs it's leader, but every unit needs to know how the leader feels about a particular situation, if only to allow the unit to gain persective on a given situation.

    What I'm trying to say is, there are times for people to be strong and carry the day, and there are times for people to open up, share their feelings and break down personal problems. It's only when we begin to break down walls, that we begin can climb mountains.

    Open up to your wife, tell her how you feel. People only know how to react to a given situation when they see how others have reacted. You know how nervous you are before you enter an exam? How much better do you feel when a friend turns to you and says "I'm so nervous, I'm shaking!". You then realise that every other person entering that exam feels the same way.

    Just remember, that you can't play the tough card night and day, but on the same note, you do need to be strong for your daughter, both of you do.

    If you need to chat to someone impartial, I'm usually online.

  • User profile image
    Red5

    Cyber,

    I too am married and a dad.  I have twin girls (5) and a son (3), so I can somewhat relate to your situation.

    Every parent is faced with challenges in raising their kids.  Some events more challenging than others.  One of my girls was born with two holes in her heart.  Really not a big deal, but it worried us quite a bit when she was little.  Luckily, the holes grew together and all is well.  We've had other scares, usually of the injurous nature, like smashing a finger in the door and losing the entire fingernail, or grabbing an open can of peaches the wrong way while out in the middle of nowhere camping (that was a fun night).

    Your situation is going to be more challenging than anything I have encountered yet.  But who knows what I will encounter in the next 15 years?  Life is crap shoot when you decide to have kids.  You never know what your're going to get.  You take your chances and do the best you can.

    In the end, we can just show them all the love and support we are capable of each and every day.  That is what will make the most difference in their lives (and ours!)

    EDIT: IMHO, "and maybe a touch bit of schizophrenia" seems a bit remote at age 5.  I don't know if I would give that a lot of weight right now.

     

  • User profile image
    brentnewbury

    Red5 made a good point about the schizophrenia. You do need to rule out or confirm that possibility with professionals. Conjecture and speculation will not help your family at all.

    As you mentioned, your daughter did have a traumatising experience as a child, one that will undoubtidly have lasting effects on her mental state. These will take time and professional help to heal, but they can be healed (atleast to a sate that will not affect her cognitive abilities).

    My best advice is to talk; talk to anyone that is willing to listen (which is usually most people). Also, make sure to talk to people who have experience with this type of thing, psychologists, neurologists, and counsellors. Above all; talk to your family, this includes your daughter. All this will help the repair process.

    You don't necessarily need to be strong, just composed. Keep a calm head. Like I said, your family will reciprocate your reactions.

    I just hope what I'm saying helps in someway.

  • User profile image
    Ang3lFir3

    Even tho i am not a father (yet) I can imagine the feels of concern you may have and I am with brent on the fact you don't have to keep it all to yourself. Composure and a level head will do you well. I'm not very good with emotions (ok i have almost none) ... but from other peoples experiences they are best shared with others and can help others understand your reactions.

    I also agree that you should definatly verify the possibility of schizophrenia with professionals.... the symptoms that may be manafesting could really just be nothing more than an early copping mechanism.... by verifying early you can take steps to avoid any emotional damage that may come of a rush of memories one day.

    on a side note: I have Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (basicly my brain is slightly miss wired) and I have managed to live a completely regular life, you wouldn't know unless i told you, and many other people with brain afflications can and DO live active healthy lives as intelligent contributors to society.

    I wish you and yours all the best. [A]

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    JohnAskew

    I hope you and your wife can relax about this. I agree with most everyone here that the psychologist is off-base with regard to brain-scarring and schizophrenia (I'd say not a remote chance for those without demonstrable proof).

    Kids are made of rubber, no head-banging has injured them. (Mine are 10 & 11).

    I had ADD or ADHD and the Ritalin they gave me in the second grade made me unable to sleep at night; so I slept in class for the month or so I tried it. It was a dosage problem that wasn't fixed before it was given up.

    Everyone who can't pay close attention to their teachers in elementary school will be diagnosed as 'ADD/ADHD', its just as predictable as rainfall. I'd say the treatments are simply a means to generate revenue for drug companies, if I didn't recently experience a good result taking Ritalin again for a few months. Yes, I haven't grown out of it either, which is against conventional wisdom. I think it more of a personality type in my case, and for many others.

    You are strong and your family needs you to be that way.

    Dismiss your wife's fear, she will calm through your confidence.

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    Cybermagellan wrote:
    
    BruceMorgan wrote: 
    My youngest girl sounds a little like yours, and when she was a toddler she had this autistic-y thing about averting her eyes whenever you tried to look at her - she wouldn't make eye contact.  I was massively angst-ridden that there was something wrong.  My wife took her to a few doctors, some said "Worry!" and some said "Don't worry!".  We chose the "don't worry" approach, and that was the right one - she grew out of it after a few years and is a "normal", happy, smart, engaged kid.

    As you know, a psychologist is not an MD.  Her opinion about brain scarring etc. is no better than yours and mine.  My oldest girl had two concussions when she was little (4 years old, she ran full speed into a staircase post, and 6 years old she fell on a concrete floor trying to balance standing on a basketball).  CAT scans both times to see if any serious damage had been done and they were negative. She's a perfect GPA high school student now.  Children are tough, tougher than we give them credit. 

    I'd be happy to talk more in email / IM.  Take care.


    yeah I know...this has been the whole approach I have taken to date and will continue to take. It's just "sad" because me and my wife both grew up without any "wierd" family issues and so my wife is blowing it outa proportion. Me trying to support her is agreeing with some of the things she is saying and so I dunno, maybe it's just hitting me the possiblilty is there...

    Thanks everyone for the supporting words,etc....
    I was thinking about your situation some more.

    I think something you can do here is to educate yourself about early childhood development, traumatic events and how they affect children, various personality traits common in children, etc.  The public library will have many references and books on these subjects and more; so will bookstores but they're pricy.

    I found I became a better parent (or at least, I think I am, 20 years from now ask my kids) when I started educating myself that way and developed a personal "theory of parenting" rather than a haphazard "making it up as I go along" approach.

  • User profile image
    brentnewbury

    I would definately not suggest you ignore the diagnosis of a professional as some people have suggested. None of us here, that I'm aware of, are qualified to give you any form of professional medical advice.

    If you do not agree, or doubt a professional opinion, you are always entitled to a second. I would suggest you take that offer. If only to be certain.

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