Opinions on "I'm sick"

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cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658
Opinions on "I'm sick"

So, Addy has been saying (for a long time, definitely weeks if not months) "I'm sick" or now "I'm really sick" nearly every day, many times a day. When I ask her what's wrong or what hurts, she says "I'm starting to throw up" and kind of force-gags herself a little, or just the past couple of days "I have a stomachache". She has never actually thrown up, has no other signs or symptoms of illness, eats well, and once I distract her in some way she always stops saying it, so frankly I've kind of been ignoring it as toddler weirdness/inability to correctly identify normal feelings like hunger or needing to poop. And yes sometimes those things seem to help but not always. Sometimes she says it before eating, sometimes after. It's just....that she is saying it SO MUCH, there's that nagging feeling of "Well what if something IS wrong and I was ignoring her?" I mean, I don't think there's anything horrible going on, but maybe some kind of reflux or something?

Thing is, I feel really dumb making a whole doctor's appointment just to say that my 2 year old says she has a tummy ache a lot, with nothing else to go on. My doctor is really laid back and non-alarmist, and I don't know that they'd want to run a bunch of tests on her for something so vague (or that I would want that either). And I've found no real pattern to help narrow it down beyond what I've said here. So it feels like it would be a waste of time. Still...completely ignoring her doesn't exactly feel right either!

IDK...what do you guys think? I know you're not doctors, but...any momtuition? Experience with this sort of thing?

I might be extra worrywart-ish about this because for years and years and years (until she was in her 20s) my cousin was kind of known in the family as a hypochondriac, always whining about her stomach hurting. Turned out eventually that she had terrible endometriosis and was in legitimate, excruciating pain all that time--she lost an ovary. (Don't worry, she has a beautiful little girl now anyway Lol I don't think THAT'S what's going on here, of course, but I'm a little sensitive to ignoring medical complaints now...

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

:lurk:

Just wanted to say that when my son was two, we went through the same sort of thing, except with him, it was "My teeth hurt." Day after day, week after week, he said that his teeth hurt. So I took him to both his doctor and his dentist, and neither one could find a single thing wrong with him. He had already cut his 2 year molars (and all of the rest of his teeth) so it wasn't teething, he didn't have cavities, anything like that. But still he complained. Like your DD he didn't seem sick in any other way, ate well, played well, didn't have a fever, totally normal.

My theory is that when he was cutting his 2 year molars and his teeth really did hurt, he saw that he got attention (and some baby Tylenol, which he loves for some reason) so he decided that when he wants attention and/or Tylenol, saying "My teeth hurt" was the way to go. Has your DD had a stomach bug or something like that in the last little while where she got a lot of loving attention lavished on her?

After seeing both the doctor and the dentist and no one being able to find anything wrong, everytime he said "My teeth hurt" I would talk to him about how we can't say things that aren't true, and then ask "Do your teeth really hurt?" And he would say no. But then he'd do the same thing the next day....:lol: This went on for probably another week, and then he stopped saying it, and no complaints about his teeth since.

So, I obviously don't know whether or not your DD really is getting daily stomaches, but I can tell you that I have experienced a two year old claiming an ailment that seems to have been fake.

Good luck!

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

Not quite the same thing, but Isabelle constantly tells me she needs to go potty. We have not started PT at all yet so I know she picked up this phrase from daycare. She thinks it is fun to sit on the potty if I will let her, but she has never actually gone on the potty. I haven't noticed any great connection between her saying this and her actually going in her diaper either, she just wants me to let her sit on the potty. So kind of along with what Alissa said, maybe Addy feels that saying that will get her something she wants or some kind of treatment she wants?

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

If you've ruled out her saying it for attention and it's been going on a while I might call up the pediatrician (can you talk to your ped on the phone directly?) and get his/her take on it. Maybe in the interest of being cautious get her looked over just to make sure there's nothing overt going on. . . I'd be wondering too if it were the same complaint about nausea/tummy ache constantly.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Yeah...I thought of the attention thing too, but honestly she says it at such weird times where it WOULDN'T get her a good result (like on the way to a playground??? or when we're already in the middle of giving her attention) and she hasn't had a real stomach ailment in months. But still...toddlers are weird, and I guess it's possible. She also does LOVE medicine (chewable pink Tylenol) and sometimes she brings me the bottle and says she needs medicine, so at first I thought it was a ploy for "candy". But I have always explained that that kind of medicine is not even FOR stomachaches, and never given it to her. Hm.

Maybe just giving the doctor a call to ask for an opinion without an appointment would be good. I haven't tried that before but I'm sure they must have a way to field questions....right?

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Make an appointment. I know how non-alarmist you are and you know I'm the same way but I also know how precocious Adair is and her squishy poops have me thinking that maybe there is something to it. I also know that the Drs. Callie will look her over, say she's fine, and send you on your way unless they actually suspect something is wrong. Perhaps they see it all the time. Perhaps they'll palpate her stomach, feel something a little off, and then suggest a test. They definitely won't run her through a gauntlet of tests "just because".

I think its worth it to make a little trip to the doc.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

If mommy intuition is telling you not to ignore it, I think it's worth having a look.

This age is hard, because you don't know if you can trust what they tell you. For what it's worth, I still can't trust my 5yo when she says she's sick. Sometimes she just says it because she's heard kids at school say it, sometimes she just wants to see if she can get me to give her medicine (which she hates and I rarely give her, so I don't know why this is a goal).

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I totally forgot about her pooping issue! Yup, get her checked out. Mention the poop issue and her complaints. Better safe than sorry for sure.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I think we're entering a VERY long period of not being able to tell when our kids are telling the truth about being sick Wink

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

Yeah, if she is also having some poop issues, I would go ahead and get it checked out. It never hurts to check.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

yeah, with her history of the soft poops plus the stomach complaint at strange times (on way to playground especially) maybe there is something to it?! Were you doing a food log because of the poops anyway? If not, I'd start one and bring it to the doctor appointment.

Vstarr's picture
Joined: 04/08/08
Posts: 895

One day, when she was about 3 1/2, my DD heard her future step-sister say that her tummy hurts. Since she LOVES her (almost) sister and copies everything she does, now almost every day she will tell me her tummy hurts. It used to be randomly, but now it is only after she eats something. So I think now she is using the expression to tell me she is full and doesn't want to eat anymore. Or sometimes she will tell me that if she doesn't want to eat what I put in front of her, but will then ask for something else. She never has any other symptoms, and usually is up running around minutes later, so my intuition tells me that there is nothing wrong with her. Usually I can tell if she is feeling "off", she won't be as energetic, might not really eat much, etc.

Is it something she may have heard at daycare/preschool/friends/TV? It could be nothing, but you know your baby better than anyone else, so if you do think there might be something to it, it won't hurt to get her ped to check her out.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Veronica, that is almost exactly what I've been thinking this whole time--maybe she just means she's hungry/full/etc. but...it's true that she does have poop issues too, so it might be worth a check. If anything, I bet it's a food sensitivity that we haven't worked out yet (OMG I hope it's not wheat or something impossible like that...) Her poops have been much better since I cut way back on cheese, though, so I'm really thinking maybe she's just a lot more lactose intolerant than we thought. Not that there's any kind of direct correlation to milk products and the "I'm sick"...that happens all over the place, which is why I'm so on the fence about it.

Sigh. Why can't toddlers be reliable sources of information. Wink

stacymh's picture
Joined: 03/16/10
Posts: 1807

I remember you talking about that before and thinking it was because she was hungry. But if something is nagging at you, take her to the doctor. Especially if your dr is as great as you say, it should be no biggie. My ped is like that too, he says if something is bothering you, come in. Better safe than sorry. KUP.

redneckgirl82884's picture
Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 955

I'd call the Doctor just to see what's said. Can't hurt to look into. And then once you know it's okay you can ask the Doc. how to address it if she keeps saying it again.
KUP!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Have you called the dr yet?

I'm very much a non-alarmist, but when my momtuition speaks, I always listen!

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I wonder if she's very lactose intolerant. Unless you totally eliminate she'll continue to not feel well if that's the case. You have to eliminate all dairy for 2 weeks and then slowly add back in starting with yogurt. Olivia was intolerant until about 12 months old so I was on an elimination diet while breastfeeding. If you want more info, let me know! Smile

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Honestly my momtuition is telling me to do total elimination and see what happens...I just don't want to! Poor kid. This morning she did just say "I'm really hungry"

At least she is already drinking almond milk and off cheese sticks. It'll just be yogurt and incidental cheese in meals we'll have to cut out.

Did you have to do butter too, Mel? We usually get Earth Balance anyway, but right now we have butter.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Um, YEAH. This sounds like her to a T!

The Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance In A Toddler | LIVESTRONG.COM

That's it. Total elimination...she can deal without yogurt and cheese for 2 weeks. If it fixes potty training AND helps her feel better? Looks like we'll be trying vegan cheese Smile

redneckgirl82884's picture
Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 955

Answers! yay!! Didn't you say DH had lactose issues too?

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

He does. Every time I bring this up, he says "But I'm not THAT lactose intolerant..." However, I'm pretty sure he's in denial about how bad it really is because he's not willing to eliminate. It definitely runs in his family.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

I hope that is the solution! Sounds very well like it might be.

Make sure you read labels, there can be dairy hidden in things you wouldn't expect. Things like spaghetti sauces, cereal bars, candy, etc. DD1 was allergic/intolerant to dairy for about 2 years, so we had to watch everything.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Well, from what I've read, there is a big difference between lactose intolerance (where your body doesn't produce enough lactase to properly digest dairy products) and a dairy allergy (where you have to avoid even trace amounts of dairy proteins or risk triggering an allergic reaction). I think we are dealing with the former, and not the latter. Thankfully!!! Glad your DD grew out of her allergies...that sounds like a nightmare!

We shall see...

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Vegan cheese is something I've never been fond of. I can do soy yogurt, Earth Balance, almond/soy/rice milk, and soy ice cream. Just don't mess with my cheese. I hope you find something that she likes!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Does it run in your family two? She might just be homozygous for the lactose intolerant gene(s). It might just be polygenic. I don't know. Off to research it now because I'd rather do that than "work".

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

There are multiple genetic variants that are associated with lactose intolerance. Adair might have it a lot worse than Porter because she got a few from him and a few from you even though you can digest lactose. It could also just be due to the age difference and diet difference. She might grow to be able to tolerate it more as she gets older.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

"cactuswren" wrote:

Well, from what I've read, there is a big difference between lactose intolerance (where your body doesn't produce enough lactase to properly digest dairy products) and a dairy allergy (where you have to avoid even trace amounts of dairy proteins or risk triggering an allergic reaction). I think we are dealing with the former, and not the latter. Thankfully!!! Glad your DD grew out of her allergies...that sounds like a nightmare!

We shall see...

That's good, I'm glad you don't have to watch that closely! I know different processes can also break down the proteins differently, so you may find she can tolerate certain things and not others. Good luck!
DD1 was allergic/intolerant to a ton of things, so the milk was really not that big a deal. Thankfully she outgrew them all, except the peanut thing.