Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Realities of Hypochondria

Chad has always been a bit of a hypochondriac and from small he had to know the exact medical term for the illness he had, but more often than not, he got it all wrong when he relayed the doctor's diagnoses to Mark or anyone else. Having pneumonia, as serious as what it is, became something even more serious, otherwise he would stop mid sentence and say "Mommy what sickness do I have?" Even as he got older and did not go to the doctor that often as we left the consulting room, he would say "so what do I actually have?" A tummy bug or cold is not a diagnoses. When we went to Mozambique when he was 6, there was no nagging or moaning to get him to use his "pneumonia" soap and cream or to take those bitter tablets - pneumonia being malaria. He would ask for his "pneumonia, I mean what's it called" medicine.

To say he was a hypochondriac is an understatement and when he was sick, he would exaggerate his cough and retch and just add to the illness, but since Clint died he has an almost irrational fear of small cuts becoming serious, but it is a silent unspoken fear of dying from a small cut. He keeps a lot of his fears to himself, but if I read between the lines, I know he is terrified of dying from a tiny bit of blood.

Chad knows Clint bled to death and that was the main cause of his death, but he was little, just before his 10th birthday. He never saw blood, he never saw his brother hurt or crying in pain. Yes Clint said his ribs were sore and he swore, but he was not writhing in pain or crying. I have seen grown men cry with far less injuries. Chad did not see blood and sores and his brother died. Being a little boy, he had no concept of pain or loss of blood internally - he does know it was internal bleeding and even explaining to him that Clint lost 5 litres of blood, no one saw that blood so if Chad cuts himself, he does not know that the amount of blood he sees may be a lot, but it is not 5 litres, he also does not know that he is not bleeding internally. Maybe he does know, but he was little and who knows what was going through his mind at the time.  Now he has a scratch and he silently panics and has a fear that he will lose his leg/arm/finger if there is no blood and if there is blood, I am sure he thinks he will bleed to death, I can see the fear in his body language.

We only realised just how bad the fear is when we went away a couple of years ago and he fell off his bicycle and grazed his knee and we were on a farm far from doctors and town. He keeps it to himself mostly, but the other day he was in a mood with me and being cheeky, but really insolent and disrespectful and would not say sorry, so I would not take him to gym. I am not to sure if that was the reason he took out a boxing bag he has had for years, or if he was just bored, but it turns out he hit his hand on the wall and grazed his finger. Chad isn't my child for nothing and instead of him phoning me, because he was angry with me, he kept his grazed fingers all hush hush from me, but showed Mark that night "quietly", but loud enough for me to hear and be concerned. Then he tells me Whiskey does not burn. "What do you mean Whiskey does not burn Chad"  Here is me wondering what Whiskey has to do with anything and I know he did not drink any alcohol. Turns out we had no antiseptic in the house and he was scared his finger would get infected and would have to have it amputated so he cleaned it with neat whiskey - Dr Quinn Medicine Woman here we come. As funny as it sounds, it is not funny at all, it is a genuine irrational fear that he has.

We do not even have plasters at home and strangely no Dettol or Savlon and I love to bath in both (not at the same time, either or). We do not even have antiseptic cream or my current new best ointment - Cuticura, which we ran out of a few weeks ago and Clicks; Spar or the pharmacy did not have any.

On Saturday when I was buying Chad's new gym pants, I saw these cute first aid boxes at Mr Price Home - you have to walk through Mr Price Home to get to Mr Price Sport. I don't even know if they are first aid boxes, but they are perfect for first aid boxes. You get this size above and a bigger one. They don't come with any medical supplies, but I bought a small bottle of Dettol, a small bottle of Savlon, a bandage, plasters and Germolene, Chad's miracle pink cream that helped heal every sore he has had - took away the fear, the pain and stopped the blood. I also made sure to buy antibacterial plasters as well.

We have a couple of first aid kits at home and one at work, yet none of them have antiseptic cream or plasters in them. I remember once when we went camping with a whole lot of other people, there were about 6 families and one of the kids fell and got hurt and everyone brought out their first aid kits, all more impressive than the next, but none of us had a single plaster. We used to have antiseptic creams in ours that was in the Landrover, but they get used or old and never replaced.

When Chad came home on Saturday night, I told him that I bought him a first aid kit, because I never want my precious child to have to pour Whiskey on his sores again{all joke joke}. We made a joke of it and he mocked my sailor box and everything in it. He mocked my Cuticura, he always teases me about my belief in Cuticura. That is how Chad deals with his fears, but I know deep down, he is so relieved that he has antiseptic and plasters in case something happens. It may seem like an irrational fear, but it is very rational for what he has gone through and witnessed under the age of 10.

Now he has his very own first aid kit - not only a medical kit, but also a psychological kit

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