|Lindsey behind the lens of my Dad's camera, in Michigan.|
She went through quite a health spell this past winter/spring, missing 6 weeks of school, missing many more days after she returned, and having a not-great end to her 8th grade year.
What we discovered, through many tests and trials, discussions and theories, is that her anxiety was so high that it was affecting her physical health. It caused such severe stomach cramping and nausea that she lost 5 pounds in four weeks, the girl who doesn't have a pound to spare.
Yes, a mental illness causing a physical illness. A true, real, physical pain that has no expected, typical cause.
We already knew that Lindsey has anxiety, which we thought was under control. We learned a lot of things about nutrition, the digestive system and her anxiety triggers.
|Smiling mouth, pained eyes.|
While she does not have celiac disease, gluten really does a number on her system, so gluten is still off limits.
She is under the care of a team of physicians who are working together, between her nutrition and her mental health needs, to get her back on track. And now, at the end of August, I feel like she is finally back to herself.
In the meantime, her dad and I wonder...how much of what's going on is related to her anxiety and how much is related to her being 14? We have no idea, we've never parented a teen before. Poor firstborn, gets to be the first to trial-balloon every parenting technique we have.
We are grateful for all the parents who have shared their journeys with us, who have broken the code of silence to let us know what they've faced behind closed doors.
We are grateful for our friends, for Lindsey's friends, for our family who have supported us through this. And we are grateful to live in a city that has such incredible resources for health care. While it took us a while to navigate the system to figure out who to call or who to talk to, there was always someone there to help, in specialties we never knew existed.
At the end of the day, Lindsey will be stronger. More resilient. Amazing, at anything she chooses to do.
And we will be her loving parents.