Our GP agreed that he probably had low iron levels again (he had low levels about a year ago) and we started giving him an iron supplement and the chest pains and pain in his body stopped fairly quickly which was a good sign that his iron levels were going up.
Although he started to feel like he had more energy, he still felt unwell and started to feel nauseous quite a bit and was often dizzy. It wasn't like gastro because he would be able to eat normally a lot of the time, but then now and then it would hit him really bad and he would even vomit. He had a little bit of time off school and some days he would seem okay, and other days it would be back again.
He seemed to be getting worse and has had so much time off school this year. It's not like Jalen at all to have time off school, and I knew he wasn't faking because he would look very sick most of the time and he has settled into school really well now. I often get calls from school during the day to pick him up as he has been too sick to stay in class. It's really hard now that I'm working to get him from school so much or to have him home sick, and it's even worse for him as he just feels awful a lot of the time. Often I would have to pick him up from school and he would spend the rest of the day in bed.
MORA. The readings showed that Jalen had a lot of imbalances in his body (the readings are all supposed to be green) and he would feel okay for a few days after each treatment, but then go downhill again.
When he heard the words 'blood test' he freaked out. I couldn't stop laughing at him as he googled 'how to be calm during a blood test' on his phone as we drove to pathology. I reminded him that Noah had scores of blood tests during his life.
He was so nervous but the lovely lady who took his blood made him as relaxed as possible. It was funny as she even knew us as she said she reads my blog! He did well and afterwards she even gave him a little pathology bear for being brave :)
Luckly the blood results showed low vitamin D levels which we happy about as we knew that it would be easy to 'fix' by giving him a vitamin D supplement and trying to spend more time in the sun (which is pretty impossible during a Tassie winter). After a month or so of being on a vitamin D supplement Jay still didn't feel much better, and was vomiting once or twice every few days, feeling very dizzy still and was still having a lot of time off school.
I rang to see his GP again but he was away on holiday so we saw a locum instead. She was a lovely older lady and after explaining the whole story to her, she straight away did some tests on him including an eye examination which showed he had nystagmus which is something Noah also had, but for different reasons (a rapid shaking of his eyes when looking in a particular direction).
She then said that Jay had 'vertigo'. I had heard of it before and it all made sense and I was just so happy to finally have some answers.
Vertigo /ˈvɜː(ɹ)tɨɡoʊ/ (from the Latin vertō "a whirling or spinning movement" is a subtype of dizziness, where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary. It is often associated with nausea and vomiting as well as a balance disorder, causing difficulties standing or walking.
The definition of vertigo sounds straight forward but living with it is debilitating. The way that Jay describes it reminds me a lot of morning sickness. Sometimes it's bearable and other times he can't do anything. I feel so bad for him that he feels so sick all the time. The doctor said that they don't give children any medication to help with the nausea as it isn't safe so the only thing we can do it give him natural remedies which I'm happy with anyway.
I went to the chemist to get him some ginger tablets and a lovely pharmacist asked if I was travelling (they are often for travel sickness) and if I needed any help. I told him why I was getting them and he asked how old Jay was. I told him he was twelve and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said 'he shouldn't have vertigo. The only reason he would have that would be from stress'. I said 'yep! He's pretty stressed - his Dad died' and the pharmacist quickly agreed that he must have vertigo and then went on to tell me other things that can help including diet changes. I didn't dare tell him that his brother also died.
Our friend Marlo is treating him now on a different machine. She said she has had a lot of success with treating patients with Meniere's Disease which is more severe, but often it comes with big lifestyle changes including a complete change of diet. Unfortunately telling that to an (almost) thirteen year old doesn't go down well. I have given Jay the choice of whether he wants to change his diet and he knows that he will eventually (hopefully!) get better, but it will take longer without a diet change.
It's been a long five months of trying to work out what is going on, and to get him well and I think it's going to be a long time before he feels normal again. It's going to just take time (and maybe some diet changes!) till he feels normal again as it can often just pass after a few months or longer. I know a lot of it is also contributed to grief and that is something that you can just wish to pass either. I feel so bad for him as he is often upset and says 'I just want to feel normal again'. I can't wait for that day either.