I wrote this last week and forgot to post it:
It started with my usual good morning wake up, only this time Brayden grumbled "I can't go to school, the school is so yucky and dirty" I knew at that moment, he was worse. It then progressed to his breakfast was yucky after a few bites. I reluctantly shipped him off to the "yucky" school with hopes that he would survive his day without too much anxiety.
After school, "Brayden, why didn't you eat your lunch again at school?" I'm really not sure why I ask this question because I know the answer. "The cafeteria is so gross, even the peanut table was gross, so I couldn't eat it" This is the same kid who a month ago ordered his first healthy meal at a restaurant. I then inform with excitement that we are going out for frozen yogurt to support his schools PTA. "Mom, I have to go potty and the bathroom there is dark and yucky. We have to go home". Ughh, this time I essentially tell him no, I'm not ruining it for the girls and he manages to do his business and enjoy the yogurt. Later at home, my youngest is trying a paleo treat that arrived in the mail. Brayden gets site of it on her face and freaks out "get her out of here! She is gross, get her away!" This is OCD.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a crippling disorder for everyone involved. It causes a person's mind to have unwanted feelings or thoughts that often lead to compulsions. Brayden's OCD was mostly limited to food. Food has to be perfect or there is something wrong with it. The only perfect food is processes food which is horrible for a growing child. I have been told by doctor after doctor that he won't starve. We put this to the test several times and found that yes, he will starve. When he actively has OCD, there is no way to get Brayden to eat anything but perfect food. Our current doctor understands this.
I actually thought Brayden did not have complusions although the psychologist in me knew they had to be there somewhere. When I finally explained OCD to Brayden, he thought for a moment and said "you mean like how I have to darken the lines on my assignments at school without my teacher seeing?" Wow, that poor kid makes more work for himself than anyone knows. How many other compulsions does he have that no one is aware of? Often these rituals are seen as funny quirks or not even noticed at all but for the child, they are completely exhausting. As Brayden has become sicker this week, I noticed he has stopped playing the iTouch that he previously could play for hours on end. As we talked about OCD, he mentioned that he has to rub the screen of the iTouch repeatedly while playing the iTouch. Again exhausting.
Unlike most cases of OCD, Brayden's is almost completely absent when his PANDAs is controlled. He starts exploring new foods, leaves the house without anxiety and acts like a normal kid. We just started a new course of treatment and here is hoping we have our kid back in the next few days!