Separation Anxiety … Why??

Those of you who have children who have PANDAS/PITAND are likely no stranger to this issue. Those of you who are unfamiliar with it are going to be a little surprised to read this post and learn that an almost 12 year old girl, who has always loved school, her friends and activities… is having severe separation anxiety. I try to keep it mild on here so as not to shock too many people with what life is like for a child who is fighting this condition; however, in the interest of being honest about the real life issues that this auto-immune condition creates so we raise awareness, I’m going to try to be more candid here so people start to understand… and I pray with everything in me that researchers will do more to solve the underlying problem, that health-care providers will get educated and help our children. What we NEED… is to stop the auto-immune process. Please… if you or anyone you know can help… please do!!

Faith’s separation anxiety has been rather high lately. When I say that, I mean that she must be physically within touching distance of me… if not grabbing for me. She almost pushed me over in the grocery store the other day because she was leaning on me so hard… almost trying to climb into my lap. A few nights ago, she suddenly had to be sitting so close our bodies were almost meshed as one on the sofa. If I got up, she followed… even if it was only a couple of feet away.

Someone shared an image recently that reminds us of our children with PANDAS and the fear they feel during separation anxiety.

Frightened Panda clings to Policeman's leg

Frightened Panda clings to Policeman's leg

Heart tugging, isn’t it? That panda bear may as well be any child with PANDAS. This is a visual of what our children are experiencing… and yes, how they cling to us… this has happened once or twice with her dad; but, most of the time, it’s me she ‘has’ to be ‘with’, ‘hugging’, etc. I have literally pried fingers loose and dressed her in an effort to try to get her to school on time… usually late during exacerbations in which the strep is causing her immune system to attack her brain. I’ll emphasize that when we are able to eradicate the strep throat infections and she recovers, I never see such issues.

We had a long talk about this after a bad episode of it one evening earlier this week… she HAD to be within touching distance of me if not actually grabbing at me. What I learned broke my heart anew…

She fears (and could not tell me for about an hour of me reassuring her…. she was convinced that telling me OR not being with me might cause it to happen; yet, she bravely eventually shared with me) that I might run away if she is not with me or if I find out the fear… further, she fears Dan (my hubby, her step-dad) will be angry at her b/c she ’caused’ me to run away. A couple years ago, it was about her fear that I might die if she were not with me… fortunately, I think she has forgotten about that one; however, this one remains and is still about her fear of losing her mom in some way.

I’ll say it again: I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be a child with PANDAS/PITAND. 😥 ♥♥♥

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