Thursday, April 05, 2007

Backwards Binoculars

Last night, The Boy had trouble going to sleep. I think it was more related to being a six year old who would rather stay up late than anything to do with TS. But other TS factors ended up playing a part.

Lately, we've been having a problem with The Boy going to bed and then coming downstairs for various things: I need more water, I heard a noise, the TV is too loud, I forgot to tell you something, etc. I'm sure you all know the typical list of delays. So we've been asking him to really really try to stay in bed unless he really really needs something. So I think this is where the anxiety reared its head. He knows we're going to be frustrated when he comes down so he comes down already worried that we're going to be mad. So last night, the 2nd and 3rd time he came down, he came down almost in tears, apologizing for coming down. He ended up very upset, apologizing, crying. That doesn't help - I mean, if you start getting all upset and crying, you won't be able to go to sleep. And it's hard to be the perfectly patient parent. I know it's a small thing in life but just ONE night, I would love to be able to sit down with hubby and finish a conversation or TV show or movie with no interruption. Last night, I was having anger issues to start with. So every time he came down, I just wanted to scream at him to just go to bed and stay there! But he doesn't deserve my stupidity so I stayed silent and forced hubby to deal with him.

The third (or fourth - can't recall) time that he came down, however, he said something that I understood. And this is the second time in the last month or so that he's said this. He said, "Things are looking small again." I said, "Does it look like you're looking through binoculars backwards?" to which he answered yes. If you haven't experienced this, I don't know how else to describe it. This very disconcerting feeling used to happen to me pretty frequently when I was young - probably around 6 or so like he is. You would look around your room and it would look like you were looking through binoculars backwards. But sometimes, it would be accompanied by things looking abnormally large. But not everything. Like, everything would look small and far away but if I brought my hand up before my face, the hand looked disproportionately large. Anyone remember those lyrics from Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' where he says, "my hands felt just like two balloons"? I've always thought those lyrics were talking about this weird feeling. Anyway, it was one of those times I could at least tell The Boy that I knew what he meant - it had happened to me. But I couldn't tell him why or how to get rid of the feeling. I remember it kind of bothering me at times. Other times it outright scared me. Sometimes it was related to illness, fever, medicine. However, most times I recall it happening, I was fine. So I felt bad having to tell him that there was nothing he could do.

I really do wonder what causes that. And are The Boy and I the only ones who have had this? I can't imagine we are. Wish I could figure it out.


Zachary said...

I had a lot of stuff like that when I was young. I can't remember the reason, or if we ever even found it... I think the doctor called them optical seizures... But my vision would go all wack, and it was almost always accompanied by my other senses becoming ultra-sensitive. I told my parents that everything sounded like it was life or death. I still get it occasionally when I have a bad fever but it really freaked me out when I was Liam's age. I can understand how you feel, especially not knowing what it is... I really don't mind things too much, as long as I know what they are. Hope you figure it out.

Stacy said...

I've never had that happen, but it sounds creepy. Poor kid!

Sarakastic said...

I was just going to tell you that my little brother had that, but he already told you. I have no clue what it could be though.

Kendra said...

I have NO CLUE about the visual stuff, but cool that you could relate to Liam immediately! Hey - just a thought - have you guys tried a positive reward system for staying in bed, like if he can not come out one night, you get some kind of check or something that leads to like for 5 in a row there's a cool reward? Does that make sense? Just an alternative to punishing for coming out of bed (the traditional Vaughn method for non necessary getting out of bed! bad parents!!) or getting frustrated for having to keep answering all the "needs". I don't know - just a thought.
love you!

LEstes65 said...

Kendra - I had just been thinking of making just such a chart! Great minds, eh?

Zachary - thanks! I'm glad to know we're not the only ones.

Angela Marie said...

That has never happened to me. I do get little blind spots in my vision. I think that is related to the starting of a bad headache, even though alot of times one never followed. When I experience this, I hate it and just want it to stop. I could only imagine what Liam is feeling when he is experiencing this.

The positve reward system chart sounds like something to try!

gforce said...

I had the same problem off and on for a year or two when I was 8 or 9 and it really freaked me out. I mentioned it to my parents once but then got worried that they'd think I was nuts or something so I kept it to myself. This is the first time I've come across someone else talking about the same problem. It's pretty scary stuff for a kid. The only way it would go away for me was after I slept. Still to this day (age 37) I get the feeling that it's going to happen if I'm really sick, but it never does, thankfully. Sorry I don't have any more specific info on a diagnosis/remedy but hopefully knowing this happens to other people (and goes away) will help.