Conversion Disorder

A few years back, we had a big scare... Kevin didn't... just us, his parents!
He got home from a Halloween event at school about 10:15 pm... and I noticed he wasn't moving his arm. It was bent and his fingers were hooked onto his necklace he wears.  Umm what's wrong with your arm. I can't move it. What do you mean you can't move it? I can't move it. You can move it, but I can't. As he demonstrated his lack of ability to move his arm, even with the aid of his good arm, my mind started racing. His arm moved freely to my touch, but wherever I stopped, his arm stopped also. He said this happened previously back in May, he didn't feel a need to tell us? He said he slept and when he awoke it was all better.

I won't lie, I was panicking.  All Kevin wanted to do was go to bed. It will be fine after I sleep, don't worry. Too late, I am already worried. There is nothing medically wrong with my arm!! Good, they can tell me that at the emergency room!!  He was adamant that he wasn't going... I was definitely determined that he was going to be examined. Drugs crossed my mind, whether voluntary or involuntary.. after all it was a high school masquerade ball. Off we went.

The doctor came in.. how long has it been this way...? as he moved Kevin's arm here and there.. leaving it outstretched in various positions.  About an hour, we told him.  He checked this reflex and that, these muscles and them...we gave him a brief history of other problems Kevin has been having... Medically there is nothing wrong with his arm, the doctor said. (hmm, the same words Kevin used!) He truly thinks he can't move it. It is in his head.  He possibly has conversion disorder, I would recommend  a psychiatrist. (Actually the doctor was doing a lot of laughing and messing with Kevin, at first I wasn't happy with his diagnosis)

His dad went out of the room to speak with the doctor further. The doctor said there weren't any signs of drug use and he was using all his muscles in that arm. I didn't know what to think. I had never heard of conversion disorder. So we headed home.  Mom, can you move my arm, it's really uncomfortable.. No move it yourself.. the doctor said you can, you just think you can't... By this time, it was becoming increasingly funny.  After a couple of hours, the movement in Kevin's arm was back to normal. Now to decide the next step.

I looked up Conversion Disorder, and it was unbelievable.. Kevin had so many of the symptoms and risk factors. We decided we would have him talk with a psychologist. He doesn't seem to think he needs one. The fact that he doesn't see anything wrong with losing the ability to move a limb... is reason enough for him to see someone.. Let them tell me.. he's fine!

Now, some years have past, and Kevin's go to line when something is amiss, "don't worry, ït's all in my head!"

- Abbye

No comments :

Post a Comment