When we last went to our doctor who does nutritional balancing, I described Jonas’ symptoms as he told them to me, and the doctor said, well that is a B12 deficiency. When Jonas tried to explain to me how he felt that his feet sometimes didn’t work right and he felt like he was tripping, though he wasn’t actually tripping, I didn’t know what to make of it. Sorry to say, I doubted a bit that he was accurately describing what was going on – not that he was making it up, but maybe that it was just some little normal thing that happened once or twice that didn’t really mean anything – something that wasn’t pertinent. But when I mentioned it to the doctor, he said, that is part of B12.

I have learned over and over to trust Jonas, especially when it comes to his accidents. Sometimes I forget. To trust that he really couldn’t help it. That it isn’t just a case of a kid who gets too involved in what he is doing. It’s easy to get frustrated and to assign blame. Long ago, I told him that I know the accidents aren’t his fault and that I will not hold him responsible for that, but that I do expect him to get changed right away and take care of his clothes or to ask me for help when he needs it. (Lately, I haven’t been doing the best at having a gracious attitude about this. As I become more and more tired and irritable and frustrated myself, it is not easy to have the right attitude. It’s easy to communicate annoyance over the situation, and I feel so bad about that). Anyway, so often he doesn’t take responsibility about getting changed. And when I notice he is wet, he will say that he didn’t realize. Of course this seems implausible and I always took it that he was just being irresponsible. But in my reading this week I have learned that a symptom of B12 deficiency is a diminished sense of touch, pain and/or temperature. And I wonder if he honestly cannot feel that he is wet. Oftentimes it is not a major accident, but enough wetness that he should be aware of it. Another lesson in learning to believe my child and not be suspicious of his truthfulness.

Jonas hasn’t had the strange tripping sensation since being on a high dose of B12 the last couple months. When I ask him, he says the only symptom that we talked about with the doctor that he still has is tiredness. But now I wonder whether a lot of seemingly unrelated symptoms are B12 related. The accidents themselves likely stem from the deficiency (including sudden unaccountalbe bouts of diarrhoea), though there are other possible explanations including food intolerance as well as histamine intolerance (which I am just starting to look into and figure out). Maybe it is all these things.

He has quite a few symptoms of the deficiency that still seem to be an issue, which leads to the question of whether he is properly absorbing the supplement he is on. It has been a couple months and perhaps it is just going to take a while. Ever since vacation I have also not been as diligent about getting both doses in him each day. I was so on top of that for the first several weeks, but now in the last few weeks I miss the afternoon dose 2-3 days a week. That needs to be priority. I also want to get him tested as soon as possible to have a record of where he is at now so we can better track his healing. Testing should be done before starting therapy, so I should probably have him off of them for a while so it doesn’t skew the results.

As I have become more familiar with the signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency, I see the following in relation to Jonas:

  • irritability/moodiness/frustration
  • violent behavior (this is not an issue now, but he went through a period of pretty serious aggression and anger. He is still prone to anger when he is not feeling well and occasionally he still lashes out physically).
  • abnormal sensations
  • incontinence
  • diarrhea
  • weakness (There have been times when I tell him to put his school books back on the shelf and he will tell me they are too heavy and he doesn’t want to do it. Of course I found this ridiculous and a lazy excuse, but there may be something to it. Not that he shouldn’t still be required to put them away, but it may feel like a lot of effort for him sometimes. I know I am finding it a lot of effort just to walk upstairs or hold my baby).
  • trouble concentrating
  • tiredness
  • mouth sores
  • sensitivity to light
  • poor digestion
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • weight loss
  • chest pain (I think there have been three times in the last year or less that he has complained of pain)
  • itchy eyes (I have only run across this on a couple lists, so I am not sure it is caused by B12 in Jonas’ case. It seems B2, or maybe it is B6, is more commonly associated with this. His itchy eyes, along with other symptoms is what has me researching histamine intolerance).

Bridget, the middle child, has always been healthy, robust, a good eater, developmentally advanced on a lot of fronts, but now, I am wondering if she too is showing signs of B12 deficiency. Of course when one starts looking at the world through any certain lens, you can start seeing things that you wouldn’t otherwise see, and maybe these things in Bridget are just a coincidence and of no real concern. It has been very strange though that she began having accidents in the last couple weeks. Sometimes 2-3 a day, sometimes she’s fine all day. This has never been an issue for her. She has also had some unformed stools in the last several days, though she hasn’t had trouble making it to the bathroom. Thankfully. The other recent development is that when we were on vacation, she developed a big sore in the corner of her mouth. This is a symptom of B12 deficiency, although of course it could be a lot of other things. It’s hard to remember back to when Jonas really started having trouble with accidents, but I think he was around her age.

I just feel overwhelmed. It’s hard to be in this place where you are still trying to put the pieces together and you are waiting for confirmation.