My daughter had sudden onset OCD, age 7, in September. I remember it down to the minute!
Before I start, here is her infection history from 2016, all ear infections. I am waiting for her medical records. I know some of the infections she was treated with abx but for sure she was not treated with abx. on 9/15/16. It was considered viral. She also has a history of enlarged tonsils...still to this day. Also, just chronic colds, sinus infections, allergies her whole life. Just prior to onset of symptoms, I was told by our primary to send her to ENT but then all this happened!
Ear Infection History 2016:
9/15/16 (onset of symptoms 3 days after this)
Vaccines: Heb B in April 2016, July 2016.
We did switch a school and she had excessive hand washing at age 5 for about 3 weeks (again, still waiting for all her medical records, I do not know if she had an infection prior to handwashing or if this is pertinent/coincidental). Not an "OCD" type symptom since then. Very social, smart kid. Loves friends. Very smart. No school problems. No defiance problems. No other diagnosis of ANY kind. An easy and fun kid!
Sept 18th: (3 days after ear infection diagnosis) Hoarding (things like her bloody tissues from a bloody nose! Bringing home her milk carton from lunch and making us save it!), making parents take pictures of everything she did (including things like using the restroom, even her urine and poop!), emotional, EXTREME separation anxiety. Per her teacher, crying 8 times a day in class and saying “I miss my mommy.”
Sept 22nd: First visit to a therapist who diagnosed her with "Generalized Anxiety."
Sept 25th: Severe compulsions. Bordering everything, fear of contamination, isolating herself, depressed, complaining of headaches, stomach aches, hyperactive at times (like she could not sit still on a couch or had to get up and down several times when doing homework). In addition, she cannot be in a room unless her mother is present. Literally followed mother into every room. Started walking backward and doing “starting from the beginning” type rituals. She also has to do everything symmetrically. If she touched something with the right arm it had to be touched with the left arm. Still could get to school but we would be late and drop off was a nightmare. Separating from mother was very hard.
Sept 26th: Took her back to the therapist (we were freaking out!) Diagnosed OCD.
Sept 29th: Stayed up until 2am doing wiping, tapping, bordering rituals (this was about 6 hours worth of rituals.) If her father came close to her to try to help her, she would scream as though she was being tortured. Having fits of rage. Hyperactivity.
Oct 7: . Hoarding spit in her mouth. Will not eat at school or gymnastics practice. Clenched fists ALL DAY. Sensitive to touch, sounds. If we played the radio in the car she would freak out. PLUS still all the above mentioned symptoms. Also, often times, in a "trance-like" state. Also by now she is hitting, kicking, and spitting. Also very immature behaviors. A little bit of baby talk, playing with her private parts (kinda like toddler does), sitting in childish type poses (hard to explain that unless you see...but trust me).
Oct 15th: Mother now on a leave of absence from work. She would not be without me. Still could get her to school. Urinating and defecating all over the house. Extreme bathroom fears and rituals.
Nov 3rd: First email to an intensive treatment program for OCD. Symptoms getting so severe.
Nov 28th: First day of intensive treatment. By this point, never wear clothes unless mother dresses her, severe contamination issues. Wont bathe in a bathroom (only in the sink in the kitchen with Dawn dish soap), complex walking patterns, rituals, throat clearing tic, wont walk on carpet, has urinated on her floor in her room at least 15 times, door rituals, still has extreme rage and emotional labile, will not step on a crack....plus more.
Ok, so when all this started, I looked into PANDAS. But to me, it didn't make sense. I said to myself "No history of Strep, we changed schools and she had a hand washing history for a few weeks." Fast forward to now. I will say she has made improvements for sure since we have started ERP. She eats and has conquered some of her rituals. She is now on Lexapro. But for sure OCD symptoms still remain. She wont use a restroom. She has to go outside or in a toddler potty. I spoke to the director of our program about PANDAS when we arrived, and she said "Its over diagnosed and the treatment is the same." For whatever reason last week though, I googled it. My mouth dropped. Now that I have a better timeline in place, to me this is it! It has to be! Especially ear infection 3 days prior to onset of symptoms. Her decline was so fast (which believe me, we took notice of when it was all happening but the "experts" in our lives said that it was pure OCD and nothing else.) We also did not sit around and watch this happen. She was in weekly therapy (sometimes 2 times a week). I know people who have OCD (Not the PANDAS type) can get really bad. But just 6 weeks after onset of symptoms I am looking into an intensive treatment program for my 7 year old! That's fast!
We went to a doctor yesterday. Very nice and allowed me to dictate what I wanted ordered. He also says he has treated some PANDAS. But after I showed him video footage of her defiance, emotional ups and downs, crying rages, he pulled me into his office without my daughter and asked if I thought she had been abused. Actually, we did look into that when this all started and we are confident that is not the case. He suggested Art Therapy for her. Art Therapy!? He also took notice of her immaturity, impulsivity and just kinda "wacky attitude." My brother visited last week and also noticed that. She has tantrums like a 2 year old when she does not get her way. All I keep telling these people is...."THIS IS NOT MY KID!"
I have an appointment with another doctor (Integrative Medicine Doctor in Irvine, Dr. K) and I have seen actually two reviews about her treatment of PANDAS and PANS and people have been happy. I don't get to see her for a couple weeks though and at least I have some labs done now (waiting for results).
Here are my questions:
1. Am I on the right track? For parents with kids with diagnosed PANDAS/PANS, have you experienced a similar timeline, symptoms etc?
2. Any recommendations for doctors who know how to diagnose and treat in Southern California. But I will go anywhere.
3. Is it coincidental we changed schools and this started? (My daughter was nervous about changing schools but it was not extreme at all. In fact, she was well liked and she even knew 2 kids in her class. Teacher was very sweet)
4. Just generalized thoughts on my post. Even a personal experience or 2!
Thank you for your time! I know this was a little long!