My son started to have frequent insomnia at about age 11. He would take a lot of naps whenever possible. He seemed depressed and lethargic. His personality changed from being active and sometimes overly hyper, to irritable, slow, and helpless. His grades at school started to drop considerably even with a lot of help. He also had frequent "tension headaches".
Then at age 12, he still had "tension headaches", but they started to come with some vision problems like "seeing stars". We thought it was migraines as they run in the family. He continued to nap almost everyday. At his physical, they told us it was puberty, stress, and lack of sleep. We gave him vitamins and improved his diet. Finally, after turning 13, his headaches became more frequent and intensified. He was sleeping all the time during the day and sometimes staying up at night. His grades dropped down to all F's. We started to take him to a mental health provider.
Soon after a few visits with a mental health provider, we told his pediatrician that this was not just migraines headaches. He was waking up at night with severe headaches with vomiting and with double vision that would not go away. He then had a CAT-scan done, which showed hydrocephalus with a mass in the center of the brain. We were sent directly to the ER. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital and had biopsies on the tumor. He had to have some of the fluid build-up, also called hydrocephalus, drained to relieve the pressure.
He will be getting chemo and radiation for treatment. Surgical removal is not an option as of now. He is stable and it is currently not life-threatening. He should be able to live a long healthy life after treatment is successful. The Children's Hospital was absolutely wonderful and they made this terrifying event so much easier to cope with. I am so thankful for their patience and kindness.