Problems with my teenager!

Sarah - posted on 11/04/2013 ( 46 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 15, she's currently in France on an exchange and I found out through her friends a few things she's been keeping from me.
First of all she has a purple lump on her breast, second she's on the pill to clear up her skin and because she gets very bad periods and didn't want them in France but she's had her period for two weeks and she's got very bad stomach cramps with it. I don't know whether to send her to a doctor over there or wait for her to come home. She doesn't want to tell me cause she doesn't want to be consulted about her 'lady parts' by a French doctor and she thinks I would force her to.

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Sylvia - posted on 11/08/2013

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If she is near Paris, there is the American Hospital.
American Hospital of Paris - 63, Bd Victor Hugo
92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine - France - Tél : +33 (0)1 46 41 25 25
I assume there is someone in charge of the exchange program that you could talk to. I requested a female doctor for my daughter at an emergency room here in U.S. and they couldn't have been nicer about it.
I expect if your daughter's friends know about her medical issues then she's probably worried about it herself. A program coordinator should be able to make appointments and figure out transportation. We've hosted foreign students twice and they're given the name of a local doctor to call for any problems.
When she arrives home ( or before ) you should remind her that birth control is not fool proof and does nothing to protect her from STDs. When she becomes sexually active she needs to require boys to wear condoms - lots won't. Make sure she has the name and phone number of the doctor that she usually sees. It is amazing how many teens leave yearly appointments up to the parents and have no idea of how to get in touch with the doctor themselves. The book Our Bodies, Our Selves is a great book that provides lots of information about her body.

Theresa - posted on 11/15/2013

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Hello, just a few calming comments here. If your daughter is an exchange student then wouldn't she be living with a family over there? Two, in regards to her bleeding/on the pill issue....her friends say she is, but what if that story was made up? A lot of girls are on the pill, my 17 yr old has been because she wants to go to college and we discussed that would be better than being a parent right now. Three.....the purple lump on one of her breasts, could be an exageration. Check with your daughter first. But do it calmly. If you panic or scream, she won't tell you much of anything. It's also possible.....that the lump is a hickie from a boy, and she's not likely to tell you anything. You know how your daughter reacts, responds, etc. Approach carefully but with concern. Good luck.

Brandie - posted on 11/06/2013

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I would absolutely be the over-protective mother at this point. She is young, naïve and most definitely too young to properly assess the situation she finds herself in. Breast lumps are common among menstruating women, during certain points of the cycle hormones make the nodules within the breast more pronounced. Additionally; birth-control pills can themselves cause lumps. No matter the lumps cause, you owe it to yourself and the possible miracle of a early warning, to investigate it asap. Save the plane ticket and rest your young daughters fears by having a trusted friend accompany her. Assure her you will help her find a qualified and reputable Physician; possibly a female, which would definitely be more comfortable for such a young girl.

Sandra - posted on 12/01/2013

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Congrats Mom for being a great mom to a wonderful daughter. It must be hard to have your daughter so far away, but also something to be very proud of, that she made it into the exchange program. How exciting for her, this is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that she will remember and talk about always.
I read that you will wait til she comes home to have her bump checked. Teen skin is always a battle of wierdness and sometimes yuck. Her skin tone could make a pimple seem dark, or be more senstitive to breakouts. Since it is on the skin, I wouldn't worry too much. Let her know not to mess with it to make it swell and become infected. She could apply a warm damp washcloth daily to bring it to the surface. A bit of neosporin for bacteria. It could be a clogged pore or a cyst from over active glands, that the stress of being away and teen hormones can contribute to. And if she is worried too much about it, give her the choice of having it looked at. Kids/teens can handle things better if they know how to go about it, and what to expect.
And of course, you will be there before she comes home, so you can make that choice to have her seen if it looks more than just clogged pore or sebaceous cyst. And of course if it doesn't clear itself, it may need a bit of help from a doctor. Thats where mom comes in.
As for the pill, good for you mom. The pill is used for more than just birth control, and many daughters would not even speak with their moms about their periods and problems. If she is still having problems, she may need a different pill, or a more even schedule of taking it. I applaud you for having a good relationship with your daughter. She will be a grown woman someday and she learns from you.

Until then, enjoy that your daughter is a strong young woman, with a good head on her shoulders. I do hope she enjoys her experience abroad, and has a wonderful time.

Kim - posted on 11/21/2013

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diana
where did you read she does not have an established relationship with her daughter? the fact that she has a relationship with her daughter's friends says they do have a relationship. I am extremely close with my 15 year old daughter but I am smart enough to know she doesn't tell me everything as I didn't when I was 15. this mother it's obviously scard and asking for advice so she can help her daughter why bash her? I bet her daughter is not there unsupervised. she it's probably there for school.I hope she posts again to correct everyone's assumptions.

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Sheila - posted on 12/28/2013

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Hello, I will be praying for you and your daughter; I am just speaking from the female point of view. We all know teens are being pressured, or feel pressured by other young boys and girls; to have sex. That is why they may be on the pill as well as to help with their skin and period. But I believe the most important thing parents can do, is to let there children know they are loved and you are there for them. When they don't hear it from a parent enough times, they are looking to hear it from some where or someone. If a girl does not have a close loving relationship from her father, first of all she will look for the love of a man in another place. I was a Dad's girl, so glade I was. I would compare boys and later men to my father, and they would not make the grade. That could have been good or bad, placing the bar too high. The young ladies in our family, were raised the same way. No one had a child unwed until they were grown, nothing to be proud of; but thank God they married the young men. Had more children and they are doing well, but your daughter is young in France. Away from family and maybe her close friends? she needs to know there is love and trust. Google a good female Doctor, she should not wait to get checked out. It's not always good to wait, unless you contact her doctor back home (he/she) can advise you what is best for her. She needs love and trust, I am sure she must be afraid.
From: Open Ear

Chelle - posted on 12/22/2013

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This may sound rather nonchalant but it isn't intended to be. Does your daughter wear underwire bras? If so, with the frequent periods & the hormones from being on the pill, the purple lump could very well be due a wire poking her in that spot frequently as her breast are constantly going through a bloating cycle (happened to me very frequently). I would tell her to first start wearing a sports bra for less irritation if that is the case. Also, Planned Parenthood has clinics all over the world. Check their website & see if their is one in France close to where she is or if she can get to the clinic via train on the weekend. Reassure her that they are experienced in helping young girls with these sorts of problems & if it is something bad, they will coordinate with the Foreign Exchange Student Program & Red Cross to get her home quickly & safely.

I don't mean to come across as cold or callous. I just have always faced parenting challenges with and attitude of "okay, this is what is happening & this is what can be done now & I have to hold my sh*t together because if I fall apart, who is going to deal with this? Nobody but me."

I wish you luck. I know from past experience that is hard to be far away from your child & not know what is going on with them. You are in my prayers & I hope it is as simple as what I described.

EDIT TO ADD: I just did a quick search & there are over 23 International Planned Parenthood Program Centers in France. Before anyone goes on the "they perform/support/advocate abortion" schpeel.. They do focus on the health care of young women & your daughter might feel very comfortable at their clinic as the statistic for France's centers is mostly young girls 13-18 with 15 being the average age.

Tonya - posted on 12/17/2013

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Thank goodness she has caring friends and that you have a relationship with them. Her friends are concerned enough that they broke her trust by telling you of the issues. This means it is serious and requires immediate attention.

I don't know what your relationship with your daughter is like. But if you are concerned about hurting her feelings or damaged relationships..the best way to handle is to get her sponsor family to take her to a reputable female Dr. and blame it on the exchange program as some type of requirement where she has to have periodic medical examinations.

Based on the exam results..you may want to have her come home and get proper medical care from Dr's you know and trust.
(I would be frantic and on the next plane to France...LOL...but I am a semi-neurotic mom and my kiddos know this about me...but they Love me for it)

God Bless...hope this works out for you.
I will pray for you and your daughter

Geeta - posted on 12/09/2013

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The purple lump on her breast will warrant her coming home immediately and seeing a doctor

Jean - posted on 11/25/2013

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To start with, How much longer does she have in France? I know girls have problems with not having their regular doctor close but with a purple lump in her breast she needs to have it checked. I also have a 15 year old daughter and if it was her I would talk to the family and see if they have a good doctor and if they would be willing to take her to see the doctor.
My daughter is also on a pill because she doesn't have a normal period, she hemorrhages for all but 3 days out of the month along with a bad breakout of acne.
I would make sure she got proper medical treatment because you don't want something bad to happen to her.
Follow your heart and gut instinct.
You will be in my prayers;
Jean

Lynn - posted on 11/24/2013

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My daughter had a lump like that and it was an infected milk duct, though she's not pregnant or sexually active. I think it came from not washing her bras. A regular GP diagnosed it and gave her an antibiotic.

Sandra - posted on 11/23/2013

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Send her to a female doctor about her lump. That could be life threatening. Also, depends how long she is going to be in France. She should see a doctor immediately!!!

Jami - posted on 11/23/2013

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Diana.
Perhaps you should read the paragraph again since its obvious you didn't. Don't answer and try to make someone feel bad when you couldn't take the time to READ.

Shawnn - posted on 11/21/2013

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Diana: UNCALLED FOR!!!

Try reading the WHOLE post. An exchange is NOT sending your kid overseas without supervision. And it most definitely IS parenting, my dear, allowing your child to access opportunities for academic & personal advancement.

Have YOU ever been in a situation where you were unsure of what to do, and unsure of where to turn because, perhaps, you were out of your comfort zone? Sounds like probably not, for which I'm sorry that you missed opportunities to grow. For example, my son, while on an exchange in Germany, experienced medical problems. Was he comfortable with telling his host family right off? No. Would YOU have been at the age of 15-16? I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT.

My advice to you: Try reading for comprehension, not speed.

Laura - posted on 11/21/2013

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What frightening happenings! I hope you have spoken with her host "mom" to make sure your daughter is OK day-to-day. Have you considered showing the picture of the breast lesion to your family doctor? That would be my first choice. Ask your daughter if it is painful, soft, hard, or appears to have fluid in it. Get some professional guidance. Was she educated about taking the pill correctly? If she is taking them erratically, her periods will likely be erratic as well. I would offer her the option of returning home....her answer will be your guide in navigating the rest of her stay. She may just be homesick and needs to remind herself you are still there for her....and will choose to stay in France.

Sarah - posted on 11/21/2013

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Thanks Kelly!
Yes, that's her main problem, she has a doctor here that she's comfortable with but being 15 as she said to me she doesn't want to 'pull her shirt off' in front of someone she doesn't know and I understand that. I'm flying over 2 weeks before the end of her exchange so in 2.5 months I'll be there and If its necessary I will take her to a doctor there.
Other wise I will wait until she gets home.
She has settled in well with her family but is still not comfortable talking about that sort of thing and she is also changing families this coming Monday as her current family has a few family things planned. So she's in a bit of a bad state at the moment. I feel terrible as there is nothing I can do but she will get through it I suppose so thankyou for all your support.

[deleted account]

Diana, she is in France in a student exchange program. It was the very first sentence in the OP. Those opportunities don't just fall out of the sky. It is a HUGE opportunity and students AND THEIR PARENTS have to work incredibly hard for! If she wasn't a great mom, if her relationship with her daughter was out of whack or strained, she wouldn't be included in the exchange program, obviously her "parenting hat" is planted firmly on her head.
Furthermore, exchange programs do come with a heavy amount of supervision, but imagine yourself at 15--self conscious, easily embarrassed, just growing into a woman's body--then imagine having to tell someone you just met a few weeks ago that you have a lump on your breast and you don't know what it is. That is hard for a young teen to do.

Sarah, when I first replied to this post, I didn't factor in the self consciousness that comes with her age--I just thought "Suspicious lump! Needs to see a doctor!"-- but once I thought about it, I remembered my first doctor's visit for a "Women's Physical" was MORTIFYING. And I had the comfort of seeing a doctor I knew and was comfortable with. Now that we are older, we don't really think twice about telling our doctors whatever we need to tell them, with age, that modesty and embarrassment over what our bodies are doing fades, but this girl is still young, so she's still modest, and she is in a new country with a new family she doesn't know well, and a new doctor. I still hope she finds the courage to get it checked out while she is there, but I think your plan is a good one. If it hasn't changed in 3 months you are probably safe letting her wait until she is home. Is there any way you could fly over for a visit and go to the doctor with her? I know it would be expensive, but that way it wouldn't interrupt her experience, and you could both rest easy. The exchange family might even let you stay with them, and you can find good deals on tickets to France on priceline.com pretty often if you keep your eyes out.

Sarah - posted on 11/21/2013

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Thankyou Kim! For the record we have a great relationship, I know for a fact that even behind my back she speaks of me as her best friend. She's staying in a host family, of course I wouldn't send her to another country without parental supervision. But she's scared about it to and she thought that once she told me about it it would become more real, that it could be cancer. It hasn't changed in 3 months so I said if she can get it checked out but if not I'll have a doctors appointment waiting for the day she gets home. She is in France on a student exchange. So before you tell me to put my parenting hat on maybe you should grow up and learn when and when not to make assumptions.

Diana - posted on 11/21/2013

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YOU ARE SPOT ON Loretta Bayley!
Sarah, you're daughter is ONLY 15, in a foreign country with, what sounds like, on her own (no adult supervision) and without an established deep mom-daughter relationship of trust before sending her off?? Since you've solicited comments/suggestions, here's mine: Get your parenting hat back on!!!

Kim - posted on 11/20/2013

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before everyone scares you with thier opinions, take a deep breath, could be a boil from stress, my sister gets them. she needs to go to a dr. You will worry yourself sick if you don't send her. Good luck she will be ok

Kanwaljeet - posted on 11/20/2013

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Hi Sarah. I think first you should talk to your daughter about this. Its a serious problem It should be cured ASAP.

Carrie - posted on 11/19/2013

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Hello Sara!

I'm Carrie and I have a 15 year old daughter named Ebony! She is not sexually active. I'm so sorry to inform you but your daughter might have breast cancer or and STD. She might be having sex without you knowing, in private! So get her home immediately!!

Good luck Sara

Ana - posted on 11/17/2013

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Since your daughter is 15, who is she living with and who is in charge of her care over there? Because why couldn't they take her to the dr or arrange for her to go? And report back to you the things maybe even she doesn't want you to know?

I guess it just seems as if she is really on her own over there? Are there no other parental or guardian types to see after her care?

Just asking.. glad that the periods have cleared up and are back to normal.

Anita Georgia - posted on 11/17/2013

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Since you have a picture of it. Look on the internet on moles and cancer moles and see what it most looks like and see what it say about them. I didn't think it could be a hickey.

Sarah - posted on 11/16/2013

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She has had this lump since two weeks after she got to France so 9 weeks, it's not a hickey.
She said it's raised above the skin and it's the size of a small pimple, the photo she sent me looks like it.

Anita Georgia - posted on 11/16/2013

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Hi Sarah I bet it is hard hearing about all this when she is not right here in front of you . What is a mother to do.I agree with some of the others that she might want to get it checked even just for peace of mind for you and for her. But when you say it is the size of a small pimple I can't see it being a hickey that small.You have seen it right? Is it perfectly round or kind of out of shape? I have always had alot of moles, tags and these small dark almost purple dots on mine body. I have gone to a skin Doc. and I am fine.And as for her bleeding issue. I remember when I was younger I had so much pain during my period I couldn't even stand to wash dishes.It felt like everything was going to fall out. And then one day my friend told me about China Corella so I stated taking it.By my next period I didn't even know it was coming.That was 15 years ago. And I Have been told by my Dr. that I am even done with meophase I haven't a period for 5 years and they said thats fine.Or she can eat salted and roasted sea weed everyday.Hope this helps.It did me.Another kind is Aquamin sea Minerals by Swanson she only has to take one they are considered a food not a hurb nor a vitamen.If she can eat fish she should be fine. Good luck and my she be fine.

Sarah - posted on 11/16/2013

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I have spoken to her, I put her on the pill before she left, just to clear up the confusion there. Her period has stopped and pain has gone away. The lump is the size of a small pimple, it's not a hickey she promised and I'm sure it wouldn't be I think she is afraid of boys, especially over there.
I asked her to see if she can find someone she trusts enough to go to the doctor with her, as she sent me a photo of the lump and it worries me a little.

Loretta - posted on 11/16/2013

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It seems to me the biggest problem might be a breakdown in communication between you and your daughter. I don't know what your relationship has been up to this point, but I would definitely make sure your daughter's trust in you is intact and that she knows she can talk to you about anything. I was never my girls' "best friend", but I was realistic about the fact that they would struggle with all the normal teen struggles and didn't freak out when they came to talk to me. Consequently, they talked to me about just about everything and I was able to have input in their lives until they became adults--and they still ask me for advice! I'm not saying you have done ANYTHING wrong in that regard--that is just the first place I would put my attention if I were in your shoes.

Patricia - posted on 11/15/2013

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Hi! If she's in Paris I have a friend who speaks English and could help her..

Harriet - posted on 11/15/2013

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Sorry, I mis read your original post. I thought you meant she didn't want to take the pills in France, but you meant she didn't want to have the heavy periods. Well, hard to know... Stress and a major change in environment can be enough to cause abnormal bleeding. But if she is getting this much bleeding while on the pill, then a couple things might be happening. First confirm that she is actually taking the pill. If she is, then it probably would be helpful for her to see a doctor there to get a change in type of pill. Going off the pills would just put her back to where she was before, and add in the stress or whatever it is that's affecting her periods now, she will likely have very heavy periods off the pill. Don't know what to make of the "purple lump" on her breast. If it is on the skin and she can see it, could be anything from a skin tag to sebaceous cyst to mole.. Still unlikely to be a concern. If it is growing fast it probably should be looked at.

Valerie - posted on 11/15/2013

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I would have her go to see a doctor about the breast lump ASAP!! The periods are explained from you in your post, most likely from stopping the pill, that isn't as worrisome as the breast lump. Breast cancer doesn't age discriminate.. and it's nothing to mess around with.. most breast lumps (80%) are not cancerous, but the other 20% are, and if it's a purple lump, that concerns me.. as a breast cancer survivor (I had BC at age 33 and learned everything I could about it)- she doesn't have to have a pelvic exam to have that looked at and tested if the doctor feels it's warranted.. my advice is for her to go to a clinic or something and have the lump looked at!

Jenn - posted on 11/14/2013

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Not to scare you, but... 15 year olds CAN get breast cancer! There are types that feed off estrogen that a female can get at any age. She really should see a Dr. It could be just a clogged duct or it could be something more.

Andrea - posted on 11/14/2013

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I'd ask how she managed to get on the pill without parental consent at age 15 but I suppose that is irrelevant. Better that she be willing to get on them than unwilling to take them. I myself snuck off to a local lady doctor in town to put myself on the pill without my mother's knowledge, though I was 18 and starting college so my reasoning was different than your daughters. I had super heavy/irregular periods also. They could go anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks long! And the cramps were horrendous! The pill was supposed to help with that but other than cutting down the times that it went on for 2 weeks it didn't really have much affect. One thing though, is she for sure taking them regularly/daily? I know a couple times when I would go through phases that I would forget to take them regularly like I was supposed to then the periods were even worse than pre-pill. It's gradually gotten better on its own as I've gotten older. My OB wasn't overly concerned about my period issues and just told me to keep up on the iron supplements. Some of us are just unlucky I guess!

Sarah - posted on 11/14/2013

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Harriet! So helpful thankyou! But she hasn't gone off the pill she's still on it. Should I take her off it?

Harriet - posted on 11/14/2013

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It is unlikely any of this is going to be a serious problem for her. She is known to have heavy periods, and going off the pills (I think I'm reading your post correctly) had just started that up again. Not a big worry, really, just something she should expect and adjust for by taking extra iron pills and taking ibuprofen when she gets the cramps. Beginning the ibuprofen at the first sign of her period, or even just planning to take it for the last two weeks of her cycle every months will go a long way toward eliminating the cramps. 15 year olds don't have to worry about breast cancer, and you don't get blood clots in your breast, so the lump is likely due to the surge in her own natural hormones since she's gone off the pill. She can always go back on the birth control pills if the heavy bleeding becomes problematic with subsequent cycles. Personally, I think it would be pretty traumatic to have to have a gyn exam in a foreign country, especially for a kid who isn't sexually active and whose mom isn't nearby...

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2013

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She's home mid feb. She's not a sexually active teen, she's never even kissed a boy. The pill is just for her hormones. I think it is very heavy and she's very tough so I'm worried maybe she's keeping a bit more from me. But I've spoken to her about it and she's promised to send me a photo and if I'm worried she said she'll see if she can figure out a way to have it checked. Thankyou for all of your replies much appreciated.

Penny - posted on 11/11/2013

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I've been an exchange student, and councelled students while they lived OS later on. There should be someone there to listen and help her. If not, can you speak to her host mum about your concerns? How long until she'll be home? Even if she doesn't get treatment in France, she should consult a doctor ASAP, then at least you will know if she needs any further help and maybe that'll help you decide what's best.
Is it a problem with French doctors (how did she get the pill??) or just that she doesn't want to deal with something so heavy - and a lump is heavy at any age. Maybe it's more that she just needs someone to be with her?? Again, host mum?? A teacher from school she likes? A girlfriend?
Also agree with previous posts re the pill and still needing to think about STDs!!

Nicki - posted on 11/10/2013

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The lump is concerning because the pill can cause DVT in some people as can long haul flying. Although incredibly unlikely, she needs to be seen immediately to rule this out . She also needs to be seen before she gets on a plane home. Good luck x

Jen - posted on 11/07/2013

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Unless she's coming home from France in the next few days, this definitely sounds like something she needs to address over there, whether she likes it or not. Bleeding for so long could cause iron loss that could lead to other problems even if the cause of the bleeding itself is not serious. And a lump on the breast is always worth investigation. If her friends told you about this, they are obviously concerned about her too. If some of her friends are in France on exchange with her, maybe a friend could go with her to the doctor, if that would make her feel more comfortable. Good luck!

Shawnn - posted on 11/05/2013

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If she'd rather see her normal physician, you may have to foot the bill to fly her home and cut the exchange short.

Breast lumps are NOT something to just "wait and see" about. She needs to understand. Hopefully she'll agree to see a physician in France. I'm sure her exchange family will be more than happy to help, after all, that's what they're there for.

Her sponsors should be made aware as well, so that if there are any medical concerns or emergencies, they are equipped to handle it. I know, it's tough, my son went to Germany on an exchange program a few years ago, and he ended up having to be at the physician's for an initial diagnosis of an ongoing medical issue. He's glad he went to the doctor, even though he initially didn't want to while he was overseas.

Hopefully its nothing more than a cyst and travel stress, but better safe than sorry. Keep us updated.

Janine - posted on 11/05/2013

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I would definitely get her checked ASAP, especially the lump on her breast. It's not her decision to make...you need to let her know she HAS to go whether she likes it or not. These can be serious conditions and you shouldn't her wait. Like Kelly says, if she doesn't want to go to a French doctor, fly her home!

Janine Aguero
http://janineaguero.verefina.net

[deleted account]

Why does it matter whether the doctor is French or some other nationality?
She needs to get to whatever doctor she can get to as soon as possible! These symptoms are common for some very serious conditions that may be untreatable if she waits too long.
If she doesn't want to see a French doctor for whatever reason, fly her home.

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