Is a Teen's Pain Just Drama, or Something Worse?

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The teen shuffled past the nurse’s station, grumbling and moaning. His mother lagged a few feet behind, rolling her eyes. He made it to his room, curling up on the bed and yelling at his mother to turn off the lights.

“He’s back,” the triage nurse quipped. “I think he’s just a whiny kid. Even his mom is fed up with him.”

Colin had visited our emergency room a few days before with complaints of a sore throat, headache, throwing up and belly pain. After a negative strep throat test, he was diagnosed with a minor viral infection — something his immune system could fight with help from a few days of rest and chicken soup.

But now the 19-year-old was back — and he felt no better.