Friday, October 29, 2010

Anyone else deal with this...

Billy's not well. He has a fever and a sore throat. His energy is low,  he's teary. It's day one of symptomatic something.

I'm thinking most people with kids deal with this bit. Unless you are super lucky and if you are... I'm sorry, but I hate you just a little bit.

The thing that I wonder about is the way autism (or is it the SPD, or both) makes illness present. Honestly, looking at him today, without even beginning to take Billy's emotional life into consideration, you would think he was seriously ill. And he may well be, which I'll get to in a second (catastrophiser that I am).

I've alluded to this before. Billy is deeply effected and affected by life. Light, sound, smell, movement and illness knock him around in bizarre ways. He is depleted by intense sun light. He is repulsed by everyday smells. He is assaulted by sudden sound. He is exhausted by atmospheric sound. He is grounded by simple illness. Poor little fella... if it's not hard enough to decode people's language and read their damn faces, he also has to get beaten about by their orientation to the sun. It just doesn't seem fair.

Today, without ibuprofen, he whimpered and shivered and rolled his eyes back. And I get that many people out there would be thinking, 'Holy crap... that kid is really sick.' And I do get very frightened that he is, really sick sometimes. And many, many times we have gone to the ER. Worse, we've gone to our local doctor and the doctor has looked at Billy and ordered an ambulance. And... at the ER, they say... 'Hmm... (very loudly)... we'll put a drip in and see how he goes.' We stay a night, and then we go home.

Except for the two times they sent us home, and then we were back the next morning, worse than ever. One of those ended in Mycoplasma (nasty scary rash, hateful antibiotics). The other in Transverse Myelitis and more seriousness than I EVER want to deal with again.

And (surprise, surprise) those events scared the hell out of us. Which makes the 'is it a cold, or is it some freaky Australian mutation of West Nile Fever' even more of a challenge. For me at least. Did I mention the catastrophising thing?

Tonight I'm taking solace in the magical ibuprofen transformation. As long as it's making his perk up (as opposed to puke up) I will keep my desire to convince an off duty ER doctor to crash on my couch at bay.

And remember that as much as my heart is ripped out for Billy, I know so many other autistic kids whose ability to weather life's intensities is compromised in much more profound ways. I'm not one of those people who wants to 'cure' my kid (not that there's anything wrong with that) but, on days like today, autism's more charming qualities evade me, and I want it to go away for a while.


Anonymous said...

I just want to come and give you a big fat hug Val...
I hope that this doesn't eventuate into anything nastier than a cold....poor Billy......X

Lisa said...

I think Billy needs a t-shirt like I got for Dreamer:

"The sun is trying to kill me"