Today we had an Autism triple-threat! A trifecta of circumstance so horrific I have no recourse but to retreat to my bedroom with a case of Coke Zero, Ruffles and French Onion Dip, and a double-issue of People Magazine with an exclusive expose’ on Toddlers & Tiaras.
There was an episode of Lassie (oh would you just indulge me this once) where Timmy woke up one morning, sat down to breakfast and sneezed once and was immediately bedridden with Scarlet Fever. While the ghost of Christmas future stood watch from the corner of the room and Aunt Bea and Barney wrung their hangs in distress, Lassie ran to Walnut Grove to summon Doc Baker. Tonto hitched up the wagon and they made their way back to the farm where Doc Baker administered aspirin and after several time-lapsed scenes of worried pacing – Timmy awoke to Lassie licking his face and they all lived happily ever after…until he got involved with that Nellie Olson but that’s another story.
Today was absolutely nothing like that.
Last night in the bath, EB laid his head back in the water. He realized that his voice sounded funny and began welcoming “visitors” to Earth. This was to my amusement, so I grabbed my iPod and took about a minute of video for future generations.
Then I rinsed him off and to bed we went.
This morning wasn’t out of the norm at all. He woke up around 4 a.m. complaining that he was starving for pizza. I convinced him that he wasn’t and he went back to sleep. Or at least I did. When I formally woke up at 6 a.m. he was watching YouTube videos of people playing Mario Kart.
An insane side note we just discovered: At some point this morning EB created subgroups on his iPad and sorted all of his apps. He named them “peterg” (Peter’s Games), “peterb” (Peter’s Books), “petered” (Peter’s Education), and “petervg” (Peter’s Video Games). All alone at the bottom was this poor little bastardized icon entitled “Mommys W S” (Mommy’s Work Stuff) which included the stock market, weather, settings – all the stuff that comes preloaded – and NPR). How in the heck does a five year old do that? To not only be able to read, but to create these subgroups, to sort things, and to name them appropriately?
We went to grandma and grandpa’s house for breakfast. He had pancakes. All was well. Then we came home briefly before leaving to meet his friend, Clara for a play date. I should’ve known something was up when he started screaming about how he doesn’t want to go to his old school (the playground was near his old school) and that old friends aren’t silver or gold (yeah, so screw you girlscouts) and that he just wanted to go home and eat the day away (don’t we all young one, don’t we all…) I texted E, Clara’s mom to let her know to be on guard that this could go really not well.
We arrived and he seemed okay. He mentioned his ear hurt. I thought about the bath last night. I suggested that maybe there was some water in his ear. Playing ensued.
A few minutes into things he began to come to me crying and mention that he wanted to go home, that his ear hurt. I encouraged him to drink water, run around and play for a minute and see if it was better (at this point I wasn’t sure if he was projecting his anxiety about the playdate into a physical malady or not)…
Minutes later it was clear that regardless of the cause we had to go. I apologized to E and Clara, as he screamed that he didn’t want to play with her anymore, and that he wanted to go away and never see Clara again (thankfully she is the most sanguine and forgiving child ever). I shuffled him to the car, and realized that despite being removed from the potentially uncomfortable social setting, he was still increasingly upset. I knew that his ear must really be bothering him. I drove up to a pediatrician’s office and by chance they had Sunday hours. They were available from 1-3, and it was 1:30. That was divine intervention. I shuffled him upstairs, explained that we were not patients there, that I didn’t have proof of insurance, or you know “an appointment” but in a whispered voice with quivering lips I said “Please, he has Autism.”
They got him right in. Which I think they would’ve done regardless, but I was so grateful. I filled out mountains of paperwork with him screaming in pain. When we got into a room the nurse suggested he take some Motrin.
I laughed. Through the tears – mania style.
“He doesn’t take medicine.” I said.
“We can try.” she countered.
Good freaking luck – I thought – and then she handed him a small cup of Motrin and told him that it would help his ear feel better and he drank it.
Oh, well, that was unexpected.
The meltdown continued while we waited for the doctor. It was rough. I was in tears. He was in tears. About 25 minutes into it I realized that I had my Blackberry and thought possibly I could pacify him with Facebook.
Even better, there was an app for YouTube. Freaking YouTube, Blackberry has joined the 21st century, and I am so happy.
BB: -+-+- You my incur additional network charges for using this application. -+-+-
Me: Whatever. Solace has no price.
This story is getting far too long and indulgent. Let’s speed it up. Enter doctor, diagnosis of severe ear infection, prescription for oral antibiotic.
On the way home I call Gus and tell him the exact brand, flavor, size, color, etc. of “Motrin” that was acceptable (because I assure you that he would know if it was Walgreens brand instead of Target).
I drop EB at home with his Developmental Therapist, Cassandra and make my way to the pharmacy to get the antibiotic filled. While I’m waiting I fill my cart with 58 dollars of absolute crap.
Return home, Google social stories about taking liquid meds, decide I will have to make something and I’m just too tired at the moment and clearly he’s an expert med taker and I just didn’t know…
Glowing, acidic, chalky substance in one hand, sippy cup full of Coke in other.
“1…2….3…drink the medicine. Drink it and you can have a new DS game! OMG Yay! You are doing such a great…”
“F*ck!” ”Drink the Coke. Please finish it, baby. Two DS games. Dominos. Anything you want….”
Spew, spit, gag, thrash…scream, cry, spit some more.
“If you don’t take the medicine your ear will fall off!” (Oh like you’d have something better?)
Was it defeat? A whole dose not achieved. Or rather, a success….1/2 dose achieved. Two more doses to go.
Ah yes, the triple threat:
The Ear. The Autism. And the Antibiotic.
Someday this will be really funny.
Maybe you’re laughing already.
Too soon, man. Too soon.