The Monday before Christmas Bob had a cough, not a deep congested cough but a barky cough. Because of the holiday approaching and all the hub bub that goes with it, I took him to the peds. She happens to be my neighbor, who also has an autistic child. Bob loves her and I do as well. There is extreme comfort when a person caring for your child has the same bag of tricks that you do. She gets my child and she gets me. His lungs were clear. But, the cough needed to be treated with a steroid. Bob refuses any oral medication. His intolerance of such leaves his course of treatment with the only avenue for his well being, a shot.
Fast forward three days…Bob is not better. He is crying. His ear hurts. I know because he tells me. Thank God for language. Back to the peds we go. This time we see another physician, my neighbor is on vacation. Bob is asleep in my arms by the time the doc comes in to the room. Probably a good thing, he hates his ears being checked. He has already told me several times while clinging to my neck, that he wants to feel better. He pleads with me..breaking every heart string I have. He wants to feel better. I want to make it better. I can’t. He has to get another shot for the infection. He gets it..we leave..he cries and I pray. I laid in bed with my child and he held my neck as I pressed my face to his offending ear, to make it feel better. He cries, I pray.
The weekend passes…his eating slows and his drinking is close to nil….back to the doc on Sunday…
Bob is exhausted…dehydrated..I am depleted..he is admitted to the children’s hospital….
The whole process is draining. I try to look for silver linings, like the admin nurse, who thought my husband was Bob’s grandpa..lol
The hospital was a teaching hospital, which basically means that there are a bunch of baby docs who will come in and take a gander at your kiddo. Doc number 6 comes in and looks at Bob’s vitals and asks me questions and gives his diagnosis, viral, yeah ya think. He asked me if I had any questions. No, I say, you are the sixth one to come in here and all of you have said the same thing. I say one thing for your group, you are consistent. He smiled and went on his merry way.
Next stop, X-ray. They needed to check for pneumonia. The tech comes to the room with a gurney to take Bob for his X-ray. I told Bob we were going for an X-ray. His eyes lit up. He loves the alphabet. X-ray stands for X. Bob gets this, for that I am grateful. He gets on the gurney the entire ride he holds my hand. He handles it like a champ. He even got to see his X-ray and he smiled. I am thankful for a hospital geared towards children and a medical team that gets autism. The sweetest thing was my son, while we were waiting on the tech..he cupped his hands to his mouth and said, I’m ready for my X-ray. Smart boy, makes his momma proud and thankful that his X-ray was clear.
He also was fitted for an IV..which he was fine with..due to a team that handled the situation like all children should be treated. After that we were back in the room and received a bolas (fluids) to put him on the mend. He thankful fell asleep. Exhaustion set in, thank you Jesus. Because, every two hours a nurse came in to take vitals. This leads the story of Esther.
9:00 pm Esther walks in to take vitals. Bob promptly tells her to go away. She tells him she won’t hurt him, in a very thick foreign accent. I don’t know if the accent or her beautiful dreads threw him for a loop, but he recoiled from her and said No! I stepped in.
She asks, “He doesn’t like to be touched?” I told Esther he is Autistic…do you know what that means? She said no. I told her, in very plain language, that he has sensory issues and let me help you do your job. And she let me take his temp and blood pressure reading and said she would check on us in a couple of hours. Bob fell asleep.
Esther comes back at 11:00pm. Thankfully, Bob is still asleep and as she takes his vitals I ask her some questions. I told y’all I love people and to hear their stories. Not to mention, I needed a distraction. I asked this sweet girl where was she from. She replied, Nigeria. I asked her what brought her to SC. Esther proceeded to tell me that in her country, if you are a girl and your father is not rich an education is out of the question. Even if you are smart enough the professors are crooked and need a pay off for girls. They either except money or “favors”. Thank god for her father…he scraped up enough money to send her to America. So that Esther would not have to offer favors to the professors and could get an education. She will finish her nursing degree in May. For now, she is a nurse tech and damn good at it. She also told me when she goes home, she will be considered a big deal. She smiled when she told me this and smiled with her. I hope she succeeds in her endeavors.
Bob was released the next day. He was eating an drinking again. The fluids did a great deal of good for him. As we left the hospital, I thought of Esther and my child. All concerned parents worry about their children. We all hope for the best and try our hardest to put our children in the right place, for their well being.
No matter your journey..or where you are in the world ..we all have a path to follow…and as parents..make sure you do everything in your power to make sure your child/children have the best…the best you can do…..
Love and hugs,
Aka mommy to Bob and sissy