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Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's sick and then there's autism sick.

Like most things with the kiddo, even the simple yet miserable event of a cold is extra complicated/annoying/frustrating due autism.  Don't get me wrong.  I know any kid when they are sick are not fun to be around.  But allow me to explain/whine.

There is no "Mommy I don't feel good" coming from this kid.  Ever.  This is a kid who dropped a 12 pound bowling ball on his toe, breaking it, and kept on playing.  Is he gonna be able to stop and tell me he feels hot or his stomach hurts?  No, he's more of a visual kind of guy.  He'll tip me off by throwing up all over himself and then falling back asleep in it. (True story from the rota virus incident of '09).

There will be no taking of his temperature other than feeling the back of his neck and maybe if I'm lucky the ear thermometer. (Which I know is not accurate but you know how long it took him to tolerate that?!?!?  Yeah I'll use what I got).

I always knew I was really sick when my mom rolled the old 13 inch black and white TV into my room.  Mom's orders, stay in bed.  She used to really get serious taking my temp and my pulse.  That's when I knew I better stay still, sip my flat ginger ale and watch cartoons.  I have a son who will be running a 102 fever (I think) and will be running all over my house!  I will have to hide foods that I know are much to harsh for his sick tummy because he won't listen to reason that the B.R.A.T. Diet is his friend.   He has been known to barf while running.  Barfing freaks him out completely and only seems to rev him up even more.

Then let's add the fun of medication.  He won't take meds straight at all ever. I've resolved myself to that.  He knows I put his daily supplements and such in milk.  We've made that compromise.  But when he's sick, milk is the last thing he should be having.  So while feeling miserable I get to wrestle with him, trying to get some Tylenol in.   Of course wrestling/fighting/fussing usually leads to more running around up chucking.   I find my washing machine just sighs a lot when it seems me coming with another load of puke clothes.  I give that old girl a lot of work.

But this is the worst part of autism sick vs just sick.  He's gonna regress.  Something or things are going to get lost in the shuffle.  A typical kid will probably have a quiet day or two before they are fully back in the swing. My kid?  It could be a week.  Maybe more.  We'll see some skill lost.  It might take complete retraining to get it back.  If at all. Yes, he'll be happy to see that order routine back but he won't be fully on board with us again.   If anything, he's probably going to remember how when he was sick, I wouldn't let him go swimming while he was barfing and therefor I am the meanest mom ever.

This is one of those times I really lose my mind.  I'm his mom.  I'm suppose to make it better and I don't even fully know what's wrong to make better. Last night it was clear to us when he willingly skipped his whole nighttime routine to go to bed by 7 something was up.  I will now obsess on every sigh, sniffle and behavior for the next few days.

 After he was out like a light, the husband poured me a glass of wine.  Aka, "Mommy's meds". No, he did not have to fight me to drink it. :-)

19 comments:

  1. boy do I understand this! My situation is the opposite, when my autistic 8 year daughter, maggie gets sick, it usually ends up with a hospital visit because she completely shuts down! She can tolerate the smallest cold and of of course her poor diet and drinking habits, due to sensory issues causes her to be sick all the time!!!! and no one understands, people really say the dumbest things,lol. and she is exactly the same way when she gets sick there is definitely a skill we have to reteach, ugh!!! she missed a day of school this week and it was awful going over her math work, it was as if she never had done math! I hope he feel better soon and you get some moments of quiet :) maryanne

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  2. Hearing you loud and clear. I like how you explained the barfing in motion scenario and washing machine overload but most importantly...the regression of skills. People do not get that or the fact our kids give us a huge fight, regardless of how sick, to take meds. I hope he feels better soon. Just watch him closely and check in with the Doc. This is the worst time when we don't really know what they are feeling and they can't express it to us.

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  3. So true! We can definitley relate ..... it sucks! Hope he is feeling better soon!

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  4. I could have written every word of this. I stress with every cough or lethargic moment. I hope he feels better quickly and his regression is small. good luck.

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  5. I can totally relate..my son will just lay on the couch like death and refuse food occasionally sitting up and getting sick..I cant hide cold meds in anything because I swear he can smell it! I have even tried chicken nuggets!

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  6. I missed the little kid years, because I'm the stepmom.However - some things evidently do not change. Ick.

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  7. I feel for ya!!!! I know exactly how this goes all to well... (my lil man is ALWAYS sick, and it NEVER keeps him down) Hang in there, hugs!!!! Well wishes for ur boy :)

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  8. I can totally relate. My boy had the flu a couple weeks ago and we lost all of his words. We've gotten maybe 10 of them back since. And that's being generous. Hope kiddo gets feeling better and the regression isn't too bad.

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  9. My son Will never let me know when he is feeling sick. And he won't take meds if he is. I usually find out in the middle of the night when he throws up over the edge of his bed. He sleeps in a loft bed. Does any one want to know the splash radius of vomit? YUCK!

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  10. When my 3-year old was sick recently, the doctor suggested antibiotics (bronchitis) which I declined after asking them why they couldn't just give him a shot, because getting him to take them was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Anyway, when he needs a fever reducer, we actually use suppositories. Gross, I know and he probably won't let me when he's older but for now, it's 5 seconds of minor discomfort on both our parts versus my husband physically holding him down while I try to use an infant dropper to squirt meds down his throat which mostly ends up on his shirt and on me.
    Argh! Anyway, not sure if your son would be open to some butt bullets but this year, they've saved my sanity more than a couple of times.

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  11. My sympathies to you -- I hope you have someone to help spell you at least a little. I always dreaded when my kid would be coming down with something, knowing what was coming. The worst was chicken pox. I think he lived in the bathtub with the Aveeno oatmeal soak for three days straight.

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  12. My ASD son has always hated meds, always. He stopped eating for three days when he caught me putting meds in his food, and didn't drink anything for a day and a half when he saw me putting it in his milk. But his reasoning skills are incredible. He got a severe infections last year and had to have amozicillin, which I am severely allergic to. The third time he spit it into my face, causing me to have a reaction (mild, but still frightening), we took him back to the pediatrician. Five adults held him down to give him shots of antibiotic. All five of us repeated "yes, I know you don't want a shot. But you wouldn't take mouth medicine so we have to give you shot medicine" (Not in a weird chanty way, just each of us said the same phrase when we happened to be the one who he seemed to be screaming at :P ). It was horribly traumatizing, but the next time he had to have medicine he seemed to remember it--he has only spit medication twice in the year since that incident. It was an awful experience for all of the adults--one of the nurses left the room in tears-- but I have to say as his mom it was certainly worth it.

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  13. I love vomit on the run! Especially when it comes out of the clear blue sky.....and this is our first sign of sickness!!!!
    And oh the losses ......
    Keep us updated

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  14. Yes, my little boy doesn't understand throwing up yet at age 3.5, and fights it and me when I try to keep him upright so he won't choke. People do not get that I have to watch him like a hawk, especially while sleeping if he is puking. Luckily he will let me take his temp with the across the had temporal thermometer, and will take liquid medicine. So not fun. Good luck.

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  15. My first clue is when he sleeps in. I can remember once he was still sleeping and I was standing outside his door when the smell of vomit wafted out of his room. It took days to get the vomit (and gum because he had swallowed a piece the night before) out of his hair.
    Good luck and thanks for sharing!

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  16. Just started reading your blog - loving it. For my kid, when he's sick, he's often angry, sensitive, touchy, apt to throw everything in his sight, climb on the table, ask for me to pick him up & then rip out my hair & scratch my face if I don't respond to his incredibly vague requests immediately. He's not quite 3. I'm really hoping that when he gets even bigger & can reach my face & hair w/o me having to fall for the ploy of "Mommy up!," he stops with the face scratching & hair pulling. And yeah, when he's sick, verbal ability is pretty much limited to him saying "Mommy Up!" and "Baba!" (milk sippy cup). Those 50+ words that we think he has in his repertoire just cease to exist until he's well again. Fortunately, the regression is temporary - aside from his ability to go to sleep on his own. That can take months to correct.
    Thanks for whining & venting - and letting me do the same.

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  17. Reading this felt like I had written it myself. My 3 year old has a double ear infection and has regressed. I had a mini breakdown last night due to his uncontrolled behavior. Autism stinks. :(

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  18. Reading this made me feel somewhat better! My 3 year old recently came down with double ear infection and throat infection (had no clue, no signs other then his anger) and he will not take his meds by dropper. if i try he will stop swallowing (including his own saliva) for hours. I've resorted to hiding in foods, but even this cannot be spoon fed as he wont take anything spoon fed from me, has lost all trust. I'm hoping he feels better soon, his anger and tantrums are still through the roof after day 2 on meds! :( I felt so alone until I read this blog, thanks!

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  19. Gotta love it (the sharing/comiserating), mine has been throwing up ever since mom (I'm stepmom) dumped him off following a car trip...I thought it was motion sickness due to dehydration/constipation--which is a constant wirh his "deplorable diet" (pediatrician's words!), maybe I'm wrong. God bless is everyone, a d you and yours foe putting your life to text and helping us field the isolation!! :) --MaryKay

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