Monday, October 26, 2009
Update From the Wolf Den: My Head Makes My Leg Hurt
All this flu and coughing, sneezing, and general misery, plus a very funny email from one of my oldest friends reminds me that these children with Asperger Sydrome treat ills and spills a bit different from the rest of us.
My friend D., who never any sort of complainer about illness or injury has, like me, a son whose AS prevents him from adequately describing injury or sickness.
Here is how a conversation might go with a child with AS and being sick:
Mom: "Gee, you don't look good (first mistake). Are you sick?"
Child: "Yeah." (Cough, hack, clutch chest, grab kneecap)
Mom: "Where do you feel sick?"
Child: "I don't know."
Mom: "You are sniffling, is it your nose? Your throat? Your cough?"
Child: "Yeah. And my leg hurts." HUH?!
No fever, nothing beyond a mild case of the sniffles, and one would think TB had come to town. Unable to describe his symptoms to anyone, much less a doctor who was not familiar with Asperger's, our sick days were more out of caution than necessity. I learned pretty quickly how to rule out some illnesses while ruling in others, relying on my mother-instincts rather than his roundabout descriptions of how he felt. The pediatrician's nurse and I became fast friends, as with the pharmacist at Costco.
Apparently, most of the boys in Wolf's unit have this issue as well. Thank goodness for their RN, E., who seems to have an uncanny knack for discerning vague symptoms, assigning a name, and applying the appropriate remedy. Perhaps it is his gender; a male nurse, he sees things very clinically and the guys respect his knowledge, especially when he throws out a scientific name. Rhinitis sounds much better than just a cold. Wolf eats it up.
Wolf did have a nasty cold last week and seems to be well on the road to recovery. We have been impressed with his fortitude to get over the bug and now he's back to his usual schedule.
If only I could get his little brother to stop whining for popcicles, now, we'd be all set.