Monday, October 30, 2006

Sick day...

B was up early today & when I got up, right before the alarm went off, he was quietly watching "Return of the Jedi" in the tv room (ever since we let him see "Attack of the Clones" last week he's been watching the other movies again). He made the obligatory comments about it being a bummer that it was a school day & I reminded him that he's only in school 3 days this week... he added that half of Tuesday will be Halloween party... & so went into his room to get dressed. He had more leftover pizza for breakfast, microwaved it himself (after asking how long I thought he should do it) & got his own milk. In the middle of it all he told me that his ear hurt whenever he ticced & laid his head against my arm. I asked him if it hurt inside or outside his ear & he said it had been hurting inside for a few days... This is one of the hazards of B's neurology. He rarely tells us about physical discomfort until it really gets bad, or he ends up in the hospital (that's happened a couple of times). I decided to give him some sudafed for the ear pain, then he continued making his breakfast. I got busy getting laundry started & didn't even sit down to my own breakfast until he was done eating. I reminded B to brush his teeth, then went to sit on the sofa & read my email while eating breakfast. He joined me after brushing, laying down on the sofa with his head right next to the laptop, so I put it away & asked him what was up. He said that he felt sad about people buying & selling animals & began to cry... we talked about how much he cares about animals, about why people have come to feel the way they do about animals, about how distanced we've become from understanding where our food & clothing comes from & why, about how things used to be when people raised their own food & felt grateful to the animals & the earth for giving them food & shelter. B seemed calmer & I had to get moving or we'd be late to school. When I came down from brushing my teeth he was still on the sofa looking weepy, & it occurred to me that I should give him some tylenol for the pain, too, so I got that out for him & then got him moving toward the door, shoes, coat, etc... He was having a tough time leaving Rufus behind, although he had his Mudkip stuffie in his belt pack, but I convinced him that Rufus was safer at home. It was chilly outside, & once we got in the car B kept complaining that he was really cold (in his winter coat). About 3 minutes into our ride to school I looked over my shoulder at him & realised that he looked really peaky, so I turned around & drove back home. I told B that I wanted to take his temperature & that I thought he looked a bit too rocky to be at school today. He was a bit unsteady about the change in plans, so I made some jokes about "weren't we just here?" when we got home & he giggled a bit. He didn't have a fever, but I bundled him into the foof chair in the tv room, with a wool afghan around him for warmth & made him some cocoa (I told him that there would be no computer on a sick day, but he could watch tv, lego, or read for quiet activities & he accepted this placidly). He watched the very end of "Return of the Jedi" & then just left the PBS station on when it was over. I think I knew he was sick when I went up to check on him between loads of laundry & found him watching Sesame Street- something he normally wouldn't be caught dead watching at the age of 10... eventually I heard him playing with his legos in his room & when I asked him he said he was feeling a bit better. He came down right before lunch & we watched a Kim Possible episode together, then looked online to see if they had released any new ones in iTunes. There was a Halloween episode just released, so we downloaded it during lunch.

B decided to eat his lunch from his lunchbox sitting in a patch of sun on the kitchen floor. After lunch we watched our new KP (it was really fun) & then he went right back upstairs to play with legos until it was time to go see his psychiatrist for a monthly appointment. He seemed low key still, but not nearly as peaky as this morning. He was pleasant & courteous to the doctor during our visit. On the way home B told me that it felt really weird to be out of school on a school day, & that although school was a pain, he preferred to be there rather than be sick. :) I was glad he'd come to this conclusion. As much as he's had trouble getting used to things this school year, he hasn't once asked to stay home & I had a brief worry this morning that staying home today might start something. I also realised that B rarely misses school because of illness. I can't even think of the last time he was sick enough to stay home... he had the viral thing that was going around for a few days earlier this month but never felt or looked bad enough to stay home... This is a nice change from B's early years, when he was really ill a lot. For a while it seemed like we made a trip to the hospital at least yearly for flu, pneumonia, croup. When we finally had his adenoids & tonsils removed (because of chronic fluid in his ears that caused him to have a 75% hearing loss, plus chronic tonsillitis) a couple of months before his 5th birthday his health really changed for the better.

B legoed right up to dinner- I brought him a snack because he was too busy to come down :) He & dad tidied his room after dinner (he had spread legos through 3 rooms upstairs but cleaned up the other rooms before dinner at my request) & then was ready for bed about an hour earlier than usual. I read more "Greenwitch" to him then lay on the bed with him until he fell asleep (which was not easy, since he's decided that all his stuffies are safer under the covers with him, & so there's now a lump about the size of a person right next to him & very little room for me...). He was ticcier than usual, worrying for a bit about the buying & selling of animals again, then worrying about Rufus, so I invoked Mew (a very powerful & silly pokemon) & that distracted him from the thoughts enough so he could fall asleep.

I am very glad that B was feeling better by this evening, since he's looking forward to Halloween. There's the party at school (for which I am organising a "create your own skit" activity) & then a neighbourhood party in the small park across the street, followed by trick-or-treating. Our japanese teacher is coming over to share in the fun, since she hasn't ever experienced Halloween in the US & her family in Japan is waiting for the pictures so they can share in the fun, & Grammie is coming over as well. I have labelled all of B's spy gear with his name, ready to take to school. I think I'll wear my wizard robes to school just for fun, as I do my greeting job in the morning.

C is spending the day tomorrow at a local autism conference, his first, sponsored by the Developmental Services unit of the University where he works & where B was diagnosed with autism (his neurologist is one of the presenters). The keynote speaker is Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, Chief of the Developmental Disabilities Surveillance & Research Branch, National Centre on Birth defects & Developmental Disabilities, Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (that's quite a title!). The title of her presentation is "Autism: Is There an Epidemic?" & we are both really looking forward to seeing what she has to say on this topic. The other presentations are on diet & nutrition in children with autism & an overview of the latest findings on early behavioural intervention, which also sound interesting. I will keep you all posted...


At 12:58 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Very interested to hear what C learns!

And, even more glad to know that B is better.....and has concluded that school is the place to be.


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