Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More than impressed...(Journal #48)

One of our greatest fears for Sam finally occured. As with many children with autism, the "fear factor" is minimal. Sam has always been fearless. That means street safety, heights safety, running safety, and the many other safety scenarios that don't exist in Sam's world. We have taught these things to him until we are blue in the face, we have used social stories, pictures, etc...

Our greatest fear has been that he would break a bone in the very near future (of which we have been surprised it didn't happen sooner), and our little guy did just that :(. Sam and his brother were so excited to see our visitors, that they were both literally running all over our wood floors. Let's just say that sleepers with feet + wood floors + running boys = disaster. Sam took the wipe out of his life.

One thing that I have learned in the Autism Bloggers ring, is that there are a lot of medical communities that are very unaware of how to work with children with autism...and to those friends, I truly do care and wish there were better doctor visits and opportunities.

However, Brent and I are more than impressed with our experiences in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities over the last two years with Sam. I have shared many times our love and trust for our pediatrician. And now, after Sam broke his "humorous/funny bone" (but it really wasn't funny) after hours, I have an even greater respect for our expanded medical community.

After Sam hurt himself, we weren't sure if we should go or not. As with many children with Autism, pain is part of their many sensory issues. For Sam, he doesn't respond to pain, rarely. So when he is crying continually, you know something is up. This he did. We loaded his little body into the van and decided to take him to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. I have expressed in previous posts, that even while Sam is more verbal, he still can't always express his needs or hurts in detail. Often times, when he is hurt, he actually gets mad at that body part and will hit at it and hurt it more. So, when we arrived at the emergency room, I told triage right away that he was autistic. They were AWESOME! The wait was minimal, but they wanted to transition him as smoothly as possible. The doctor we had was great, compassionate and understanding of Sam's needs as well as hurts. The nurses and X-ray were incredible in the way they allowed Sam to transition from each event and to work with him. We are very grateful.

So, since they felt Sam's fracture was going to continue swelling, they did a partial cast, and the doctor referred us on to Gillette Children's in St. Paul, where we would see a pediatric ortho doc in the next couple days who would re-examine and recast his arm. We had that exprience today. I told the nurse ahead of time that Sam had autism. We found out later, that the doctor knew before our arrival as well, and changed the "usual" check in routine to make it easier for Sam. When arrived, the nurse couldn't figure out why they had cancelled him going to the height and weight check in (which takes place in a different hall and room), and why they had cancelled a visit with the doctor (which would take place in a different room), and why Sam was to be sent straight to the casting room where the doctor would see him there?

The nurse was very confused and said things had never been done this way before. However, she still took us to the casting room. When the doctor and his staff arrived, he was so gracious to explain that he wanted as few of transitions for Sam as possible to make the visit go easy for him, which is why he changed the "usual" check in procedure. Wow, I was impressed immediately. They put in a Nemo DVD right away, and his staff started interacting and entertaining Sam, so the doctor could explain everything again from the x-rays and the new cast that was being put on. I was more than impressed.

A Twist of Faith

Sam is doing great. He even went to see Santa for the first time in his life today before getting his new, bright green cast put on. Brent and I were more than impressed with Sam and his response to this whole situation. We are so proud. He did great!!!! So, I spoiled him today. He got a couple things he wanted, even with Christmas in sight. Oh well!!!! He has been freaked out by Santa the past 4 years, so we have never pushed it. We don't make a huge deal in our house about the Santa thing anyway, as it is a part of the Christmas Celebration for us, but it isn't THE Christmas celebration for us. But still, Sam surprised us in wanting to sit on this stranger's (from who knows where) lap. Sam continues to impress and amaze us each day. However, this is nothing compared to the impression God has had on our lives through this journey with autism.

Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." ~Joshua 3:5


Wendy said...

C broke his collar bone a couple years ago and the only reason I knew something was terribly wrong was because he cried and cried and cried. Normally he goes on about his business after what looks like a terrible injury. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful experience with the hospital. Hope he feels better very soon!

KC's Blog said...

Goodness Sam, hope you feel better soon little guy!
It is so nice to hear that the hospital understood, that is a huge relief!
Keep us posted :)

kristina said...

What a brave boy!

We have been to both of those hospitals....

Am impressed, too.

Maddy said...

One of mine has a very high pain thresh-hold, but a couple of years ago he fell off a play structure onto his head - vomiting - ER - all ended well.
After everyone's hearts had started beating again and we had calmed down, I had another thought. I'd always been concerned that all the nakedness around here, meant that he would not be sufficiently aware of 'stranger danger' to protect himself. HOwever when the doctor and nurse had tried to remove his clothes when he was lying on the gurney he screamed to loudly and fought so violently that it certainly put my mind at rest. Bit of an extreme way to find out that kernel of information but I'm all the better for knowing that. Cheers