Last night, was rough.
The monkey was acting very strange. He was crying non stop. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He kept moving his jaw excessively. We thought maybe he’s tired. But even after we gave him his sleeping meds, he kept crying , and that jaw moving was increasing. At 1 am, my husband has had enough. The monkey is not getting better.He’s still crying. Something is wrong. We need to go to the Urgent Care.
As we arrived the monkey became very agitated. He was crying and screaming and fighting. And going to a new Urgent Care that we’ve never been in, that means increased fear in my son. The staff tried to take his vitals but they weren’t able to. The monkey fought them non stop. When the doctor came, he tried to do an exam on our son but it was not possible. The monkey was screaming and crying and hitting and trying to bite everyone that came close.
The doctor wanted to check the ears. The three male nurses, my husband and I tried to hold the monkey down. And we were unable to hold him still, enough to get the doctor to check him.
We expressed our concerns to the doctor. We knew something was wrong. He had been crying for about five hours! We knew he was in pain.
And the fact that he couldn’t tell us where it hurts, that part was heartbreaking.
The doctor asked if we would be okay if we gave him a sedative. He needed him calm enough to do a thorough exam. We were desperate. We agreed.
And when the staff leave the room to get the meds ready, the monkey is so agitated, fustrated, and in complete meltdown mode that my husband had to take the monkey to the hallway to try to calm him. I can hear him fighting my husband, trying to hit and bite. And for a moment my tears start. The fustration and physical exhaustion are sometimes too heavy.
Yet before I lose myself in my fustrations, I remind myself that right now it’s not about me. It’s about the monkey. He needs me right now. So I do what many parents have done, at 3 a.m., after a long night. I wipe the tears from my face, I get up, and go towards my husband. We are a team.
For the shot, it took all five of us to hold him down again, and it was heartbreaking. While we are holding the monkey down, he looks at me straight in the eyes, as he is screaming in pain, tears streaming down his face. And all I can think about is, he can’t understand why I’m not protecting him. He doesn’t understand why I’m letting them do this to him.
After the sedatives kicked in, the doctor was able to exam him. He checked his stomach, ears, nose, took his temp, etc. He realized he had an ear infection, which is why the monkey was in so much pain. A shot of antibiotics came next.
We arrived home around 4:30 am.
The fustrating part was that so much could have been avoided if he could talk. If he could tell us what is wrong. If he could understand that the shots were to help him. That we are here to protect him and that these were necesites for his health. And all of this is impossible to communicate.
And the fear is that as he is getting older, he’s getting stronger. We used to be able to hold him on our own. And now, even with three men to assist us, it was a struggle.
The nice thing about this experience is just how understanding, and patient the staff was. They were genuinely concerned, and did everything we asked. They were attentive and eager to help. And for someone who’s never met my son before, this was a blessing. Many times we’ve had the opposite service. Having strangers try to understand my son, and to hear us in how to help, this is a miracle in its own.
As difficult day that we had in the early hours, right now as I type this, the monkey is sound asleep next to me. His head is on my shoulders, resting. Right now, tonight, he’s safe and healthy.
Last night was rough. But right now, it’s perfect. 💙
Photo credit: Autism Spectrum Disorder, through my eyes.