Branches, Branches, everywhere..

DC fell asleep on the couch last night. I happened to notice a scrape on his elbow. I went over to check to see if it was actually a scrape and accidentally woke him from a dead sleep. I apologized and told him that I was just looking at the scrape he had on his arm. In his half-asleep/half-awake fog, he felt for it. I asked him what had happened –

and even in this not fully awake –  really mostly asleep state; his answer was the same as it always is. Already drifting back to sleep,  he  whispered,  “Tree Branch”.

From earlier this year:

Those pesky tree branches…

tree branch

I know that I have written more than once about DC’s inability to communicate to me or anyone else if/when something might be  wrong. There have been very few times that he has actually volunteered information to me when he was not feeling well or when something hurt or was bothering him.

Most of the times when he does communicate a problem to me, it is really just a ploy to cover himself in Band-Aids:

DC: “Mom, my leg is killing me.” (there was nothing wrong with his leg, I checked)

Me: “What happened to your leg?”

DC:”I broke my leg.”

Me: “How did you break your leg?”

DC: “Tree branch. Ouch!” (we are in the house)…

The lengths that he will go, to plaster himself in Band-Aids.

A tree branch seems to be the number one culprit in many of his injuries. This leads me to believe that at one time or another a tree branch was indeed the reason for an injury. When? I have no idea, but once he comes up with an answer he likes, it usually becomes one of his standard answers.

More often than not the answer I get is Nothing ‘wong’ or Nothing happened. Although DC almost never really gets cuts or scrapes – which I assume is the reason for his obsession with Band-Aids and really is not what I’d call accident prone, he does always seem to have an odd mark or “spot” somewhere or another. These “spot” mysteries oftentimes take a good amount of time for me to figure out. He is not always a big help in that area.

There was the one time that he came home from his senior class picnic with a red mark (scrape, but not really band-aide worthy) on his arm. When I asked him what happened, he told me that his IA (Para, to some of you) Mrs. G. pushed him into a bush and he fell down. Now, if I were a more paranoid person (hahaha, who am I kidding, we all know I am) I would have believed this because He Was Actually Telling Me Something, but I have known Mrs. G for years so his explanation did not hold water. Of course I did not tell him that I didn’t believe his story because: 1. He actually told me something and I didn’t want to discourage him from doing so in the future and 2. I assumed that he probably really did fall into a bush and Mrs. G was there to help him out. ~ It’s all in the translation. I spoke with Mrs. G the next day and yes, my version was correct.

Or the time that I noticed a large quarter sized mark on the side of his leg/hip one morning before camp. I could not for the life of me figure out what happened. He was offering no information at all. I asked the camp nurse to take a look at it. She did not think it was any kind of bug bite (I am always concerned about bug/tick bites when he is at camp). I asked DC again what happened he just kept saying “swing”

“Did you fall off of the swing?”

No, swing.

“Did you get stuck on something on the swing?”

No! Swing (he was beginning to get upset – so I had to stop because if I ask too many questions he thinks he is getting it wrong and changes his story).

After thinking about it for quite some time, I realized that he was actually telling me what happened. It was the swing. DC loves the swings at camp. He will spend any free time and all of the outdoor rec. portion of his time on the swings. He is a big boy. The swing was rubbing against his hip every day, causing something that resembled a very large healed-over blister. Once I figured it out, we just kept it covered with Band-Aids, so as not to cause so much friction. This was one of the very few times where Band-Aids were applied for a legitimate reason .

Then there was the big stripe down the side of his neck, which is a regular occurrence now, but the first time I noticed this mark, it scared the life out of me.

“Oh My God! What happened?”

“Tree branch”

He was in the car with me all day. He did not come in contact with a tree branch. Once again, it took me a while to figure this one out. When we are driving he rocks back and forth in his seat with so much force that it shakes the whole car (very distracting to the person driving). Because we had been driving so long, the seat belt was rubbing against his neck with every rock for a good long time, causing this large red stripe down the side of his neck. I do not think he even felt it. I have always believed that he does not feel pain the way we do or he does not process pain the way we do.  This and the fact that he is not always able to communicate what might be going on is and will always be a huge worry of mine. Verbal does not always mean communication.

Last week, I noticed a mark on the back of his leg. I asked him what happened. “Nothing happened”

He hates for me to look at these things because he is afraid that he will have to go to the doctor. After a lot of back and forth and ‘egg – guo – ing’ he let me put some anti-bacterial cream on it and he went on his way. He brought it up again the following day on his own as his way of apologizing for giving me a hard time the day before. “Feels much better now, Mom! Thank you! Thank you!”.

I asked him again what happened and he rattled off a list. I am sure the answer may be in there somewhere if I think about it long enough – and then again, maybe not… one never knows.

“The swing” (which would have made perfect sense as it looked similar to the swing injury –  if he had been on a swing.)

“A rock”

“A spindle – ouch” (my personal favorite)

‘The chair”

“Tree Branch”

So…..

Sometimes I do get the answer I am looking for albeit in a round-about way,

and other times…..

I am just left with a tree branch..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those pesky tree branches…

tree branch

I know that I have written more than once about DC’s inability to communicate to me or anyone else if/when something might be  wrong. There have been very few times that he has actually volunteered information to me when he was not feeling well or when something hurt or was bothering him.

Most of the times when he does communicate a problem to me, it is really just a ploy to cover himself in Band-Aids:

DC: “Mom, my leg is killing me.” (there was nothing wrong with his leg, I checked)

Me: “What happened to your leg?”

DC:”I broke my leg.”

Me: “How did you break your leg?”

DC: “Tree branch. Ouch!” (we are in the house)…

The lengths that he will go, to plaster himself in Band-Aids.

A tree branch seems to be the number one culprit in many of his injuries. This leads me to believe that at one time or another a tree branch was indeed the reason for an injury. When? I have no idea, but once he comes up with an answer he likes, it usually becomes one of his standard answers.

More often than not the answer I get is Nothing ‘wong’ or Nothing happened. Although DC never really gets cuts or scrapes – which I assume is the reason for his obsession with Band-Aids and really is not what I’d call accident prone, he does always seem to have an odd mark or “spot” somewhere or another. These “spot” mysteries oftentimes take a good amount of time for me to figure out. He is not always a big help in that area.

There was the one time that he came home from his senior class picnic with a red mark (scrape, but not really band-aide worthy) on his arm. When I asked him what happened, he told me that his IA (Para, to some of you) Mrs. G. pushed him into a bush and he fell down. Now, if I were a more paranoid person (hahaha, who am I kidding, we all know I am) I would have believed this because He Was Actually Telling Me Something, but I have known Mrs. G for years so his explanation did not hold water. Of course I did not tell him that I didn’t believe his story because: 1. He actually told me something and I didn’t want to discourage him from doing so in the future and 2. I assumed that he probably really did fall into a bush and Mrs. G was there to help him out. ~ It’s all in the translation. I spoke with Mrs. G the next day and yes, my version was correct.

Or the time that I noticed a large quarter sized mark on the side of his leg/hip one morning before camp. I could not for the life of me figure out what happened. He was offering no information at all. I asked the camp nurse to take a look at it. She did not think it was any kind of bug bite (I am always concerned about bug/tick bites when he is at camp). I asked DC again what happened he just kept saying “swing”

“Did you fall off of the swing?”

No, swing.

“Did you get stuck on something on the swing?”

No! Swing (he was beginning to get upset – so I had to stop because if I ask too many questions he thinks he is getting it wrong and changes his story).

After thinking about it for quite some time, I realized that he was actually telling me what happened. It was the swing. DC loves the swings at camp. He will spend any free time and all of the outdoor rec. portion of his time on the swings. He is a big boy. The swing was rubbing against his hip every day, causing something that resembled a very large healed-over blister. Once I figured it out, we just kept it covered with Band-Aids, so as not to cause so much friction. This was one of the very few times where Band-Aids were applied for a legitimate reason .

Then there was the big stripe down the side of his neck, which is a regular occurrence now, but the first time I noticed this mark, it scared the life out of me.

“Oh My God! What happened?”

“Tree branch”

He was in the car with me all day. He did not come in contact with a tree branch. Once again, it took me a while to figure this one out. When we are driving he rocks back and forth in his seat with so much force that it shakes the whole car (very distracting to the person driving). Because we had been driving so long, the seat belt was rubbing against his neck with every rock for a good long time, causing this large red stripe down the side of his neck. I do not think he even felt it. I have always believed that he does not feel pain the way we do or he does not process pain the way we do.  This and the fact that he is not always able to communicate what might be going on is and will always be a huge worry of mine. Verbal does not always mean communication.

Last week, I noticed a mark on the back of his leg. I asked him what happened. “Nothing happened”

He hates for me to look at these things because he is afraid that he will have to go to the doctor. After a lot of back and forth and ‘egg – guo – ing’ he let me put some anti-bacterial cream on it and he went on his way. He brought it up again the following day on his own as his way of apologizing for giving me a hard time the day before. “Feels much better now, Mom! Thank you! Thank you!”.

I asked him again what happened and he rattled off a list. I am sure the answer may be in there somewhere if I think about it long enough – and then again, maybe not… one never knows.

“The swing” (which would have made perfect sense as it looked similar to the swing injury –  if he had been on a swing.)

“A rock”

“A spindle – ouch” (my personal favorite)

‘The chair”

“Tree Branch”

So…..

Sometimes I do get the answer I am looking for albeit in a round-about way,

and other times…..

I am just left with a tree branch..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Stories

It has been another one of “those” weeks. A “fluff” piece usually goes hand-in-hand with one of “those” weeks (lately, anyway).

Below are some “short stories” (statuses) that have been posted on my own and my public Facebook pages – too short to qualify for a blog post, although many have turned out to be the inspiration for an official blog post. You may have seen a few of these before, probably not all though.

This is one of those posts that I put together and save to post later when we are away or when I am really busy and really don’t have the time to write .Like the “Blog Title Series” (Series? Yes, there’s more), they are very often off topic or “fluff”. I like fluff, sometimes fluff is fun.  (a few current status’ have been added to the “saved” version before publishing)”

 

Well, DC got on the bus this morning wearing a 4 inch witch nose – he’s in the spirit!

***

Today the bus driver will be entertained by a flashing Rudolf nose.

***

…… and who thought an electronic mega-phone complete with siren was a good idea for Christmas?

***

Banana phone

I was required to have a conversation on the “banana phone” with the Fairy Godmother before he would eat the banana –

 

***

merry happy

 

“Merry Happy Christmas Eve, Mom”

 

 

 

***

Lesson of the week: Using the phrase “let’s head out” when taking DC to the bookstore, means that “let’s head out” ALWAYS means he’s going to the bookstore #ThingsIShouldKnowByNow

***

Well he’s heard the “T & L “ words on the weather . It is official. There will be NO outdoor activities for us today

***

Camera roll 10-2013 082“Mom, the glasses are bothering you”. (Translation: I bought new cheaters, they are different, he can’t stand it. They are bothering HIM.) But…. he’s not trying to take them off my face as he used to. #Progress

 

***

DC is shaving – getting ready for the Prom, scaring the life out of me w/ the razor. Finally he turns to me & says “Mom, are you still here?” #IGuessThatsMyCue

***

942836_4933935990806_2128176601_n

Doug after sitting through 23 coffee-house acts at DC’s Arc activity. I guess we’ll be skipping this activity the next time around.

 


 

 

****

“Mom, how are you feeling?”
(Me) “I am fine, how are you feeling?”
“I am perfectly ‘nis-able’ ” ~ Even Stevens – Influenza the Musical

***

DC just informed me that he needs to get his “beauty rest”

***

Going to have lunch today with DC at his “job”. He’s excited because he knows he will be able to have a cheeseburger……. Should I be upset that I don’t rate as highly as a cheeseburger?

***

Camera roll 10-2013 117So after I wiped out on my walk with DC today, I asked him “what would you do if mom couldn’t get up?” He answered w/out hesitation “call 911” (after he stopped laughing, of course) #Progress

 

 

 

***

ren faire

We went to the Ren Faire to see my brother’s show. DC loved it but yelled out in mid-performance “Oh no! *Bill, are you okay?” He was very concerned about the welfare of *Bill and *Uncle ‘Scamp’ and the bed of nails. Although not as concerned about the man actually laying ON the bed of nails…..

 

***

DC picked up the word “sympathy” from one of his books last night & figured out it means “sorry”. So now he’s “in sympathy” for sneaking chips yesterday

***

DC: “Annette ‘Fun – Tree – O’ in Babes In Toyland, my favorite movie” (Me: Worst Movie Ever …. Seriously ….)

***

We had our  IP (The “E” is dropped post-school age) meeting this morning at DC’s program. The first with his new case worker. One of the first sentences out of my normally agreeable son was “I don’t like this stupid meeting!”
1. I’m the Mother so I can not laugh (but I think I may have anyway)
2. I couldn’t agree with him more……

***

It’s a New Years Eve, Eve miracle! DC is eating PASTA!
PASTA! And about 10 meatballs, but…..PASTA!

***

grease

Just because I LOVE this and……. our kids ROCK!

 

 

 

 

 

***

headyache

 

I couldn’t have said it better! #DC-isms

 

 

***

I was on the phone with an automated system that was not cooperating. DC was making a lot of noise behind me. I told him that he had to be quieter while I was on the phone. I suppose he did not trust himself to keep the noise down because when I turned around, he had applied a Band-Aid over his mouth! Band-Aid 101 – other uses.

***

soundmachine

Band-aide 101 – other uses”  When I told him that his sound machine was too loud; this was the fix he came up with.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

***

arm

 But then, of course there are the “regular” uses #HeJustLikesBandAids

 

 

***

DC: “Mom, my leg is killing me.” (there was nothing wrong with his leg, I checked)

Me: “What happened to your leg?”

DC:”I broke my leg.”

Me: “How did you break your leg?”

DC: “Tree branch. Ouch!” (we are in the house)…

The lengths that he will go, to plaster himself in band-aids.

***

DC doing his best impersonation of Nick from Top Chef 11 – ‘Don’t Touch my pots!”

***

DC's hat

DC insisted on putting his Dr. Who WINTER hat into his backpack this morning. I asked him why, he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me. I pointed out that he has a baseball cap in his backpack for the sun. It didn’t matter. So here’s hoping he won’t be walking around the greenhouse on this beautiful, sunny spring day in a T-shirt and a winter hat. #PickYourBattles #WhoviansUnite

 

***

excuse me

DC and his Winter Guard Team went to perform at an Ice Cream Social Fundraiser tonight. In the warm-up room before the show, he and his team were lined up getting their last-minute directions from their Director. DC waving/raising his hand during her speech….. “Excuse me! I’m waiting for Ice Cream”.

 

 

***

sick of butter

 

DC presented me with his shopping list for tomorrow. “bandes” – band-aids – and no, he is not sick of butter – he wants butter but in stick form (he doesn’t like the tubs😃)

 

 

 

 

 

***

DC woke up in a fabulous mood this morning. “Good Morning Starshine. The earth says hello “ (lol, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Hair – take your pick) #DisneylandParis

***

DC and Doug decided to go on “Indiana Jones Temple of Peril” in the rain…. Go figure #DisneylandParis meets #MrNoStormToday . Apparently rain is not as frightening at Disneyland

***

cape

  A cape…. Because proper attire is a necessity while watching you-tube (and you never know when you may  have to save the world)

 

 

 

***

Me: Hi, DC. Is Mrs. H there yet? (I knew she wasn’t, but would be there in seconds – but still I like to try to get the correct replies)

DC: No.

Me: Did you lock the door?

DC: Yes

Me: Did you lock the door?

DC: No.

Me: Please go and lock the door. You are supposed to lock the door as soon as you come home.

DC: Okay

Me: Don’t hang up! (He does not understand that he can just put the phone down, lock the door and come back)

He hangs up…

and second later the phone rings

DC: Hi Mom, I am home again!

***

five teen six

 

Book Editing 101 –

Page “Five teen six”

 

***

trouble

“Someone” may have just realized that he might be in a little bit of trouble tonight….

 

 

 

 

 

***

steve DC was having an “issue” tonight at the time his Best Buddy, Steve called to say hello.

 Steve understands, but I did tell DC that he was very rude to Steve.

 DC went straight into “note-writing” mode and presented me with this note. We did   text  it right over to Steve.

 

 

***

rain

It’s pouring.. POURING! DC was ready at the door wearing his raincoat (Me? No. I wasn’t going outside yet). When the car arrived, he ran out and I stood in the door as always. I saw him flagging we to the car, which he never does. Thinking something was wrong and not wanting to waste time looking for my umbrella, I ran to the car as I was. Opening the door, DC said “Mom! It’s raining! Sorry!” (of course he let me stand there in the pouring rain for a little while before he came out with that) … Happy Tuesday!

 

*Some names have been changed to protect the innocent

Have a great weekend…..

Not so “literally speaking”

We all know that DC is very literal (see Literally Speaking)  in his speech and way of thinking. Aside from his black and white,  no-gray-area way of communicating and understanding and his just one mumbled word responses, his manner of speaking is at times very formal, for lack of a better word. Much of his language stems directly from the many books he reads and movies he watches.
He calls the cabinet a ‘cub – board ‘ <cupboard> (emphasis on ‘board’), not because he thinks it is funny,  because that is what it is. That is what he’s learned from his books.

For example, when he knows I happen to have a Friday off from work and he wants me to come to lunch at his program –

“*Vickie, would you be so kind to join me for lunch on Friday at <insert the name of his program>” ~ the whole name please, not the Acronym used by the everyone else ~

 –  (*yes, he calls me Vickie from time to time. In his mind, he is an adult and that is what he should do. It does not bother me in the least. Last night, for some reason, it was “Ms. <Last name> and that is fine too)

He does ask me from time to time, what a word means, not that he will incorporate the word into his vocabulary, he would just like to know. Every once in a while he will make a connection with one word and other in his head. I am always in awe when he manages to do this on this own. This seems to be happening much more lately.

For many years “Wonderful” was his choice when he had a good time or liked something very much. He has started replacing “Wonderful” with “Terrific”. Not a huge deal, but he figured out that it means the same thing and it is a little less formal than “We had a wonderful time”.

A few weeks ago, I was telling DC that we were out of something, I don’t remember what it was at the time, but it was something he was expecting to have for dinner. I explained that we were all out,  it was my mistake, I didn’t know we were out (things tend to go over better with him when it is my fault :).

His reply???

“No problem”

NO PROBLEM!!!!!!

I have never heard him use that phrase, ever. Somewhere along the line he figured out what it means and used it appropriately.

A while back DC and I were having a movie night. DC was waiting in the living room to watch “Maleficent” and I was in the kitchen getting the pizza ready ~ actually I was in the kitchen bleeding all over the counter trying to find a Band-Aid. Not an easy task with “Mr. Band-Aid” in the house – but that is beside the point. Searching for a band-aid box that was not full of band-aid wrappers but no band-aids and mumbling under my breath –  from the living room I heard; “Gee, I wonder what Vickie is up to”.

GEE????

IS UP TO ???

I wrote that one down as soon as DC brought me a Band-Aid from his hidden stash.

In my last post you may have heard “We have to get moving”.

GET MOVING  instead of  we have to go!!!!

I asked him to help me open a Peanut Butter jar – he tried, but he could not get it to open either.

“It won’t budge”

BUDGE?????

Let’s not forget the day he was “in sympathy” for sneaking chips. There have been so many more, but you get the picture. It throws me a little bit every time he comes out with a new one, but it is exciting. It shows me that he is paying more attention to what goes on around him and he is listening to much more than he lets on.

There are still many literal, black and white moments and DC still very rarely refers to himself as “me”.

Recently at a Best Buddy walk, both of his Buddies asked him where he got the Star Trek shirt he was wearing…..

“DC’s room” 

 

 

 

 

The Great Band-Aid Obsession

Bandages

“All children with Autism love stickers”

—- DC hates stickers! Hates them, but still people insist on giving him stickers, mailing him stickers and putting stickers on him! In the past, anytime we were at an event where a sticker was required, I always had to place it on the back of his shirt – he just could not stand it on the front (he wasn’t thrilled about having it on his back either, but he could tolerate it a little bit more there). Even now that he can tolerate a sticker on his shirt, I will hear about it the entire time it is there and he removes it the second we leave the event.

“All children with Autism love Legos”

—- DC hates Legos! Hates them, but still people insist on giving him Legos (not as much lately, but definitely when he was younger)

“All children with Autism love Minecraft”

—-DC hates Minecraft.

“All children with Autism love things that spin”

Okay, I’ll give you that one…………..

Other than his books and movies, the one thing DC really loves are Band-Aids. I am not completely sure that Band-Aids are on the list of what “Every child with Autism loves” – it is possible, I do not know, but I know that DC just loves them.

I believe the main reason for this obsession, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is that he’s never actually had the need for a Band-Aid – that I can recall.

 

 

I mean, I have really been lucky (still knocking wood), so much so that we’ve never had to use a Band-Aid. He loves Band-Aids and wants to wear them so much that he just wears them for no reason, or invents a reason the wear them. The one and only time he cut himself when he fell off his bike – yes, he somehow managed to tip over an adult three-wheeled bike – he was so excited to have a big raspberry on his chest, he wasn’t concerned about the fall, he just wanted a Band-Aid. He was so crushed that the raspberry was much too big for a Band-Aid, that I had to make up a reason to apply one to his leg, just to make him happy.

Band-Aids, especially “character-themed Band-Aids” are on his “odd gifts list” along with the rolls of scotch tape, mentioned in an earlier blog.”

This has been an off and on obsession with him since he was very young. Then, he seemed to forget about it for a few years,  not that he would ever pass up an opportunity to wear a Band-Aid if he happened upon some, but it wasn’t a daily thing.

But now for some reason, the obsession has returned!

It started slowly…….

Rounding out the Collection, we have Mickey Mouse (again, no injury)

Rounding out the Collection, we have Mickey Mouse (again, no injury)

…..just a Band-Aid here and there once in a while, but it has slowly escalated into this:

We were in a department store not too long ago and DC came across a table filled with cases, yes cases, filled with 12 boxes of multiple sizes of Band-Aids.

One would have thought he’d found the Holy Grail!

“Mom! Band-Aids! P-LLLLL-EEEEE-ASE!”

– Yes, we bought them………

The ‘I want a Band-Aid’ hints begin almost every night with…

“Mom. my leg is itchy”

“Oh, really? I don’t see anything”

“Mom, my arm is itchy and my leg is itchy”

He doesn’t always come right out and ask for a Band-Aid, at times he will, but usually he will just continue to tell me his arm, leg or foot is itchy, until I finally give in and say…

“Okay, go ahead”

Then off he goes to apply his 3, 4 or more Band-Aids.

The new swag

The new swag

A few people have wondered and even asked why I “let” him do this.

Why? Seriously, these are the kind of issues that some people think I should be worried about?

I choose my battles and to me, this is not a battle. This is so far removed from a battle, that it is not even worth talking about – with him, that is. Apparently it needs to be explained to others.

He is not hurting anyone. Most of them are applied to his arms or legs – with the exception of one that he put across his nose the other day due to a pimple. It doesn’t interfere with his “work”, his activities or his life in general. It makes him happy. There are so many other/bigger issues to worry about. My time was never spent trying to make him conform to what other people may think to be “normal”. Safety issues – yes, his ability to navigate social or public situations – yes, communication – yes, independence – yes, life skills – yes  but these little things that some people seem hell-bent to correct – no!

I could live without the Band-Aid wrappers all over the house…

DC calls me “Vickie” quite often. I think it is because he is always being told that he is an adult now, so therefore he should be allowed to call me by my first name. I doesn’t bother me in the least – I actually think it is kind of funny. This is one of those “connections” that he’s made in his head – he’s an adult, so he can use first names. I don’t like to discourage these connections that he makes. But some people seem to be horrified by it. Why? He knows I’m his mother. I know he loves me (he tells me all day long). He does still call me Mom more than half of the time and even if he did not, how is this interfering with his progress, his life, his job or anything for that matter? It does not.

I always find it a bit funny when other people point out these little “nothing” issues as ‘something I really need to work on’.

So, back to the Band-Aid situation….

Having just said that he only applies them to his arms, legs or hands……(and apparently he also has a stash in the kitchen, I knew nothing about)……….

please read my Facebook Status 8/6/14:

Last night I was on the phone with an automated system. I had to tell DC more than once to stay quiet because this system picks up any noise. After the fourth attempt, it was clear that the system was not going to take my information , so I gave up. I turned around to find DC with a Band-Aid over his mouth. I guess he didn’t trust himself to keep quiet on his own

And no, I did not get a picture, I was too busy laughing.

Even though I would ever advocate putting a Band-Aid over anyone’s mouth, and never would I encourage him to put a Band-Aid over his own mouth, I was still pretty impressed with his ability to make that connection in his head.

Progress and connections at times come out of the strangest of situations…………………

Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood

Knock On Wood

Knock On Wood

Just recently I was reading a blog that I follow – Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog. The title; What’s in my Purse. The post was about the many trips the family has made to the emergency room over the years and what the author learned to carry with her at all times. If you have a minute, check it out.

It made me realize how lucky I am to have made only ONE trip to the ER with DC – that is correct, ONLY ONE! (Knocking wood, Knocking Wood, Knocking Wood). The one trip came at age 21 and for the most ridiculous reason.  As you may or may not know, DC is 23 with Autism. Safety is not something he has any awareness of. He IS a little better now that he is older, but he is better because he has been taught not to do this or not to do that, not because he really understands what can happen to him. He doesn’t really understand many things unless/until they actually happen. So not wanting him to get hit by a car in order for him to understand what could happen if he were to be hit by a car….. I have to hope that making rules, and pointing out everything around him, will have some impact on him.

I mean, I have really been lucky (still knocking wood), so much so that we’ve never had to use a Band-Aid. He loves Band-Aids and wants to wear them so much that he just wears them for no reason, or invents a reason the wear them. The one and only time he cut himself when he fell off his bike – yes, he somehow managed to tip over an adult three-wheeled bike – he was so excited to have a big raspberry on his chest, he wasn’t concerned about the fall, he just wanted a Band-Aid. He was so crushed that the raspberry was much too big for a Band-Aid, that I had to make up a reason to apply one to his leg, just to make him happy.
Band-Aids, especially “character-themed Band-Aids” are on his “odd gifts list” along with the rolls of scotch tape, mentioned in an earlier blog.

No Injury - Just wanted to wear a Band-Aid

No Injury – Just wanted to wear a Band-Aid

Donald Duck - part of the

Donald Duck – part of the “Character Collection” (no injury, just a fashion statement)

Rounding out the Collection, we have Mickey Mouse (again, no injury)

Rounding out the Collection, we have Mickey Mouse (again, no injury)

A few years ago, we took a weekend trip to Hyannis, MA in Cape Cod. He arrived Friday evening. The plan; have dinner and hang out at the hotel on Friday night. Saturday we would take the ferry, and spend the day in Nantucket. Sunday, we planned to stop in and visit one of my oldest friends (from grammar school, believe it or not) before we headed home.

We arrived on Friday evening. DC was happy to be in the hotel. As far as he was concerned, we could just stay there. He loves hotels. Saturday, as planned, we took the ferry to Nantucket. He loved the ferry. We searched out a few book stores as we must (see “Off to the Book Store We Go”), looked around, had lunch and took the last ferry back to the hotel. It was a nice day.  We had a good time.

Sunday morning was going to be spent just hanging out in the hotel room until it was time to check out. DC was watching a movie on his kindle, Doug was on the deck and I was packing up the bathroom items. I was only in the bathroom for a few minutes. When I came out, DC was sitting at the desk; right where I left him. He yelled “Mom! Tears.” DC, as a rule almost never has tears, his eyes never water -even when he cries, he rarely has tears. When he is really upset and really crying and wants to make certain I know how upset he is, he will use water or spit to create tears, just for effect.  Even as a baby, he did not have tears when he cried. But here I could see he had tears running down his face…… real tears.

“Tears!”

I thought possibly his allergies were hitting him harder than usual – Doug had the deck door open and the deck was right on the golf course. “DC, what’s wrong, do you have something in your eye?”

“Mom! Tears! Ear!” On one hand he was excited about the real tears on his face but his excitement was mixed with a bit of panic.

I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. Then he showed me the ear bud from his Kindle. There were rubber covers on the ear buds and one was missing. Panicking, I yelled out to Doug something that probably made no sense,  and ran DC into the bathroom. I couldn’t see anything in his ear. DC started to panic now that he realized that I couldn’t get it out right away.

This entire exchange above…. Tears, Ear and showing me the ear bud would normally be cause for celebration – DC being able to tell me that something  is wrong and what is wrong is a very BIG  deal, but all celebrating had to wait because he was getting more panicky by the second.

I still could not see anything in his ear.  I dumped everything that I had just packed out and could not find the tweezers. I sent Doug down to the front desk to ask for a flashlight and tweezers, while I tried to keep DC’s fingers out of his ears and tried keep him from flipping out any more than he already was. Doug came back; the desk had no tweezers (?) and no flashlight (?).

We took DC down to the desk, he would be okay for a minute or two and then he would freak out. The man behind the counter did not seem to understand what we were talking about. I am sure he thought we were all crazy. I was somewhere between panic and laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of the whole situation while DC was making very loud noises, yelling out random words, flapping, stimming and doing everything else that comes with his anxiety.  I’m not sure what the man at the desk thought was going on and why we needed a flashlight and tweezers, but seeing DC in the middle of the lobby absolutely loosing it; he looked frightened and asked his assistant to go check again. She came back with no flashlight and no tweezers. Seriously,  what hotel doesn’t have a flashlight?

I was so trying to avoid the Emergency Room. It hadn’t been all that long since DC finally became comfortable with doctors. I didn’t want a long and scary emergency room visit to erase the years of progress he had made. The other issue was it was his EAR! For years, when we went to the doctor, he would get unbelievably upset and totally meltdown if anyone went near his ears. I remember one of the doctor’s assistants, who was either new to the office or had not had to deal with DC getting his ears checked saying, “Oh! I was wondering why we had to bring extra trash cans into the examining room! I get it now!” – Yes, every single time, he would get so worked up, screaming and fighting that he would vomit. This went on for years. The very last thing I wanted to do was to bring him to an emergency room to have someone poke around in his ear.

The desk clerk gave us directions to the nearest pharmacy and we took directions to the ER too, just in case.

I rode in the back seat with DC to keep him from pushing the ear bud in farther. Doug ran in to the pharmacy to buy the tweezers and flashlight. Now we are all in the backseat of the car, armed with a flashlight and tweezers, trying to see inside his ear. I can’t imagine what the other people in the parking lot must have been thinking. DC had enough at this point and was not cooperating at all anymore…and….. I still could not see anything.

I knew we had to suck it up and head for the Emergency Room. I still wasn’t positive that there was anything in his ear at all. Did he just think that it went into his ear and it was really just on the floor somewhere at the hotel? I didn’t know, but he was so out of control,  I had to assume it was in there somewhere.

We arrived at the emergency room. It was a weekend in a tourist area;  I was expecting hundreds of people waiting. I didn’t know how I was going to keep him calm and keep his hands away from his ear while we waited. We walked through the door and there was only ONE person in the entire waiting room! I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad sign but I was going with good. I took him to the desk and explained the situation to the clerk. One look at him flailing around and she asked if he needed to be sedated. I told her (with fingers crossed) that he would not.

They took us right in! (I love this place). They put DC in a bed, the doctor came and checked his ear. DC LET him check his ear! He really must have wanted this thing OUT! He told me he could see it but it was in there deep and he would need to use another tool to get at it. All I could think was “No way he is going to let you do that!” but I SAID “Okay, he’ll be fine with it”.

I explained the situation to DC and told him what was going to happen, not really knowing if he would understand what I was telling him, but he said “Yes! Ear!”, so I think he did understand.

The doctor went in with some sort of funnel-looking thing. I was truly amazed that DC was cooperating and keeping still. He was finally able to get the thing out. Of course DC had to examine it completely before they got rid of it, just to be sure, I suppose, that it was out.

DC calmed down immediately and we made a big deal about how brave he’d been! All of my worrying about the doctor, his ears, traumatizing him with an ER visit was for nothing. He was totally unscathed by the whole thing and was very proud to tell people that he had been in the ‘hos – i – bull”.

We were done and over it in time to get back to the room, finish packing – where he wanted to put those things right back into his ears!

“NO, NO, NO!” a thousand times, no.

We were also able to visit my friend as planned.

Visiting Friends

Visiting Friends

I went on a hunt for new ear buds without any rubber or removable parts as soon as we got home.

Coincidentally, as I was writing this story, DC received a belated birthday gift from one of my friends. This gift included two boxes of character Band-Aids that DC is already wearing proudly.


(and yes…….. I am still knocking wood……………)