Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One Tough Cookie

Lots of kids with ASD are either hypo- or hyper-sensitive when it comes to pain.  Even Joe will have a fit over a shot but once got a nursemaid's elbow (partial dislocation) when he was about 3 and never cried.  But as with so many other things in our family, Alan wins the prize.

It was a couple of years ago on a Saturday about 1 in the afternoon.  Alan is sitting at the kitchen table eating, Joe and DH are in the next room watching a video and I walked into the kitchen intending to clean up the dishes in the kitchen.  I look down into the sink and see a bloody washcloth.  This wasn't an "I cut my finger and used the washcloth to stop the bleeding" amount of blood.  It was closer to "I cut OFF my finger" amount of blood. 

No one in the family is susceptible to nose bleeds and there had been no tears (or screams) all morning.  So I did what any typical mom of boys would do and called out, "Who's bleeding?"

Not too surprisingly, the only response was from DH.  "What?!?!"

"There is a bloody washcloth in the sink!"

"Well it isn't from Joe or me!"

Then in unison, we both head toward Alan from opposite directions.  Here was the sight that met our eyes.  (Actually this picture was taken later that afternoon after we cleaned up a lot of the blood but you can still get the idea.)  There was a 6" ring of wet on his shirt!  Since the shirt was dark, we hadn't noticed that he was bleeding but from the amount on shirt and the washcloth we figured it had happened about an hour earlier.  But did he cry or come to us?  No, he just tried to clean up the wound himself.  He is one tough cookie!  We never did figure out where or how he had fallen.

We called a doctor friend of ours and he said we could take him to the ER but reminded us that head wounds bleed a lot.  We debated but did attempt to take him to the ER.  Alan was fine with the getting in the car and driving over there.  He didn't cry until we got to the ER!  After not a lot of success the doctor basically told us to clean it up as best we could.  It healed pretty quickly.  The next day it already looked like this but you can still see the scar every time he gets his hair cut.

Last school year, he twisted his ankle jumping off the swing-set in our backyard.  He limped for days.  It was sort of funny in a way because his teacher made the very accurate observation that the fact that his leg didn't work seemed to bother him more than any pain that he might have experienced and she was quite right!

Yet this is the same kid that will NOT stand for getting blood drawn or shots of any sort.  The last time we successfully drew blood when he was awake, he was in first grade and it took four adults to hold him down and one very skilled nurse to actually draw blood!  When he gets his sedation shots for the sedation dentistry (which is a lot faster than drawing blood out) it takes two men (the dentist and DH) and several nurses to hold him down.  The last time we took him to the sedation dentist, the look of horror on the other patient waiting in the waiting room when 4+ adults tackled one little boy was priceless!

He is also mostly impervious to cold.  Anyone who has ever set a bare foot on icy cold concrete knows how uncomfortable this can be.  Several years ago when I was still driving carpool I needed Alan to get in the car one January morning.  He was dawdling about putting on his shoes.  Finally in exasperation, I decided I'd just make him get in the car shoeless and maybe after walking across the concrete he'd be a little quicker the next day.  It didn't work.  He just strolled out to the car. 

He almost always goes outside barefoot.   Unfortunately it is hard to see in this last picture that he is barefoot (but he is) although it is easier to see that the ice in the rain gauge hadn't melted yet.  It was in the mid 30's this day and Alan is out perched on the swing-set in just a sweatshirt and pants. 

I am still convinced one day Child Protective Services will be knocking on our door.  I also know that if they try to get him down without our help, it won't happen and hopefully that should convince them that this is his choice not ours.

Alan is one tough cookie!

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