Tag Archives | hospital

Allergy Testing at Sick Kids Hospital, My Little Warrior

So I wrote about how humbling it was to visit a place like Sick Kids Hospital, to see all the children truly suffering and even dying, but I didn’t feel it warranted writing about my own experience at the same time as it distracted from the message, so here it is now.

My wife, Cameron and I arrived at the hospital around 8:40am in anticipation of our 9:30am appointment and was immediately warmly greeted by nurses and given a lot of video games and toys to occupy our times with. First we headed off to the cafeteria for a warm bacon and egg breakfast since we had a little time.

We were called in right away to have Cameron weighed, measured and pressure taken… however, due to his diet rendering him so skinny and his squirmy behaviour, they never did get his blood pressure. Their digital devices simply couldn’t get an accurate reading but he did great with standing on the scale and against the wall.

After a short period we found ourselves in the little doctor’s room where they put 4 drops on his arm and then punctured the skin a bit… at this point, I think Cameron had more of an issue with his arm being held and something being done to him that he didn’t understand than he did with any actual pain. He complained quite vocally but then calmed down just as quickly once it was over.

We had to wait a short while for any reaction, none came. So back came the doctor and this time, with needles. The doctor even told me that they were really quite painful… not at all like when you simply have blood drawn.

This time, Cameron let out some screams that likely scared the bejeebies out of any other children still in the waiting room. However, that being said, he never once tried to pull his arm away… never once tried to get away at all. Despite the overwhelming pain and his arm being held against his will and his obvious distress… he did what was asked of him. Cameron sat on his mother’s lap who held him, comforted him and most of all, was the one to keep his arm where the doctor could do his work… if they hadn’t allowed her to be the one to hold him, it could have gone a lot worse. He demonstrated a truly a brave character trait that I can be quite proud of… but not only me…

The doctor was apparently impressed with him as well because he left for a bit and then came back with a brand new book that he got to keep. It was a cute little animal puzzle book which Cameron loved quite a bit… and immediately got to work on. However, when my wife asked him “Do you want to take this book home or leave it here for other boys and girls to play with while they wait?” he quickly replied that he wanted to leave it for other boys and girls. Again, another great character trait.

The doctor checked his arm out and found no allergic reaction so we were onto the 3rd and final test, the actual medicine portion… he had to take a dose of penicillin and see what happens. Again, he wasn’t happy but he did as told.

The doctor heard how Cameron liked the book but wanted the other children to enjoy it and so he returned again shortly later and this time with a dvd! He gave my son the “Arthur and the Invisibles” DVD, still wrapped in plastic… for being such a great patient.

We finally got to leave after 1pm, we finally found out once and for all that he wasn’t allergic to penicillin (although now we have no idea why he broke out in hives when he took it when he was younger) and we were heading back to the hotel with a new movie for him to watch.

It sure did make for a long day but Cameron handled all the waiting, all the pain, all the discomfort and all the overwhelming issues that must have come from having Autism and being stuck in a place like a hospital… and he handled it very well.

For how well it all went, I sure do hope that we don’t have to do it again any time soon.

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Wow, Maybe I Don’t Really Have It So Bad After All

I find this quite difficult to write, partially because it’s fresh in my mind and partially because I don’t want to even pretend to downplay the difficulty and frustration in dealing with Autism. It’s such a difficult disorder to have and to have close to you that I literally can’t find the words to explain it as well as I would like for you to understand it.

The thing is that today I had to spend half a day at Sick Kids Hospital where my son, Cameron, had to undergo some allergy testing, specifically for penicillin. The thing about a place like Sick Kids is that you meet so many wonderful people, everyone is open and caring and there’s so just so many smiles and cute little faces. They really go out of their way to welcome you in to a place that, in all honesty, they wish you never had to visit.

You see, you visit a place like that and you see all those adorable smiling faces and talk to so many people and you quickly realize that… ¬†us Autism parents, we really don’t have it so bad.

You don’t have to be there for very long before you see a bald child with very dark circles around their eyes, or a child with no legs wheeling around in a wheelchair, or parents sitting arm in arm, consoling each other as they cry so hard that they can’t even talk. These places truly work magic as you feel happy, welcome and close to everyone all the while you have tragedy all around you.

I don’t know the stories of these people in particular, I just know that I saw them today and I feel great sorrow for them despite not knowing… I know that, no matter how bad it’s been for me, I still couldn’t imagine what it must be like for them.

Then you hear the stories about these places, the stories where parents happily give birth to a new bundle of life only to discover that it already has cancer, and that it likely won’t survive. Still, they are determined so they go to a place like Sick Kids where the child moves in, where the parents move in… where against all odds, the child out lasts the predictions, the child grows and thrives. But after years of beating the odds, they finally succumb and ultimately leave the parents without a house, without a job, without savings and without the child that they’ve fought so hard for.

There are literally hundreds of stories like that and each and every single one is as tragic as the last and I look at my son sitting next to me, playing the Mario game that this amazing place has provided to put a smile on the faces of every child that goes in there and I think… is it really so bad?

You see these nurses and doctors with a smile on their face, every single one of them… they all greet you pleasantly, they all are genuinely happy to see you and your child and you know, you just know that yesterday, they day before, the week before…. some time, not so long ago, they’ve watched an innocent and very loving little child die. They’ve done what I simply can not imagine having to do even once, and they’ve done it as often as I’ve updated my blog, more even! And they will continue to do it because as hard as it is, it’s worth it to see the children that don’t die. The children that beat the odds, the children that can simply smile back, the children that can go home and just be healthy.

I don’t want you to think that I’m downplaying the seriousness of Autism, or any other disorder, disease or anything else for that matter. But when you see, when you really see just how tragic it really can be for some people, for some parents and some children, I can’t help but think… maybe I don’t really have it so bad after all.

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