Did I mention that I am NOT a morning person?
The appointment with the orthopedic pediatrician was at 7AM. I fought through the fog of sleep and got up. Thank goodness I set 5 alarms on my phone… I needed all 5 of them. Bianca needed several more. She was NOT moving. I got her dressed and carried her downstairs and out the door to the man-van. I strapped her into the car seat as her sleep remained undeterred.
We got to the specialists office and of course I had to fill out paperwork. Bianca was awake now, so I had to keep one hand on her and try to fill out the forms with the other hand while being tugged in every which direction. I felt bad handing it in because it looked like a serial killer had just filled out a form, but then I remember that they read “doctor” so I figured it was OK.
The staff was incredibly pleasant. Everybody was very concerned about Bianca and they were very in touch with the fact that she is autistic. They fawned over her, complimented how pretty she was and marveled at bond between us. It really made me relax. I was already nervous about the appointment and on edge because I had no idea what was wrong with Bianca.
Guilt just isn’t fair. Not when you rarely go out with your wife so you make a conscious effort to block time to go out and then something bad happens. We deserve to go out, right? We need levity, we need alone time, we need TIME in general. I know that the two things are not directly related and that accidents happen. I gave that whole spiel to my wife. But for some reason, it wasn’t providing much comfort to me.
My internal dialogue was interrupted by a monosyllabic grunt that startled me. It was the orthopedic pediatrician. This guy was a real party. No introduction, no “What seems to be the problem”, not even as much as a “Hello”. The doctor just sat down and started going over the x-ray.
I tried to crowbar in what happened, or what I THOUGHT happened. I explained that it was tough to figure out with Bianca because of the autism and the fact that she does not appear to process pain the same as a NT person.
“She doesn’t feel pain, but she is limping?” belched the doctor with a sarcastic inflection.
“I never said that she doesn’t feel pain. I said she doesn’t PROCESS pain the same.”
“She wouldn’t limp if she didn’t feel pain.” The doctor croaked.
“Uhh… again, I never said she didn’t feel pain. I am no doctor, but limping can be due to more than just pain right? A physical limitation or obstruction perhaps?”
“Let me see her walk.” He puked.
“Let me put her Crocs back on, she won’t walk on the linoleum floor.”
“She can’t feel pain, but she feels cold?” He chortled.
“She feels hot and cold just fine. She may not react quickly to the heat of hot water or be deterred from jumping into a pool of ice cold water in the dead of winter, but she feels it. She needs her Crocs because she has sensory issues and is a toe walker. She won’t walk on the floor without her shoes and that is why she is standing on top of my feet right now. She won’t eat certain textures of food either by the way… that doesn’t mean she doesn’t eat.”
The doctor did get serious when looking at Bianca’s blood work. He was very concerned about her SED Rate. Apparently it was very high which could mean inflammation. He said he was concerned about it because I had stated that she had not been sick recently, but that it could be the result of a “traumatic draw”. He asked if Bianca sat still for the blood draw or if she fought it, I explained that it took a team of us to hold her down and even then they were having issues finding a vein that wouldn’t collapse.
So Dr. Curmudgeon sent us off for a bone scan and another blood draw. I was dreading it and I can’t imagine that Bianca was too thrilled about it either. Everybody we came across was so friendly. The folks that did the bone scan were awesome and the phlebotomists were challenged yet perky. It all went pretty smoothly, so we headed back to Dr. Grumpy.
Sure enough, the bone scan revealed that there was a hairline fracture in her foot. Luckily the blood draw for the SED rate came back completely normal, so the doc’s hunch paid off.
It was quite the two day ordeal. We were exhausted and stressed to the gills… but at least we had answers. So now Bianca is sporting a trendy pink cast. By the way, if you thought for one moment that the cast might slow her down? FORGET ABOUT IT!! She is still running, hopping, skipping and jumping with the rest of them… only now with a weapon attached to her foot.
Autism Parents Tip: If your child gets a cast on his/her foot, wear shoes. Preferably steel toed.
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