Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘appointment

Piece of Cake

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I promise this last post is going to be the last possible one I eke out of our visit to paediatric* cardiology.

Now, you may have gathered from the last post that I was flying solo at this appointment, but that is not true.  I’d sent Spectrummy Daddy details of our appointment on our shared calendar.  He is so busy at work right now, I wasn’t hopeful, but our hero managed to save the day.  Though we felt certain there wasn’t anything wrong with her heart, the last two years have taught us not to take anything for granted.  I was pleased to have him near.  You never know how much you need to hold a loved one’s hand until you’re in a doctor’s office getting bad news.

He’d had to go back to the car for his insurance card (mine having been squirreled away somewhere by the kids), which was parked some distance away in the only bit if shade we could find from the 99F heat.  When he returned after the concessions had been made, I informed him that he would stay in the waiting room while I went with Pudding.  There was no way we’d get her to be still if Cubby was in the room too.

I’d called ahead to inform them that Pudding has an ASD and ADHD, and the nurse who entered seemed to have been told that message.  She was soft-spoken and gentle, and gave Pudding time to warm up before asking me to remove her dress.  She let Pudding explore all the equipment, and told her exactly what was going to happen at each step.  She solicited Pudding’s help in matching the right colour to the right tab, which is always a good way to get my kid on side.  We had no problems getting the wires placed on her, but she was just as keen to remove them.  I retrieved a lollipop from my bag of tricks to give her fingers something to do.  It was pink, she was happy.

I was surprised at he speedy the whole process was, and the nurse announced moments later that the EKG was finished.  I thanked the nurse for her efforts, and told her I appreciated how smoothly it went.

“Yes, she did great!  It was a piece of…[No, don’t say it lady, please don’t say it!]…cake.”

Oh no.  Could this please, please be one of those times when Pudding is in her own world and not listening to the conversation?  Nope, she is looking, I’m sure she heard the nurse.  At least could there have been a massive leap in her linguistic skills, so that she understands idiom.  Because if my girl takes that literally, I don’t have cake in my bag of tricks.  I don’t even have cake at home.  I’m going to be in trouble here, and nothing in my bag of tricks is going to make up for (what she considers) a reward rescinded.

“Mummy, I want cake!  Where’s the cake?  May I have a pink cupcake, please?”

Drat.  And the ensuing refusal to leave the doctor’s office upon her cake ransom going unmet is they very reason I consented to a trip to American Guilt.  That day was anything but a piece of cake!

* No, spell-check, you’re wrong, I’m right!

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

short-sighted (at Hopeful Parents)

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This post was originally published here for Hopeful Parents.


Hopeful Parents

We’d prepared for our visit to the optometrist in every way I could imagine.  I took her to the office the day before the appointment.  We met all the staff, apart from the eye doctor himself, who was out of the office.  I’d looked for a photo of him on the web site, but there was none.  Instead, my social story had to feature a cartoon optician.

We got to the office early.  Too early.  The toys provided in the waiting area barely captured Pudding’s interest for a few minutes.  Then she skipped around the room, touching everything.  Even when her curious, sensory-seeking fingers weren’t trying to touch every single pair of glasses, she constantly ran the risk of falling into the displays.  I was already out of patience when the appointment time came and went without our being called.

Finally a very elderly man walked in.  Spectrummy Daddy and I managed to contain both kids in a corner.  Waiting while our kids caused mayhem would be even more unbearable with a disapproving observer.  The receptionist helped him off with his jacket, then replaced it with a white coat.  He was the doctor?  Oh no.  He was old enough to be Pudding’s great-grandfather.  How was someone so ancient ever going to be able to deal with the boundless energy of my hyperactive child.  I cast a horrified glance at my husband as we were summoned.

The calm and patient mother Pudding needs me to be was gone.  In her stead was my irritable alter ego.  I hissed commands at her.  Stop moving.  Don’t touch.  Be quiet.  The trinity of things that she can’t control.  Everything I did made it worse, which made me more angry.  All that preparation was for nothing.

We got her into the “princess throne” for long enough for him to determine that she has a slight astigmatism in both eyes.  Then she’d had enough of cooperating.  Every word I spoke agitated her, but the optometrist remained silent, and calm.  Had I really judged this man?  Don’t I get mad about people doing that to my girl?  I’d decided that he would be cranky and intolerant before he even began.  But just look: that described me, not him.  I added shame to my negative whirl of emotions.

As I stood there wondering what my next move should be, the optometrist moved a spinning light-up toy over and around my body.  Pudding was entranced.

He told me to watch her as she tracked the toy with her eyes in a smooth motion, her head perfectly still.

“She’s amazing.  She has to make so much of an effort to see, but she follows it better than most people that come here.  I’d like to work with her, she’s really great.”

He asked me how I felt about trying vision therapy with her.  Honestly, I’d found that afternoon so trying that I was filled with dread at having to return on a regular basis.  But that was due to me, Pudding was fine until I’d lost my composure.  I’d looked at this man, but I hadn’t really seen him.  Yet here was my girl at her worst, and he could still see the best of her.  We need him on our team.

He tested me too.  I’m short-sighted, but getting less so as time goes on.  I couldn’t agree more with that assessment.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 19, 2011 at 6:13 am