Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘symptoms

Waiting

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Cubby’s school required a physical before admission, so I found a pediatrician and made an appointment for both kids.  Pudding has always been my robust, healthy child, so I wasn’t too concerned about her.  As the days got closer to the appointment, though, her allergies seemed suddenly worse, and she developed diarrhea.  When we finally met with the doctor, she looked pasty and had dark circles under her eyes.

The doctor asked if iron deficiency might be a problem.  Honestly, Pudding has a better diet than most preschoolers, and is in no way as picky as her brother when it comes to food.  I asked him what the symptoms were: headaches (she wouldn’t be able to tell me), weakness (erm..), irritability (well…), attention problems (sure…), and pica (yes).  We’d have to do a blood test, and lucky for us, there was a laboratory right there in the hospital.

Unlucky for us, I was by myself with both kids, no social story preparation for Pudding, and yet more paperwork to complete while we waited.  Somehow we got through it,and waited a few days for the results.  When I got the phone call from the doctor, he told me had more questions than answers, and I’d need to come back in urgently for more blood samples.  I heard “anemia”, “abnormal results” and “white blood cells” before I started to panic.

We returned for another blood draw, but then the laboratory botched the results, so we are waiting again.  The doctor has assured us that it probably isn’t anything too serious, and we are treating her anemia while we try and find out more.  There are many things it could be, so we just have to wait and see what happens.

As I’m sure you all know by now, patience isn’t my virtue, which is why I’m convinced I’m constantly sent trials like these.  I’m sure whoever is in charge of the Ever-After keeps looking up my chart and deciding I’m still not worthy- retest.

So here we are, with more questions than answers.  More worries than peace of mind.  Treating symptoms when we don’t know the cause.  As always, the unknown being a scary place for a parent.  I’m hoping Pudding makes a rapid recovery from this mystery illness.  I’m just glad the doctor picked up on this before it became more serious.  The symptoms had completely eluded me.  I just wish we knew what was causing these problems, and I wish I knew for sure she wasn’t in pain.  The longer we wait, the more uncomfortable I become.

One thing I am comfortable about, is that this particular doctor will find out what is making Pudding ill.  It turns out he diagnosed the first ever case of Asperger’s Syndrome in this country.  The young man was 14, and had been shunted from one doctor to another all his life, until our doctor finally saw what everybody else was missing.  I’m just hoping he can find the missing piece of the puzzle for our girl.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

I’m Only Sleeping

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Usually, when Pudding is sleeping, I am too. Not so many photos of her like this!

You know, there just might be a Beatles song title to fit any blog post…which is a challenge I willingly set for myself.

Last week when I asked for questions, a friend wondered about what really happens at bed time. Sleep is constantly in our thoughts in this house. I’m a big fan of it. I never feel like I get enough of it, and always want more. Even when I was pregnant with Pudding I didn’t get much of it. I was kind of prepared for those early days of round-the-clock breastfeeding. At a few weeks old, she suddenly started sleeping through the night –  a full twelve hours. It was fantastic. We congratulated ourselves on our little sleeper.

So when, at 5 months old, she started waking up all the time, and seemed inconsolable, we thought it was an aberration. It must have been teething. She must have been in pain. I knew nothing of sensory issues back then. I did know about routines though, so we adhered to a strict routine, one that we continue to this day: dinner, bath, story, bed. And at 7 we would have her asleep, then wait for the inevitable screams. We got fed up of this by the time she was 10 months, and we stopped going in every time she woke, and within a few nights she was back to sleeping through the night. Right around this time we discovered her allergy to dairy, but we didn’t make the connection between that and sleep. Again, we patted ourselves on the back for the return of our little sleeper.

She was never thrilled about taking naps, and at around 18 months, when I became pregnant with Cubby, she just gave them up altogether. I craved sleep, tried everything I could think of, but they were gone and haven’t returned. She was back on dairy, and because I hadn’t seen the hives and eczema this time around, we thought she was fine on it. At least she still slept through the night, though the nights got shorter and shorter.

Around this time, what we would later call autism symptoms began to emerge, but we didn’t notice them at the time. I’d tell myself she just needed more sleep, and that may still be true. She definitely functions better on more sleep, like all of us.  Wearing all that energy out of her helps too, so we bought a mini-trampoline for the winter, and we go to the playground or swimming the rest of the time.  Spectrummy Daddy always does some physical play with her before bedtime to wear out the last shreds of hyperactivity.

After her brother was born and we returned to the US, sleep got bad and stayed bad for several months. The first day we took her off wheat, she slept through the night again.  Slowly though, we’ve gone back to night-wakening, fear of going to sleep alone, and the ever-present early-rising.  Are there even more allergies we don’t yet know about?  (Please, no!)

We’ve tried various night lights, no lights, a weighted blanket, a bed tent, a white noise machine, different texture sheets, changing the room temperature- everything we can think of. I have no clue if it is the allergies, sensory issues, anxiety, or just a willful preschooler determined to have her way.  Sleep disturbance may just be another symptom of autism that we just have to deal with.  It may be something we can never alter, just like I’m never going to be perky at 5 in the morning.

She is a smart kid. I’m hoping one day she’ll be able to tell us what she needs to sleep soundly. Or she’ll figure out that when mummy gets too Sleepy, it makes her Grumpy, and getting enough sleep makes her Happy. Maybe I’ll have a word with Bashful about it.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 20, 2010 at 6:50 am