I love the memories section on Facebook. Sometimes, it shows me how far we have come. Other times, it reminds me of old frustrations. This memory was one of the frustrating ones, especially because it still happens.
Here is what I posted three years ago today:
“May 12, 2017 Autism vent: When my husband and I take Brandon to Urgent Care because he isn’t feeling well, we would appreciate the employees listening to us about how to interact with OUR child.”
“We went last night. I told the nurse that he doesn’t understand how to hold a thermometer under his tongue. Her reply was “I got this. I know what I’m doing”. She promptly stuck the thermometer in his mouth (with no warning or explanation of what she was doing). Brandon immediately gagged, jumped, and said no. The nurse jumped about 3 feet. I actually looked at her and said “I told you that would happen.” No apology to my son.”
“When we got in the examining room, I immediately said he will not sit on the table and that she needs to assess him from the chair he was sitting in. She did not listen and told Brandon to get on the table. Brandon jumped and said no thank you. We were then told they might not be able to see him. Ummm, no. Thank heavens the doctor was completely professional and worked very well with Brandon. Unbelievable!!”
I have never understood why some medical professionals will not listen to us. This was not the first time something like this has happened and I am certain it won’t be the last.
I should clarify, not all medical staff do this. Brandon’s pediatrician was awesome! His psychiatrist (both the adolescent psych and his current psych) are really, really good. But, several of the emergency room and urgent care professionals we have encountered have been less than understanding.
Brandon’s autism is apparent. He jumps, his flaps his hands, he makes noises. His verbal skills are quite limited and we are his legal guardians. We take the guardianship papers with us every single time we have to go to the ER or Urgent Care. I tell them the minute we walk up to the help desk that he has severe autism.
Then it happens. “We know what we are doing.” “Oh, my cousin’s best friend’s niece has autism, we got this.” I actually had one person think I was going to let Brandon go to the examining room without me. Ummm, no.
A couple years ago, we had to take Brandon to the ER for what we found out was a gall bladder issue. In the examining room, the doctor said he would need to sedate Brandon. Steve and I absolutely agreed with this. Then the doctor said he would be giving Brandon Versed and would come back in when he was calm.
I told the doctor Versed will not calm him. It has the opposite effect with my son. The doctor looked at me, said he knew best, and proceeded to tell the nurse to give the Versed. I argued with him for a bit and then I finally shut up and figured they would see for themselves.
Of course, what we said would happen happened. The medicine did not calm Brandon. He became hyperactive and was literally bouncing around the exam room. At one point, he stood up on the gurney, jumped off, and tried to run out of the room. It was only then that they allowed as how the Versed wasn’t working. Of course, we were charged for it.
Since then, Brandon’s psychiatrist added Versed to his allergies. I just don’t understand why they won’t listen to us. I know other autism parents who have the same problems. Why? Autism is not a medical condition. It is a developmental disability and us parents generally know our kiddos better than anyone.
Our last trip to the ER was for stitches and it went very well. Everyone listened to us, they did suggest Versed, we said he is allergic, and that was that. I called the hospital the next day to sing their praises to the HR department. I will call when something goes awry. I felt I needed to call and let them know how positive our experience was, too.
When you see a parent with their kiddo who has autism in a hospital/urgent care setting, be kind. And say a little prayer that the professionals listen to the parents. Because we are the professionals where our children’s autism is concerned.
Stay well everyone and wash those hands!