Today had to be planned out properly. Lots of changes for my wee girl.
On the surface she was delighted that I would be picking her up from school at lunch-time, with a packed lunch in the car, in order to be sure of making it through the roadworks near Inverness for her to be on time for her hospital appointment, but in practice a complete change of routine in the school day might not have been well received.
I decided to make a visual chart for the afternoon so that she could have it with her and refer to it as necessary. For a child who can speak so well, and at length (that’s me being polite for never shuts up) M processes pictures far better than words. Halfway through making up the board I realised we have no picture for Doctor or Hospital. Panic. Breathe.
So I resorted to Google and luckily found a decent picture, which I then had to draw as we have no printer. Seriously, we need to get out of the Dark Ages in this house. Board done, lunches done, I picked her up and off we went.
I had thought to insert a wee shopping icon on the board as I was hoping we would make enough time to stop off for some essentials, and as it was in the schedule M was fine with it.
We arrived at the hospital with time to spare and I thought I would show M’s new Autism Alert Card that is being trialled in our area by the NAS. The nurse who took M to weigh and measure her definitely thought before she said anything, and made herself very clear to understand, which was lovely to see. She was in no way patronising but there was a wee bit more effort I felt. The doctor too, was absolutely lovely, and M even told me afterwards “he was a nice man”.
The end result of the appointment is we are no further forward in finding out what is causing her heart to race, but it would appear that there is no real cause for major concern at the moment. The next step is a 48 hour trace, which will be fitted at the hospital as soon as it has been ordered in, and an appointment made, to ascertain how long the racing is for and what pattern, if any, it takes. I am not looking forward to 48 hours of M in a foul mood due to something stuck to her skin she can’t remove, but it will be a small price to pay if we can find an answer.
We had the return journey from hell, the tailbacks were ridiculous, and I broke the journey half way to buy her a cone of chips before she expired from hunger. They were mostly the crispy sort, her favourite, so I might use that chippy in future if I can work it into a meal time.
Even with all the changes to her routine, being poked and prodded by a stranger, and then the massive delays in getting home, she was amazingly well controlled this evening. She did have a wobble about pyjama time, but after a bear hug she rallied and was in bed at the normal time, all smiles and cuddles.
Very proud of my wee princess tonight.
Photo by Kirsten Ross