Those who have been following my blog since the beginning of its existence must be used to my posts about hospital visits. To them this should not come as a surprise that this very post too is about an incident I witnessed in the hospital ward.
So Yusra has been vomiting since morning, we took her to the specialist right away who gave her medicines to be taken orally. The problem was how to give medicines when the child is constantly throwing up? After trying different strategies and home remedies at home we finally had to bring her to ER for hydration. Something which we eventually have to do and are always prepared for.
Having had the ‘bad-luck’ of experiencing many hospital stays, Y was quite skeptical upon seeing the Officer’s ward, nurses and the hospital bed. She knew what was coming and so was not even sitting on the bed while we waited for the nurse.
In the meanwhile we (yusra and I) had the opportunity to witness the bickering of the girl on the next bed. She must be around 11 or 12 and had also been advised hydration through IV. The cannula had to be inserted and she wasn’t letting the male nurse to do this. It was funny, the bickering , the endless querries she was bombarding the nurse with. Everyone present in the ward at that moment was laughing at her anxiousness 🙂
The conversation between the girl and the male nurse went something like this:
Girl: ‘would it hurt?’
Nurse: ‘not at all but if you don’t allow me to pass the cannula your vomiting won’t stop’.
Girl: ‘would it hurt more or less than the injection prick?’
Nurse: ‘it wouldn’t hurt. You wouldn’t even know. Now stop squirming and keep your other hand away.’
The girl then tried hiding her other hand under her thigh, then tried several other positions but couldn’t help using it to stop the nurse from passing the cannula. Her dad was with her and tried sitting next to her to comfort her. But she said, ‘ No, No papa you stay away from me, you make me more anxious.’
Nurse: ‘Sir! You should make a video of this and show everyone how annoying she is right now.’
Girl: ‘ No papa don’t do this.’
Then the problem was the belt tied around her wrist so as to find a suitable vein was too tight for her liking.
Girl: ‘Ouch ! This belt is hurting me take it away.’
Nurse: ‘If I untie it I wouldn’t be able to find your vein.’
Girl: ‘ Then loosen it up.’
Nurse: ‘ No! loosening it would kill the purpose of the belt.’
Girl: ‘Ouch! Ouch! Just remove it. It’s hurting me.’
Father: ‘Behave Z.’
Girl: ‘But papa this belt is hurting me.’
This went on for a while then thankfully the girl agreed to behave and let the nurse do his job. The cannula was passed.
Nurse: ‘See! It didn’t hurt at all, did it?’.
The IV was attached.
Girl: ‘ Don’t make it go fast.’
Nurse: ‘The pace is normal, don’t worry.’
Girl: ‘No,no! It’s hurting me. Papa it’s hurting me, please make it go slow.’
The nurse slows it down a tad bit and goes away. The girl bugged her dad’s head off to make it go as slow as possible.
In the meantime another female nurse who was dealing my daughter came in. I held Y’s hand tightly while she passed the cannula and Y didn’t get much time to protest. Thankfully the nurse was skilled otherwise finding Y’s veins is a major fiat not everyone’s piece of cake. It was at that moment that I realized something. Autism has robbed my daughter from freedom of expression…
Anyhow after five minutes or so…
Girl: ‘I need a blanket, get me a blanket.’
After a while nurse brings a blanket.
Girl: ‘ Put it up until my knees. Yes, that’s it.’
After a few minutes…
Girl: ‘Papa! My stomach is hurting. Please sit next to me.’
So the father is sitting next to her while the girl has finally dozed off to sleep and here I am sitting with my daughter on the next bed thinking if only my girl could express her feelings properly, verbally, that’s all she was going to say and do too. And here I am wishing that she could tell me where it’s hurting, how is she feeling? How much does it hurt for every time she gets pricked by a needle? Which foods, and smells make her nauseous, which ones don’t? Which medicines are good in taste and which ones are yucky? How slow or fast should the IV fluids injected so as not to make her uncomfortable?
Now that the girl is asleep Yusra too has acknowledged this fact and is saying ‘Girl neeno (her word for sleeping)’.
And yes she has also told me, ‘Nurse, hospital, injection, Patti (bandage). Doctor check check (pointing to the doc’s stethoscope)’.
While my Yusra may not know how to make a proper conversation or to express her self or her feelings, she still is talkative enough to communicate what’s on her mind. Many ASD children can’t even do that!
Remember though even no two ASD individuals are alike so this is just my daughter’s story! I just wanted to share the experience of two girls, both getting an IV injection through a cannula but one NT (Neurotypical) and another SN (Special Needs) from a third-person’s eye!!
Stay tuned for the next blog.
Until then …