Post-op Aspie Style

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If I had to name one fault of D’s I would love to change, it would be the unrealistic expectations he has of himself. He has to be good at whatever he does, and by good, I mean perfect. Second best is just not good enough and this is where much of his frustration stems from.

It is for this reason we have to be as honest as possible with him about everything he is going to encounter. Where is operation was concerned we gave he has much information as we felt he needed and answered all his questions honestly.

When he asked if it would hurt, he was told the op wouldn’t because he would be asleep – and then explained anaesthetic, but that is would afterwards and that is why he would be given medicine. One of D’s other problems is he doesn’t like being visible which means not making a fuss so where he has said to us he is hurting, when asked by the nurses he is just saying he is fine. We have had to talk to him about being honest for his own sake. I have therefore been interpreting his facial expressions to see what degree of pain and discomfort he is actually suffering otherwise he would be getting little or no pain relief.

He has discovered a long known fact, and that is that physios are evil! They are in fact usually lovely but they are making you do things you brain says your body doesn’t want to do. He has renamed his The Evil Physio of Doom – making her into a a supervillian has helped him to deal with her better as he will defeat her.

D was expecting the op to be an instant cure all. He was going to come out of surgery and the next day be running faster than he had ever run before – after all the doctor had told him he would only be off school a couple of days! When he couldn’t move and was in pain, we could see his darkness circling. The physio was held up as the one to be his saviour. She would help him walk again. She would have him walking and home the next day. Well, in his head anyway.
When the reality was somewhat different he let in the darkness. When she made him move his legs he screamed with blood curdling pain. It was heart breaking to watch. Of course, when it was time to move back, he had fear added to the mix. So much fear in fact that he frozen both physically and mentally. The wall shot up in his head. It could not move and he was NEVER going to move again! Of course he did but he was so frustrated with himself that the anger soon became tears and he cried himself into a 2 hour afternoon nap!

The next day, she popped by to say the nurses would give him the strongest possible medication before their session. The sight of her had him looking petrified. When she came back he decided he was going to it and he did so well and despite tears streaming they managed to help him stand. He was so proud of himself, but at the same time the frustration was also bubbling very close to the surface. The reality was beginning to hit him that this is a long term process and not the instant fix he wanted. He did manage to stand and turn into a wheelchair and as a reward was taken to the playroom for half an hour on the wii! His bloody mindedness then kicked in and when he was asked to stand for the count of 20 said he would do 30. And he did!

He tells me he hates the physio but I think the reality is he is starting to realise that she is being cruel to be kind. He might not be running about or even home yet, but he is making great progress be it just a pigeon step rather than great strides.

5 responses »

  1. Your experience makes me realize how much we need doctors, nurses, P.T.s, and O.T.s to be well-trained in how best to help kids on the spectrum. Well, all professionals really. Sadly even an awful lot of teachers don’t have a clue… -Amy

    • There is a gapping hole in understanding in the caring professions. The one person who D has bonded with is a student nurse who took the time to find something D liked and talked to him about it. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to rein in that compassion as the strains of the job catches up with her!

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