10 Tips To Survive a Hospital Visit w/ a Severely Autistic Kid
July 1, 2014
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Now Reading: 10 Tips To Survive a Hospital Visit w/ a Severely Autistic Kid
July 1, 2014
One was overnight EEG to get a look at his seizure activity.
And Kyle did AMAZINGLY well with both visits. I think it’s a combo of him maturing and the wife and I being experts at what to expect and knowing what to do/bring to make things go as smoothly as possible So I thought I would write a post to impart some of my wisdom. 🙂 Some of these tips apply to hospital visits with special kids in general, others are more specific to EEG or dental work.
|all this for one day in the hospital & we actually used most of it 🙂|
Within minutes of checking in to our room at the hospital wifey puts all the books around, props them up on display so it looks like the King’s room.
|from a different hospital stay in Aug 2013, but you get the idea|
|this is not kyle, but you get the idea|
But we know thru trial & error what kinda works. So when we get there and Kyle is still awake (the benadryl & melatonin hadn’t kicked in yet) and the nurses & EEG tech want to get started immediately “you’re first on our list” we have to politely tell them no.
|he looks pretty happy considering the circumstances 🙂|
and try to keep him on the bed as much as possible. (it is a video eeg so a camera is pointed at the bed the entire time).
Now the dental work is a different story. But since I’ve committed to the list format I’m sticking with it so here goes…
Kyle won’t let us brush his teeth EVER… and never lets the dentist get in there for a look see, forget about a cleaning or xray. So because of that once every couple of years he needs to go under general anesthesia for a look see, xrays, cleaning, and then fixing whatever they find. So here’s my few tips when it comes to that…
8) Schedule the earliest appointment possible. Because with anesthesia you can’t eat after midnight of the day before, and my kid can get hungry in the morning. Unfortunately because we wanted to schedule this dental work for one of Kyle’s days off from school we had to break our own rule. Our appointment wasn’t until noon. So…
9) We kept him up til midnight and plowed him with lots of heavy snacks… good ol’ Lay’s Potato Chips again to the rescue. Then at 11:45am we gave him his melatonin and prayed that he’d sleep a little later than usual and we’d bypass some of the morning hunger this way. He slept til about 9:45am! Woo-hoo! Then in the morning he couldn’t eat or drink anything before he went under
10) One parent should insist on going in to the operating room (yes, they did this in an OR even though it wasn’t an operation) and be with your kid until they go under the anesthesia. They’ve always offered with us, but I’m not sure if that is standard. I’d recommend the parent that is physically the strongest but is also mentally strong cuz watching your kid just fall dead sleep in seconds is pretty scary. I’ve gone in the last few times and went in this time. They wheeled Kyle in with one of his dolls and one of his Dr Suess books on the gurney. They put the anesthesia mask over his face (yes, a mask, not an IV every time we’ve done this) and I recited the Dr Suess book from memory and held him down by the shoulders while he took a few breaths and finally went under.
That’s pretty much it. The dental work included pulling 6 loose baby teeth (his last baby teeth!) and filling 2 cavities. Pretty minor considering he never brushes his teeth and eats popcorn every day… 🙂
After he was done he slept in the post op hospital recovery area for about an hour with us at his side… and then was up & groggy for about an hour… and then they sent us home…
Anyway there’s my lame list that’s not really a list, but just a bunch of ways that we survive hospital visits with our king.
Hope y’all enjoyed it.
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).