Not many parents can say they enjoy going to a children’s hospital. Especially when you only slept 2 hours the night before, but I can’t help not to enjoy it.
The Monster had a regular check up with his developmental pediatrician. Back in June the Monster was officially diagnosed with autism and receptive/expressive communication disorder. So this was a check up to see how he was doing with sleep, eating and communication/talking. My sister Teenie and I went, she took the day off. Mike had to work later that night and since we were planning on seeing my other sister who lives in Indy we most likely wouldn’t make it back until later that evening, so he stayed home that day.
So my sister and I headed south about an hour and forty-five minutes of where we live to Riley Children’s Hospital bright and early that day. When we arrived we parked in the wrong garage and had to walk through the entire hospital. Even though the Monster was kicking and screaming not wanting to, I actually enjoyed the long walk. Something about the nurses and doctors there. I practically had to drag the Monster throughout the hospital to reach our destination, all while he made it known he didn’t want to hold my hand. Someone is always smiling and saying hi. Not one head shake, we didn’t have anyone ask us to quiet down. And the best part was I never once felt uncomfortable because of how the Monster was acting. I didn’t feel nervous like I usually do, I didn’t break a sweat trying to keep calm in this type of situation like I usually do. I felt okay, I felt fine, I felt like I was in a safe zone. Seeing all the other little kids, parents carrying them, pulling them in wagons, holding their hands. They were all their for different reasons, some more serious than the other. But it was like they all had the same look, a look of hope, scared, selfless, proud, worried, warrior type of look.
As we made our way to the developmental pediatrics section. We were hoping it wouldn’t take long to go in, the Monster does well there for the most part. He enjoys other children, he is very social and active. He loves new scenery and enjoys being in a different type of place. We had to wait for almost an hour, which is fine. And during that hour, I told my sister I was going to use the restroom before they call us back. On my way back over to the waiting area that we were at. Out of the corner of my eye, I seen it, the famous “flap”. A young boy around the age six was with his parents and I seen him flap his hands. They were close by the desk of the developmental pediatrics, so I knew. I knew he was on the autism spectrum. I knew his parents have most likely have been there since the beginning on the same type of journey, just like us. And all of a sudden, I felt relieved. That is why I enjoyed the visit to the hospital. I seen other parents there for a million different reasons, but their “normal” was like ours. Doctor visits, different types of therapy, some had their diagnosis and others were searching and waiting for their own. And here I was going through it all also, the therapy sessions, doctor appointments, trying to be “normal” and just wanting my little guy to be best he can be. Just like every other parent there. I tend to forget that their is other people like us. Going through the same things as us, struggling some days and succeeding the other. But when I seen that one little boy, just flapping his hands, in his own little world. He gave me my reminder and made me feel like tomorrow is going to be another day, possibly another head banging against the wall moment. Maybe another headache, another meltdown, possibly a few things to make him go into sensory overload, but he reminded me that I am not alone in this. Family members don’t always understand even though they see a lot of it and friends tend see what they choose. We can explain things, we can show them, but it’s hard for them to understand first hand what it is like. The frustration, the emotions, the scary parts and the all around battle we have everyday. The reminder was we always have a support system outside of our family and friends. The best part of seeing him flap his hands, was being reminded that their are kids like him and parents like me.