“I Must Go To The Hospital”

4 01 2008

My mother had surgery today to replace her second hip so I left home before my son woke up to sit with my Dad at the hospital. J knew I was doing this. We’d talked about it a couple of times and my Mom told him when she was at our house a couple of days ago. He was prepared as best we could for the change in routine.  All went well for her so I was home in time to meet J’s bus.

The second he got off the bus he hollered “I must go to the hospital!” The mama bear kicked in and I asked if he was ok, where does it hurt, what’s the matter? He kept saying that he had to go to the hospital his leg was hurt and he limped up the driveway.  For about 2 minutes I thought here we go again… I’ll take him to the emergency room and hope there really is something wrong– sounds terrible but, J doesn’t react to pain like the normal temper-tantrum throwing kid so, I never know. (In another story, for another day, I’ll tell you about the broken elbow incident.)

By the time we got to the front door he wasn’t limping and was starting to quote the movie Du jour– Veggie Tales Sumo of the Opera.  He seemed to be ok for a little while and then it started up again. “I must go to the hospital!”  Like a ton of bricks it hit me– he was talking about going to see his grandmother (who he calls Vova– Portuguese for Grandma).

The last time she was in the hospital– late September– he HAD to go see her to read her stories. It was great.  He reads really well and, in typical grandmotherly fashion, she humors him.

Although we had talked to him and he knew that I wouldn’t be home to get him off to school, he was thrown off by the change.  The note from J’s teacher said that he had been ok but a little off today.  We do our best to let the school know when things are a little different so they can deal with changes. Preparation and familiarity are key to good behavior.  For instance– J takes the same tote with toys every time we go to Church or friend’s homes. The toys may vary but the bag is the same.  He’s high functioning autistic– speech is pretty good, eye contact is pretty good etc. but, he comes across as very young and rather eccentric.

We didn’t go to the hospital and he’s ok with that.

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