Don’t blame me, he said it. “I have man concussion like man flu!”
You know how when a woman gets concussion she reassures the kids and gets on with it (actually I was nicer & got more done because I was confused); men use their baby has a boo-boo voice and need someone to cut the crusts off the nasty pointy sandwich.
I’m not a compassionate person. Last night Alex stopped eating and looked sad, her sisters cuddled her, grandma (the harshest woman I know)was patting her & talking gently. I got the nerf gun out. I didn’t fire it, Charlie got upset and tried to protect the kids, Catherine got upset & tried to protect the dessert. So I gave up.
Anyway the main story. Thursday I was gadding about enjoying myself neglecting my duties. My support worker took me to the psychologist; wicked indulgence. Alone and unprotected, apart from Cat, Gavin undertook a hazardous obstacle course. Moving with lightening speed; at a slow wander, he was buffeted by strong blasting, of completely still air, climbing jagged rocks; also known as our floor tiles. So in other words; he was walking from the kitchen back to the couch. And he had a fit; a dissociative episode where he is overloaded and retreats into his mind thus leaving his body to look after itself, and fell over.
When I returned from my revels I didn’t realise anything was amiss. Cat was speaking nonstop at a volume that could shatter the unprotected eardrum, talking about TV and how underappreciated & over worked she was. A poor little support worker was cowering on the sofa, and Gavin was sitting & then got up in a daze and went to bed. This is his normal reaction to extra people so as far as I could tell; situation normal.
So I straightened some things and asked Cat if she’d had lunch, she hadn’t. So I went to the bedroom and threatened to make lunch if Gavin didn’t get up & make some. He stumbled to the kitchen and looked about, still dazed. I sat him down and asked him what was wrong; Faye was there so I didn’t want to seem too callous. He finally got around to telling me, after 20 minutes of conversation and after Faye had left, that he had fallen over and had two points of pain on the side of the head that may have been caused by the fall.
Here another problem came up; to demonstrate below is a list of brain injury symptoms and why it was hard to judge:
- headache – he has a headache almost continually
- light sensitivity – occasional reaction to stress
- ringing in the ears – rare reaction to stress
- disoriented – about 80% of the time he’s disoriented
- dizzy – his regular reaction to stress
- swelling – not present for two days
- eyes unevenly dilated – Bingo, a slight difference although both eyes responded to light.
- loss of consciousness – neither Gav nor Cat knew whether he’d just slept or lost consciousness.
- vomiting – not that day but an occasional reaction to stress
- bleeding from ears – not present.
So how the hell was I supposed to tell if it was serious. Obviously I should get him to a doctor. He’s our driver and he’s a little heavy to carry. Call an ambulance? They would take us to a hospital emergency room.
A hospital emergency room is the last place I’d take Gavin. For one reason Gavin & I both have significant fear of hospitals. Gav’s blood pressure would rise and all his stress symptoms would get worse. I didn’t think that would mix well with concussion.
Autism is not well understood by the general medical profession; not that they believe that. The more obscure symptoms are often disbelieved. Grown men don’t need their wives to tell qualified professionals their symptoms, medication or identity; even if they are gibbering nonsense when they answer questions it will definitely be correct. Gavin becomes very disoriented when stressed and answers questions really strangely.
Emergency room staff are always misinterpreting Gavin’s stress reactions as symptoms of other problems. Trying to hospitalise him or test him for symptoms that have been tested many, many times before. Because they refuse to accept that the symptom is not what they think it is unless we can give them a diagnosis of what he does have. I could go on, but I haven’t slept much in the last two days.
Now they are making me cook, I am not being waited on, I’m as grumpy as hell. And the children are helping in their own special ways:
- Cat & amazingly Tasha are actually helping, in between freaking out that Daddy is dying, talking too much & too loud and watching us.
- Alex has withdrawn and won’t do her regular jobs properly or eat, her volunteer job went wrong and a nasty, shoutie woman is supervising her instead of her pushover father.
- Tabby hasn’t noticed and when its pointed out to her she says “Oh” and continues with what she is doing. And she hadn’t done her holiday homework & was freaked out & nuts and demanding help.
- Cherise (a dog) is not staying with Grandma so she can watch her father.
- Smokie (a cat) is happy that his bed (or dad) is less wiggly.
- Echo (another cat) is happily stalking Charlie because there is one less person to protect him.
- Charlie (the other dog) is trying to take advantage of Gavin’s weakness in order to finally finish him off.
- Pixie & Orion haven’t needed him to do anything so they aren’t fussed.
- Grandma is very very worried and is doing lots of stuff for us.
So none of that is actually helping my mood. I want him to get over it, so things can get back to normal. I’m sick of talking to my children, getting my own stuff, cooking healthy meals, and being compassionate.
Sick of it!
Not in my nature!
I’m bloody going to eat an entire block of chocolate now, if I can only con Catherine into making me a nice cup of tea.