It’s All About Control

Well, it’s official. Javan has croup…again! He gets it at least twice a year. The good news is we’ve gotten very good at taking care of it at home and kids should outgrow it by age 6. So one more year! The pediatrician gave us an oral steroid to help us stay out of the hospital and (hopefully) get some sleep tonight.

While I was at the office, I figured I would take advantage of the opportunity to ask her questions about other things that concern me about Javan’s health. I asked her about him peeing all over himself at random intervals regardless of where we are, who we’re with, or what we’re doing. She said it’s just behavioral. The only things kids have control over is what goes in their mouth and what comes out the other end when. So it’s a control issue. Maybe. She said I should make him clean up his own messes and otherwise try to ignore him when he does it. I thought that lots of kids with autism – granted usually more severe autism than Javan has – have bladder and bowel control issues. But she said that NONE of her other autistic patients do what he does. If it were a physical problem, she said he wouldn’t fully void his bladder…maybe just have a little leak and then head for the bathroom.

I also asked her about him gagging and puking ALL THE TIME. He throws up every day. This is not okay. If it isn’t caused by his GI problems, then it probably at least irritates them. Sometimes, it seems to have no trigger. It just comes out of nowhere. Sometimes it is over getting a splash of pool water in his face or eating a texture he doesn’t like. But the times when it most concerns me is when he makes himself do it. He literally puts his fingers in his mouth and gags himself until he pukes, usually while in the car. He says he doesn’t like it and he doesn’t know why he does it. The pediatrician said this is probably also a control issue, or at least started as one. Maybe he began doing this for attention and then it became a habit. The route to take? Also ignoring the behavior.

Do I think she’s right? Maybe. Could she be wrong? Definitely. What should I do about it? No idea.

In other news, we have a neurologist appointment scheduled for Friday morning. They’re doing what’s called a “sleep-deprived EEG” to see if he’s having brain seizures. This means that Javan can have no more than 4-5 hours of sleep the night before the test. What? Why? I asked the pediatrician and she said, “They just want them sleepy so they’ll cooperate with the test.” The amount of sleep gotten before the test does not direct the actual test results at all. They just don’t want him pulling at the little sticker things on his head. They want him to be sleepy so he’ll be still? I don’t know if that’s worth keeping him up halfway into the night. I’ll have to think about it and if I decide that it is worth it, I may rent out a cousin or something to keep him up. I’m too old for that crap.

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