It was a Sunday afternoon to remember.
Heading into last weekend, our plan was to keep close to home because Carson, our special needs 8-year-old son, was starting a new medicine in an attempt to help curb some behavioral changes that have been occurring.
On the second day of the new medicine, Carson had an acute dystonic reaction to it. To Pam and me, it looked like he was having a stroke and we were worried he was about to have a seizure. He was completely out of it in all facets, and we knew we had to get him to the hospital. It was unlike anything either of us had ever witnessed.
Within 10 minutes of noticing his symptoms, we were at AGH. Thanks to the admitting team bypassing traditional triage in the waiting room, probably due to the horror on our faces and Carson’s serious condition, we were immediately seen by Dr. Greenwood and Nurse Rachel. The doctor was quickly confident in a diagnosis based on what he was observing and our feedback. Treatment began immediately. Within a few minutes, he was resting comfortably and seemed to be returning to normal.
The fact we were so close to the hospital reduced our time of pure panic and fear from 15 minutes to more than an hour most likely if we had to go to Salisbury. That was a big deal for Carson as well as his parents. That drive, or ride in an ambulance, would have been torturous for us.
In the end, this appears to have been harder on his parents than it was for Carson. He does not remember going to the hospital. That’s just fine by us.
Carson woke up the next morning himself for the most part, but he did miss a day of school to rest and allow us to have a GeneSight test done to potentially get a better read on what medicines he may have a negative reaction to in the future.
While it was the scariest few minutes of my life, we feel incredibly blessed to live just about a mile from the emergency room. It may not have been a life or death situation for him, but we didn’t know that at that time. In my mind, while watching him clearly going through something serious, I was praying there would not be long-term paralysis or worse. At a time of pure hysteria, it was impossible to not worry and be dramatic.
Fortunately, we were able to breathe and wipe out those negative thoughts in short order because AGH was so close by.
It’s fun to imagine what your kids might be when they grow up.
For Beckett, we have always thought of him as an attorney in the making. He has a strong will and once he forms an opinion it’s difficult to sway him. He loves engaging verbally on a variety of topics. He also has an inquisitive nature and is prone to question everything. He will defend a friend to the extreme even if it’s wrong to do so.
While the law could be in his future, I’m starting to think his future could be working with children. We have noticed over the last year he’s drawn to kids.
That was on display last Saturday at TOPSoccer, a weekly soccer program run by River Soccer Club in the fall and spring matching special needs individuals, mostly children, with buddies to participate in drills and a game. Beckett has volunteered in the past since his brother participates, but due to his age his work has largely involved cleaning up the grounds after the program is completed.
Last Sunday he offered to partner with a 5-year-old boy who needed a buddy. We were a little nervous about it initially since the boy was new to the program, but in short order we realized Beckett would be just fine. He understands the mind of a special needs individual and has been trained over the course of his life to “expect the unexpected,” which is a phrase he has heard us say to Carson’s sitters for years.
It was amazing to watch him interact with this boy. When the boy would run off with the soccer ball far away from the other participants, Beckett knew better than to yell stop or call out his name to encourage him to turn around. Instead, he ran out in front of him, said something to the boy and pointed back to the group, causing him to stop immediately and run back to the group. He later told us he told the boy something along the lines of you are missing out on all the fun because there’s a surprise coming. Of course, there was no surprise. He just knew redirection works because of his own experiences with his little brother.
A couple days later, we learned Beckett was volunteering at his school’s lunch helping kindergarteners. Evidently one of the kids was not feeling well. Beckett felt his back and his head and thought he had a fever. When water and an ice cream sandwich didn’t make the boy feel better, he told a teacher he thought the boy had a fever. The teacher then asked him to take him to the nurse. He did and it turned out the boy did have a fever and was sick.
These are the kinds of things that make me feel like maybe, just maybe, we are doing something right on this parenting front after all.