Autism keeps surprising me at every turn. Just when I think I know what I’m doing and Carrie is kind of settled into being who she is, something new happens that throws both of us for a loop. I woke up to horrible coughing sounds during the night and raced in to her room to hear the snotty sounds rattling in her head.
It was just a plain old fashioned allergy/cold/crud/gunk, but I’ve also learned that nothing is “plain old fashioned” when it comes to Carrie.
She was horribly confused but what to actually do with the snot, and eventually resorted to walking around holding the box of tissues I had given her. She hadn’t quite gotten as far as actually pulling out a tissue and using it on her nose, but carrying the box seemed to make her at least feel like she had a plan of action. It was also really helpful because I could grab a tissue from the box every time she went past me and hold it to her nose.
The thing I had to adjust to was that nothing that feels good when you’re sick feels good when you’re sick and you have autism. My arsenal of Mom-tools wasn’t working on Carrie. Lying down on the couch under blankets wasn’t good because she couldn’t run back and forth or bounce. Hot soup wasn’t good because she can’t exactly eat soup (the liquid actually confuses her because she keeps trying to eat around it). The VapoRub I bribed her into letting me put under her nose and on her chest resulted in a lot of screaming, because I’d basically just slimed her and made her smell really bad.
I eventually resorted to the maximum safe dose of Benadryl for her age, then stuffed her full of popsicles for her sore throat until the medicine at least knocked her out a little. I’m pretty sure being knocked out isn’t exactly what the AMA wants people to do in this situation, but with any luck she can sleep through this cold since nothing else is going to help her feel better.
UPDATE: My husband just got home and I explained that I finally gave Carrie Benadryl about an hour ago. He informed me that she is impervious to the effects of drowsy medicines and is right now bouncing on the trampoline in the back yard.