Mia is sick and has been since last Friday. Maybe I should have said “Mia is still sick”. She never actually fully recovered from her illness this past November. She continued to have a bit of a lingering dry cough from then up until the beginning of this current infirmity. Mia also has an anomaly her doctor calls a “habit cough”. It happens after a child has been sick with a cold. Out of habit, they continue to cough after the illness is gone. Mia will cough for no real reason. She does it out of habit. She does it incessantly some days. And, as odd as it may seem, she does it more often when she is bored. Because of this it is difficult for me to say if she was legitimately sick all of that time or if she was just “coughing” to cough. And then again, I am also not completely convinced that this perpetual dry cough she has isn’t just another form of stimming – she sometimes does it in such a manner that I’m lead to believe that.
It’s really hard for me when Mia is sick. I am not at all equipped to handle stressful situations. I get very nervous very easily. I tend to have anxiety issues. I see things as worse than they are. I perceive things to be worse than they are. I also continually try to piece things together, and when they do not fit, I make them fit with falsified facts. I also am a hypochondriac of sorts, but not over myself, over my daughter. This is, obviously, all made worse by the fact that Mia does not always speak functionally.
It’s so hard for me and it’s so frustrating for me to not have her answer me; especially when it comes to illnesses. I know she can’t. I know that if she could she would. And I also know that her frustration must be worse than mine but I am only human and, sadly, I often do not think of this when I’m in the situation. I try to go with my gut feeling but sometimes my gut is hijacked by my overactive imagination and I convince myself of some impending disaster. Some impending doom.
This is what happened today. This is what led Roger, Mia, and myself out to the emergency medi-quick around three o’clock this afternoon. (The medi-quick, of course, because the day she needs to see a doctor is always Thursday – the one day of the week that her pediatrician is not in the office.)This is what led us to a room full of sick people. A room full of sick, unhappy people. A room full of unpleasant odors, harsh lighting, uncomfortable lumpy chairs and the monotonous droning noise of many whispered conversations. For Mia, a room full of obstacles.
And Mia hated every single aspect of that place. She hated the amount of people. She hated the lighting. She hated the smell and the noise and the chairs. She hated it so much she even hated me for a moment; flashing dirty looks in my direction every few minutes just to remind me that she was utterly annoyed with me and no amount of bribery after we left would ever make her like me again. “We go to Mommy’s house.” was repeated by her at least twenty times. And at least twenty times Roger and I replied “No.”
She hated it so much that we finally agreed to let her wait outside in the car with Roger while I waited inside for her name to be called. I’m not going to lie at this point I was really wishing that the medi-quick had some sort of special line for autistics just like Disneyland. But I understand that that just wouldn’t be fair.
After a long while Mia feel asleep in the car and, as “luck” would have it we were called into the “office” just then. This is that part of the story where I wish I could tell you it went fast, that we didn’t wait another hour, that we were given solid answers to our questions when we saw the doctor, that we walked out with a prescription in hand and smiles on our faces. This is that part where I wish I could tell you that Mia didn’t puke all over the doctor’s shoes. And this is also the part where I wish I could tell you my nerves are now calmed..
But, alas, I cannot. But, I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say Roger and I walked out of there with a vague diagnosis of a “viral” infection, directions on what medications to give her (all over the counter medications we have already been pumping her up with since the symptoms arose), and faces fire-truck red with embarrassment. Mia walked out of there with a smile, having finally gotten up the mucus she had been working at for three whole days. And, of course, the poor doctor walked out of there with a pair of shoes completely covered in Mia’s vomit, which, according to him, “looked like she had just eaten applesauce.”
At least Mia is now happy. She has been since we got home – acting happier and healthier than she has in a week. She was acting like her normal self – moving from room to room in a desperate search for something to do. Even now she is contentedly sleeping. She is quietly sleeping, having not coughed once since her head hit the pillow.
I, on the other hand, am still nervous.