We’ve had our share of germs going around this winter break and our little dude on the spectrum did not get left out. Monday morning Henry woke up as usual, had breakfast and his meds and then promptly threw up. For the next hour or so, through tears and whining and crying, he perseverated on vomit. He’s had a fever since then but actually has done quite well once we convinced him on day #2 that he didn’t need to keep “the bucket” right next to him because we were sure he wasn’t going to throw up again.
For the last 3 days, my little dude spent his days zoned out underneath his blanket in my bed. I wasn’t feeling well myself and it was a wonderful reason to join him there. We talked, we rested (I actually napped!), we watched TV, I read, he played video games. Interestingly, during this time we did not give him his ADHD meds. That’s how I knew he really didn’t feel well. No meds and I’ve never seen him be so still and quiet for so long! He never complained of anything except a headache and just not feeling well. His fever was running between 100 and 103. He wasn’t eating as much but more than I would expect and he was great about drinking water. Despite both of us being sick, I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve enjoyed spending some “normal” quiet time with my son.
Henry, being the kind of kid that he is, once he got over the whole “throw-up” perseveration he moved on… such that I’ve taken his temperature about a zillion times now. “Take my temperature mom. Am I normal?”
Today is day #4 with fever (and throwing up his breakfast again) so I kept him home from school and got him into see our pediatrician. We spent quite a bit of time trying to reassure Henry that he was not going to get a shot. As Dr. K was checking out his ears (and finding an ear infection!), Henry asked him, “Am I normal?”
Our doctor chuckled as he answered, “Well Henry, I’m not sure I know what normal is.” (and this is just one small reason we love our pediatrician!)
Henry, very matter-of-factly said, “You know what normal is.”
Dr. K replied, “I’m just a doctor, Henry. What is normal?”
In his incredulous tone Henry said, “You know! Normal is when you’re not sick and you are just your regular self.”
Yeah, THAT’S the definition of “normal” I’m using from now on. And I’m relieved that Henry sees himself as normal. Because he IS. It’s okay to be different and still be “normal”.
As an aside, we were quite surprised about an ear infection as Henry never once complained of ear pain or hurting on that side of his head. I’m glad I took him in. Now Henry can work on just getting back to his normal which is my favorite kind! Just being your regular self.