12.31.2012

Happy Endings

Leo's photo of his hospital room (note Sully & Mike).
Leo is back home and happy after an anaphylactic reaction & seizure sent him to the hospital for a bit. We still don't know why it happened, but we now have an EpiPen in case he has another allergic attack.

And we don't know what this means for the long term. Folks on Thinking Person's Guide to Autism's Facebook page weighed in with 40+ perspectives on autism and seizures, as did several friends with ... expertise in the area, for which I am thankful. Short term, Leo may not travel outside of immediate assistance bounds (no long plane flights, no remote Sonoma mushroom foraging raids). I'll need to find out if his school bus driver is trained to administer the EpiPen. Seymour and I are taking turns sleeping with Leo, who is so delighted at having a slumber party that he'd rather snuggle than dream.

I do know that we are so, so, so lucky. I hope I don't need to enumerate why. It's not the way I would have chosen to close out 2012 -- and we could all use more sleep -- but I will be entering the new year in a state of profound gratitude for our family, friends, and healthy kids.

Best wishes for your own 2013.

12.12.2012

Listen to Leo!

My mother, bless her tolerance for chaos, went home today after spending a week with us while Iz soccer tournamented, Mali was a hip hop Snow White dwarf in her school play, and we accompanied Leo and his class to a local Winter Wonderland festival. I don't know if Seymour and I would have survived the week without a third parent. We certainly wouldn't have had any clean dishes. My gratitude, it is boundless. Without boundaries. You ever want to see me do backflips, come over and help out in our kitchen.

My mom was also helpful with the never-ending food prepping -- Iz is vegetarian and Leo and Mali have divergent takes on super-pickiness, so unless we're having cheese pizza there are always at least two tracks for every meal. And lately those tracks were accelerated, given all the activities (Mali had play practice every single night until 9:30, then three performances; Iz has soccer practice 3x/week plus tournamenting; Leo had several sessions with Therapist V). So sometimes we got a bit rushed and inattentive. Which Leo doesn't put up with, if it imperils his meal. Doesn't put up with, at all.

Example: Last night we went to my cousin's house for dinner. Which was to be ribs. Which Leo will eat when hell freezes over. So before we left, my mom  offered to make Leo a PB&J sandwich to take with us. But Leo wouldn't let her get on with it -- he kept running back into the kitchen, getting in between her and the counter and telling her "Peanut Butter!" and we kept shooing him out, asking him to let us finish the sandwich so we could get out the door. Except after the third or so pass -- during which time no sandwich got made -- I realized that my mom had accidentally taken out the almond butter instead of the peanut butter -- and Leo does not eat crappy-tasting almond butter unless he absolutely has to.

It's not Leo who was operating at a communication disadvantage last night.

We apologized to Leo and went on our way, and had a lovely evening. But it was a good reminder for both me and my mom to really listen to Leo when he's trying to communicate, even when we're in a hurry. Because he's usually the one who's right.

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