At the hospital we were greeted by a man standing 6’7, which is an approximation of course. He led us through the winding aisles of the hospital, up the elevators and to the direct check-in of the Emergency Room. My son was rushed into a nearby room and fitted with an oxygen mask. He laid there for what seemed to be hours while all the administration duties were performed until he was gently wheeled into a room that would be ours for the next 3 days. After an IV was inserted into his foot and he was comfortably situated, I was pulled out a cot and while he slept I watched over him. Suddenly his autism was not such a big deal. Lying there, completely dependent on the hospital staff and me, he was peaceful and I was confident I had done everything that life had demanded. The next day seemed to meld into the first as the following evening followed much the same routine as the last; the constant changing of the sheets from the amount of fluid that was being channeled through my son’s veins, visits from the respiratory therapist who was kind as his cupped hands gently moved the air in my son’s chest and back so he could use it. Ryan’s lips were no longer blue, the bags under his eyes were again pink, color came slowly back to his cheeks and this adorable child was once again smiling and moving about.
When a severe hospitalization happens, or any kind of near death experience, it forces one to realize how minimally effected one is by the non life-threatening realities of life. So maybe I wasn’t just evolving as a parent of a special-needs child but as a person at the same time. Maybe this is what I needed in order to find the value and importance in the life I had and the mission that was before me. As much as I felt that I was reacting appropriately to the daily turmoil and challenges that seemed to happen, I did not have control over not having been able to give my older daughter the attention she needed and deserved. There were times when I could not be 2 places at once and she would need to watch her brother so I could work on the dinner for the rest of the family. She was forced to mature earlier than normal. I was not able to be the mother I would have liked to have been for her. Helping my son survive daily seemed to be as much as I could cope with. She would just need to learn to live her life and adjust to the needs of her brother, which I am happy to say she did. My husband joined Indian Princesses with her to get her involved in a recreational, social group. She enjoyed this special time with her dad and he showed me he could definitely have a valuable influence in the life of our daughter. She continues to be a bit too sensitive regarding her brother’s lack of consciousness regarding verbally hurting her. He is improving with this but I imagine as he gets older, it will improve further. I don’t see why not, it seems to be the logical way things have worked.