What happens when a very unexpected change is thrown into our routine?
What happens if within seconds we have to change our plans for the day?
What happens if a loved one becomes ill and has to go to hospital in ambulance?
…..this was our weekend.
My girl has always been highly anxious.
This results in the need to be in control of absolutely everything around her.
To keep her anxiety manageable she needs to have her days planned and know what we are doing now and next.
This is true for many with Autism.
We had planned to go to the shop for pizza and a few bits when I got a text from my Dad saying he was ill.
As my girl and I were already in the car I decided we would just pop in and see him on the way and check he was ok.
My girl was fine with this as long as we could go to the shop for pizza afterwards.
She adores my Dad and, suprisingly since my girl rarely shows emotion, was very worried about it.
Upon arrival at my Dads it was very obvious that I needed to call 999.
I didn’t prepare my girl, I didn’t explain the situation, I pushed Autism aside.
She sat on his sofa watching him.
Whilst I was chatting to the call handler she was silent….shocked…..scared.
She wanted, needed I think, to help.
Anxiety rose to the surface and she began to repeat the same sentance over and over.
She went to the window and waited for the ambulance to arrive.
She coped extremely well, even staying with her Grandad whilst I let the paramedics in.
My Dad needed to go to hospital.
Immediately my girl jumped up saying we had to go with him.
She was panicking, her face emotionless, her eyes telling me a different story.
I felt not only did we need to go to support my Dad, but also for reassurance for my girl.
It is one of those situations when you don’t know what to do for the best.
Do I take her so she sees her Grandad unwell, or do we go home and wait for news?
I felt given her anxiety levels, and the strong bond she has with her Grandad, that going with him was the best option.
I spent the car journey both reassuring her Grandad was ok and safe with the paramedics, and warning her about the crowds of people and long waits we would have.
Sensibly, and again very suprisingly, she told me to take her ear defenders in just incase it was noisy.
I was amazed at her understanding and so proud of her ability to process what was going on.
In A&E my Dad deterioated when we arrived.
My girl helped the Drs by answering all the questions that I was unable to answer due to my panicking!
She was absolutely amazing, and so calm.
He improved and we remained with him for 4 hours until he was moved onto a ward.
Not once did my girl complain.
It was loud, busy, people coming in and out, people rushing around, shouting, asking constant questions, it was extremely overwhelming even for me.
The one thing, as an Autism parent, I absolutely dread.
To say I am proud of her is an understatement.
Just like a school day though, that emotion had to come out sometime.
I knew it would, my goodness I knew we would be due a meltdown.
It came today.
We went to visit my Dad this morning but today it was different.
She was, understandably, exhausted and on edge.
She coped well at the hospital but it was building, and the delayed pizza shop from yesterday was just a step too far…..
Sometimes you know a meltdown is coming and can offer distractions, sometimes it is just so fierce it takes my girl away instantly.
My Dad is recovering, my girl is tucked up asleep is bed.
I am so relieved that Dad is ok and that the weekend is almost over.
My girl, you amaze me every single day.
I love you. ❤