A & E and Autism

Last year Oliver got an eye injury when we were assembling the trampoline. We waited in A&E for 4 hours then had to go to another hospital, and another wait. Today we had to go to the emergency room again and what a difference a year makes.

The kids finished school on Friday, went to a party yesterday and Olly came back injured. He’d jumped off a slide at a soft play area and landed on his ankle. Being him, he refused to leave until it was finished and he hobbled around all night, his dad saying it was a sprain. This morning he could bear no wait at all and there was some slight bruising and swelling. I wasn’t convinced it was just a sprain so hubby rang 111 for some advice. With him being pretty much non verbal and not expressing pain the way the average person does they recommended hospital.

Expecting a long wait I packed a bag and hubby dropped us off. They were expecting us, the receptionist rang through to somewhere else explaining a 7 year old autistic boy had come in with an ankle injury. We were told to take a seat in children’s a&e. We had just sat down when we were called through to treatment/assessment room. The doctor introduced herself to Oliver, asked if she could look at his leg and watched his face for pain reaction whilst assessing him. Sent for x ray- and she got us a wheel chair. Fast tracked through x ray. The lady told me how to hold his foot for the 2 pictures, explained to him about taking a photo of his bones. Waited until he was ready. One position really hurt but she waited until we started a counting game that distracted him. Didn’t try to rush us or make us feel like we were being awkward.

Straight back to treatment. Ligament tear and cracked bone. Great a cast! Oh no. Fracture clinic was closed but the looked through the stores in their department and found a boot, so he could keep on his feet without crutches. They showed him the boot

and asked if they could put it on. He wasn’t keen but again great patience was shown. He doesn’t like it. Trying to keep him still in a back slab would have been impossible. He can walk in it and still managed to climb on the swing.

They listened to him, even though he hardly said a word. They listened to me when I explained about his pain and his need to be on the go a lot. They even showed me the special sensory consulting room with lights and mats and bubble tubes that he would have been put in if there had been a delay. We were in an out within an hour. From reception to release he was treated like he was the patient. They talked to him, they asked his permission, they knew the situation could be stressful and tried to make it less so. I was there to help but for once I was secondary. For the first time in a long time I didn’t have to start with autism basics. They knew and helped massively. What could have been a day of massive stress for him and not understanding anything and meltdown wasn’t because of our fabulous hospital staff.

Supposed to be going on holiday this week. We have our fracture clinic appt in 2 weeks and I have four weeks of trying to keep this boot on. Will it stop him climbing? Will it hell. Will he be more careful? No. Will he be ok next time we go to hospital? Yes. I’m positive he will.

So we didn’t even get to the first official day of the school holidays before ending up in casualty. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the summer pans out. So grateful for our NHS. The staff are amazing and we don’t have to worry how much this would cost us. Autism is finally being understood, a long way to go but at least it’s starting.

Xx

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