Did I really think we would never see these self inflicted bruises again? No. Did I think we would never relive the episodes of her screaming in pain? No. This is autism, this is our life. Though I was hopeful that it would be a while before we saw these moments again. I was hopeful we figured out the issue and if we stayed on top of it, we wouldn’t have to worry about these screaming in pain episodes for a while.
So on Wednesday when my cell phone rang during my lunch break and caller id said “nurse”, I couldn’t help but think, here we go again. I actually found myself wanting the nurse to say that Courtney was throwing up with the flu because I know how to help her through that. But that wasn’t what was going on. She was calling me because Courtney had been crying inconsolably for an hour, grabbing herself between the legs and biting herself. My heart sank, here we go again.
Her teacher and I exchanged emails that night that included her telling me not to panic, it just may just have been an off day. I try to let her words comfort me but my gut wasn’t feeling it. See, the night before she had an episode but I blamed it on a change in routine even though a change in routine typically doesn’t cause such an intense meltdown.
It wasn’t just an off day. The next night she had a pretty severe meltdown at bedtime that lead to a car ride where she finally cried herself to sleep. Then my phone rang again on Friday and again I saw it was the nurse. I could hear Courtney crying inconsolably in the background this time.
What is going on?! Her bowel movements are regular, can it really still be bowel spasms? In both cases this week when she was sent home, Courtney was happy as can be the rest of the day. Is this becoming an escape behavior?
Today we took the girls to a breakfast with Santa. Courtney was very whiny through most of the breakfast. Some tears and bit herself a couple times. It hit me, this confirms it, the episodes are definitely not her trying to get out of something. There’s a difference between the meltdowns. I knew it wasn’t possible that she would scream so hard with a stiff body and toes curling just to get out of something. That is not Courtney.
So back to talking to the doctors.