Friday, 19 August 2011

#Specialsaturday post - A Spooky Coincidence & an Aborted Visit

Because I’d had a microdiscectomy on Monday, I wondered if it was wise to have Chrissy home this weekend. After learning from her nurses today that she was relatively settled, I decided to give it a go. My younger daughter, Alex, would be here until their step-dad, Ian, came home, so if things kicked off...

What I hadn’t bargained for was things kicking off immediately Chrissy arrived. As soon as her nurses brought her home this afternoon, she started asking for dinner - then repeating obsessively that she wanted chips. It escalated too quickly for us to prevent her from taking to the ground. For the 2nd time in weeks she stripped off on our front drive & had a meltdown - the most violent I've seen since Xmas. Her nurses said they'd seen meltdowns like this on the ward since her Topiramate had been reduced. They’d obviously passed us by until now.

Spookily, Chrissy had a horrific looking abrasion on her back, exactly where mine is from surgery. As she scraped herself backwards along the gravel on our drive, stones & dirt stuck to the wound. Chrissy continued to thrash about, oblivious to the pain. I marvelled over how she’d never suffered a serious wound infection.

The high-intensity outburst must have lasted about an hour in total and I realised, with a sinking heart, that it would be far too ambitious for me to have her home in such an unpredictable state while I was still recovering from surgery. The three of us shielded Chrissy's nakedness from the busy road outside with a blanket & her coat, & waited it out. It faltered for seconds then started full force again complete with foot-biting, hair-pulling, skin pinching & finger twisting. If we got too near we got kicked & hit out at too. “Go away!!!” she shrieked.

A painter had been working at the back of our house & had now finished. I asked Alex to tell him to wait before he came round the front to his van. He could hear the ear-splitting screams clearly. "It's my sister - she's autistic," Alex explained. What else could she say?

Finally, for no obvious reason, Chrissy stopped, got up & was immediately docile & compliant, chatting away as if nothing had happened. She let us dress her over her dirt-covered body & take her inside to wash her hands. She then hovered excitedly as I packed up some food for her to take back with her. "What was all that about?" Alex asked. "Had a tantrum," Chrissy said matter-of-factly. I then settled her back in the car. As she smiled sweetly at me through the car window, I felt like I'd let her down, & had a little weep in Alex's arms.

Later, her nurse called to say that Chrissy was fine, & had remained settled. She also reminded me that, because Chrissy's concept of time is different to ours, she hadn't realised that her home visit had ended before it had begun. Chrissy was just happy that she'd been home to see mummy.

This blog post is part of the awareness raising campaign - Special Saturday - raising awareness of people living with special needs around the globe. Please join the cause by joining the facebook page - Following on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday Reading and following the Special Saturday Blog -">


  1. What a heartfelt post, I could feel all the emotion of the post. You didn't let Chrissy down and I think you did incredible well handling it all. Hope your feeling better soon both physically and emotionally

    Sending big hugs ((()))) xxxx

  2. Aw thanks Wendy, only just seen your kind comment. I know now that I made the right decision. It's so important for us parents to stay as strong as we can for our kids & I did feel very vulnerable so soon after surgery. xxxx