I wouldn’t call the past few weeks uninteresting, but they haven’t been worth writing about at length. J is doing well, and the weather is improving; we have had sunny, warm days, and we have had days when we wonder if winter will ever take its leave of us.
The only items of note are a small kerfuffle that resulted from asking how J hurt his hand late on a Friday afternoon. The kid came up to me, after we’d arrived at home from the school bus drop-off, and handed me Neosporin and a band-aid. His hand was mildly swollen, looked bruised, and had two areas that looked like a puncture and a popped blister. Since J couldn’t explain, I sent a text message with a picture of his hand. It was all very straight-forward: did you see this? Do you know how it might have happened?
I went directly to the teacher because J wears his gloves on the bus (it was still cold) and the bus driver and aide (obviously enough to me) would not know. Since there was swelling and I wasn’t sure if it had been a friction burn or a bug bite, we took J to the Urgent Care where they told us “it looks like trauma, but just in case it’s a burn or a bug bite, let’s give him an antibiotic.” I informed the teacher of this, and then I said “you know, he used to hit his head, and bite his hand. Perhaps, when no one is looking, he did one of those.”
Fast-forward to mid-morning Tuesday when the bus driver calls me to ask “if we’re OK.” Yeah, sure…why???? Well, she tells me, an aide at the school told her that “J’s hand didn’t get hurt here so it had to have happened on the bus!” She explained that he had been perfectly fine, in fact rather jolly, on Friday and that she hadn’t noticed anything on his hand. I told her that I didn’t expect she would have because he was wearing his gloves, and I didn’t notice anything until he came downstairs armed with his own version of first-aid assistance. I explained that I didn’t feel compelled to call her because of this, and I’d simply asked so I could better inform Urgent Care.
The person who started the gossip ball rolling was the usual suspect. She always does this. It upset me enough that I asked the teacher why this was made into an accusatory question when, in fact, all I had a desire to know was if anyone had seen how it happened. She had asked an aide who must’ve told everyone else, and the person who usually goes for the gossip factor decided to take action. “I didn’t ask the bus driver because of the gloves,” I wrote ” and because if I ask the bus driver if anything happened at school I’m the one who’s engaging in gossip.” I explained that I don’t appreciate that type of behavior. If an aide thinks I’m accusing, please, direct them to me and I will clarify. “Wouldn’t you guys want to know where an injury J has comes from if he shows up at school with a blister, a bruise, what looks like a bug bite, and swelling? And what if I took umbrage at this???”
The teacher understood what I meant, and I appreciate the position she’s in and how she cannot control certain people. I was sorry I snapped at her, but I don’t like having my communication with others tainted because someone feels defensive about a question that should be absolutely acceptable. If your child comes home and is hurt, sick, etc. you should be able to ask “hey, did something happen?” without people assuming that you’re saying it’s their fault. I always ask “how was your day?,” and very seldom do I get an answer because J is J and that’s part of what his everyday life is all about. It’s not going to stop me from asking because it’s my job.
I make a habit of letting the teacher know if there has been some major disruption to J’s routine that might affect the way he behaves in class: if he didn’t sleep, if he was not feeling well, if there was no power, if he was anxious. I do this because I know I serve a population of one and I can dedicate myself body and soul to comforting him throughout the time that he is with me, and that she serves a much larger population and doesn’t have the ability to go one-on-one every single time it’s needed. It’s a courtesy I extend; if you know the child (in this case the grown-up) is having a rough time for X or Y reason, you are more alert to the possibility of a meltdown, a tantrum, a crying fit, etc. When J is wearing a bandage or is taking medication, I explain why. I’m not covering my ass, but I want to make sure that they know “something” is up…
So late last week I got to send a message explaining why J might be upset. As I was brushing his hair early Friday morning, J suddenly yelped and started bleeding…profusely. Of course, a very controlled panic ensued and I called TGG to come help. Dada was away on a business trip and TGG was in charge of dropping J off at the bus. “Scalps bleed a lot more than one expects,” he said as he struggled to find things in the First-Aid Closet. I took over the acquisition of supplies while TGG checked J’s scalp and soothed his baby brother’s nerves.
We cleaned the area up, and TGG mentioned that the night before he’d notice thick scales on that area of J’s scalp. Because at that particular moment Dada had called because he was having trouble with the airline for his return ticket, we all got distracted and he forgot to mention it. I said I’d noticed small red patches in the back of J’s head, camouflaged by his hair. We checked the rest of his scalp and found very small areas of white scaling and what felt like thin ridges when we palpated.
J’s styling products were hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin, and I explained to the teacher what had happened. After googling profusely, and calling my cousin the doctor, we reached the conclusion that J very likely has psoriasis…oh, joy! You wouldn’t believe how many papers are out there about the Autism-Psoriasis link…
Until the doctor sees him, we’re shampooing with the appropriate product. I let the teacher know because J was bound to be upset about the Chips Ahoy-sized patch of drying blood on his scalp. It’s what one does…share information without prejudice or fear.