What a day! Carter had an appointment at the Doctor today to update some EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) paperwork. If my early retirement doesn’t get approved, then I will be executing orders as normal and preparing for a transition. However, it is anticipated that we will be moving to Cherry Point, that does not offer the greatest selection of ABA therapies within driving range. This would be horrible, as Carter already had to miss a year when we moved here to Chesapeake. In our eyes, why not just stay here, and continue services as normal?
Well, while we are in the back speaking to the Primary Care Manager about changes with Carter, it is brought up that Carter needs his ten year shots, three of them actually. Immediate “Oh Crap” moment hit, and we are preparing for what we know is going to be the fight of the century. The doc finishes up, Carter looks healthy and everything seems to be working fine. We have a few more services to schedule like neuro and development, but we need to get ready for labs and get the shots going. Once we go back and sit down, I try my best to distract Carter and start talking about the solar system and all the cool planets. It doesn’t matter though, as soon as the nurse turns around with three needles in her hands, it is on!
I am a fighter now. Come on, 15 years as an infantry Marine during multiple wars, I am prepared for quite a bit. However, when 83 pound Carter goes into panic and meltdown mode, it’s like holding down a pissed off rhino. I want to make sure he wont hurt himself or others, but with the way he fights, I also don’t want him to get bruises or get hurt from the overall event.
After it’s all said and done, that’s when we start to think and discuss about why this happens. Is it the fear, or pain? We tend to lean towards the fear aspect. You see, when Carter had his brain operations, he was stuck with needles, IV’s, countless blood draws, you name it. With such a drastic and dramatic time of his life, he will likely be haunted from it for quite some time. When you get the dirty looks from people as your walking back through the waiting room wondering why your ten year old son is screaming, it takes quite a bit of effort not to put them in their place.
Carter is going to do him no matter what, and who am I to stop or change him. So he likes to hum and walk around playing with his fingers. I don’t need Dr. somebody to tell me that it isn’t normal and he should talk to someone about it. I just don’t see the harm in it. We have worked hard to get him to watch his surroundings while he is outside, look both ways before crossing the street, and just paying more attention. If stemming keeps Carter happy, then let him stem. I don’t see everyone talking about baseball players not acting normal when they do their rituals at bat.
Hopefully at some point Carter will not hate the Doctor’s office as much, and we will continue to work with him and regain trust. We want him to be able to function in society, and we are getting there little by little. However, a 10 year old scared to get shots isn’t the end of the world, and we are happy that it is over with. I see this as a victory. Carter got his shots, updated his EFMP paperwork, isn’t hurt from the event, and even smiled and laughed about the whole thing in the shower. Point goes to us, and not the clinic.