Friday, July 13, 2012

It DOES hurt!

I've been up for a whole thirty minutes this morning and I have not stopped smiling. Ironically, my smile is a direct result of Tate's discomfort. Please, if you have not read my previous blog post “Does it hurt?” from April 25, 2012 then take a look.

Tate is an early riser (and that is an understatement.) Many people with autism require little sleep, or perhaps it is just that they struggle with chronic insomnia. Tate is almost always up by 6:00 and sometimes it is 5:00 when I hear him up. Most mornings Shawn is up early too. I am NOT an early riser and that is an understatement. I think 9:00 would be the perfect time to crawl out of bed. Of course, this rarely happens. The past couple of years I can leave Tate in a room unsupervised. Sydney is another story. There is no telling what she will get into or break if left unsupervised. But I did not start this blog post to talk about how much sleep I am getting…..

This morning, Shawn woke me up earlier than I like with the news that Tate’s ear was hurting. I was wide awake instantly with questions. "How do you know?" “Did Tate TELL you that?” TATE TOLD SHAWN THAT HIS EAR WAS HURTING.  This is a HUGE milestone. If you read my earlier blog post “Does it hurt?” or if you know us well, you will know that Tate has had MANY ear infections in his life and he has never complained of pain. He won’t ever tell us when he is hurt or sick. We have to guess. 

The ear pain this morning is from swimmer’s ear, I am certain. We put in an above-ground pool this summer and spend hours in it every day. Sydney has had swimmer’s ear this summer and got drops for it last week. I have been wondering if Tate had any trouble with water in his ears but he wouldn’t talk to me about it when I inquired. Levi and I have been having trouble getting all the water out of our ears sometimes but our ears have not hurt. 

Tate’s favorite thing to do in the pool is flip or somersault. He practiced for days and sometimes will somersault over and over, until I wonder if he is using it as a repetitive behavior to stim. I give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he just loves the fact that he mastered a new skill. I like to use denial sometimes to help me through the day. haha The somersaulting gets water in my ears worse than anything else so I don’t do it much. Tate is doing a lot of really cool things. He loves to go underwater and Shawn and I have marveled about how long he can stay under. I think it is also because he can ignore pain to a degree. I cannot stay under as long as Tate can. He could not go under much until he learned to use a face mask. Levi and I have to use a nose clip or a facemask to swim under water. Tate was not interested in trying on the facemask at the beginning of the summer. Once he decided to try the facemask he wanted to spend all his time under the water. He is having so much fun in the water. Tate has always been big for his age and heavy. This past year he got a lot taller and slimmed up but this summer he has actually started to look skinny. I think all the exercise in the pool has helped. 
In the pool

If you see me around today, note the smile on my face. It is not actually because Tate is hurting, but because Tate acknowledged that he is hurting so someone could help him with it. Maybe this is just a beginning and Tate will be telling us in the future when he hurts or feels sick. I am on cloud nine. 

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