The Moth

It’s so easy to be overcome by the sheer loneliness. I don’t have colleagues with whom I can gripe about the insane workload. I don’t have a friend in my shoes. It’s easy to be overcome the daily, hourly struggles, the hard moments.

But it’s also easy to have some good days. Or, to have a day in which you’re not wanting to bury your head under the covers and just cry.

Today was one of those days. Actually, it started yesterday when my Twin B (autistic two year old, Oreratile) saw me. She’d been pulling the blinds with her siblings in the room. (They’re already broken so they weren’t going anywhere.) and caught sight of me headed to the kitchen.

Her eyes opened up wide. She SMILED… And RAN to me and took my hand.

I can’t describe the sheer joy of that moment. So much for the neurologist saying she doesn’t care if we are there or not. She certainly does. She just doesn’t show it. Usually.

The other good thing is that we all have allergies. Except for tonight, it’s meant our girl has slept so much better! Ok, let me explain! Firstly, I have asthma. Always have. But when I went to see a dermatologist for a few things, one of which was my constantly chapped lips that my fellow Blacks like to comment negatively on, she asked, “Do you have asthma, any allergies…” I told her I did. She suggested that I have eczema on my lips.

That never crossed my mind! I didn’t know it could be a thing. So I’ve been treating it with a steroid cream twice a day (when I remember to), baby bum cream at night (when I remember to. I KNOW! I’m bad. My husband always gets on me in general, for caring more about the children than myself. But, there’s only one of me and six of them. And they are in my face all the time! Whereas my face is not! It IS my face! So I forget.) And I think it’s working. Can’t tell. Looks the same but FEELS better. It was prickly. Didn’t bother HIM, but when strangers are commenting… I told the dermatologist that I’ve been grateful for masks because I’m free of that.

But, because of that appointment, I thought of something else. Twin B is allergic to grass. (And some other not usually bad baby creams and hair stuff.) She was given Allercet syrup to take twice a day when she has a flare up. (Plus a mix of a bit of steroid cream and Epimax) But she also has a terribly runny and stuffy nose every single morning. Without fail. And at night when she can’t sleep for four hours or more, we always find her with a stuffy nose. She can’t breathe. I took to putting Karvol drops on her bed every night together with lavender. Till it dawned on me. What if, like her big sister, she has allergic rhinitis? She can’t tell us if she’s got sinus issues or pain.. So, I started giving her Allercet syrup daily. And for the last two weeks, she has NEVER woken up extremely blocked up and runny in the morning. I’d use nasal spray but how many toddlers are fans of salt water being out in their noses? Nor has she stayed up for four hours or more. I’m still keeping the lavender going because she IS still our worse sleeper and it’s not harmful. But, I seriously think I’ve found the magic bullet for her and our sleep trials. Poor baby. Pity we didn’t know sooner.

Now, I keep waking up with a blocked nostril. I’ve always been a sneezer in the morning with a runny nose too. Only after I realised she’s been sleeping well, and the dermatologist told me I probably suffer from allergies, that it dawned on me that this isn’t normal! Nobody else I know spends their morning sniffing and sneezing. My husband sure doesn’t spend time in the night with a light headache and a blocked nose. (Sound familiar!?)

So I started taking Allergex twice a day like my daughter was told to. And a nasal spray (when I remember). And guess what! I too have not woken and been kept up by my nose. Nobody has complained about my incessant sniffing. Hey, when you’re washing dishes in the morning you don’t have time to be blowing your nose! Better sleep! I’m so slow.

And, my eldest girl! She had headaches for months! Also, she’s had skin issues around her eyes and on her eyelids. I suggested she use her brother’s eczema cream (Yes, you do see a pattern!) and it made a difference. Then she stopped, and continued with life as normal. Meanwhile, for the headaches, we watched her water intake, watched her iron tablets, she already sleeps at a decent hour and has no iPads or phones to keep her awake or her head at a bad angle. The headaches wouldn’t go. So off to the doctor we went. As I drove, I told her that my agenda included her skin, which had flared up. Her comment was, “It doesn’t bother me. My problem is only the headaches.” I didn’t want to make her feel ugly or like her looks are and issue so I didn’t tell her that it bothered ME. It’s not normal. Her poor face around her eyes and eyelids were scaly and discoloured. I also didn’t want people to think I’m some neglectful mom. So yeah, I definitely planned on bringing her skin up and asking if she needed steroid treatment or something.

Guess what, as soon as the doctor started examining her for the headaches my girl told her about, she looked at her face and said, “Hang on! What’s this on your face!? You look like you have eczema!” Woohoo! I didn’t even need to bring it up and make her feel self conscious or like I think she’s less than!

Doctor put the two together. Lifestyle was good. No cause for concern there. Eczema plus chronic headaches..? She asked if she has a blocked or stuffy nose. YES! (I didn’t know that. I guess she’s as bad as me at not thinking some things are noteworthy.) Doctor said to try nasal spray, an allergy tablet she’s give her to take twice a day and see what happens after two weeks. If allergic rhinitis was the cause, the headaches would not be cured, but they’d occur less often. If no response to treatment, back for more testing.

No need!

She improved! From daily headaches, to one every two weeks. And this has been her longest bout headache free. Three weeks and counting! Whew! She had really been suffering, every single day! As for the eczema. Only Epimax cream daily after the first steroid push. No more flare ups.

All good things.

Then a girlie fun thing was doing hair. The girls looked at me like I was crazy. Who puts a headband on, with hair out in front!?

I told them they did in the 70’s! My seven year old told me that she’d once put her headband on like that and her big sister told her nope! So I told them both, “It works for me! Leave her! They used to do hair like this in the olden days. It was CUTE!”

I thought it looked cool! Reminded me of those old Jane Fonda aerobics videos I used to use.

Was I wrong? You have seen hairstyles like this before, right?

She looks chuffed with her little Afro going on!

And finally, the last good thing was so silly! I get back from getting more meds for my girl, to a fight.

My six year old tells me, “Mommy, Ella and BK have been mean to me.” Now, according to the neurologist, a feeling of constantly being persecuted and mistreated is common in autism. I thought it was just Micaiah’s thing. Everybody is mean to him. If they tell him to pick up his clothes from the floor, he’s mean. If they tell him to put the clothes he pulled out, back in the wardrobe, he cries and screams as if somebody is pulling out his fingernails. So already, I was not going to believe him till I found out what was up.

As I get out the car, he tells me, “They wouldn’t let us operate on a moth! We wanted to operate! But Ella said we must put it in the sun to dry and let it fly away!”

Sounded fine to me…

So I went back in and sarcastically asked my eldest girl how she could have the nerve to tell them not to operate on the moth. Why she said they should leave it to fly away instead of letting them cut it open. With autistics not always getting tone and irony, this ‘interrogation’ fully appeased my boy, who thought I was reprimanding his big sister.

My seven year old comes in, and without a trace of irony says, “Well done, Mickey! I’m glad you told her! I don’t know why they wouldn’t let us operate on the moth!” I take it she too can’t tell irony.😉

Their sister’s, “But it was still alive” didn’t touch them at all.

And why should it? In all the true rescue or hospital shows I download, when have you ever seen a doctor operate on a DEAD body? Of COURSE they needed to operate on a LIVING moth! Duh!

The moth was saved. They were mollified because they didn’t catch the irony in my voice as I asked their sister, who could certainly tell I wasn’t REALLY interrogating her.

It’s all good.

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