This week was completely opposite to our leisurely week last week. Our week has revolved around a finger. It feels weird that a body part could have such an impact on our week. But it did and I think it will continue too for a few weeks and months yet.
Our week started with Ethan shutting his middle finger in the car door on the morning school run. Darren brought him home to look at it and it looked OK. Ethan was calm but didn’t want to go to school. So we agreed with his teachers to keep him at home. In the evening his nail was showing signs of turning blue. A blue colour that I had never seen before in a bruise.
On Tuesday Ethan told us he wasn’t going to school. We agreed with the school not to push it as we thought the shock of what happened would knock him a bit. We didn’t want it to turn into him hating school. The nail bed on his finger was totally blue that evening. It was even a little bit blue around the nail. Thinking that there might be damage to his nail and perhaps it might fall off we thought it could be part of the process.
On Wednesday Ethan went back to school. Back to routine, I thought this was good. His finger had a plaster on it at his request as he wanted to make it better. In his words he wants his nail to go back to white. That evening Darren took the plaster off at bathtime. The tip of Ethan’s finger was black and swollen. We decided to take him to A&E to get it looked at.
Ethan is scared of doctors and all things medical. It took us ages to build him up to having covid tests during the pandemic. We have also finally got him to a place where he can have injections. I knew that A&E was going to be a stressful experience for him. We didn’t leave A&E until 4 am on Thursday morning. During our time there Ethan had numerous meltdowns but we left knowing he hadn’t broken his finger and he had a plastic surgery appointment booked for Friday morning at a different hospital.
We took Ethan to his Friday appointment not knowing if he would have an operation that day. The letter told us we have to prepare for one. I was living on my nerves. An operation to fix his finger would mean he would have to be put under. For a boy who doesn’t like doctors, I knew this wouldn’t be pleasant. They decided that he will have the operation on Monday. They want to make sure they have a team there who is ready for an autistic patient. So the finger drama will continue next week and to be honest, I’m dreading what Monday will bring. No one wants their child to have an operation. But his finger needs fixing.
Our local hospital really let us down on their autism awareness front on Wednesday night. This added to Ethan’s distress and our stress levels. They tried to blame me for not letting them know Ethan is autistic but it is a question they ask on their admission form. They did inform me, three hours into our wait to be seen, that they do not read the forms! The children’s plastic surgery department however was amazing. Obviously, Monday will be a test for all of us but they are aware of his needs.