Oww-ch

Handsome loves to play on the deck, especially on these cool days we’ve been having lately. The temperature has been in the 60s and 70s here lately. Cool enough that we could leave windows and doors open all day. Open doors, means easy access to outside. Luckily, Handsome is happy as a lark and content on the back deck.

We have an awesome deck that spans the entire length of our house and wraps around one side.

Handsome loves to be out here. This is his place of solitude. His favorite spot is that bench that sits right outside of his bedroom.

Today while Handsome was playing on the deck, he got a giant splinter in his foot. I can honestly say, “OUCH!”

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, then you know I’m quite protective of his feet. If you know me, then you probably know I may be slightly obsessed with the boy’s feetsies.

His feet have been the object my attention for his entire life. As an infant, he just had the sweetest toes. As a much bigger kid with feet bigger than my own, this object of attention is for details about deformities and structure. I can spot the most obscure change in his feet, and it is how I knew he had a broken toe a while back when the doctor thought I was just crazy. I know this boy and his feet. I study them a lot. I look at his feet throughout the day every day. Subtle changes in his gait or how he turns his feet are as obvious as night and day to me. When something is wrong with his feet, it becomes center focus in our lives.

Such was the case this morning. Handsome had been playing on the deck and came inside on his own. He brought a napkin to my husband and then lifted his foot to him. A quick glance revealed a giant splinter in the ball of his foot. Ouch.

I didn’t take a picture of the splinter while it was in his foot, but I did take one of the splinter after it was removed.

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So how does one go about taking a splinter out of the foot of an autistic child with very limited communication skills who also happens to be upset and in pain?

The answer to all of life’s difficult ASD moments can be summed up with this one device. It is the daily conundrum. Both the solution for, as well as the reason for, tantrums. The solution for, as well as the reason for, transitional meltdowns. And in times of distress, it becomes the absolute necessity for calming an anxious child whilst you pull a splinter out of his foot.

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Dealing with the repercussions is carefully weighed: will the tablet help more than hurt? Will taking the tablet away afterwards ruin the rest of the day? Will he be able to overcome this anxiety better as a result of having the tablet, or will the tablet worsen things? What emotional toll will the tablet take on the rest of the family? Should we attempt without the tablet first? These are all concerns we have to weigh in the balance before speaking its name or presenting it visibly as an option for the boy. Oh, and we have exactly 2.3 nanoseconds to decide.

Pulling the splinter out of Handsome’s foot took much more than just a tablet. It took two pair of tweezers, nail clippers, a tissue, good lighting, a lot of patience, and four sets of hands to hold him down. Four sets. Eight hands. Plus an assortment of legs, elbows, knees, and an undisclosed amount of body weight. For FORTY minutes.

But I guess 40 minutes of pulling a splinter isn’t so bad…after all, I’m more than 2 weeks into a hosting a splinter that will not let loose. It is just stuck underneath a fingernail and I’m in that unfortunate situation where I just have to wait until my fingernail grows and pushes the splinter out naturally as it grows outward. At least the nauseating pain went away after about thirty minutes. The pain was completely gone after about 3 or 4 days.

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Back to Handsome…his foot is in pain. We treated the wound with melaleuca oil and an essential oil-based antibiotic ointment before putting on a small bandaid. The bandaid lasted all of 2 minutes before we found it at the bottom of the stairs.

The meltdown lasted about 20 minutes and he spent the rest of the day asking {demanding} that the device be returned.

But the rest of the day he has been limping to avoid putting pressure on his foot or walking with his toe turned up. On the bright side, he can’t toe walk. Also, he wanted to play on the deck some more, but he wore my husbands flip flops! Oh I love that boy.

Seeing him hurt breaks my heart.

Since I don’t want to leave you like this tonight, I’ll share a happy Handsome story. He had a diaper incident and needed a change of clothes. After getting him cleaned up, I said, “Let’s go to your room and get some clean clothes.” He went to his bedroom, turned on the light in his closet, and started to pull out clean shorts. I smiled and praised him, “You are such a smart boy! You understand all the words, don’t you?!”

I’ll be in Salt Lake City all next week for the doTERRA annual convention. I don’t think I’ll have anything to post here, but you never know! I’m not sure if I’ll post anything on my Insta or FB pages, since I’m always struggling between a love/hate relationship with social media…current state is not love.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by to show pity on my boy and his foot. πŸ™‚


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