On Monday, Sammy had to have an MRI to just get an update on what was going on wtih him. He has to get these every so often (more often than most people, of course) so that doctors are able to stay up to date with any changes, complications, issues, etc.
Aside from having to have an MRI more often than the average person, Sammy doesn't understand that he has to remain still during the MRI. Therefore, we are forced to sedate him every time he goes through an MRI or a procedure like it. I wasn't able to be there on Monday, but I wish I could have. He has no idea what the doctors are doing to him or why it is being done. He just knows that he is in an unfamiliar place and being held down in an awkward position.
It may sound torturous, but what else are we suppose to do? We have to find out what's going on since he can't tell us. We have to do it right, and that can't be done because I have never.. ever.. seen this kid sit still. Sammy also gets blood work done every few months -- this is another insane and stressful event that we all endure. We need two staff members, myself or Jack, and my mom. One person holds his legs still, one person holds his arm, one person holds his upper body, and one person takes the blood. Could you imagine needing all of this just to get your blood drawn? Sammy resists and stresses and it is not a comfortable situation for him. If I were him, I'd think... what the hell guys?
Anyways, my mom hates to see Sammy sedated and it upsets her everytime. I talked to her after the MRI began and when it was over. She worries the entire time and I wish I could have been there for her and Sammy. I wouldn't have been able to change the fact that Sammy needs to be sedated but I'd like to think that both my mom and my presence would have comforted him a little. I also would hope that being there with my mom would have made it a little easier for her while she waited. She was alone with her thoughts in that waiting room while Sammy lay in the next room sedated. Could you imagine that little things like this can become all day events? You take off work or school, get sedated, have to wake up from anesthesia, etc. Nothing is simple with Autism.
Autism from a sibling's point of view...
My name is Paige and I am 26 years old. I graduated from Towson University with a Psychology Bachelors Degree and from Johns Hopkins with a Post-Bacc Certificate in Education of Autism and other Pervasive Disorders at . I recently left my job at Kennedy Krieger Institute and began my Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at University of South Florida. My younger brother, Sammy, is 20 and has Autism. He is non-vocal, unaware of safety, is not toilet trained, cannot get himself dressed, and has difficulty with everyday activities that we all take advantage of. He works harder every single day of his life than anyone I know and he always does it with a smile on his face. He is my true hero and inspiration and because of him, I have dedicated my life to advocating and creating opportunities for individuals with Autism. I hope that I can make him proud and this blog is just a small part of the awareness I hope I can create about Autism and support other siblings impacted by Autism. I love you Sammy - thank you for everything.