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Survived The First Dive! November 4, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Election, Health, humor, politics, special needs.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I knew it was going to be a wild day. I was completely distracted by the impending HBOT initiation. It felt like the longest day of my life, since the dive was scheduled for 6 pm. I filled out all the forms, searched high and low for the required 100% cotton clothes with no metal, velcro, snaps, or elastic, gathered the DVDs and special plastic water bottle. Then I quietly worked myself into a frenzy for the next 8 hours…

I got a later start than I’d planned since I am apparently the only person in the house who can put ballet tights on my daughter and make a freakin bun.  By the time ‘C’ and I arrived at the HBOT center about an hour from home, my blood pressure was 140/90 and my pulse was 116. Then came time to put on the scrubs (can anyone tell me why I had to spend all that time finding those cotton clothes?).

I had prepared myself for the worst. I didn’t take any pictures of the place, didn’t take ‘C’ there for a dry run, didn’t do a social story. I was asking for trouble.

‘C’ thought he was hot stuff in his scrubs. Yes, Fabio was admiring himself in the mirror. He was nervous and hesitant, but did not meltdown or bolt. Well, at least not until they needed to check his ears before we began. But after my signature headlock, we were good to go.

Hmmm. How to describe this thing? I am barely able to remember (with horror) childhood pictures of an IRON LUNG. Well, that’s about it. It was a long clear tube with a rounded, green, metal, cap-like door on each end that looked like a submarine hatch. And the thing is only 30 inches in diameter…for both of us to fit in! Oh, and the way in is via a gurney that slides into the tube feet first and damn near takes the skin off your nose on the way. I’ve wriggled into my thin jeans easier than that!

My little trooper snuggled right up against me and, for the first time in his life, stayed remarkably still for a remarkably long time.  Granted he had nowhere to go.  But the closest thing to a meltdown during the session was when ‘C’ rolled over once on his elbows…an hour or so into the ordeal… and with a glint of panic in his eye firmly stated “I want to get out of the washing machine now, PLEASE, Mom.” Talk about a freakin priceless moment!

So, we watched Dora Dance to the Rescue for the whole time and ‘C’ was doing what few moves he could manage in our cocoon without taking my eye out. Of course, that would be after  the first 10 minutes of pretty excruciating ear pain. He was holding his ears and trying to clear them from the increasing pressure. I was trying to quell the wave of panic I felt rising within me from ear pain I have never felt before. Were my ears freakin bleeding?  It made me sweat. Had it not subsided, we surely could not have gone on that way for another hour. The final 10 minute depressurization was not bad at all.

When I didn’t have one of ‘C’s feet in my face (or my crotch),  I had time to reflect upon how the whole country was still out there voting. And how I was in this tube wondering why I was here and how we’ll pay for this therapy and whether it’ll heal him.  Others were out tonight making big decisions for their futures and the futures of their children in a voting booth.  Here I was, doing the same thing in a different kind of private, tiny chamber.

The other funny observation made tonight by my little man of few words… as we emerged from the “washing machine”… was his unprompted, spontaneous outburst “I’m free! I’m free!”

I am so hoping that he will someday be free. Free of the grasp of autism.

And I hope that our new President-Elect, Barack Obama, will do his part for our kids. It’s time our kids get their freedom. And get their right to the pursuit of happiness.

Maybe it is good karma that ‘C’ set out on this journey tonight. Everyone is ready, hopeful, and expecting a brighter future.



1. acollage - November 5, 2008

So glad the first dive went well!

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