I’ve heard parents of children on the autism spectrum ask other autism parents if their kid has a high level of pain tolerance and I gotta tell you, no Mr. L doesn’t have this. There have been studies done questioning if those with autism feel pain, which I honestly find insulting and discriminatory.
I’m sure there are some who don’t seem to feel low levels of pain, but I don’t think this is only an autistic trait. I bet there are others not on the spectrum that also have a high level of pain tolerance. I don’t think it’s safe or fair to think that any human won’t feel pain. I don’t think any assumptions should be based on looks or ability to communicate when deciding how much pain a person is feeling- how inhumane is that anyways??
I know we could dive into minorities historically and even currently receiving less pain medication, woman being ignored when reporting pain- yes for hundreds of years and currently today, or the years of horrific testing that has been done on those with mental disabilities. But those are posts for another day, and you can feel free to do some of your own research, because it is out there and readily accessible. Today instead we are going to talk about Mr. L’s crash on his scooter and how I learned to place a suture strip. Because this is generally a positive blog and the history of minorities, woman, and those with disabilities is not always wonderful and covered in daisies and rainbows.
So just because I know my oldest child feels pain, is capable of saying ouch, and often asks for bandaids- even when not really needed. I don’t always know what hurts, even if I am paying 110% attention. This has been a thing for years, and I have been known to FaceTime my sister in law (who is a medical professional) who will patiently study her nephew through her phone and will occasionally ask him or I questions while trying to help me narrow down what hurts, where, and why.
A couple of days ago though, I didn’t actually FaceTime her to help play detective in where Mr. L hurt, but instead how to bandage him up. I was there when he crashed on his scooter. In fact my little family was all playing outside and I watched him hit a curb, soar through the air leaving a sandal behind, bounce, and jump up immediately and sprint/hobble to our house.
The craziest part was how quickly he jumped up and ran for the house. Most kids lay shocked and upset where their crashes toss them. But apparently not Mr. L. I ran after him knowing my husband would round up our other kids and soon follow. What I didn’t know was that I would soon find blood on the floor, a silent kid, and a little sad face and mouth covered in blood too.
His knees and knuckles were scratched up, the inside of his mouth was bleeding, and even though I thought I had checked him over pretty well, my husband later found his shoulder got scraped up too. This picture doesn’t do the gash over his lip justice. That puncture was deep enough for stitches, but as you can tell it wasn’t long enough in length and the skinned up upper lip around it wouldn’t make sense for stitches either.
After asking Mr. L’s favorite person in the world, my sister in law, what she thought I should do about this wound and little flap of skin, my husband was off to the store to buy suture strips and special bandages that go over them. And I was looking up YouTube videos about how to place surgical suture strips and unfortunately finding a lot of laceration videos in the process, while trying to keep the blood mess down. I was also trying to keep my oldest calm while Mr. C continued to not understand that his pretend freaking out noises were upsetting to Mr. L and trying to keep Little Miss A from eloping out the front door! Never a dull moment I tell ya 😜
But did I mention the secret worry I was having? Through all of this my oldest kiddo was not talking to me. No attempts to tell me where he was hurting, no verbal attempts to stop me from cleaning his cuts. He was kind of in a different world and I was so scared he was going to regress and lose his speech.
Thankfully though when the suture strips arrived and I pulled out a box of bandages it was like a light clicked on and he started crying and asking for bandaids. But even then he handled all of it really well. He didn’t scream when I put hydrogen peroxide on his face and actually asked to put the bandaids on his fingers himself.
Don’t worry, this story despite having a swollen fat lip and possibly black eyes in a few days… He got back on the horse! After he felt properly bandaged up he went outside to check out his scooter and away he went. True he needed Tylenol before bed. True I checked on him during the night because of how big the swelling in his face got before bed. True he wanted his food cut up into small bites that day and the following. And true he was really grumpy the next morning and needed Motrin to take the edge off.
But all things considered no stitches were needed, no concussion, and no fractures or broken bones, his getting scuffed up could have been a lot worse. And I gained a new skill of how to place suture strips. Which I gotta tell ya, since I only washed my hands with soap and wasn’t wearing medical gloves, placing that strip across his face (with the help of my husband holding Mr. L’s head still) really wasn’t that difficult to actually do. If your wondering about that special bandaid, yes over the next couple of days he let us take the white part off one piece at a time. But he has been really good about leaving his face alone, besides occasionally pressing the strip ends flat to his cheeks.
So tell us, do your friends with autism handle pain differently? Have you placed suture strips before? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share 😊🩹🩸🧩🛴