P has aerofageia. His tummy is filled with air because he swallows large quantities of air. It sounds simple but it’s really really not. It’s a stim. He does it to/by himself and it’s the reason he’s in pain, has such a bloated tummy, is constantly burping and passing gas and why tonight he literally HOWLED from the pain for over an hour. His OT suggested some yoga poses that may help in alleviating the pains associated with aerofageia and so far he’s been pretty good at letting me help put him in the various poses (child pose,etc.) But after hearing him and watching him wry from the pains which I can only assume must feel like stomach cramps and burp so loudly and cough that it was as if he would ultimately vomit, I found myself feeling so lost and helpless, and hopeless, that I just wished earth would just swallow me up so that I didn’t exist anymore. I caressed his tummy and his back but there was not a single thing I could do to truly help him and that just kills me. Maria left her dolls and came over to me sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands and asked me if I was sad. I replied that I was very sad because her brother is sick and I can’t do anything to help him. And then she caressed my arm and looked me straight in my eyes and no words were necessary. Compassion from my two-year old sometimes is the best medication in the world.
When Panayioti was 2 and we were still trying to figure out what was ‘wrong’ with him. Why he stopped talking mostly we went to check his hearing of course. It was our first exam. It’s what his develpmental specialist suggested we do before she could say if it was autism or not. I hoped he was deaf, or to put it more lightly, that he had a hearing problem that a good-quality hearing aid would solve. And then bam! Problem solved. Nope, nothing wrong with his hearing. Autism.
This week when we went to get his tummy checked out to see if he’s bloated because of drainage issues that a routine surgery would solve, I hoped that it would be that. Nope. It’s a stim and like all stims they do pass but you never know when or if they’ll come back. And in most cases, some do come back. His saliva playing is an on-again/off-again stim that totally grossed me out but is NOTHING compared to THIS. This is hell. This is watching your kid gulp, and gulp, and gulp, air continuously and no matter what we say to him it’s as if he can’t even control it. Like he can’t help but gulp air all the time. He does it as soon as he wakes up and was gulping air the moment I was putting him to sleep tonight after the howling subsided. It’s the freaking mother of all stims. I hate her.