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"Kat is recovering from another ear infection," I wrote to school. “The medication she is on gets her hyped up. For the past week and a half, Kat has been making a repetitive movement with her hand. Kat does her hand movement whenever she is sitting, usually at a table. She will slightly bounce her hand on the table and lift it up moving her fingers back and forth. Her eye will follow her hand.” It was as if she had a bunny attached to her hand and hopped him up and down, while holding her head sideways. No one else existed around her. It was her and her pretend "bunny".

I was very frustrated with all the ear infections she had. I was tired of her ongoing runny nose. She would not wipe it herself. She could not tell us that she was not feeling well, the only way we knew she had another one was when she had high fever or her nose was runny.

Ear infection after ear infection, 60 visits to a doctor by the time she was 3 1/2. We were there at least monthly and manys time every 2 weeks. The doctor put her and her sister on maintenance antibiotics. This meant that she took a spoonful of antibiotic daily. We did not know any better at that time. We thought all doctors knew what they are doing.

The pediatrician we were seeing at that time had an office that compared to staging cattle. We would get an appointment and have to sit there for over half an hour with all the other sick children working hard on a germ exchange to make sure that they would share everything. Kat was very hard to control in that environment. If she wanted a toy, she took it. If I took it away, she screamed. She constantly moved around. You could not keep her still. She'd walk accross other toys or books. The dissapproving looks of other parents would have probably burned a hole in my back by now. I had a tough time at that point telling people that she has autism. I would get all choked up.

Finally, the nurse would call us in and bring us to one of six or seven rooms and we would sit there alone, for another ten fifteen minutes. I would be exhausted at the end of each visit. I still remember our last visit to Dr. G. When he finally showed up, I was telling him my concern about the many ear infections she had. What if it was destroying her hearing? She was taking all this antibiotic and she still was not getting better. I know I was very tired and emotional by end of the visit, since I tried to explain to him that when she starts another antibiotic routine, she changes physically. Even though it is hard to explain how a person who does not interact with the environment can be even more withdrawn, but she was.

“Dr. G. every time Kat goes on medication, she gets worse. Her eyes get glazed over, her attention is gone…” He interrupted me saying “Mrs. Highet, you need a vacation!” He was probably right. So I took a vacation form him and his office and never went back again. That was some of the best advice a medical professional ever gave me.


Danuta - Kat's Mom, January 10, 2007

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