No fireworks

Independence Day is at hand, but some of the festivities are out of reach for those who are dependent upon care givers. Heck, they’re out of reach for care givers, too, because we are dependent upon the elusive cooperation of the people in our care.

Take fireworks shows, for example.

4th of July 2011 Sioux Falls 031When Tim was working his second job at the hospital (that’s over, thank God! Will post on it some other time), there was a great spot to watch the 4th of July pyrotechnics. The top of a hospital parking ramp provided an expansive view which included the sky over the Fair Grounds to the north and a country club to the west, both of which had big fireworks shows.

You think that would be ideal for our autistic kid. No big crowd to overwhelm his senses; the bursts at enough of a distance that they aren’t too loud; heck, he gets to watch from the comfort of his own familiar family minivan.

But we live at a latitude where “twilight start time” means 9:30 pm in the summer. So the kid is well into his night meds and wanting his cozy bed.

Getting there early to secure a front spot means he’s cranky because he doesn’t have his videos or computer. (Our minivan is old enough that it’s not tricked out with all that stuff).

So we end up walking him around inside the hospital because he wants the A/C. No snacks or drinks brought along can appease him.

So we’ve given up on fireworks shows while he’s here at home with us. Maybe July 4th, 2015 will work. That’s during his 21st year, when he should be in a group home independent of us, and we will be totally empty nest, independent of the daily care giving.

How about some of you? Do you have to skip parades, concerts, picnics, sports or other 4th of July traditions?

2 thoughts on “No fireworks

  1. Yep. We have two children, our son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and our daughter with Down Syndrome. For many years, our son was very sensitive to noise. Since we live a block from the country club, which always has a fireworks display, we packed both kids (and the dog, who wasn’t crazy about fireworks, either) into the van and went several miles away to Baskin Robbins — ice cream helps mollify the lack of fireworks. Last year, my son was willing to watch the fireworks, so my wife took my daughter and the dog for ice cream. My son had a great time, and was really looking forward to it this year. But my wife, who just changed her own meds, had a blood pressure fluctuation and had to be hospitalized overnight. Since neither my daughter nor my dog has gotten over their fear of fireworks, we all packed into the van for ice cream — my son angry the whole time because now he was missing the fireworks. Sigh.

    • TC you’re clearly a husband & dad & care giver on multiple fronts. “Sigh” indeed! It is rotten for those of us of the male persuasion when we twist and bend to make a plan that will meet all the needs, and then watch it come apart. Big events like holidays make that sense of “there’s no fixing this” and “my best efforts aren’t enough” acute.

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