When you take your child, or teenager, with special needs on holiday then his needs and preferences still come first. Yesterday Joshua was full of cold and so we decided to let him have a day at home, in the warm. He spent it wisely alternating between his bed, the settee and he had two warm baths too, but by the end of the day he had progressed to the coughing stage of his cold. A ‘normal’ teenager would be left at home alone, at least for some of the day, as he would be either dozing and when he was awake, he would probably read, listen to music or watch TV, but he would be self-sufficient. Joshua needed to be taken care of all day : he needed reminding to drink plentynad to be dosed up with Calpol and when he was awake he needed to be supervised on the stairs and he needed the DVD or iPad turning on for him. Nursing a poorly Joshua is a full time occupation, except when he is asleep.
While I was fulfilling this caring role, my husband went out alone to walk the dogs and to buy everything on my shopping list.Normally we would all do those things together, as a family. It did mean that the dogs could have a hillier, longer walk and at a faster pace than we would manage together, so they will have been happy with the arrangement. But I am hopeful that we will all get out and about today again, so long as he is wrapped up warm, as it must get cold sitting still in a wheelchair. Joshua’s hands and feet are often cold to touch, as his circulation must be compromised. It is often said that a hat will keep the heat in, but Joshua has never tolerated wearing a bobble hat on his head, it comes off immediately and is usually thrown into a nearby puddle! So I tie him into his hoodie so that his ears do not get cold and it cannot be removed.
We have an outing planned to a local market today, with lunch out, so I hope that Joshua is well enough to oblige so that we can all go out together. Yesterday was an example of how having special needs in the family, can divide a family. In our case, with Joshua being an only-child, it means that often one parent is on their own. My husband has developed Joshua’s cold and so he feels the need to be looked after too, but he knows that his needs will always come in second place to Joshua’s. I am hoping that my sore throat does not develop into anything more, as I am not sure which of these two men will take care of me when I need my bath running or will make me a hot lemon and honey concoction!