Kreed

I follow several blogs and facebook pages related to autism, as I’m sure most of you do, as well. Maddox from Maddox’s Autism Chronicles cracks me up on an almost daily basis. Melon and Boy from Cat on a Trampoline are a constant source of amazement, and their mom can be relied on for some seriously hilarious writing. Casey from Conversations with Casey is such a joyful spirit, and his mom is quite funny, too. But I’m here to tell you about Kreed.

Kreed from Kreed’s World, a Complex Journey through Autism┬áis a handsome young man who is nonverbal but has recently been able to communicate with the world through his device. His mom, Erin, also shows the world what living life in an autism household is really like, when your child with autism rages and self-harms at times. Kreed has a whole host of medical issues, and is currently in the hospital, and has been for quite awhile. He’s been in intense pain, and the doctors aren’t exactly sure how to treat it. He’s also suffering due to too much carbon dioxide in his system. In fact, he’s doing so poorly, they have had to put him in a medically induced coma. Erin’s post the other day about having to walk out of the room when her child’s eyes were pleading with her to save him from the doctors trying to put him out was gut-wrenching.

And I’ll be honest that I’ve been tempted sometimes to scroll on by and save myself the pain of watching what this boy and his family are going through. But I don’t. Because I’ve been in that helpless situation with a baby in the hospital, whose life hangs in the balance. As you sit in the waiting room knowing you are powerless to help your child, and not having a clue if he will survive the night or not.

And when you read this, think about this, experience this, you realize the divide in our community is quite petty. We need to be there to support each other every damn day. We need to read and hear each other’s stories, and not scroll away from the pain. We need to reach out to each other when we are in our darkest moments to lift each other up. Because watching your child suffer is horrible. Watching him suffer and feeling alone on this Earth is even worse.

I’m going to make and send Erin a card for Mother’s Day, because let’s face it – we all have more than one mom on this planet who have taught us deep lessons about living. If you would like to support Erin and Kreed, visit their page, like it, follow it, send them something, help with their medical bills – whatever you would like to do. But at the very least, send good, supportive positive thoughts their way. They need them.

Kreed’s address: 2208 Valley View Drive Woodland Park, CO 80863

 

Update: Kreed is back up and on his feet this week, spending time in the hospital playground and at the piano! So happy to see this!

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The Caretakers

My dad had a stroke in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, and thankfully, as mom put it, I didn’t have to hop on a plane with an infant this time. It was still a series of trying, worrying days. Dad has recovered quite well, but is definitely requiring more care than before.

Poppy and The Boy

This time, I stepped up to make some phone calls and communicate with family. Invariably, it was a woman on the other end of the phone, as we are caretakers by nature. But for each generation, for each branch of a family, it tends to fall on one person’s shoulders. I spoke to my cousin, and my aunt, and before them it would have been my Aunt Mickey, and my Great Aunt Rosie. There are those in whose arms the rest of us seek comfort and care.

I am already a caretaker, and have been since the minute my son was born. I became an even stronger one the day he was diagnosed with autism. I knew when I married a man 17 years my senior that someday I would be his caretaker, and being an only child, I know that I will be taking that role with both of my parents, as well. This is not being a martyr, this is not being a nurse – I’ve already warned all and sundry that I will not do diapers again. I’ve done my time. This is being a steward for the care of others when they are not very able to do it for themselves, and I take this transitioning role on with open arms, a full heart, and a laser-sharp mind, honed by many years already dealing with hospitals, therapists, and educators.

There’s no one more qualified, ready, and willing.

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Are you a caretaker? What insights and advice can you share in the comments?