It was a tiring morning around here.
I think Frankie is allergic to his contacts or the solution. I wish I had thought about that possibility before. He has been complaining that the contacts irritate his eyes and we have been accusing him of not adequately cleaning his hands or the contacts. That is possible of course. It is also possible that with his poor motor skills he is irritating his eyes when he puts them in, or that his eyes are just particularly sensitive and that he won't be able to tolerate any sort of contact at all.
In any case he announced mid-morning that he was going to put them in. He came up stairs crying in frustration, saying he couldn't put them in because his eyes would not stop watering. He sat on the sofa, wiping his eyes with his shirt and saying, "I'll just go blind! I can't get them in! My eyes won't stop watering and I can't put in the contacts! I'll go blind! I don't want to have a stupid piece of metal on my face and I can't wear stupid contacts!" (Put this on loop for a few minutes). At one point I put his hands up to his eyes like he was going to claw them out, but he didn't.
I tried Process' suggestion of mirroring, "You are upset that you're eyes are watering" but it felt so small and stupid in the face of his crying and yelling that I just waited for him to calm himself down. He finally did (some) and I told him it was his choice. He didn't have to wear the contacts or the glasses if he didn't want to. (Frankie's vision though not 20/20 is not terrible). He stomped off saying that he would give it one more chance but then he would just let himself go blind because he wasn't going to wear glasses. (I don't know why he thinks that not wearing glasses will make him "go blind" but it wasn't the time to address that).
A few minutes later he came back up almost screaming and clawing at his one eye. He said the contact was in, that it burned and he did wash it, he did! "AAAHHHGGG, I can't get it out! I can't! It burns! It feels like I have an eyelash in there! AAHHGGG" He ran into the bathroom and suddenly I was afraid that maybe he didn't have a contact in and was hurting himself, so I went to check. It was there, but he was too upset to cope so I called for (read: screamed) "ANDREW!" Andrew, who wears contacts, got it out of his eye for him while I kept my hand at the back of Frankie's head so that he wouldn't jerk back in reflex. (After he jerked the first time I told him I was going to do that and he nodded.)
For the next 20 minutes he continued to cry and yell about how horrible the contacts were and how he was just going to go blind.
Finally I remembered how when I wore contacts I was allergic to the first solution they gave me. I told that to Frankie, and the loop began to loose some of its intensity. He still kept getting up and pacing and complaining that his eye hurt and wouldn't stop watering. I finally suggested the audio book and he put on the headphones, collapsed on the sofa and has been quietly listening every since -- once again about two hours and counting.
It took a while for me to de-escalate myself. Though on the outside I had remained calm (except when I was yelling for Andrew), on the inside I was suffering from a major adrenaline rush. It was the first time that Frankie was so out of control that I was afraid he might hurt himself.
I guess the point though is that he didn't. And I suppose I shouldn't compare this to other moments of frustration because he was in genuine pain. Having something in your eye that makes it sting that you can't get out is difficult for anyone.
I'll call the optomotrist tomorrow.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
It was a tiring morning around here.