So, Derek has an ear infection. He gave me lots of clues yesterday, but I missed most of them.
1. At swim lessons he screamed louder and more often than usual.
2. After swim lessons he put his left ear on the carpet and rubbed his head back and forth. (I thought maybe he had water in his ear?)
3. He said "itchy" a lot.
4. He tugged on his ear.
5. FINALLY, he stuck his finger IN his ear and said "owie." (Then, idiot that I am, I finally realized he probably had an ear infection.)
Next Friday (the 27th) Derek is supposed to have oral surgery. So I knew I had to get my son to the doctor asap, and get it taken care of so he'd be cleared for surgery at his pre-op physical.
The doctor appointment went ok. Derek actually let the nurse weigh him for the first time ever (he weighs 40 lbs!!) and we got through the examination with a minimal amount of crying/screaming. (It helped that there was a picture of a really old train on the wall. Derek was enthralled.)
We did just fine until we got to the pharmacy. By then, Derek was tired and his ear must have really been bothering him. We had to wait to get the prescription filled. And when I went to pay for the ear drops, the cashier told me the total. "That's $146.18." Say what? We don't have prescription coverage on our insurance. I asked if there was a generic brand or any other kind of ear drops we could get. Nope. And it's not like I could just call the doctor and ask him to write me a prescription for something cheaper. So I sighed and handed the cashier my credit card.
Guess what happened? The paper got jammed. The receipt would not print. While the cashier tried to fix the problem, Derek went beserk. He started spinning in circles and flapping his hands and screeching. He started pulling candy off the shelves. He started spinning a display of magnets (just because it SPUN!) and magnets started falling off the shelves.
I did everything in my power to calm him down. I gave him candy. I tried to get him to sit down. I tried to hold him. And by then, there was a line of 6 people behind us. I told the cashier, "I don't need my receipt." But, of course, I had to SIGN the receipt since I paid with credit card. And I didn't have enough cash to pay $146.18. So I was stuck. I couldn't leave. And I wasn't about to leave without the dang ear drops.
Normally, at this point in a meltdown, when people are staring at me and Derek, I tend to tell people, calmly and politely, something like "My son has autism. He also has an ear infection. Please excuse his behavior--waiting is hard for him."
But yesterday I did nothing of the sort. I let my son have his meltdown. I said nothing. I did nothing. Because honestly? I had to pay $146 for ear drops--and I wanted to throw a fit too.