In the matter of Me vs. Flying, the jury is still out. I used to fly a lot, and was used to the uncomfortable and claustrophobic conditions, the queues for the loo, those mid-flight instructions to do up your seatbelts with no cause for concern whilst you are thrown about in the seat, the interesting and varied meals (joke), and those (sigh) pilots. Things are now rather different; I havent the inclination to appreciate uniforms, and I have produced three children, for whom I am afraid, all the time, everywhere, and I now have to face my phobia.
am about to travel across the Atlantic and at present I cannot cope with
the fear. I cant take tablets for the air sickness or alcohol to
calm me, because (stop press) I am now 5 months pregnant (its a
girl, due March 2000). This is why were going now, and not next
year as originally planned, to avoid the horrors of half-hourly feeding/screaming/
So I am to brave the skies, and no, I am not informing the airline prior to going that Kalen is autistic, I dont want him to be refused on the mistaken assumption that he may be a danger to everyone else. I am more of a danger than he is! As a standby, I have Phenergan, and I may administer it, to help him sleep I just hope that Kalen doesnt eat the seats no, really. We went to Spain earlier this year (we drove, before you ask), and when Kalen ran out of baby wipes, plants and T-shirts to chew, he started on the foam cushion seats of the furniture, followed by the sun loungers around the pool. We rented a fenced and gated villa, and he was bored and unable to escape (although at one point he did make it to the roof but thought better of it). Also, we didnt take any videos so he couldnt ferment in front of the TV as he usually does. He raided every fridge, freezer, and cupboard in the place, and his brother Jared was forever calling out Mummy, Kalens eating the cushions/cheese spread/all the butter/the tomato sauce/Talias swim bands/the washing up liquid again.
are fortunate that Kalen enjoys travelling, new places and activities,
but food AARGH. He eats loads, all the foods he shouldnt
along with fast food, and toys and inanimate/
Youll notice that we have temporarily given up trying to be a gluten and casein free household. We are going to try it again, but I personally find that, when were away from home particularly abroad a McDonalds can save my sanity. I know this will send some of you into a frenzy, and there will be frothing and cursing, but please, your Honour, there are mitigating circumstances. On the way to Spain, there were horrendous traffic jams and we were stuck on the motorway in France for years. I had sandwiches from home, but believe me, they do not last two days in a car. What they resembled halfway into the journey does not bear printing on this page. The children were grizzly, hungry and whining but, whats this, salvation, that golden M in the distance panacea. How wonderful to step into the cool, familiar interior, let the children loose in the play area, and, oh happy day for a diabetic, be able to buy salad. (Why dont the UK franchises sell salad?) Try buying gluten and dairy-free foods in France or Spain not easy! NB must ask Mr Lewis from Lifestyles about that! Even though I knew that I wasnt doing them any good, at least the childrens tummies were full, which made for much happier travelling. When we arrived at our villa at 2 in the morning, the mountain 50 metres behind it was on fire and we had no electricity (cables melted) and no running water (used to put out the fire) for two days, so the big M came in handy again. I think the appropriate phrase here is, No Choice. If they did the special diet bit, we would be the happiest family on the planet. Anybody know a VIP-type person who works for M? (or BK or KFC, we dont mind!).
treat all my children the same, as normal whatever that is,
and they live in the modern world, amongst their peers. Before I had any
knowledge of food allergies or potential conditions induced by food, my
poor children were exposed to, and of course now crave, chicken nuggets,
fries, crisps, cheese spread, white bread and (especially) chocolate biscuits,
maltesers or smarties. They would sooner starve than eat muesli, and getting
vegetables into them is impossible. The occasional apple, yes, but nothing
else. Ive considered intravenous night feeding, but discarded the
idea. I need funky children orientated foods, that I wont feel guilty
or irresponsible feeding them, whilst at the same time appeasing their
desire for all things bad, unsuitable and just plain poisonous. Then I
can stop beating myself up about it.
What about money, how can I expect a cure when I have been told categorically that there isnt one? The acute and debilitating pain three years after Kalens diagnosis hasnt gone away. Kalen used to talk, count, play I have this on video but I cant watch it because I fall apart when I do. But listen to me, we now have each other! I dont want to go around hugging trees and communing with the fairies or anything (although Ill consider it if theres a chance it would help), but now we can share our pain and fears, and we may be able to make a difference for our children. I dont know them personally, but the Tommeys appear to have an unselfish mission, not just for the pursuit of treatment for their child, but for others too. The Autism File enables us to share information amongst each other to help us all help our children. I have learned a lot from the last magazine, and incidentally have spoken with Mr Lewis of Lifestyles who, thank you, has risen to the challenge and is striving to provide edible, interesting allowed foods that our kids want to eat. I am keen to try them properly on my return from the USA. Lets all look forward to the year 2000, and the good news for us parents that it will surely bring. Our children will get better. I wish you all a happy, secure, peaceful and fearless New Year.