Monster “A” verses Monster “B”…which would you choose?

One of the hardest internal conflicts for me to deal with as a mom is the dilemma of giving oral medication to my 2-year old son when he is sick.

What’s the big deal, you ask?

Well, let me explain it like this:  If you ever want to the “Cliff Notes” version of what it feels like to be a heartless monster (and not the cute, cuddly, Muppet type-of-monster), then I invite you to join me when I have to administer meds. for my son.  You’ll depart with full confidence that you can ace any Monster screening exam.

The reason for this is: My son is extremely sensitive to pain.  I’m talking EXTREMELY Sensitive!  His autism makes it hard for his 2-year old self to deal productively with it.  When he’s sick and/or in pain he can (and likely will) go into Full Meltdown mode.  He can’t focus on anything but the pain, including anything that will make him feel better.  It’s just PAIN, PAIN, PAIN!! …Which, leads to crying, screaming, and thrashing.  The pain overwhelms him. 🙁

Micah can’t be rationalized with (He is only 2, after all)!  And…from that moment on EVERYTHING upsets him.

If it’s a pain caused by something I can administer medicine for (i.e., teething, fever, cold, etc..) I am faced with the decision of whether to give him medicine or let him suffer in his meltdown, which could last all day…plus could get worse depending on what the cause is.

Why would I even consider not giving my child medicine if he needs it?

We’ll now introduce Player number Two into this story:  Meet Mr. Oral Sensitivity.

Micah’s oral sensitivity doesn’t just make him a picky eater, it means that other than Micah, NO ONE ELSE can give him ANYTHING by mouth (unless he approves), especially meds.   It bothers him traumatically, the same as for someone that suffers from a phobia.

We are trying to get him to administer his own medicines when they come in a chewable form, so that this process will go easier, but that isn’t so easy because like I said before, once the pain is so severe that that Micah needs medication, he has already shutdown to all thought and is just in a crying/wailing emotional-driven state.  Hopefully, as he gets older and develops more awareness to how things work (& maybe gets some OT to help him with dealing with  his sensitivity rages), then we can nip the pain-induced meltdown in the bud.

In the meantime, here’s how it goes:


To give Micah any oral meds, but especially for liquid ones, I must forcefully prop him up on the couch or lay him down on the floor, hold down his arms, and/or pin him down with my body over his to keep him from squirming.  (Yes, I HAVE to do this. My son may be only 2 years old, but he is a “BIG Boy” and is a minimum weight of 37lbs.  Plus, he is Very strong for his age.)  I hold his head still and apply the oral meds…sometimes by means of forcing the syringe of liquid into his mouth and squirting a little at a time.   While doing this, the WHOLE TIME, he screams, cries, and thrashes about trying to stop me.

(if you don’t already feel disgusted, then I suggest you might want some therapy yourself.)

When finished I feel emotionally dirty and ugly.  I hate myself for what I did even though I know the medicine will help Micah feel better.  I still feel like I’ve been hurting my baby.  It doesn’t help that most meds. take a little while to work, so immediately afterward Micah is still upset & hurting.  He doesn’t understand the connection between my administering him medicine and him feeling better from it.

He just thinks mommy was being cruel to him.  🙁

So…given this choice, what would you choose?

I look forward to the day when I don’t have to make this internal decision anymore…for now I just try to focus on the fact that I am helping him…even though he can’t see it yet.

I knew being a mommy would require making difficult choices that make you appear to be a “Mean Mom”, I just didn’t expect it to start this soon.

I know someday Micah will understand all this and know how much I love him, and do this because of that love…but there are moments when I wish that “someday” was today…if just for a few seconds.



Philippians 2:4

“Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.”

No Comments (yet)

Leave a Reply

Comments RSS Subscribe to the Comments RSS.
Trackback Leave a trackback from your site.
Trackback URL: