I got a copy of LB’s medical records at the end of last year. It’s a mixture of letters, reports, results and comments and is peculiar reading. The number of different diagnoses he had, over the years, is a bit of a surprise, and the earlier use of language is a bit shocking. The ‘Chinese whispers’ effect is also interesting; the story shifts with different professionals. That is a bit disappointing considering a major bugbear for most parents I know, is the constant repetition of the basic background details. I wonder at what point, in the doctor patient communication, those details go awry.
Anyway, I will make the medical records a project at some point, but for now, will just reflect on bits and pieces. So, today’s offering;
Ms XXXX described LB banging his head, lashing out, screaming and shouting in fairly classic style. She did observe that occasionally these outbursts appear to be precipitated by LB being anxious about a new situation or about a situation that he finds potentially stressful, for example, reversing the car. (22.6.97)
Reversing the car! Blimey, I’d forgotten about that little chestnut. We couldn’t reverse the car for a couple of years because it tipped LB into a pool of anguish and distress. Tantrums in a “fairly classic style” doesn’t really capture the emotional and physical distress these caused. Not just LB, but anyone else present. Avoiding tantrums was the aim of the game but was costly in different ways. You don’t realise how much you reverse a car, until you can’t reverse it. It added miles to journeys and busy car parks were a nightmare. It also added colour to those situations in which one driver has to reverse to allow another to pass. “Effing women drivers”, was a familiar chant.
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