Diagnostic Tools

July 29, 2015

Robert doesn’t explain himself. He doesn’t tell what hurts.  Only once he asked for a doctor and pointed to his tongue stating that it hurt.  Rarely, he has high fever that would alert me to his altered state of well-being. But there are other signs.

1. The first sign telling me that Robert is not feeling well is the fact that he relinguishes his role of the guardian of his environment.  He is not walking all over the house checking what I have left in wrong places while I was cleaning. He ignores toothpaste  on the right side of the sink instead of the left side, or shaving cream on the wrong shelf of the cabinet. He doesn’t make sure that my phone and my car keys are in my purse. He leaves paper shopping bags in the middle of the kitchen instead of folding them and putting away. One might say that Robert’s obsessive compulsive behaviors is greatly reduced.  I say that he just cares less about the world around.

2. The second sign is the fact that he prefers to stay in bed instead of going for a walk or even to the movies. He always  likes to take naps, but when he has an opportunity to leave the house for a walk in the park, go to the restaurant or movies, he is up in a minute. When he is sick this is not the case.

“Robert, do you want to go to the movies or sleep a little longer?” I ask. Half sleeping he answers, “Sleep little longer. ” One hour later his response is the same, “Sleep little longer” . He doesn’t changes his mind two or three hours later.

3. Sometimes, he seems to have high fever.  But since he tends to sleep deep under his comforter and get very warm, that is not the best indicator of his condition.

4. Sometimes, he says that something hurts. Very often, he cannot name the part of his body his pain comes from. Unless it is easier. If it comes from his mouth, he would say, “Tongue hurts.” In the past, he sometimes screamed from the pain. I only suspected his stomach or his intestines. However, I  didn’t exclud headaches or asthma tightness.  I used to give him something for each at the same time. Ibuprofen for headache, Flovent and Albuterol for lungs, and Metamucil crackers with water for gases.

Robert hasn’t felt well since Sunday. I don’t know why.  Did the fresh paint in our stairwell increased his allergy symptoms resulting in constantly running nose and cough?  Was he attacked by viruses or bacteria?

He slept most of the Sunday.  On Monday, he woke up early ready to go to his Program.  He did.  But when he came back he was coughing more, he had difficulties swallowing.  On Tuesday, we went to the doctor.  The doctor stated that it was not strep and didn’t give him antibiotic.  I almost wish she did, as I would rather know what was happening and have a concrete response in place than deal with the vagueness of his symptoms.  I am still not sure if his symptoms are allergy related or caused by virus. I kept Robert home today, as he coughed a lot at night.  He seemed better during the day.  I hoped he would go to his Program tomorrow, but since he resumed coughing when he went to bed I am not sure he should go.

Meantime my throat begun to act out.  It is possible that this is stress.  But maybe not.

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