COVID-19 & Kids with Compromised Immune Systems

COVID-19

Reality

CoVID-19 (or the Coronovirus ) is here, whether we like it or not. I hear the echos of many people saying JUST WASH YOUR HANDS, NO BIG DEAL…… but for our family it kinda is. We hear it all the time “You guys are sick a lot……” Yep we know it. We clean and disinfect and clean some more. But our reality is we have someone within our home who has a compromised immune system and with that comes a lot of issues….

COVID-19 and our family.

Hello My Name is Mary and I have a son with ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder. And like most families with kids on the spectrum we live with A LOT of sickness. (And some families deal with weak bones)

That’s because our son with ASD picks up EVERYTHING. We wash hands, we disinfect, we use essential oils, we do vitamins, and supplements and we have a dishwasher. . And for the most part we as a family don’t catch the majority of what he gets. So when there is a major issue with something with the word contagious attached to it my ears perk up and I pay attention. COVID-19 is no different. Do we panic? NO but I now need to be aware and on guard.

When our not so little guy was first diagnosed 6 years ago he had some pretty interesting things that cued us into the fact that he might have ASD.

#1 HE LICKED E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G and E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E…No joke.

#2 He Had PICA- that means he would eat things that shouldn’t be eaten…Absolutely horrifying…and this took every mom trick I could think of…..(That clip from Mom’s Night Out- Sorry Mrs ________ you have called poison control too many times……Yep That was me!!) You can ave PICA without having ASD. it’s a form of anemia, but kids with autism can have it. Oh the stories I could tell! He hasn’t had PICA or licked anything weird in a LONG time, but in those moments I had no idea what was coming down the line. He was so much healthier that is until he got into school.

(There are a boat load of other symptoms but that is for another post entirely)

I Wish it was that easy.

I wish it was as easy as washing hands and disinfecting everything. Most people didn’t know the but we had to be super careful even clipping his nails. He was in Kindergarten and we clipped his nails. No breaks in the skin, not too close. To the normal parent it looked like a beautiful nail job but within a days time his finger was infected. it even baffled the Doctor.

He has had everything from strange viral infections, to skin infections,, psoriasis, and a very awful bout of athlete’s foot. He has become allergic to meds used to treat illnesses and had to be put on higher dosages or stronger meds. And even one time stripped his stomach lining to where he couldn’t eat anything an we had to start from a liquid diet, probiotics and then he grew stuff in his tummy that didn’t belong and that was a whole new set of OTC (over the counter) meds.

Today in New York State

Today here in New York State there are a bunch of really unhappy people and I get it it is a huge disruption to a lot of people’s lives. Our governor today shut down colleges as of Next week and they have become online school until this fall. I know this seems like an early reactionary move and it may be. But let’s be mindful of people who are on those campuses. Colleges are ready to head out on Spring break the end of this week. And there are big plans in the works for many students. Now I am not a promoter of these activities but in reality it’s a lot of people crammed into small areas and things spread like wildfire.

Now you may say Mary why do you care none of your kids are in college…..and for that you are right. My kids are not old enough to be at college however, everyweek my husband takes our youngest son to a college campus for therapy he doesn’t qualify for at his school.

Now that son could get germs and bring them home. He may not get a bad case of the COVD-19 but he has now shared this germs with the rest of our family including his older brother with the compromised immune system. He doesn’t seem to need to be around sneezing or coughing. He managed to pick up pneumonia this past summer while we were at camp. No one else was sick. He was around ZERO sick people….and then he shared it with me and I am super careful because as a person with Asthma getting the flu or pneumonia is dangerous.

(Let’s not get into the fact that my hubby is a pastor and visits and talks to people who are elderly, in the hospital and the like and I can cm into contact with pregnant women and babies where I volunteer). And of course we don’t go any of those places if we know we are sick.

So I gave you my take on our family but I have another question….

What should our response be as Christians?

Because you know the whole point of this blog is centered around our daily walk with Christ!!!

Response to the government officials? GRACE! They have to take am lot into consideration…..more than just how much it’s gonna be uncomfortable. They have to think ahead into scenarios that you and I might not even consider.

Here’s what the Bible has to say about this,

Romans 13:1-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

God’s in control.

And then how about our response to families in these situations? How about caring, instead of passing judgement. My circle of friends have all experienced their fait share of illnesses this year and after talking with the various school nurses we can all rest in the fact that it’s hasn’t been as bad as some of the things floating around. At one point in one of our son’s schools there were five different BUGS traveling from kid to kid.

How about a little bit of understanding and love. How about a fist bump and a “Keep it up mama” instead of the “sick again?” comment.

We don’t know the circumstances behind sick kids. I can tell you that we don’t go around broadcasting our son has a compromised immune system, just like I don’t tell every person we meet that he has autism. It’s not easy having kids with Special needs We already feel like the world is judging us (and some of them are). AND we don’t really need a lesson in hand-washing , disinfecting and so on. We need people to see beyond all that and know we are fighting something beyond illness.

So just in closing here are a few other things we don’t do- Just in case you think that we are oblivious……

  • we don’t use drinking fountains
  • we don’t use hand dryers
  • we don’t do large family trips to grocery stores or any store for that matter
  • we disinfect shopping carts
  • we don’t use shopping carts unless necessary

So as a person who is a caregiver I get it and I am appreciative. I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision and even though I may not understand everything that goes into that decision I can rest in the verse up above. And I CAN have a good attitude about it because I CHOOSE to have a god attitude about it.

And yes I am aware this could happen at a school age level and yes I can choose to have a good attitude then.

I want to challenge you that with 1 in 8 kids having ASD what can you do in your sphere of influence to encourage a mama who is doing everything in her power to keep her family healthy? Let me know how you plan to encourage her in the comments below AND THEN DO IT!

Blessings, Mary

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