White Dog came rushing in obviously in distress so I was already getting up to follow her when Michael carried Quinn in. He laid The Other White Dog at my feet and said, "You better check him out, he just fell down the stairs."
Immediately I started touching legs and probing my boy's body as I bombarded Michael with questions. "What stairs?" "Did you see it?" "What happened?" "I thought you were watching him." My questions overwhelmed Michael as my touch calmed Quinn.
There were no signs of broken bones. And no blood. TOWD bared his teeth at Michael and pressed closer to me. I continued feeling around and stroking.
"Don't get mad." Michael said first. And I realized that I am NOT suited to parent a special needs person because I wanted to get REAL mad and scream and shake him as he explained that Quinn had fallen down the basement stairs which are verboten and closed off from the kitchen by both a door and a safety gate. Both which had been left open for Michael's convenience since "Quinn had never been interested in the stairs before."
I started asking questions about how Quinn had fallen and if he had hit his head and how he was positioned when he landed. Michael, guessing mostly) thought he had belly surfed down and landed on his belly and that he had not gone head over tail or hit his head. Then he noticed that Quinn had voided himself during the trauma and Michael's jacket was soiled.
I checked Quinn's eyes to see if he was tracking and slowly rotated his neck. When my nephew started to get upset at Quinn for his loss of control, I froze him with a look and set him away to his room. (Not exactly understanding of the self-absorption that is part of autism, I know, but my focus was on my furry vulnerable boy). I called Steve and he rushed home so that we together could thoroughly examine, poke and prod our boy who was up and walking without difficulty (or any more than normal). There seemed to be no tenderness, for The Mighty Quinn did not wince or cry out. He ate his dinner with relish and kept it down.
We decided that a trip to the ER was not necessary but have been closely watching all evening for changes and have rechecked his body several times. Steve's theory is that because of TOWD's confusion that he went limp at the beginning of the fall instead of tensing up as someone aware of what was happening would; if so that might have saved our boy a broken leg or worse. Although he will be sore and bruised, we have decided to avoid pain meds if possible until we can talk to Dr. Julia in the morning. And unless he has a major manic seizure tonight (a distinct possibility considering the trauma), he will go forego these meds as well. Our concern is internal damage that we cannot see and which may be slow to build.
Michael is distraught that Quinn is mad at him and won't allow him close, but he does not understand that just because TOWD seems physically OK that our pup's trauma is not over. The idea that Quinn might take a while to get cozy again astounds him. And the rest of the White Dog Army has closed ranks around Quinn as well. All are rattled and poor Michael faces their warnings and negative reactions and censure.
I can guarantee that I will not sleep soundly tonight as I listen to make sure The Mighty One is safe...and I suspect that I will have plenty of company in my vigil.