Stalen has a huge personality!!! He loves to be a trickster. He is very easy going (most days) and always smiling. He is pure sunshine! If he is upset there is usually a reason why.
He has a fighting spirit, a giant heart and big twinkling blue eyes. He is our hero! He rises to meet every challenge that comes his way!!
I am Chrystal, his proud Mama. When Stalen was 21 months old, we received his Autism diagnosis and we haven’t looked back since!
We have decided to share our journey with ASD to promote kindness, understanding, awareness and acceptance for all those living with autism and other special needs.
We like to focus on kindness, positivity and celebrating our differences. We share our triumphs and our struggles as we offer an honest glimpse into Stalen’s world.
He is also non-verbal. On Thursday, September 24 he had his very first surgery. He had his first surgery and had a cecostomy tube placed to help with his bowel challenges.
It was a very hard day for us! It was also challenging because of covid-19 protocols my husband couldn’t come in with us. (He’s amazing and waited in the parking lot of the hospital the whole time).
Stalen was very uncooperative and had to be sedated right away. It was so difficult when they took him off to the operating room. Then I had to wait for what seemed like forever. The waiting was excruciating for me.
Finally, they came to the waiting area and got me. As I followed them to where he was I could hear him long before I could see him. There is something traumatic about seeing your child come out of anesthesia for the first time.
He was so out of it, so scared, so anxious, yet so emotional. His movements were aggressive and showed his discomfort.
But, despite the pain he was wild-his emotions, his movements, his screams. He was thrashing around. Nurses were scurrying around him and one said, “he has an IV! Don’t let him pull it out”.
I stopped for a minute. I wasn’t sure what to do. I hadn’t thought or prepared myself for this aftermath. I wasn’t sure what to say, do or where to even stand. I felt sick watching this unravel and my own anxiety beneath my mask was taking my breath away.
Instinctively, I just kicked off my shoes and jumped into the bed with him. Inserting myself into the thick of it was the only way I knew to comfort him.
The nurses just watched me. Stalen started to calm down. Then one of them said to me, “I love you already. You did exactly what he needed and nothing else mattered. That’s how it should be”.
Those words were so powerful to me that day. They were exactly what I needed to hear. I was so vulnerable and lacking confidence in the midst of all that chaos. Not only did those words encourage me but they reassured me that I although I had no idea what I was doing, I knew Stalen best.
Those words were my peace.
It really is true that some kind words can change someone’s entire day! Those words were everything to me in that moment. I will never forget it.
This story was submitted to Positive Outlooks by Chrystal Venator. You can follow Stalen’s adventure on his Facebook page. If you wish to submit an essay (reflections on life), personal story (inspirational or humorous) or something that you witnessed that inspired you, please go HERE.