I'm still not dealing with it well. I have no idea what is wrong with me. For every diagnosis Cal's received I seem to go through a type of grieving...there's the shock, being mad, denial, sadness, etc. I've been shocked. I've been mad. I've been really, really sad. And here I sit stuck in denial. I'm working on. Trust me, I am.
One day I found myself on the phone with Cal's nurse. I kept trying to get her to tell me that he doesn't have Autism. The poor dear had to basically, very bluntly say "no, he does have autism." The next day I was on the phone talking with his doctor, trying to convince her I must have someone said something incorrect...surely he doesn't have Autism. A little more reality slapped me when she told me it had nothing to do with what I told her but rather her interactions with him. Oi. After that I was telling Nick, "he doesn't have it, does he?" By this point Nick's getting a little sick of me not being able to come to grips with the fact that our son has Autism.
I'm working on it. And every day, a little more, it's all starting to set in.
Here's where we are on everything...
Tonight we told Nick's parents. As mentioned before they have a tendency to always say "oh he does not" when you tell them he has something. Nick's mom likes to tell me "he's a boy"...trust me, I know, changed those diapers...he's got boy parts. :) But tonight they didn't say that. Which is good because i would have gone all Ninja Squirrel on them probably if something like that had been said. God knew that I needed them to be okay. Nick's dad even started asking questions which meant a lot to me...he wants to know more about this.
Cal is going into therapy. Well, even more therapy. He's been in speech therapy for what seems like since the dawn of time, but we are now adding occupational therapy. Cal was put on an 8-month waiting period. It has felt like forever hanging over our heads (he was put on the waiting list in December). Two days after Cal's diagnosis we got a call from the therapy team that Cal's doctor called them and he's been bumped up on the list. Praise the Lord!!! I couldn't imagine waiting 5 more months for a phone call.
Our coffee table now has 4 Autism books opened on it. Nick and I spend every spare moment we have delving in and tag-teaming each other with books. "Hey read this part", "hey listen to this..." are what we utter to one another. It's like living a romance book here, ladies :) But in a way it is. I've never seen my husband be so pro-active about Cal. He takes care of the waiver sign-ups and waiting lists and insurance thins. He's awesome like that. And he's reading. Books! I was losing faith the man knew how to still read :). But I love that about him. He's inspiring me to be better.
Cal's behavior for those of you who have been asking or wondering seems to be about the same. When we took him to the doctor it was because he was melting down pretty much all day, every day. About every little thing. I guess there has been some improvement in that on some days we seem to have a good day until one thing, BAM, sets everything askew. Other days from the morning it is, well, a living hell. Screaming, crying, kicking, hitting, huge outbreaks about everything, until all of a sudden we have a little break. And still on some days we have it's just all day, every day. No end in sight. Everything is wrong. All days, every day. Those are horrible days.
When Cal has an outbreak he has abnormal strength. Our doctor told us this was normal. This weekend was an example of that. On our way home from dinner at Nick's mom and dad's Cal wanted to roll the window up and down. Nick locked the window because 1) it's annoying to have the window go up and down, and 2) it was freezing outside! Well, Cal flipped of course. Which we can handle, we're used to this as he doesnt' do well in the car a lot of times. Screaming, saying the same thing over and over and over and over and...understand? Well he then got mad and ripped off the arm rest thingy with the lock/unlock and window buttons on it, he ripped it off the door. Seriously, how can a kid have the strength to do that? Maybe he doesn't have Autism, maybe he's turning into the Hulk...oh wait, nope, just that denial creeping in again...continuing on...
Nick said this to me long before our diagnosis, but when we knew Cal was "quirky": there is nothing wrong with our son if we find a way to love how those things make him who he is."
I've been thinking of that a lot lately.
I don't want to fix my son. I want to help my son.
My son needs to be happy.
My son needs to be healthy.
My son needs to know that he is loved.
So somehow I need to muddle through all of this mind-numbing insurance business, and therapist hunting down, and grieving, and simply understand that Cal is what matters and his happiness. That is all. That is what this is all for.