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Interpreting Beth

Many of you know Beth has high functioning autism. Some of you know Beth. A few of you are familiar with Beth’s low tolerance for discomfort of any kind, and the hypochondria that accompanies it.
More than once we’ve played the town’s folk as Beth cried wolf, only to find later the wolf was real – and caught up to her.

When she was a newborn/toddler her way too frequent complaints turned out to be urinary tract infections brought about my a birth defect requiring surgery – and removal of half a kidney.

As she got older, the constant stomach pains turned out to be something we’d later learn was a classic symptom of autism: she didn’t “go” when she needed to go. As a result, she became spectacularly backed up – surprising her doctor with her steel resolve in the face of pain.

It all played out so contradictory, I was completely lost when it came to Beth and illness.

Fast forward to this morning. No I take that back. Fast forward to this year. Beth’s been spending a fair bit of time curled up on the couch in pain. A few specialists gave us their answers, and their advice seemed to work… for a while. We’ve been keeping a closer eye on her diet and exercise. But we still occasionally have mornings like today – Beth impersonating a fetus on the couch.

Sometimes she makes a miraculous recovery and goes to school. Sometimes it doesn’t last and one of us makes the trip to her school to pick her up. Other times we go to the doctor for a quick check and a new piece of advice. Sometimes it’s behavioral advice. Sometimes it’s medical.

This morning Beth was on the couch again. We decided to take her to one of several doctors again.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “one more thing?”

Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for anxiety and depression.

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Give the gift of words.