‘Twas the night before today

The house is getting its first showing this morning, and I feel like a thirty-nine year old man going out on his first date.

We got an email from our realtor yesterday evening saying he’d received a query from another realtor, asking to show the house this morning at 9 a.m.

No problem, right? A nibble from someone this soon, in this market, is something.

Oh, did I mention it’s the middle of the night? Did I mention I’ve had a sinus headache for the better part of the last twenty-four hours? Did I mention Beth just got sick… all over her bed, the floor between her room and the bathroom….

I’m the third load into the all night laundrypallooza, and somehow I’m at peace. It might be the fatigue talking. I might not have any energy left to be anything but at peace.

I’m also a little proud of myself. I figured I was already a lost cause today, so I handled this one solo. The wife stayed in bed, asleep I hope. Three cheers for citizen John, hero of the household!

Hip-hip… oh forget it.

There’s an instinctual calm that comes over me when I’m faced with a sick child in the middle of the night. I don’t know why. Take the same circumstances, but with the Sun somewhere above, and any range of emotions is possible. But there’s something about the night that’s soothing, even when I know I’ll pay dearly later. It seems to have the opposite effect on the kids… and maybe that’s why I’m calmer… something in the DNA – an adaptive trait that made our branch of the evolutionary tree blossom. Calm. It’s what brings the kids down from the edge. Here’s another adaptive trait for the disciples of Darwin out there keeping score: the ability to breathe through your mouth, or more specifically: NOT breathing through your nose.

That may be the most important evolutionary hurdle of all for the strange creature known as: the new parent.

Well it’s late. I hope you won’t hold it against me if I skip the proof reading – or if this is unreadable.

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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.