Tuesday, February 06, 2007

long, tough day

I should note that it started out as well as could be expected: I was tired and icky-feeling, the after-effects of my indulging the attack of the munchies that hit around 12:30AM. It's like I have some inflexible rule that insists that all junk food must be disposed of (as in: eaten) as soon as possible. How else to explain the amount of Doritos I ate last night, when I shouldn't have been eating anything at all. I had a food hangover this morning!

Got the kids off to school without incident, then did some errands with Mom, finding a nice bobble yarn on sale at Michael's for Mom's next knitting project, a little shrug for DD. Got home, put away the groceries, had a quick lunch and then it was off to school.

DH met me there -- I'm so glad he was able to come -- to hear the results of the testing recently done on DS1. Review, review, review: above average in many areas, noted certain areas of social difficulties. Recommendations? Mostly things we are doing anyway, have been doing for years. The shocker was the school's psychologist's declaration: He has Asperger's. Not, as we had known for years, Asperger's tendencies, no. She feels he's got the full-blown syndrome.

Of course this was something of a blow, even though all the staff assured us that DS1 is a great kid and doing very well. That's the thing, he really is doing well, and this year especially seems to have cleared some major hurdle in socialization on top of being able to handle all of his other responsibilities. I wasn't worried before I went in there. I was feeling confident. Now I'm wondering if had any business feeling confident, but I'm not going to second-guess myself here. I'm looking at my son and what he is capable of, and what his mood is, and how much he achieves, and I know that he does not meet many of the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

On the other hand, I know that he does meet some of them. Reading through various articles, so many times the "yes, that's him" recognition bell rang -- but at the same time, the realization that his symptoms are very mild, and that the problems most AS kids have, he does not have...

Still, our plan is to have him thoroughly tested by an independent doctor to get a diagnosis we can trust, and then figure out where to go from there. DH and I had been talking about physical therapy for his gait problems. (He walks with a pronounced limp these days, but always insists "It's just the way I walk!") It turns out that an odd gait is a hallmark of AS. Who knew? An official, on-the-record diagnosis will have both good and bad effects (I don't want my kid labeled!), but it's important to have it done, regardless.

After leaving the school, I went to see my new endo, who was fine but a bit hurried and harried. She did a great exam and has me going for fasting bloodwork asap, then I'm back to her office for an ultrasound at the end of February. I'm nervous about getting back into the cancer routine again. I don't want to be, but I don't seem to be able to help it. I should console myself with my slight pudginess; whenever I've had cancer, I've been quite skinny. Is that a reliable indicator?

On the way home, I got stuck in traffic on the 101, what a nightmare -- and also in a difficult cell call to DH, who expressed regret that we hadn't a diagnosis for DS1 sooner. That bothered me because I feel as if from the time he was about a year and a half old I have been trying to figure this kid out and find ways to help him navigate our world -- he is in our world, but not of it, it seems -- and many is the time when I've tried to get DH to read an article or consider a new technique for dealing with certain situations only to get rebuffed with a dismissive comment about "pop psychology bs" or something like that. In a word, the conversation re-opened a lot of old wounds.

But, and this was pretty major, instead of both of us getting all pissy and hanging up, I said something on the order of, "This is not the conversation I wanted to have," and he replied, "Neither did I," and we both stepped away from the past and looked to the future and all of sudden, it was OK.

Then I got home and found out that DD had accidentally locked Cooper in her bedroom this morning, and he'd used various parts of her room as a litter box. Poor kitty! Also, poor me, having to scrub cat poop off stuffed animals before washing them in hot water with triple-strength solutions of OxyClean. Not forgetting, either, the bedding, including the comforter and mattress pad... and of course I'd just put clean sheets on last Friday. Ah, well.

After handling all that, I decided to clean up DD's room so it's not a kitten-hazard, so she can leave her door open when she's not home. This is the second time a kitten has been trapped in there, leaving me with nasty-smelling laundry. Who needs it? The effort was 95% me and 5% DD, but the room looks great now and I don't believe there's anything out that a kitten could strangle itself on. I hope.

I'm exhausted. At least House was decent this week. Not great, but not the mess that last week's episode was. Tomorrow will be better.

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