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When Your House Burning Down Isn’t So Bad

October 23, 2015

(I wrote this on my FB page three days ago.)

If this is nuts, just tell me.

A lovely lady and single mom who happens to be a former grade school classmate of mine posted shocking news yesterday on her Facebook page: her house with her entire family (4 kids) was on fire. She was several thousand miles away on a business trip. Frantic, she proceeded to fly home as quickly as she could.

Luckily, the local volunteer fire department in her town acted fast. All her children were rescued uninjured. However, her home (of only a few months) was gutted–a total loss.

Most of you know how difficult it was here at our house during the last few days. Alex has been exceedingly self-injurious. Most alarming were his bouts of aggression toward others–everyone. Kat, Drew, Merrows, even my dear old
sweet mom got kicked, punched, head-butted or scratched by Alex.

All likely associated with a med change intended to quell his recent propensity to falling asleep in the middle of the day. That, it did, by the way.

But the aggression and uncontrollability was over the top. All this rage manifested itself over the weekend when I was away on a three day trip getting food poisoning from some dubious ceviche in Panama City.

Kat was left to deal as best she could after picking him up at school yesterday. A bus ride wasn’t going to be possible.

So today Alex stayed home.

Kat and I planned on taking him to his primary care physician and his psychiatrist–both appointments squeezed in during phone calls I placed in as flat, relaxed tones as I could muster. It wasn’t an emergency what he was going through, but it was acute. We needed help.

I shepherded Alex and Merrows to both appointments alone. Kat had long before made plans that couldn’t be broken. Besides, I’ve taken Alex to the doctors office dozens of times by myself.

I had not, however, taken him to two separate offices in one afternoon. But I had to today. I even brought my travel Pepto-Bismol with, queasiness be damned.

To make a long story only slightly less long, Alex proceeded to have a head-banging, fist-throwing High Speed Come Apart (tantrum) in the middle of both doctors waiting rooms. The second was even more fun as I got to strap his protective helmet on his head when his willful thrashing looked hard enough to crack his skull into the floor.

Trust me when I say, there are few depths of despair in one’s life deeper than when you see your child tortured and writhing in discomfort–of his own doing, natch. And other than literally using your own hands/arms/legs/chest to try to soften the impact, there is little you can do.

With relief, his appointments determined a few things only guessable yesterday. 1. He has no physical ailments or maladies 2. His decrease in medicine was reversed and changed. We shall see tomorrow if he reacts in a favorable way.

Tonight, after Alex fell asleep and after our Cubbies dropped another, I laid my weary head down and pondered the day.

I can say this. It’s over. We are all alive. And mañana, a new day. A fresh start. For me, Kat, Alex, the Cubs, all of us.

Even my old classmate Anne, her home destroyed, gets an equal stab at what the new day offers. (We are thinking about you, Anne.)

But after the day I just had today, I would have rather my house burned down. Then again, maybe I’m nuts.


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