Monday, November 29, 2010

Chris Treats an Asperger Adult

Chris is one with the philosophy, "Leave work at work." When he arrives home from work, I try to engage him in conversation about his day. Usually my inquiries are greeted by perfunctory, abbreviated responses. I've learned over the years, he's not being unkind. He just prefers not to rehash all the frustrations and anguish he's experienced throughout his shift.

Tonight, Chris volunteered information about a patient (no names, in compliance with HIPAA!). He treated a young adult with aspergers. He said she started college, but had to drop out of school. Now, she works in a cafeteria. He recounted her social awkwardness, lack of eye contact, and extreme anxieties. As Chris talked about her, his eyes started to swell. Chris, the one who can stoically inform a patient he or she has terminal cancer or tell a mother her child has passed away, teared up with this patient. The thing is, Chris saw all the complications and anxieties this women was experiencing in her adult life, and he got scared. He was anxious about what our son's life could look like in a decade.

Chris's reactions melted my heart, and I teared up too. The truth is, Caleb's been doing really well lately. I'm fine living in the present, but imagining his future fills me with anxiety and trepidation. I try to remember the Bible verse, "Do not worry about tomorrow." Easier said than done most days, but we're taking it one day at a time.

(Sorry I totally forgot to take pictures today, just text!)

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