Yet another failure in my record-breaking list of them. Instead of improving Alex’s sociability, it made him cranky, irritable and anti-social. So after 2 weeks of that, I dropped it and moved on. My next try was with Namenda. This is an Alzheimer’s drug which is a glutamate-antagonist. The research on it reports that the children have improved language, less stimming, global improvements. All I saw was a massive increase in the manic laughing/crying which is my personal Achilles heel: I can’t bear it.
So after 2 weeks of that disaster, I dropped it.
Then yesterday hit. Inauguration day. Here is the mental letter I wrote to President Obama while standing downstairs doing my 9th load of laundry:
“Dear President Obama,
While you were in your senior year at Columbia University, I was in my Freshman. We’re fellow Lions…and that’s where our paths diverged. While you were being sworn in as our new president today, I was picking (by hand) half-digested pea shells, mushrooms and chicken nuggets off my son’s vomit-ridden sheets and comforter. (Chunks like that don’t wash out in the laundry, you see – they’re too big. So I had to get them off somehow…)
My son is 14 and profoundly autistic. He has been horrifically sick for the past 13 years. I never had a chance to do what you’ve done. Autism took over my life.
While I was in the laundry room, picking, the door bell rang. It was the Federal Express man with a package that contained hookworms for my son. I am purposely inoculating him with intestinal parasites, in a desperate attempt to try to re-balance his immune system, which was horribly damaged in early infancy by the medical establishment. I have the mind of a scientist, Mr. Obama: I know that science doesn’t yet bear out this claim. But I have the heart and eyes of a mother, and I watched my son degenerate before my eyes.
That aside, the contrast in our days really struck me. I ran upstairs at 11:00, leaving the vomit for the moment, to spend an hour watching you be sworn in. Somehow, it meant more to me than any other president, perhaps because you’re my peer. Our common tie, in our Alma Mater, in the occasional drink we probably both had at The West End, or those pieces of V&T’s pizza we both ate, somehow make me feel a kinship with you. I watched you walk in, I watched your two beautiful, healthy daughters walk in…and I thought: “Please don’t disappoint me. I am asking you to help me. Help the other people like me. Please – do what’s right.”
Anyway, we made it through last night without any incidents. Alex seemed to be in a much better mood yesterday, after that vomit, so perhaps it cleansed him of something. The pea shells are gone…and it’s another new day. Maybe things will look up.
In spite of two more failures, I can’t stop trying. So today or tomorrow, when Alex gets home from school, 6 more hookworms are on their way in. That will bring him up to 30.