StrugglesThe others

When strong is the only choice

I started following a family with an severe autistic boy who is also non-verbal to get a glimpse of how life is in the teenager phase. The father wrote when strong is the only choice you become strong. It is absolutely true!

Before JB’s diagnosis, when I hear other children having so and so medical problems, I use to think and say wow you are so strong. I still do, but I now understand when you are left with the only option and that is to be strong, you become strong.

I was left in tears when I read the father’s apologies to his other two children. Like them, my middle child has autism and he has an older and younger sibling. I often feel we are robbing their time when we are spending so much time caring for JB. It was nice looking at their family but at the same time I can’t help but to wonder will that be us 14 years down the road. Their struggles are even harder as you are now talking about a full size teenage with a lot of mighty strength.

Today we took JB for a dentist appointment and typically the husband takes him but today we all went. I witness a strong boy fighting very hard not get his teeth cleaned, my husband struggling holding JB down, the hygienist trying her best not to hurt JB with him moving around, me trying to comfort him and fanning him down as he was sweating while holding baby girl and baby girl getting scared with all that screaming and crying. I thought to myself, soon enough we will not be able to hold JB down like that. It was not fun watching him cry and struggle. It was not fun watching all the blood as he kept moving with a sharp tool in his mouth. The hygienist claimed he must have bitten himself but with all that moving it is inevitable with a tool in his mouth. It was not fun feeling helpless.

The future is unknown and yes it is scary. I will have to remind myself to take it one day at a time. For now, he is still little and as much of a struggle it is we are able to hold him down for a procedure like this. We will just have to worry about later later.

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