Monday, February 27, 2012

The “Aha!” Moment

My husband lacks social skills, empathy and social discernment. He prides himself on his ‘honesty’. How many times have I tried to ‘shush’ him just to have him say “But it’s true!” Living with Asperger's Syndrome has been described as being born on the wrong planet. That explains my husband’s social awareness (or lack thereof) perfectly!
Before our marriage, and long before Steve was diagnosed, I had insisted that we go to couples counseling. There had been times after ‘heart to heart’ talks that I was left feeling as if Steve were holding something back about his life. We met with a counselor but nothing specific came to light. Once married, I still had a nagging feeling that all was not right. As the years rolled by and I watched Steve struggle with waves of depression I even began to suspect some type of early abuse.
Living with a person really does accentuate habits. My husband is very set in his ways. He hates change of any kind. He’s mildly dyslexic and extremely directionally challenged. He wants ‘absolute’ rules for every situation, black and white rules that apply to everything and follow by everyone at all times. Unfortunately for him, life doesn’t work that way. Especially when raising kids.
Ten years and several  counselors later, I asked my husband to go to our family doctor for a full physical. After the checkup the doctor said that he’d like Steve to check in with another specialist. He also wanted to put Steve on some anti-depressants. This was the first time my husband had ever been prescribed medication to be taken on a daily basis. The doctor also had some vitamins and supplements for him to take.
Steve’s visit with the ‘specialist’ occurred with little fanfare. That doctor called me at my office during Steve’s visit with him. He asked me a few questions about Steve’s behaviors, and for any information I might have about Steve’s childhood. Our talk was brief. I heard no more about it.
Three more years went by before I would find out that Steve had Aspergers. I had read an article about people who were unexpectedly hospitalized and died after having drug reactions because medications the person was on hadn’t been disclosed. I asked Steve to tape a list of his daily medications and supplements to the inside of his cabinet in the bathroom. I would do the same.
I was surprised how long his list was long. When asked why so many, he said that the doctors thought he had Aspergers. I was astounded. Then he reminded me of the doctors’ visits from years before. Why hadn’t he told me? Apparently he didn’t believe them, even though he took everything they prescribed. Once I started studying up on Aspergers, the light clicked on and I realized that the diagnosis was true. Everything fit. It all made sense.
Life would not be dull!

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