I have had more than one person comment of late about my lack of presence in the blogging world recently. (Thanks for noticing, by the way! It’s sort of nice and more than a bit humbling to actually be told you’re missed!). It’s not been for lack of thought streaming through my head at all hours that has kept me a bit sleep deprived – but provided prime blogging time – over the last several weeks. That certainly hasn’t changed! But I’ve actually been filling that time with work. You see, by day (and sometimes night) I work for a great company that provides services to the insurance industry. And in case you hadn’t heard, there was a little hurricane that brought havoc to most of the eastern seaboard the last weekend of August.
So … My prime blogging time has been a little occupied with some related work “stuff.” I know there will be similar events in the future, so please know that if I’m MIA for a bit … just check the weather and know it might be a bit before I can get back to writing for me! Fortunately, I work with some amazing people doing great work … which makes it so much easier to weather the storms. (Yes – that was pun intended. Never said I was good at those!)
In any event, I talked about what led us to Zach’s diagnosis. And although Sam was born just around the same time, our next exposure to the spectrum world was chronologically with Ben.
Now Ben has never had any of the “traditional” spectrum symptoms or characteristics. But shortly after the start of his second semester in eighth grade, he started experiencing an awful lot of stomach troubles. At first – well, for quite a long time, really, thought he was using stomach aches to get out of doing things he didn’t want to do … wrestling practice, band performances, school events … I was convinced he knew that a simple “Mom, my stomach hurts” would send me into sweaty palm panic mode (the whole puking phobia manifesting) and get him out of almost anything. I actually started getting angry with him because it was happening so much and I was at least semi-convinced it was all a ploy. It was crazy that this kid, who’d never been sick much in his life, was suddenly having so many problems. Nothing else made sense. It wasn’t until recently that I realized his stomach problems surfaced not long after he received his most recent state mandated Tdap, meningococcal, and DTP (his sixth) vaccines.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of pediatric gastroenterologist is about on par with doctors treating autsim, and we were unable to get him in to see one until just before school started again in August. Just two days before classes started, he underwent an endoscopy, which revealed a horribly inflamed esophagus and several ulcers in his stomach. He ultimately was diagnosed with eosinophlic esophagitis (“EE”), exacerbated by environmental allergies. (And, yes, I totally felt like Mother of the Year for thinking he was milking it all!) Little did we know at the time (but have learned in the last nine months) that allergies and EE in particular are among the realm of autoimmune disorders that accompany ADHD, asthma, and autism as the “4 As” in the spectrum world.
Ben began an intensive regimen of treatment for the EE and, although he has to be cautious of what he eats, he has it under control. There’s still a lot he’ll have to be aware of and watch for as he gets older, but just like Zach and Sam, he doesn’t let it slow him down.
And in the midst of addressing Ben’s stomach issues, we delved headfirst into Sam’s journey, but didn’t even realize where we were headed at first. Stay tuned for that next part of the story…