I recently read an article that compared the stress a combat soldier experiences to the stress of a parent of an autistic child. In no way are the two situations or experiences the same, the study compared the stress levels and the effects on the body.
We are stressed. I know I am complaining, but this was not a fun summer. Therapy, illnesses, sleep deprivation, moving and no break from our routine. Our life is not so bad, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but sometimes the stress of a special needs child gets to me. I have a lot of support, and get a lot of support but still, it is overwhelming.
My husband and I rarely get sick, but we’ve been sick twice in the past month. I had bronchitis and he was sick over a week with a bad chest cold. He gets no sleep due to Ava’s night wakings and he has to go to work in the morning. He works late hours. We don’t get any time together.
I am exhausted – taking care of Ava, cooking, cleaning and scheduling. I sometimes have no time to go to the bathroom. I forget to brush my teeth. What is most disturbing – my hair is falling out. There is a huge clump of hair in my shower drain every morning. I don’t touch my hair to style it because I will end up in my hands. I take vitamins, when I remember, but I know stress makes my hair fall out.
Life is all about balance. Right now, we have no balance. It is all work, therapy and duties. Poor Ava barely gets time to play – and Mommy and Daddy do not have any time to relax. Once she is in school, in January, things should get better I suppose.
But nothing can take away the worry. What is going to happen to my child? Will she ever talk? Will she ever be able to go to the toilet? Will she ever be able to take care of herself? I am working day and night to point her in that direction, but still there are no guarantees, no crystal ball. If only something would take the worry away — give me security that everything will be OK with my sweet girl.