Susan's Blog

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Sometimes it takes a lot of trips on the merry-go-round before you grab the brass ring. What’s more, sometimes brass rings are made, not found.

We had been through four pediatricians before finding Susan Reuter. I always liked her openness to my ideas and my discoveries about autism, and I have cherished the way she would admit when I was the expert, and she was not. She’s been our doctor now for 11 years. We kind of grew up together, a mother and a pediatrician learning as we went (she is only one year younger than me and even went to the same school as Ned and me). We had a true partnership in taking care of my kids’ health. And while sometimes deep down I have wished for that one professional who really knew it all, who could tell me what really to expect, who could tell me the best path, and what else I should, really, be doing, I know that such expertise does not actually exist and if someone tried to be that for me, I would probably think they were arrogant, know-it-all pricks.

I visited Susan today, to get the guardianship process started. (After Susan, we have to get a psychologist and a licensed social worker — not one of those imposter social workers that we run into day after day — to sign off on the report.)

Sitting there with her, I began pulling out the forms from my crisp little “Nat 688” folder, as if I were Ms. Together Mother Extraordinaire. Suddenly I started coughing and sputtering like Krakatoa. It felt like my throat was just closing right up, the fingers of God pressing in, and my freshly made-up eyes began watering like Niagara Falls. It was an anaphylactic-geographic nightmare.

Good old Dr. Reuter immediately grasped both the seriousness and the humor in the situation. She rushed outside and got me water, tissues, and even an inhaler. I said, “Yeah, I have one of those, but…”

And she finished my sentence, “It’s expired.”

Eyes a-flooding, chest heaving, I merely nodded. Then, as if that weren’t enough, I burst out in a sweat. “Got anything for hot flashes?”
“But you’re only 21!” She said. We laughed, but then I was coughing again.

* * *

“You know, this is real noxious stuff,” she said, looking at the forms, after I’d recovered a little.
“Yes, I’ve been a mess over it, ” I said, wiping my nose and filling my coat pocket with crumpled tissues.
“That you guys have to go through this, considering the awesome parents that you are!” she murmured. “I’ll take care of it; you have enough on your plate.”
“So — ” I said, wanting to cry, lie down on the rug and sleep, or else just hug her, “Can he keep seeing you even though he’s eighteen?”
“We even have someone who’s 28,” she said. “Some people, you can’t just go by age.” I liked the matter-of-fact way she said that. Nat was her patient and that was that.

Forget the brass ring; I felt like I’d struck gold.


GOLD, absolutely. lucky family :o)

— added by Suzanne on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Jared’s doctor e-mailed me back and confirmed that many of his patients have a problem with seasonal and time change. Yea – confirmation!! Hooty hoo!

Then we met with Jared’s teachers, principal and the head of special ed for our parish (that’s a county everywhere else in the country). Anyhoo, they suggested bringing in autism professionals, they acknowledged that adding another child to the shobox sized room might ramp up a students anxiety, they acknowledged and agreed that other staff at the school needed to be briefed on some basics about autism. What was the absolute best was this meeting restored my faith that these people truly care about Jared, and that means a whole lot to me.

My husband is going to accompany Jared to class for the next few days to share some of his insights, and hopefully get Jared back in the swing. I’m not naive enough to think we’re golden, but at least we didn’t face defensive obstinance.

Once again, hooty hoo!!

— added by Lisa on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Oohhh. I loved this post.

— added by autismville on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 8:30 pm

Ooh, wish you could clone this doc and send her south to me!

— added by Niksmom on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:17 pm

Love the good news post!

— added by Someone Said on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 7:39 am

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