Well, I did it.
Yesterday morning, I gulped a lungful of air and dialed the Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE). A fellow named Max smoothly answered the phone. I blurted out my story in a disjointed stream of consciousness monologue.
When I took a deep breath to continue, he rolled out his rhetoric. He efficiently listed the services AANE provides and mentioned the importance of membership. He took a breath and stated that, although he was not a clinician, his opinion was that if I have a father and son diagnosed along the spectrum and if I strongly suspect that I am on the spectrum, then I probably am. Oh, and if I obtain a membership ($50), I can get a referral. He was as rehearsed as I was incoherent.
So, we took a third breath together, and he outlined the details of obtaining a state-recognized diagnosis. I wasn’t able to process the mass of information he gave me, but I was grateful for his patience and imperturbable delivery. I explained how I joined AANE recently and asked for a clinician referral. He told me he would give me “the benefit of the doubt” about the membership and gave me a name, and number.
After I sent him my membership receipt (I’m courteous and a stickler for rules) he wrote a nice little note and informed me of an upcoming meeting for local Asperger’s Women. How sweet.
With clinician name in hand, I compulsively spazzed around on Google for about an hour, researching my referred physician. Specifically, I wanted a picture. I wanted to see the person I would share my grand revelations with. That, and I was horrified by the possibility of a too-young doctor with a red rubber “Asperger’s” stamp in his hand.
I relaxed for a while and cleaned up the house before calling mom. I took another deep breath and spilled my story to her with as much clarity as possible. I surprised and concerned her. As we talked, I found mom becoming uncharacteristically sidetracked throughout the conversation. Formerly, I would have been offended. Instead, I realized she was agitated by my confessions.
I rambled on for about an hour and a half straight while picking up the house and cooking. I spent the balance of the afternoon composing my magnum opus “I think I have Asperger’s” dissertation. At 3:10 pm, I shifted to obsessing over the colors of my blogger account.
Liev and I had a blast in the afternoon and everything went smoothly until the scheduled meltdown and timeout (him, not me!). Dinner was fixed for papa, Liev ate well, and the evening was jovial overall.
At 7:53, right as Liev was winding down for sleep, Dr. T. called. I picked up the phone as if it was smoldering. Seized by anxiety, I suddenly could not recall the message I had left on his machine. What on earth I was thinking, calling some other person for help!
He was the nicest guy. It was as if he was sitting in the room with me and eating popcorn. I stumbled a bit but he was smooth and reassuring. “To help you know where I’m coming from—do you know T. B.? I’m her husband.” I could have wept! Such sweet relief! Dr. B. rocks to the 10,000th degree. She has helped me so much with Liev. Her books are genius. He could not have comforted me more if he had manifested himself outside my window with angels, trumpets, and soft white light.
He continued, “This visit is for you. If you’d like to come in and talk about it, we can.” Maybe those weren’t his exact words, but the subtext behind them was warm and genuine. The angels switched to saxophones and I made an appointment for Wednesday.