Good news and bad news can be all about perspective and when it comes to a glass half-empty vs. half-full challenge, we could definitely swing either way about the news we got about Jack yesterday.
Jack, in case you don’t know, is my severely autistic 10-year-old son. He’s the inspiration for this website and everything I do to fight autism (plug: About Operation Jack). I like to write about what he goes through to spread autism awareness, so people know what autism is really like. It’s not just about quirky kids who are good on the piano. It’s innocent kids trapped with wrecked minds and bodies. When I slow down and just gaze at him, that’s what I think about.
He has severe mental issues, which are obvious if you ever observe him or try (and fail) to communicate. But I’d argue that the bigger part of what he goes through are the problems with his leaky gut. It seems like every meal causes him pain. My wife Tiffany has done a lot of data collection over the years and we’ve had a pretty good idea of what he can and can’t eat. But yesterday we finally got test results that confirmed what he can’t eat. It’s a fairly lengthy list:
- Red apples
- Egg whites
- Red grapes
- Red Peppers
- Green peppers
- White potatoes
On one hand, it’s tough to look at that list, because that’s a whole lot of things he can’t eat. It’s easy to feel sorry for him and all the things he’ll miss out on that we currently let him have. But this might be the map we need to finally right the ship. At one point, I texted Tiff about this and told her to try to focus on what he can eat, not what he can’t eat. At least we know.
And when we were putting him to bed last night, I told her that let’s say worst case, he never gets there mentally and never gets up to the level of high-functioning. Well, if we can at least feed him right and that takes away his pain, that would be a huge plus. One thing we hear people say a lot is, “well, as long as he’s happy … ” and there’s merit to that. I’m not still hanging on to the illusion that he can’t enjoy his life if he doesn’t marry a typical woman and have children. But he’s not at all happy when he’s in pain, which is every day.
He’ll always fight autism, so we’ll always fight autism. Hopefully this information helps us help him.
That’s all I have for today … have a great day![subscribe2]