I’m a mother of three, but I’m not one for sharing all my worries with anyone.
I’ve never experienced the anxiety of a child with autism or other developmental disabilities.
And, frankly, it would be hard to imagine that any of us could.
But what about those of us who don’t have children of our own?
I recently received an email from my doctor that included a link to an online survey I had completed.
The questions were innocuous, and the survey itself seemed harmless enough: “What is the most important thing you learned about your child as a child?
What do you wish you knew as a parent about your kids?”
My doctor wrote that my responses were confidential, and I had to answer honestly and openly.
This was the second time I had been subjected to the survey, which has been going on since 2010.
When I received the results, I was confused and overwhelmed.
I didn’t understand what was happening.
I felt like I was going to die.
How could I have such terrible information?
The answers were frightening.
Most of my questions were about things like the time I spent at the doctor’s office, the amount of time I spend watching movies and television, and how much time I used to spend in front of my computer.
When the survey ended, I asked my doctor to take me home.
The first thing he said was that my parents had told me the survey was about my children, and that they didn’t think my answers would affect their decision about me being a parent.
The other thing he told me was that I would be given a second chance if I was willing to give him a chance to see if he could change the way I felt about my own child.
I had asked my doctors to let me choose my next doctor, and now he told my doctor I was being taken to a different one.
But how could that be?
After all, I had taken the survey.
How did I possibly have a choice?
My doctor told me that the second chance I was getting would have to be based on the outcome of the first, because it was about whether or not I would have a healthy child.
It’s hard to understand what a doctor would want to hear when he has no idea what to do.
I was left to fend for myself.
I took the survey again, this time with the hope that I could have a different doctor.
My doctor said the survey would not be about me.
I asked for the survey results again, and he said he had already sent them to another doctor.
I finally had the chance to ask my doctor why he was doing what he was.
My questions were similar to those I had received last time.
I wanted to know why I had chosen to be a mother.
And the first thing I was told was that the survey didn’t have a question about my future.
So what is it about being a mother that I wanted?
My questions seemed innocuous, but they were very, very disturbing.
I knew that there was no way I would know if my answers were accurate or not.
What could I say to my parents, or the children I loved, to convince them that I was not a burden?
I couldn’t tell them I was a burden to them or my children.
And so, in my desperation, I emailed my doctor again.
He was very kind, and offered to look into my situation.
I thought that I had heard about his job as a doctor.
The response came quickly.
He sent me an email that explained what his job entailed and what it meant to him.
He also explained that he was going back to the doctors office to have his second interview with the parents and to give the parents a chance.
But that was all it took.
The next day, he sent me another email.
This time he was telling me that it was too late for me to go back to my first doctor.
He said he was sorry for the pain I was causing him.
And he assured me that he would try to get a second opinion.
I still had questions, but he seemed willing to listen.
I decided to call my doctor and tell him everything.
I told him I wanted my parents to know that I cared about my child.
And I also wanted to tell them that, because of my autism, I would not have to worry about my parents knowing.
After some explaining, he told the parents that he could give them the answers to the questions I had sent.
I called again.
I said I had no idea how to do this.
And then I called the parents, and told them about my situation, which was heartbreaking.
My mother, who has two children, said she wanted to see me because she wanted me to know she was not the only one with autism.
I also told them that if I didn- I really couldn’t give them any more information than they already knew.