There are things that are going to be hard regardless of autism in our lives.

Today, it was a blood draw for a couple of genetic screenings.

There is nothing that can prepare you for these types of things. You know you are doing what is right for your child and yet everything in you is screaming “TAKE YOUR CHILD AND RUN!” even as you sit there, holding them still through something that obviously pains them.

I hate it.

He does not have the words to say he’s hurt or scared. His crystal expression, his anguished cries, all of it is eloquent enough. I can’t explain any of it to him. I can’t walk him through the bit by bit of what’s about to happen, how well he’s doing when it happens, and encourage him to realize how fast he’ll be okay again when it is all done.

This does not stop me. Even as I cry along with him, I whisper in his hear how good he’s doing and how strong and good he is. I whisper how it will all be done soon, how he’s such a brave and sweet boy and how sorry I am he has to do this.

And he wails. Tears stream down his cheeks and he cries, desperate for escape and peace. He hyperventilates and almost vomits. He can’t control his reactions and I cannot blame him for it. I am overwhelmed too.

But he did it. He got through it. It’s done, for now, and hopefully for a long while.

Blood draws, EEGs, sleep studies, physical examinations… The cost of his diagnosis is not one measured effectively by looking at bank statements and hospital bills. It is best judged by the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll. It is brutal that getting him appropriate physical care is painful and terrifying to him. It’s a trauma, no matter how minor, to bring him to the doctor and put him through the visits and it’s a trauma that is not just to him but to myself, but I have to remain strong. I have to do it. I have to hold his hand and see him through it.

But my heart hurts.

He’s my son; he’s my sweet and darling baby boy. It is my duty to protect and nurture him but I won’t deny the pain I am filled with when doing right tears me to pieces inside.

We have one more medical visit this month, May 17th, and we’ll know then how we are proceeding in regards to his tonsils. This might all get significantly harder before it gets better. I just have to buck up and get through this and learn not to cry in front of the medical professionals who think I am insane when I end up crying right alongside my wailing child.