Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Louder than Words

So I just recently read Jenny McCarthy's book "Louder than Words," which covers Jenny's battle with her son's epilepsy and autism.

Honestly, I was pretty blown away by how personal the book was, and what she had to endure.

It was difficult to read, because I found myself reliving moments like my son's diagnosis. When her son was finally diagnosed, Jenny said she couldn't remember anything else the doctor asked or said during that visit.

Yeah, I couldn't either.

In fact, I had to go straight to work that afternoon. Like Jenny, I was the family breadwinner -- and I still am. I was a retail manager back then, and to be honest, I was pretty darn good at my job. But about a week later, I found out that a secret shopper had visited that very night, and I'd failed the shop.

I'd never failed a secret shop in my entire retail career.

Of course I had a message from the district manager asking me why I failed that night. I left her a message back that said, "Well, to be honest I thought I did a pretty good job that night and I can't think of anything I did differently. However, my son was just diagnosed with autism, so that might have had something to do with it." And then I hung up.

I just didn't know what else to say. It was hard to even say it.

I think Jenny is a great mom and I think the book is a great starting point for parents who have just learned about their child's autism and who don't know where else to go. She goes through a little bit about gluten free casein free diets, and yeast issues. But most importantly, she made me feel like I wasn't alone, and it's funny how I still feel that way a lot of the time. She mentioned how she felt like there was no way she could go on playdates with other kids and moms -- yeah, I've been there too. You just feel so isolated.

I think SCD can also make you feel isolated at times -- you've removed yourself from the big swimming pool of food that makes up daily life in the United States of America.

That's why I'm so thankful for the Pecanbread Yahoo! group. They always make me feel welcome, and I don't feel so alone. :)


caitlin said...

Hi Susan,
Altho I do not have an autistic child, I am with you on the SCD diet.
I was once a salesperson at a large dpt. store, and they sent a secret shopper* in to 'test' my mettle under stress, and I failed. I got into a yelling match with the woman, and was reprimanded heartily with the 'always give the customer what they want' speech.
* If we're speaking of the same thing, I always call them 'professional shoppers.'

The SCD girl said...

Hi Caitlin,

Yep, we're talking about the same thing. Wow! I've never been challenged in quite that way. Honestly, retail is stressful enough without stuff like that! :)