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Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop: Why Can’t I Relax?

From wikipedia; wait for the other shoe to drop: To await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one which is not desirable.

Why can’t I relax and go with the flow?  We are going thru a really good stretch with Kyle right now, pretty much since September.

The summer was EXTREMELY ROUGH for Mr. Kyle and therefore for mom & dad with multiple violent meltdowns per day.

But since September he’s been pretty great probably due to his drugs kicking in and starting to work, him liking his new school, and who knows what else?  But it’s been pretty much peace, quiet, and happiness for Mr Kyle since September.

So why can’t I relax?

He started school 2 weeks late due to a huge f&$k up by our school district and there was complete stress involved.  Lawyers, letters, meetings, etc.

Then in mid September he finally started school and for 9 weeks we had bliss.  And about half way thru those 9 weeks I kinda/ sorta started to exhale and relax and enjoy just the monotony of everyday life and then in late November the other shoe dropped and he got kicked out of school for 2 weeks because of his breath holding issues.

And that brought about another 2 weeks of complete stress and more lawyers, doctors, meetings, etc.

He returned to school in early December and we’ve had a pretty good 6-7 weeks since then.

Kyle’s been pretty good behaviorally.  Aside from the breath holding which still continues he’s had no major medical issues.  He seems to be enjoying school.  He’s eating a bit better than before.  The weather in the NYC area has been quite mild this winter.  He hasn’t been making a ton of progress, but that’s not as important to me anymore. Lately, it’s all about his happiness & health & outlook.

And he’s been healthy & happy lately.  So why can’t I relax?  Why am I continually waiting for the other shoe to drop?

The teacher comes out to talk to me about something when I dropped Kyle off at school yesterday and my heart skipped a beat and I thought “OH NO, WHAT NOW?” (and it was nothing major…)

Whenever my wife calls or texts me during the work day, my first thought is “OH CRAP, WHAT HAPPENED?” (and usually it’s a totally random question like “I’m at the supermarket.  Do you need anything?  🙂

Also when there’s peace & bliss on our little “Autism Avenue” then I get bogged down and stressed about the little things…

“Why is the ABA therapist 5 minutes late?”  “Why was his swim lesson only 29 minutes?”  “Why can’t I find the remote!?” “F–king traffic!”

Stupid mundane things that I totally wouldn’t even give a thought during the real stressful times become my stressful triggers during times of bliss.  And this is me on drugs!  I wonder how crazy I’d be if I wasn’t on drugs?!

So again, why am I continually waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Now let me take a step back to say that I know the other shoe will drop at some point.  We’ve been living this Autism Life for over 6 years and the other shoe always drops.  I’m a realist and there will be another major crisis right around the corner.  There always is with this kid.

Between the stresses of trying to prep and get a 24 hour EEG to rule out seizures, or his “Summer Of Rage/ Meltdowns”, or getting several xrays of his leg due to the mystery limp he had on & off for 2 years, or getting MRI’s / CATSCAN’s due to a strange bump on his head, or having a cyst removed from his eye, or him going under general anesthesia for 2 cavities and them finding 7
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we’ve had our share of stresses & crisis’s over the years.

Now some of these things might only last an hour or two, but you all know how it works.  It’s the stress that leads up to it that is the killer.

And like I said, I know there will be another crisis right around the corner, so why can’t I just relax this time and enjoy this period of peace & preosperity while it lasts?

Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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7 People Replies to “Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop: Why Can’t I Relax?”

  1. Anonymous

    So are the "Days of our Lives"! It never ends. Even if they are in a psych hospital, you still wait and worry, every single day. All we can do is TRY to enjoy the tranquil times while they last. Thanks for being here, AD! (ljy)

  2. Michelle

    I hear ya! I'm about to change jobs (my husband also works) and I'm wondering how we'll cope when the next 'shoe drops'. I feel bad taking sick leave to cope with these things but what else can I do, not working is not an option. So far his school has been great but already he has to have teeth fixed under general sometime in the next 6 weeeks.

  3. Anonymous

    There is no reason for me to follow your blog. My kids are 'normal' for want of a better term. But, someone I know does follow you.

    But, I have to say, your above post could have been writen by me. My anxiety is with regards to money / bills and schedules. The phone rings and I want to scream at it, "NOW what?" My Sweetie answers the phone and tries to pass it off to me and I want to say "You talk to them, I'm not here."

    I try to remind myself that God does not put a spirt of fear into us. That we can find peace.

    Just don't call me to tell me that.

    Keep up the good work. You are your child's first, best, teacher. His advocate. His mentor. And even those you wear many hats in addition to 'parent;' you wear them well.


  4. I'm beginning to think my drugs aren't good enough…
    I have 2 boys on the spectrum, so the other shoe is always dropping!

  5. Bwtween our two youngest children, we have the behavioral and the other medical issues. It's always something, and when it goes well, we try to soak it up, but like you, we know something with one if not both of them will happen. I've tried to think of it from the other way around; during the high stress times, we try to tell ourselves, there will be another low stress time right around the bend… we try, but our minds are wired to view it the other way around. We totally understand you on this! And I agree, I'm sure it's leading us up to PTSD if one of us doesn't already have it :/

  6. Well, huh. This is what i'm in therapy for right now. It's called PTSD. We all have it in one way shape or form. If you're child is behavioral then, you certainly have it. Our last one put us both in the hospital. PTSD is just the beginning lol (i've got really good drugs too 🙂 )

  7. I'm with you, every time my phone rings or I get a text, I fear it is the something to do with my daughter. I guess it is a natural reflex after so many years of leading a life with a constant downpour of "shoes".