Every Wednesday morning Olivia sits in her clinic and gives life changing news.
This condition is for life.
The questions, the tears, the blame.
“How did this happen?”
“Is this my fault?”
“Will it go away?”
“What will I tell people?”
“Who will look after my child when I am old / die?”
Sometimes there are clear answers and processes and sometimes there are not.
Olivia sits and listens as the parents tell her / comment in distresses tones
“He’ll never have a girlfriend!”
“He’ll never have a normal life!”
“I’ll never be able to work again!”
And then there is the internet ‘research’…
“I’ve tried this supplement/method/programme and I’ve seen a difference” or
“What do you think about this? Shall I try it?”
Then there are some parents who say very little.
These parents are the ones who sit blankly, nod and smile and gather her carefully selected pile of ‘information leaflets’ and then say ” …but he will get better, won’t he doctor?” And the conversation starts again.
Some parents just refuse to believe
“He is normal”
“There is nothing wrong with him!”
“It’s just the school/We don’t like that teacher”
“He’s just a baby – he’ll grow out of it”
“He is very clever!”
She will during these times – listen patiently for as long as it takes and start the conversation again.
At the end of the 90 minutes it is time to meet another set of parents and go through the same thing again.
By lunchtime the news giving is over for another week and her brain is shattered.