The time came to pack for the appointment for my assessment.
I knew that I liked this doctor and had confidence in his knowledge and experience, and in my ability to communicate effectively with him. I have been anxious for weeks now, hoping I had finally found a Dr who knew and understood autism.
The first meeting he indicated that he thought I had autistic characteristics but he wanted to make sure some of them had not been caused by early childhood trauma or other conditions.
He was interested in interviewing my spouse for clues to my earlier ‘self’ since both my parents are long gone and my siblings are not available.
We filled out forms without discussing them, to be compared and discussed together with the doctor.
We set out the night before to stay at a motel nearby rather than travel 4 hours for the 9AM appointment that morning.
Restless night in a strange place. Anxiety rising.
We presented ourselves at the reception desk next morning , saying we had an appointment for 9AM with DR_________ .
The receptionist looked stunned.
“DR ________? Surely not, he has not been here for weeks!”
Our turn to be stunned. It turns out that the Dr had surgery shortly after my April appointment and had not recovered.
The person who had cancelled his other appointments missed the entry for mine, perhaps because there were empty pages in his appointment book between early April when I had been there, and July. ???
I am saddened to think of his family and think of all the good he did for so many people, and I wish them peace and comfort. Of course it was not spoken directly, but I got the impression they don’t expect him to recover.
I am upset for them and also for myself. I am disappointed and still adjusting to the fact that I will need to look once more for a Doctor who is familiar with adult autism and diagnosing old ladies. A rare bird indeed.
The lesson learned (and it is obvious in hindsight) is to call ahead and confirm any appointment which is out of town before heading to the meeting.