Among the other troubling behaviors Avner exhibited, he would sometimes drop off to sleep while on the way to school. He would fall asleep against Barbara in restaurtants or in the car after dinner. Sometimes it would be a struggle to wake him to go home or come inside our home.
Avner would become mute and disconnected from everything else around him. On one occasion, he left the Scout House to sit on a bench outside. When our Scoutmaster, Crill and I tried to speak to him, he refused to acknowledge us. I tried to get him into my car at the end of the meeting. Instead, he got up and started walking towards home, only a mile away. I called Barbara from the Scout House to let her know that Avner was walking home. He walked past her which worried us both, but eventually turned around and came inside.
This night owl stuff had to stop. Not only wasn’t Avner waking in the morning. He was potentially violent when we tried to wake him. He would lash out with hands or if someone was at his feet, he would kick. At the same time, it was evident that Avner was waking at night to eat. Sometimes, he would deny it. We would find plates and bowls under his bed, along with sport drink bottles. On one occasion, he even drank most of a bottle of maple syrup.
It started when Dr. Derikson suggested that my original problem was likely caused, not by the bony growth in my toe, but a bone infection. I had to consider that I was possibly headed towards an amputation of the toe, but there were several things to try first, and so I gave myself over to treatment. In the intervening months, I became an expert in wound care. I learned how
In hindsight, early 2016 started the steep decline in the quality of all of our lives. As parents, Barbara and I failed to recognize the symptoms of Avner’s decline as a medical problem. The changes and challenges came so fast that we pivoted from crisis to crisis. It feels as if we were the frogs in the slowly warming pot, about to boil to death without realizing the clearly present danger.