Avner on the makeshift stretcher

Going Downhill

Rural Georgia is no place to have a medical emergency on a weekend. The only hospital is small. The emergency staff was sparse and equipment was minimal. The first task after providing insurance information and identification was getting someone to offload Avner from the bus onto a gurney.

Me dressed as a pirate

Blindsided

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.

Avner, dressed for his last middle school concert.

Spring Break Disaster

Still the attitude grew darker. Avner gravitated to violent video games. In fact he had migrated away from the social games that he played with friends at school. He was turning morose and there wasn’t a ready explanation, except adolescents. Everything that we thought we saw could be explained by teenage hormones or frustration with school work.

Avner watching tv with the dog across his lap

The Conversation

I suppose that context always makes the difference. Talking to Avner tops the list of important things I do, especially during this lockdown. Absent any other external stimulation, I find that engaging conversation has a nearly magical ability to restart cognition. It may be my own confirmation bias, but I don’t think so. Avner has a ravenous appetite for information and analysis. I love that aspect of his personality. We