Fewer visits means better visits?

Ever since Alex stopped seeming comfortable with visits to our home, we’ve just taken to visiting him. But as much as we need to see him, we can’t see him as often as we have been. We’re down to twice a week now, and while I don’t like seeing him so little, I can tell I’m a lot less stressed out because of it. Trying for 3-4 visits a week was taking a lot out of me, I guess, especially since most of the in-home visits were so awful.

Now when we visit, it seems like Alex is a lot happier to see us. He has his fits, but they seem to have a more obvious cause most of the time. On Saturday, for instance, we made the mistake of taking Alex to the carousel for the first time in probably a few months. He was happy at first, but then seemed to realize where he was. Hitting and biting soon followed, and we took him back to the facility in a raging mess. Once we got back to the car, he was already significantly calmed down.

When we just visit and play with him in the home (or outside but nearby), he seems to do really well. This has really helped my frame of mind, though I can’t help but feel guilty (as usual) that I’m happier when I see less of Alex. It’s not surprising I’m a bit less stressed out, given that I have a lot less going on during the week now, but there’s still that nagging feeling that I should be doing something more useful for him. I sort of have this fear that my inherent selfishness is helping me rationalize visiting Alex less, and one day I’ll just stop visiting him completely.

In other news, it looks like Arizona may have passed its medical marijuana initiative after an incredibly close race. This is good news, even though 19 failed — it means one more state is accepting the legitimacy of cannabis as medication. If I never see fully legal marijuana, I’ll still be happy if the feds can simply reschedule it so that it can be legally prescribed just like any other “real” medicine. The more people who see that marijuana is good, the better the chance the feds will have to change their policy. And when a traditionally conservative state votes in favor of a marijuana initiative, this exposes medical benefits to the group who needs that exposure the most: conservatives who simply don’t know a lot about pot. When you see a family member in intense pain get relief from something you have been taught to hate, your outlook changes fast. I’ve heard from a few ex-pot-haters about how an experience like that helped them change their minds. These are people who I still don’t see eye-to-eye on most political issues.

It’s good to see the country moving forward, even if it’s one agonizingly slow step at a time.