Let me make it QUITE CLEAR, from the GET GO, that I am NOT blaming either Coca-Cola or hot dogs for Curt's autism.
But I do spend quite a bit of time wondering, (more years ago than today) what exactly causes autism. No one really knows.
I've already said I'm NOT a devotee of the vaccinations-cause-autism school of thought.
I still wonder.
When I was pregnant with Curt, I kept waiting for the pregnancy symptoms to kick in. I ate crackers in hopes that morning sickness would indicate I was, in fact, PREGNANT. Aside from a few mild incidents....nothing.
I waited to crave root beer floats and pickles at 3 a.m. Nothing.
Nothing until Brian mentioned that he'd gotten tickets to an Astro's game.
And then it kicked in.
It didn't matter that prior to getting pregnant, I HATED hot dogs. And wouldn't have touched anything other than a Diet Coke with a 10-foot pole. As soon as I heard we were going to a ball park, I NEEDED a hot dog and Coke.
I was DESPARATE.
And I was also die-hard. No artificial sweetners, no caffeine, no processed meats...I didn't ingest ANYTHING that was on the "caution" list of equivocal foods for pregnant women.
Until the Astro's game.
I relished (ha! pun intended) that hot dog.
I slurped up every ounce of that Coke.
While the pragmatic side of me believes that Coke and hot dogs did NOT cause Curt's autism (after all, I knew a woman who drank a six pack of Mountain Dew and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and still gave birth to a healthy, neurotypical baby), I do wonder if it's something as random as ingesting mustard on day 97 of gestation.
It's probably not. I mean, there HAS to be a genetic component. Boys are 10-1 more likely to have autism as girls. There might be an environmental component. The Texas and California petrochemical coasts have the highest birth incidences of autism in the county. (hello, environmental mercury)
I wish they'd figure it out.
Then I wouldn't feel so bad about that hot dog and Coke.