You gotta know when to hold ’em…know when to fold ’em…

Yesterday was a monumental day.  I didn’t plan for it to be that way…I was, in fact, ready for it to be a bust.  Allow me to explain…

It was an early-release day, and there is no school on Monday or Tuesday, so we’re talking four-day stretch of J and I (once more) doing our best to not get on each other’s last nerve.  I’m ready for it…I think.  I have a Lego…a nice, complicated one with a bunch of parts that are all the same color.  I have several loads of laundry.  The weather promises to be good enough for walks and all I have to do is time them so I don’t coincide with The Hound of the Baskervilles’ walk-time.

I started this long, long weekend with a doctor’s appointment for J.  I didn’t PLAN it that way, but there you have it…that’s the way it got scheduled in January.  We picked J up at noon and drove him to the POC (Physicians’ Office Center) and waited…and waited…and waited…

The doctor was delayed by a patient in NICU and one can’t really argue with that so we sat patiently and, well, WAITED! The appointment was at one and we didn’t get seen until quarter past.  This means that, with our knack for being early, we waited forty-five minutes.  When we went in, I whipped out the red egg-timer and off came the hats.

I know what you’re thinking:  WHY?????

Well, I was in the mood to take my life into my own hands, and I figured I might as well try it.  I set the timer for forty-five minutes and told the doctor “dude, you have half an hour to make this work.”  I wanted J to know we are negotiating in front of a third party, and that we have room to play with the timer.

The only anxiety J felt was the fact that we were talking and he wanted this done with…the visit, not the hatlessness.  So he actually gestured for the doctor to turn around  and get back to work!  We all thought it was funny and the doctor was actually quite impressed with J’s willingness to sit there, as it were, without his emotional shields on.

We are agreed that the phasing out of the Risperdal is a good idea, and that summer is the perfect time.  In light of this, we are going to meet with him again in August and see if the reduced amount of Risperdal assists us in some weight-loss and, additionally, J’s blood pressure becomes less of a cause for concern.  We don’t want to medicate this just yet because we want to determine if the Risperdal is the main contributing factor for this issue, and J’s labs have always returned looking quite nice and normal.  The attending agreed.  So we’re going to work on J’s emotional balance before going to see Dr. Did-You-Cut-Your-Hair-Because-Of-Cancer and we will pray and hope our way through the following weeks…

That J sat at the doctor’s office without his hats on is a huge step.  It is huge enough that I didn’t really push him to not wear the hats the rest of the day.  I only made him remove them for the meal he ate when we got home (TGG bought him a burger at around 3:30 P.M.)

We guess that J understood our conversation regarding his weight yesterday.  He knows we’re concerned.  At the store (after the appointment) he only bought his breakfast cereal and reduced-fat chips.  He had his burger shortly before four P.M. and didn’t ask for food until breakfast this morning.  I think it may have sunk in that we are worried, and that we’re devising a plan.  Even TGG chimed in at the doctor’s office, and TGG is usually pretty airtight in those situations.

Today we went to the library (all of us) and walked around town.  Then we went to the mall where, much to our chagrin, J selected a DVD box-set of The Gummi Bears cartoons…really!  We said “dude, really?  The Gummi Bears?  No…look at this…” and we started showing him other movies.  We pointed at George of the Jungle (which he loves,) Batman cartoons…you name it…

“PLEASE???”

Quite frankly, we were all engrossed looking for alternatives.  J was standing behind us, farther from the movies than we were, and he said it so clearly, and there was such feeling imbued into the one word.  Three heads turned to look at him.  PLEASE?  He said it again, and touched my shoulder.

So, right now as I write this, he’s up in his room watching The Gummi Bears.

The next spontaneous thing he did was say “HUNGRY” while we were driving back to our house.  Between his willingness to be hatless yesterday at the doctor’s office and his willingness to verbalize spontaneously what he wants or needs, J is just making our jaws drop left and right.  Today he has spent over an hour without his hats, and we’re OK with this because we know he is understanding negotiation a little better.

Can I get an Amen?  A Hallelujah?  How about a thumbs up, a “right on,” a zip-ah-dee-dooh-da?????  Any of those will do for us, but for J, please, a drumroll and a wave around the stadium while vuvuzelas are blasting…

The kid…he really should take a bow…

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