The national mood is far worse than the mood at home. J is still iffy, but he’s trying very hard to improve. The country? Not so much. And, no, this doesn’t mean people need to “get over” Trump being president-elect…it just means that I disagree with the way this is being handled. The unpleasant rhetoric hasn’t really stopped (it’s just shifted,) and now there are acts of violence sprouting in places.
I keep asking myself if this is productive. I keep telling myself that people are THAT upset (it’s not like I’m bouncing through a field of wildflowers singing to the sky either,) but I wonder…does this advance the cause of disagreeing with the process?
Yesterday we walked to the mailbox after J exercised with the elliptical (while watching Meet Me in St. Louis) for an hour. The small boards I attached to the fridge with magnets seem to be helping him, too. He focuses on that part of his day with a healthy degree of attention. On one is I WANT with all the food he gets that day, and on the other is ALL DONE. In the morning we put up the snacks he’s getting, and as the day goes by he moves them to the other board. It’s easy to forget sometimes, in spite of the abundance of pin-up girls on his bedroom walls, how visual J is.
The SIB is abating. There are sudden and unexpected flare-ups, but the intensity seems to be lessening. It is becoming easier to redirect him, too. I don’t think we’re out of the woods, but we might be approaching a clearing where things will be clearer and safer for a while until we can move on to the next stage of our progress through whatever this is.
Of course, our worries will never disappear. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it is that we just change what makes us fret, or it gets bigger or smaller, but it never really goes away. Maybe I’m just not enlightened enough? I’ve heard people say “I don’t worry,” and I feel compelled to check their pulse…it seems such a foreign concept to us this “not worrying” thing! I don’t know if they mean “I don’t agonize” or “I don’t let it overwhelm me.” They just say “oh, I have no worries.” In my book that is a non-existent utopian neighborhood in the realm of La-La-La-Dee-Da Land…perhaps I’m wrong, and it’s not, but I doubt it.
J, yes, is happier. His digestion seems to be good, but I do keep a closer eye than I did a couple of weeks ago. He is starting to accept my knocking on the door and saying I need to check before he flushes with a little less mortification. He rolls his eyes. If we can reach a point where he tells me if he’s having trouble this will become easier. I am hoping that we can achieve that soon. I understand how difficult this is for him even though he is pretty much used to being child-like in certain aspects. Mind you, it’s not that J is a child, or that we treat him as such…it’s just that there are things where his independence is still in the early stages, or where -because of his difficulty communicating his needs- I have to intervene as if he is still a child.
J has discovered the joys of an adjustable massage roller we bought him during a shopping trip a couple of weeks ago. He wasn’t keen on it at first, but he let me try it on his back a few days ago. He was OK with that first try. When I tried it on his feet he realized “hey, I like this thing!!!!” He now asks for it…in the morning, before getting out of bed, he wants his feet and legs massaged; after his shower his back and shoulders get attention, and he will randomly request it during the day for his arms, shoulders and feet.
The variety in exercises we have introduced is helping J be happier. I know that sounds stupid, but he feels the social interaction more than he does the actual physical benefit of working out. His form needs work…lots of work, but he smiles and gets into whatever it is we’re doing each day. Granted, he is still wearing his brace and bandaids while does this (which affects his form somewhat,) but he is varying his routine. He likes to sit on the balance ball (even though his balance is not stellar…in spite of the attachment to keep him in place,) but there is just no way he will ever be comfortable while flat on his back. We don’t know WHY he dislikes this, but it is a fact of life around these parts. You can put J at a 15% angle, but you will never get him to lay down flat. He will scream and struggle, and I suspect it harks back to when an ENT messed with some earplugs that had become wedged in his ear canal because someone at school had the brilliant idea to cut them in half before putting them in… When I tell you there was blood coming out of his ears, and I discovered that -small though he was at that time- he could turn into the Incredible Hulk I am not hyperbolizing.
That was the day he discovered The Disney Store…I had to do SOMETHING for him to forgive me, no??????
We keep plugging away at our checklist of options. We want to help him. We are on this like hairs on a gorilla. If anyone has any suggestions, please, feel free to chime in. I will try everything. At this point he seems to be cheered by his mother imitating Rip Torn’s Zeus from Hercules when he coos at Baby Hercules…
and he also finds it hilarious when his mother lip-syncs to Mary J. Blige’s Work That or Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl or Rich Girl (featuring Eve.) The Monkees’ Little Bit Me Little Bit You is another favorite…because I do all the Monkee parts except Davy Jones.
Well…off I go. Working on less iffy…regardless of how ridiculous things might get around here.