Ridiculously fun Christmas village…check!
Twelve Days Countdown Calendar…check!
Snowflakes the size of small hamsters…yeah…check…
I kid you not…
But on to other subjects.
It’s the First Day of Christmas!!!! We are READY for gift-giving, and J is totally into it…FINALLY!
We went to his psych appointment yesterday, and his meltdowns are basically “normal” and “an offshoot” of all the other emotional, psychological stuff that he deals with on a daily basis. Physically he’s healthy (all things considered, of course…we have to track the effect of the med on his metabolism, of course,) and we have seen a marked improvement in how he handles himself, and how he communicates with us.
I am happy to report that SIB is down to a minimum, and this seems more like a daily dosage requirement J has imposed on himself. It’s more of an obsessive behavior he must complete than a behavior he engages in to cause harm. Some days he hits softly, and others he just touches his hand to his head in a very specific pattern. Gone is the viciousness.
His personality, happily, is intact. He can still be annoyed by us, and he can still annoy us. He laughs when he thinks something is funny, and he rolls his eyes when he is tired of our attempts to engage him if he’s not in the mood for them. He insists on things he wants, but he negotiates without doing any violence to himself. He can be redirected. He can be consoled if he’s inclined to be consoled, and entertained if he’s inclined to be entertained. We have had our concerns, of course, because having J on a med is not our favorite thing to do, and we always ponder at the deeper meaning of his behavior. We have wondered how far we can push certain situations before he loses his patience with everything and reverts to angry, incessant SIB.
Many of our fears were laid quietly to rest yesterday. It was, to put it mildly, a bit of a hectic morning. It was, to be kind, the kind of morning that perhaps would’ve possibly thrown J for a loop a mere two or three weeks ago. It was the kind of morning that, when you look back on it, you have to laugh because there is a strong undercurrent of absurdity that can only be interpreted as “meant to be” for the purpose of “testing the waters.”
J’s appointment with the psych was at 8 a.m. We got there early. We simply dashed out the door in an effort to miss the traffic generated by the second wave of school buses that pass through the entire area we were to drive in to get to the hospital. In the process, we basically got J dressed and, without further ado, hopped into the car…leaving the iPad behind. We got to the doctor with no delay at all, but…the doctor was stuck in traffic, and what was supposed to be an 8 a.m. appointment didn’t start until 8:30. We had given J his med, but we hadn’t had time for breakfast. After the doctor, we stopped for a quick bite, and then headed to notarize the end-of-year guardian report to the court. We got to the UPS Store and, lo and behold, my ID (my new ID which I had renewed in April of this current year) seemed to be “expired.” I nearly had a heart attack. I have bought wine with that ID. I voted with that ID. I notarized another document with that ID. Did I have the wrong ID? Had I accidentally shredded the new one? Impossible! How could I vote not six weeks ago with an expired ID???? We dashed home. Searched everywhere. No ID anywhere. I called the DMV office and explained; the kind customer service rep looked at the file online and said “oh, wow…we made a mistake.” Yep…my new ID was issued with the same date that the old ID had. She knew this because she could see, and I then confirmed, that my organ donor date was in April of this year.
Off to the DMV office, and -thankfully- no line. Of course, you realize that this is all completely out of the flight plan we had shared with J the previous night. “First we’re going to the doctor, then we’ll grab coffee, then we’ll do some paperwork, drop it off, then we’ll go to Target, the grocery store, and the crafts store…” This had turned closer to “first we’ll go to the doctor, wait a while, grab breakfast AND coffee, do some paperwork, run back home, run to a government agency, do some paperwork…” Once we got into the car I told Dada “I am picking my battles, dude…let’s notarize these papers, and do something for this happy, patient young man who has accepted all the upheaval without nary a complaint.” We went back to the UPS Store, notarized the papers, and set them aside for filing today.
J, who had been calm and accepting all through this mad dash to and fro, smiled broadly when I told him “we are going to Target!” I took J to Target while Dada went to get the few groceries we needed, and then I went to the crafts store while J and Dada listened to music in the car. When we got home, we put our purchases and paperwork away, and made J’s lunch. While food was cooking, I went upstairs and changed his bandaids. By the time he came downstairs, J was happy and relaxed, and you couldn’t really tell we’d been running around all morning with gloomy weather and unexpected alterations to our trip’s design.
The rest of the day went by calmly, happily…we relaxed and did small fun stuff…like adding train tracks to J’s Christmas village, and including some animals we hadn’t found when we first started setting it up.
The morning proved to us that we have broken through the fog, and J is now more in tune with the person he was before his anxiety overrode all other systems. We can talk to him; we can communicate; we can listen better because there is more to listen to…it is no longer just growling, grunting and screaming that give us cues. We now see path to working our way to the happier, more relaxed version of the same stubborn child we know and love. He is happier; he is glad of the little Christmas tree we put together with florists’ foam, branches cut from the bottom of the bigger tree, and little lights…it is in the corner of his bedroom. He was happily gazing at it last night…and he looked and seemed more like J…
Let the festivities, scaled back as they are, commence…