The love affair with Raleigh continues. Whether it loves us back, or not, is up for debate. We continue to be comfortable (although the humidity level does wreak havoc on my aches and pains), and happy in spite of the everyday challenges being new to a place poses.
We still get lost driving around (not as much as we used to), and have figured out that a lot of the places that seemed oh-so-far-away are really down the street and we’ve been putting off going there for no good reason.
A few days ago J and I were at Michael’s (again…), and we ran into a group of developmentally-disabled adults on an outing. We see these often, but we’ve yet to figure out a good placement for J. I’m sure this will take time because, with J, these things take time. Anyway…as we were walking towards the register a young man from the group turned around and said, rather loudly and enthusiastically, “HI!!!!!!” The rest of the group turned around to look at us (with varying degrees of interest and comfort), and J -much to my surprise- stopped and looked at his interlocutor before responding with a spontaneous, if not as enthusiastic, HELLO. It gave me hope that we will soon find a group of peers where he will feel comfortable…
We have also made progress with the whole “let’s go outside and feed the fish, shall we?” request. Initially J was fascinated but scared, and now he’s fascinated, hesitant, and vigilant of any flying creatures (this includes, regrettably, leaves that fall in a spin from the trees in our backyard), but he does go out there and throw food at the fish. Once he’s done I have to go out and brush the flakes and sticks into the water, and the fish give me weird looks, but we have made tiny strides in this department.
If Dada is grilling, J now likes to sit on his rocking chair in the patio. This has made us very happy. He doesn’t want to walk into the landscaped areas yet (and we really don’t mind because he needs heavy boots in this area where copperheads might appear out of nowhere…don’t go on Google to look for this information…you might freak out like we have), but he is happier with our slice of the great outdoors than we had seen him in previous weeks.
J’s TV room is coming along. His Lego and train track village is up and running, but we’ve only unpacked about sixty-percent of the Legos he brought assembled from WV. The trick is to try to keep them in one piece, and that is almost like an archaeological dig…we take one out, go back to the assembly manual, and clean it as we go along making repairs.
We painted the garage for J to have a friendlier space for his treadmill and other exercise. The ceiling is taking a little longer because we are not Michelangelo. By this I don’t mean it’s a complex paint job, but rather that we don’t have the ability to do this comfortably. Next summer, with the benefit of less rain and longer days, we will paint the garage floor. The handyman will come when he’s available to mount the TV on the wall so J doesn’t have to strain to watch his movies while he “walks.”
As we watch the leaves turn and we complete all the little detail work involved in being fully comfortable in our home (the crafts closet is done, thank goodness!), we continue to figure out what works best for us. Whereas J used to like his TV room door closed in the townhouse, here he keeps it open and we can go in and out to check on him, or work with him, or just hang out with him. He is not as territorial of that space in this house as he was in WV. His bedroom is a lot more comfortable. He likes the walk-in closet and the windows that give him a view of the backyard. He likes that there is a small separation between the door and his actual sleeping area…
Yesterday we finally went to the library, and J loved it in spite of their not having videos for borrowing. We thought for sure that would turn him off, but he liked the way the light streamed in through the tall windows. Everything was on the same level, and you could look out and see the parking lot surrounded by trees. A lady was giving a painting demonstration, and while J didn’t want to sit down for it, he was observing from a distance and smiling. We then walked to a wall where some of her works were being displayed and he identified everything she had painted. He especially liked a painting that depicted some piglets, and another with a chimp.
We have encountered several dogs in the neighborhood, and J has managed to keep his cool. The presence of leashes is always encouraging to him, and there has only been one instance of someone’s dog running out as we drive by that unnerved him. We handled it well, though. He goes for short walks with me, and when we see someone walking a dog, he feels comfortable just crossing the street to avoid them.
In the last piece of news: J has been on .75 mg of Risperdal for a week. He has been mildly anxious, a little more persistent about certain things, but we think this med reduction will work for now. Of course, we have to make sure that we continue to engage him frequently and proactively, and that we address any concerns he might have during the course of the day, but we feel confident that this was the right time to drop that .25 mg from his dosage.
So…there you go…
We are holding up just fine.