“Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.”

...and yes, I do always have Spock ears readily available..

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.” ~ Mr. Spock

From the post that I re-blogged yesterday: To Boldly Go…..

I admit it…

I am just a big old Sci-fi geek from way back. I watched the first episode of Star Trek back in 1966/1967 (?) and I was hooked – for life.

The first “sign” that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he used that sign.

I’ve been in love with Star Trek and Mr. Spock since the very first episode aired back in the 60’s.

I loved the adventures in space.

I loved that all of the crew members were treated with respect and as equals.

I wanted a tribble.

I added new words to my vocabulary, most memorable –  “poppycock”.

I wanted to be a part of the crew, but not in a red shirt.

I loved everything about Star Trek.

I always had an affinity for the Mr. Spock character.  I loved his no-nonsense purely logical way of looking at things. I especially loved the episodes where he was confused and/or outright annoyed by human behavior – A piece of the action comes to mind.

I remember being sad when the show went off the air. But all was not lost! 10 years later “Star Trek the Motion Picture” was set to be released. I anxiously awaited opening day and although I admit I was a little bit disappointed in the film, I was thrilled to see all of my favorite characters again.

The movies that followed were so much better than the first “Motion Picture” and I saw each and every one of them more than once until the 2009 release of Star Trek the updated prequel. It was there that I stopped. Nothing against the movie or the actors. I’m sure it was and they were just wonderful. I just did not want to see new actors playing the parts of my favorite characters.

I  remember when The Next Generation was being advertised. I was outraged that anyone would try to create a new Star Trek even if the person creating it was Gene Roddenberry himself. How Dare He?!!! My boyfriend at the time, knowing how much I loved Star Trek taped it and brought it to my house for me to watch. I flatly refused. I would NEVER watch a “fake” Star Trek, Never!

Well…. never say never.

As it turned out, I loved it and every other that came after.

Not only was Mr. Spock my favorite character but I really loved Leonard Nimoy the actor. He was the only reason I was at all interested in watching Mission Impossible (the TV show).  I grew to love the show, but Leonard got me there. I will also never forget being glued to the TV watching “In Search Of…”.

I did at one time own the first, second and a few other editions of the Primortals comic books. I wish I knew what happened to them.

Then imagine my excitement when he showed up as William Bell on Fringe! Not to mention playing himself on The Big Bang Theory!

That Spock character resonates a bit more with me now that it did back then, if you can believe that possible. Having a child with autism has made me view Mr. Spock in an entirely different light. His matter-of-fact, logical, no grey area persona reminds me a bit of my son. It reminds me of the way many people perceive people with autism. However,  like many people with autism,  in spite of that matter-of-fact, no grey area, logical approach he had to life, his duties, his interaction with others, Mr. Spock showed compassion, empathy and yes, even friendship to those around him – in his own way.

Leonard Nimoy was one of my childhood heroes and I suppose you can say that I carried that adoration with me into adulthood. I was heartbroken to hear of his passing. There will never be another like him. It may be silly to you but I really feel that a piece of my childhood is gone forever – a small piece that I will never be able to get back.

Live Long and Prosper ~ wherever you may be.

“Of my friend I can only say this: of all the souls that I met on my travels, his was the most… human.”  ~ James T. Kirk

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And while you are still here, please check out two more posts from Blogger friends of mine:

Thank you Mr. Nimoy – from Autism Mom

RIP Mr. Nimoy – from SSirica

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“To Boldly Go……”

A Post from August 2014 – R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy – may you #LLAP wherever you may be……..

(The weekend we attended “Shore Leave”, Leonard Nimoy was scheduled to appear via Skype on Sunday. We had already spent Friday and Saturday there and I was not sure DC could make it another day. We also had a very long drive home, so we opted out for Sunday. I am still so disappointed that I missed my only opportunity to see Mr. Nimoy, but he will – live forever in my heart)

Taking it a Step at a Time

To Boldy Go.... To Bodly Go….

I confess…

I admit it…

I am just a big old Sci-fi geek from way back. I watched the first episode of Star Trek back in 1966/1967 (?) and I was hooked – for life.

The first “sign” that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he used that sign.

Today, he is verbal but will still, at times use his signs in conjunction with his speech – that “Mr. Spock” sign has come to represent Star Trek in general for him and he still uses it.

Coincidently, DC just happened to be born on William Shatner’s birthday (not planned – I swear)

Before the days when Star Trek costumes were available to purchase - DC's second Halloween. Before the days when Star Trek costumes were available to purchase…

View original post 2,412 more words

I can see clearly now….

DC has worn glasses since he was 4 or 5 years old. Originally only for distance but he quickly took to wearing them all of the time.

I was a little bit apprehensive when it occurred to me that it was time to start taking him to have his eyes examined. He was not verbal at all and was not very cooperative with doctors. His pediatrician would strategically place wastepaper pails around the examining room when DC was due to come in for an appointment because he would work himself up to vomiting – everywhere –  every time.

Even now, though so much more agreeable, I do still have to bring reinforcements – his Dad and Doug, when he has to have a shot The 4 of us go marching into the examination room along with a nurse and the doctor. As hard as we try, we can not hold onto this boy.  The doctor really just ends up chasing him around the room in the hopes of getting a lucky shot.

I will always remember a little girl that was in DC’s Birth to 3 class. She was just a tiny little thing, with the strongest, thickest glasses I have ever seen. She, like DC was non-verbal. Even with those thick, thick glasses, the teachers had to get right up in her face so she could see them. I remember one day, walking into DC’s classroom to visit (I worked 5 minutes away and visited often) and there she was without the glasses! Her mother explained that she had changed eye doctors just recently and the new doctor had determined that she did not need glasses at all, she never did! So needless to say, I really wasn’t looking forward to having DC’s eyes examined.

Yes, he could sign the letters on the eye chart but if he was not in the mood to cooperate that day – how would we know if what he was signing was actually what he was seeing? Before we even get to that point, how could I explain to him that we wanted him to sign the letters he was being shown?

I finally thought I found a doctor that understood the situation and brought DC to his first appointment. The doctor did say that his vision was not 20/20 and he would probably need glasses eventually. It would be helpful but not 100% necessary at this time. He did suggest that I may want to do it now so he had the chance to get used to them. That is what I did.

dcglasses

It really did not take that long for him to get used to the glasses and his teacher reported that he was much more focused in the classroom. I must say, he is and has always been very good with his glasses. He has not lost or broken any pair he’s had over the years (knocking wood).

After a couple of years and after a few screw-ups, we switched to another doctor in the practice.
This worked out well for awhile, but eventually, after so many issues that you might think were a work of fiction if I wrote them down- we left that practice altogether and not very quietly.

The last few times DC needed a new prescription and while we were still going to the doctor mentioned above, I opted to just change the lenses in his frames. Some changes are not all that difficult for him , but when it comes to glasses, shoes or switching seasonal coats and jackets, he has a hard time. It was becoming apparent that these frames were not going to last very much longer, so it was time to find a new doctor and get new frames, whether he needed a new prescription or not.

We found a new eye doctor that came highly recommended by my brother and sister-in-law. It was just amazing how smoothly this appointment went. I did not even have to explain to the doctor that given the choice of two options, he will almost always choose the last one, just because it is the last thing he heard. We were in and out in less than an hour, where as if we had gone to his previous doctor, this exam would have taken two very long visits and then the follow up visits to correct what they had done incorrectly.

Our previous doctor had an optical shop on site. This new doctor did not, so off we went to a department store where plenty of other people I knew bought their glasses. We started the process of trying on different frames.  As expected, DC was anxious.  He yelled “No!” to each and every pair that he tried on. Now it is never really clear if he just does not like the frames or if he is saying “no” because  the sample frames just have regular glass in them and he can’t see. I have tried to explain this to him many times, but I am really not sure that he understands.

I do not know if he was just tired of trying on frames or if he actually liked the pair that he had on his face at that moment, but he finally said “Yes”! The girl who was helping us was so very excited – “He said ‘yes’!” . Once she said that out loud, he went back to “No”.  I had a “yes” for a minute, I wasn’t going to let it go that easily. I asked him to look in the mirror. He did. A customer that must have been listening to this whole exchange (how could one miss it?) told him that he looked very handsome in those glasses. He was sold.

We sat down to place our order. At this point DC had enough and it was time for a panicked sprint to the restroom with me running behind yelling for him to slow down, as he raced to the other end of the store. He does this when he becomes overwhelmed. It is also his way of trying to get out of doing something he doesn’t want to do. I assumed I was in for the long haul as much of my life is spent standing outside the men’s room or yelling into the men’s room. To my surprise, he calmed down relatively quickly for him, but I am certain the girl waiting to finish our order was probably thinking we had skipped out on her. We finally made it back to complete the order and were told his glasses would be ready in less than a week.

I got the call 4 days later that his glasses were ready to be picked up. I didn’t want to wait until the weekend to go as his glasses were on their last legs, so I asked Mrs. H to take him after he got home from his program.

I was home from work by the time they arrived home. DC walked in wearing his old glasses carrying the new glasses in the case. He didn’t realize that now that he had the new glasses, he was actually supposed to wear them. I don’t really know what he thought he was supposed to do with them, but wearing them was not on the list.

Old wire frames

Old wire frames

I asked to see them. I asked him to put them on and explained to him that his old glasses were ready to fall apart and he should start wearing the new ones. He put them on and I put his old glasses in the case and stored them away just in case we ever needed a temporary pair. He was fine for a little while, but later came into the kitchen looking around very determined to find something. I asked what he was looking for and he replied “Glasses”. He was looking for his old glasses. He still did not understand that he was supposed to be wearing the new ones.

I really was beginning to think that this was going to be more difficult than I originally thought. I explained again that his old glasses were going to fall apart and this is why I bought him new glasses. He has to wear the new ones. He should be able to see much better wearing the new pair too.

Just like that, he left the kitchen and never asked for the old glasses again. I was impressed. This had to be the easiest transition to anything we’ve ever experienced.

First he chose frames that were dramatically different from the old frames and then after only an hour or two, let the old pair go and never looked back.

New Black Frames

New Black Frames

 

 

 

 

“And those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball” #1000speak

1000Speak

I was not going to participate in #1000speak today because and only because, if given a subject and then told; “Okay write!”, I draw a blank. I was sure that in a week or two I would think of a hundred different posts that I could have written, but they were not coming to me when I first heard about this.

I was not going to participate until I read this post yesterday – A Story of Compassion by Kenya G. Johnson (please read it. It is well worth your time). It was a story about how one small gesture from one teacher made a difference in her life. This post led me to think about a teacher I had in the 7th grade.

Before I begin, I have to say that I did enjoy elementary school. I know it is not going to sound like it. I had fun with my friends, the fun was much easier to be had when I could just blend into the background, not waiting to be the second to last person chosen for basketball, dodge ball or any other activity.

I enjoyed elementary school because I had very good friends, many of whom remain good friends to this day. As someone who never felt as though I fit in anywhere, they were my sanctuary. No one could have had better friends. They will be in my heart, mind and life forever. Yes, we’ve all lost track of each other from time to time over the years but we always seem to find our way back to each other. I am thankful to all of them for being there then and now.

“A brown (blue) eyed girl in hand-me-downs, whose name I never could pronounce” **

If you were to look up “low self-esteem” or “lack of self-confidence”,  I am sure my photo – if I enjoyed having my picture taken that is, would be there right there next to the definition. I have been told by a few people these days that I hide that fact very well. Maybe I do, maybe not, but back when I was young, I am sure I did not do the best job of hiding it.

For reasons I will not get into here, I am the epitome of low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. Always have been, always will be.  At times this was almost debilitating – not almost, it was. It still can be now to some extent. I spent most of my time in elementary school hiding behind others. I didn’t want to be noticed. I didn’t want people to see my clothes, my shoes, my sneakers or me in general. I didn’t have older sisters, but that did not keep the hand-me-downs from coming from cousins and a step-aunt who worked at a high school – she would go “shopping” in the lost and found. I didn’t feel comfortable around people. I didn’t feel comfortable anywhere.

Sometime around the 5th grade I began gaining weight. This just drove my already low self-esteem into the ground. By the 7th grade I had gained a pretty good amount of weight. I was even more miserable than I had ever been.

I will never forget my 7th grade teacher, Mr. Holmes. At the time, I did not understand why he would single me out for things – good things, activities that anyone else would have been happy to be involved in. I didn’t want any part of this and thought he really must not like me very much to keep forcing me to get involved in things with some of the other kids when he had to know how uncomfortable it was for me.

I remember one time when there were a couple of seats available for the 8th grade class trip. The powers that be left it to the 7th grade teachers to choose a couple of students to go on this trip with the 8th graders. Mr. Holmes chose me. I had no idea why he would choose me. I was sure some of the more popular kids would have been very happy to go with their also popular 8th grade friends. Instead of being happy to have been chosen, my reaction went to the “Why are you doing this to me?” side of the spectrum. As if I didn’t feel like an outcast enough with my own classmates, now I had to spend the day with the 8th graders!

I have to admit, I did have a good time when all was said and done, but I still was not understanding why he pushed me into situations that were so very anxiety-ridden for me.

The day of the annual hearing testing came. Each student had to report to the hearing test center, which was in the nurse’s office. When one student completed his/her test, he/she was sent back to the classroom with the name of the next student to be tested. “Martin” came back to Mr. Holmes’ classroom and announced “They want to see the fat one” (that would be me). I tried to look like it didn’t bother me as I got up and had to walk out of the classroom in front of everyone. I don’t know what happened after I left the classroom, I never asked I really didn’t want to know- I just wanted to wipe it from my memory and everyone else’s as well (Where’s Dr. Who when you need him?). If you think it was uncomfortable walking out of the classroom it was 100 times worse having to walk back in and announce the next name, while still trying to look as if what “Martin” said did not faze me in the least. People stared at me but it was not mentioned. I really was thankful for that.

As the school year went on I found that I was much more comfortable in the classroom. This was partially due to the fact that I had lost a good portion of the weight I had gained, which I had already begun losing when “Martin” made his announcement.  Also because I felt like I had gotten to know the other students in the classroom better having been thrown together with them so often for activities.

On the last day of 7th grade, before we were dismissed for the summer, Mr. Holmes called for our attention. He began what I thought was probably his annual “last day of school” speech – what a great year it had been, how much we’ve grown and accomplished from the students that entered his classroom back in September to the people we were now, ready for the 8th grade.

and then….

“I want to point out a student that I have seen the most growth and progress from. When she first come to this class in September, she would not even make eye contact when she was spoken to…………”

……and really, I can not remember anything else he said. I was flabbergasted, mortified, but strangely – a bit proud that someone was actually saying nice things about me to other people! I understood right then and there what he tried to do for me the entire year. He saw a problem and tried to help correct it by trying and succeeding a bit to get me to come out of my shell, to not feel so very uncomfortable, to feel like I fit in by including me in everything he could find to include me in and putting me together with students other than my friends and outside of my comfort zone.

I am not going to say that I turned a corner that day and everything was just fine, but I will say that he did help me to come out of my shell if only a little bit. I am proud to have had him as a teacher and all of these years later I have not forgotten that he made that speech or how he went out of his way to try to help me feel like I was just as good as anyone else. I will never forget him.

I am sure I was not the only person he singled out and I was not his mission in life. I am sure I was just oblivious to everyone else he was trying to help at the time. There was one boy I was not oblivious to… the boy that came to our classroom everyday before the lunch bell rang. He came every day to pick a lunch made for him by Mr. Holmes.

He did pull me aside after his speech to let me know that he understood that his speech probably had me on the brink of a breakdown but he felt is was necessary to say all of these things not only to me but to the class and especially for the benefit of “Martin”.

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From 1000 Voices For Compassion Facebook Group:

Let’s get 1000 bloggers to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD! Use the hashtag #1000Speak to promote this event.

February reruns… How do you do?

It’s been one of those weeks…… Enough said….. and just because I needed a laugh, I decided to post yet another rerun. The following was posted back in April 2013 – but it still makes me laugh….

“Please allow me to introduce…..”

Pleased to meet you DC loves to make introductions. I don’t believe he really understands the point of introducing people. He notices people making  introductions in the movies he watches and in the books that he reads. It doesn’t matter if the people he is introducing already know each other. It doesn’t matter if he knows they already know each other, when he gets to urge to make introductions, he does. He is usually very formal about it as well – “I would like to introduce my mother, Vickie Lastname” or “It is my pleasure to introduce to you, my mother, Vickie Lastname or (my favorite) “Please allow me to introduce my ‘lov-er-ly’ mother, Vickie Lastname Recently we attended a pasta dinner fundraiser to benefit the summer camp DC has attended since he was 5 years old. We purchased enough tickets for DC, Doug, my mother and myself and we sold a few more to friends and family members. Seated with DC and I were, – My mother (DC’s grandmother) – Doug (who was also pulling DJ duty) – DC’s grandparents on his Dad’s side – DC’s Dad – Tracy – DC’s stepmother (His Dad’s wife. I generally do not use the stepmother title to describe her because DC is so very much into Disney that there is no explaining to him that all stepmothers are not evil) Karr-ee-anna – in DC-speak -DC’s Aunt K -Her husband R – My friend Tonya – and DC’s friend, Salli Due to the crowd, Doug’s father and sister had  moved over to the next table. DC was very excited that everyone was there at the same time. He sat at the table as if he were “holding court”. He then decided that introductions were in order. Turning his attention to his father, Tracy: “Tracy, this is my mother Vickie Lastname” and “Vickie, I would like to introduce you to my father, Tracy (same) Lastname” ~ Insert Dramatic Pause ~ Me:   “Um……. “we’ve met……………………..”   Photo: Credit "Tonya"

I got the music in me….

(Not “proper” grammar, I know. Talk to Kiki Dee)

DC is the ultimate music lover. I love this about him because I too have always been a music lover! Our tastes differ greatly. If one were to look at my music file they might just think it was a file belonging to 4 different people. I love everything from The Osmond Brothers “Down by the Lazy River” (my Happy song) and the Spinners “It’s a Shame” (my other Happy song – I dare you not to dance!) to Alice in Chains and Shinedown. Of course, being the geek that I am, I also have to have the Firefly, Dr.Who and Angel TV themes readily available.

DC leans more towards Musicals, Disney and some top 40. The battles in the car over the radio are actually the reverse of most parent and child “radio battles”.

We do, have some music in common though. When DC was a baby, he was not your average lullaby baby. It took a lot of trial and error to find songs that he enjoyed before bedtime. – This was, of course back when he wanted to hear me sing. Now all I hear is “Mom, please stop singing!” (unfortunately, he doesn’t always get his wish)

I just happened to hear both of the songs below on the same day, last week. Because I rarely hear either one of them on the radio, never mind both – it sort of inspired this post.

His favorites were:

James Taylor – Sweet Baby James (I happen to be a big James fan so this was fine with me)

and

Loggins and Messina – House at Pooh Corner (another “win” for me)

I am surprised that he still remembers them, to this day.

During our recent vacation the subject of DC’s first flight came up in conversation twice, first when we were having dinner with his Dad and again while having lunch with “Pinky” and her family.

DC was almost 2 years old. We were flying down to Savannah, GA. and DC was not having any of this! It was unbearable for us and I’m sure, much worse for the other passengers. This was also back in the days when you were required to hold your children in your lap. This actually worked in my favor because I could sing into his ear with out traumatizing the rest of the passengers with my voice.

“Do your ears hang low?” and only “Do your ears hang low?” was acceptable to DC on this flight. Over and over again. I could not switch to another song.

There was also the time we were driving home from a weekend in Maine – he was probably a year and a half old. This ride should have been our first indication of how the flight would go months later.  I was required to sing “Who are the people in your neighborhood” for hours. I could not deviate from that song. I sang it so many times that I made up an extra verse on the spot. I wish I could remember it as I have to say I remember it being pretty darn good – if I do say so myself.

Music has always been a source of calm for him. It still is. It is also a source of joy. If he is not reading a book (or “playing computer” on the weekends) he is singing and dancing all over the house. Oftentimes he is reading or watching while singing and dancing.

I am so glad that he shares my love of music but more importantly that it is something that can calm him down and soothe him when he really needs it.

– Okay, admit it, you danced to the Spinners………….. I know you did. 

Full Versions (because who wouldn’t want to look at James or Kenny again)

House at Pooh Corner

Sweet Baby James

and the others:

Who are the people in your neighborhood

Do your ears hang low?

Liebster Awards and the blogs that I love!

Liebster

Last night I was notified that I had been nominated for a “Liebster Award” by Autism Mom. First and foremost I’d like to thank Autism Mom for including my blog in her list of nominations. I enjoy reading her blog everyday and I am honored that she takes the time to read and comment on mine.

I had never heard of this award before, so after a little bit of searching, I did come across the award and the rules – but many different variations of the rules. Becoming rather confused, I decided to link to Autism Mom’s explanation of this award (here) and follow the rules that she used in her piece. – Yes… I took the easy route…

It is wonderful of course to receive recognition from other bloggers – especially since until a year and a half ago, blogging was the farthest thing from my mind – and from what I have read, this process will and does help to share your blog and the blogs that you love with the rest of the blogging community.

Having received a nomination, it is now my turn to come up with a list of my own nominations.

This is the easy part.

Autism-Mom – (If it is allowed. Autism-Mom would have been on the top of my list even if she had not nominated me. I will assume she will not be required to go through this whole process again.) “Sharing Autism ideas, news, strategies and tools, and lessons learned from one mom with one child and one experience on the Autism spectrum.”

Mother O’ Jim“Mother o’ Jim, a blog about and with her son James, a wonderful young adult on the autism spectrum, who is searching for the path and tools to be independent.”

Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake“One white woman’s curious obsession with race. Follow my quest to connect across color lines.”

One Loco Mommy“Balancing Life, Love and Autism in the Great Suburban Outback”

Baby Boomer Bubbie –  “Baby Boomer Woman, Creative, Mother, Bubbie, ex-wife, curious, future, past, concerns, fears, hopes”

Sassy Aspie Mom “A little blog about my life as a wife and mom raising two boys (one who has Asperger’s Syndrome).”

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Next step is to answer the questions listed by the blogger that nominated you (each nominator should some up with a set of questions for their nominees to answer as an introduction to other bloggers and readers).

Autism Mom asked and I answered:

      1. How is blogging different than how you thought it would be when you started?

I can’t really say that I had any expectations when I started at all. I suppose the support from other bloggers was surprising.

  1. What is your favorite blog post that you have written?

Mother’s Day update

But one would have to read “Mother’s Day and the Macaroni Necklace” to understand the update.

  1. What is the most surprising thing that you have blogged about, that you never thought you would blog about?

Ha Ha! That would be toilet paper under the code name of “paper towels”.

  1. Where is the strangest place you have blogged (e.g., typed on your computer, wrote down blogging notes, etc.)?

I suppose it would have to be in the car – passenger side – I do not blog and drive.

  1. Which blogger would you most like to meet?

That’s a tough one. I really would like to meet them all.

I do know Wendy from Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake, but I haven’t seen her in (mumble, mumble) years. I really would love to meet the rest. Although, coffee/Dr.Who Experience in London with Autism Mom would have been right up there on THE top of my list if it had turned out that we would both be in London at the same time (We won’t be. It was close, but no cigar)

*********

The final step is to list a few questions of your own for the blogs you have nominated:

So, Autism-Mom, Wendy Jane, Mother O’ Jim, Loco, Baby Boomer and Sassy these are for you:

1. What first inspired you to blog?

2. Has your blog changed direction in any way since you began?

 3. What is your favorite post (borrowing this question just because I like it)

4. What is your favorite movie?

5. What is your favorite television show?

Thank you again, Autism Mom for the nod and of course, thank you for reading.

I am heading directly to her list to check out the blogs I haven’t read before.

Hope you all will check out the blogs I have nominated! They are all totally worth your time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon

bacon

DC’s reactions are not always immediate. Due to these delayed reactions, it is not always easy for me to figure out just what is going on or what the problem might be.

When he was 4 or 5 he stopped eating – completely…. for close to a month. He would not swallow solid food.  With a lot of  coaxing he would put it in his mouth, but that was as far as it went before he would spit it out. After a few visits to the doctor to be sure this was not a medical issue, I, with the help of his teacher and IA, started looking for ideas to get him to eat again. I bought all of his favorite foods. They worked with him in the classroom. I even resorted to candy. Nothing!

One day, I was making him a steak, one of his favorites at the time. It was right then and there I realized what was going on. He actually looked frightened of the steak. This wasn’t a sensory thing, it was fear. After seeing the look of utter terror on his face I remembered a choking incident with a bagel one morning about a month before. The thing about it was that he didn’t react right away – otherwise I would have figured this out much sooner. He was fine afterwards and even finished the bagel he was eating.

I couldn’t pin-point exactly when or why the delayed reaction kicked in but it did and he was afraid to eat.  Once I figured out the reason, I was able to help him get back to eating solid food again. We started with pudding and yogurt and just dipped the tip of the spoon in, just so there was a taste on the spoon. I continued this way, increasing the taste on the spoon until he was taking a regular spoonful. I added other foods like applesauce to the menu. When that part was behind us, I started breaking up bread, into almost crumbs, until he realized it was safe for him to eat again.

DC used to ride horses. He rode once a week for a good 5 years, if not longer. One day his teacher had him riding in the outdoor rink (I’m sure there is a proper name for that, but I am calling it a rink) – he didn’t ride in the outdoor rink very often. Most of his lessons were inside. When he did ride outdoors, it was usually down the driveway, across the street and up the dead-end road and back. On this particular day in the outdoor rink (seriously, Kathleen is not going to be happy that I don’t know the proper name), his horse spooked, reared up went galloping wildly. It scared him, it scared me, but he stayed on and continued his lesson with no problem.

His indoor lesson the following week went well. His ride outside on the driveway route was fine too. It had to be a few months later when they tried to take him out to the outdoor rink that the fear kicked in. He wasn’t having any of it. He acted like he was never on a horse before. After thinking about it for a minute, I remembered and explained his reaction to the assistant. He was a little better once they went back inside but not at the level he was at the beginning of the lesson. The outdoor rink brought out his fear and that fear carried over to the indoor rink. It took a while for him to feel comfortable again.

About a year later his horse spooked during his inside lesson. Again, he seemed fine – Me? – Not so much. I was close to heart failure, but I didn’t let him see that – and rode the full hour as if nothing had happened. But… the following week he was terrified. He continued to be terrified until we finally just gave it up altogether. even though I was relieved to let it go,  it was a shame because at one time he really liked it. Horses were one of the few animals he was not afraid of. He was actually pretty good at it.

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So… over our Christmas vacation, DC got sick. Other than his bouts with his allergies, he rarely gets sick, but when he does, he really goes big! For a good few days afterward, he really didn’t want to eat at all. He seemed fine otherwise so I wasn’t really sure if he was still not feeling well or if he was just afraid to eat. I believe and still do, that he was #1 – exhausted from being sick and #2 – he was afraid and relating his illness to food. As we were on vacation and eating in restaurants daily, this was probably at least partially the case. He was eating lots of things that he doesn’t normally eat, at least not on a daily basis.

When he did finally feel like eating at little bit, there were certain foods I wanted him to stay away from so as not to upset his stomach all over again. He continued to be a little bit leery about eating for a good week after we were home. Last week, after going to see the Buddy Holly Story with his friend, BB, we all went out to dinner. DC ordered a cheeseburger with bacon. When it arrived, he removed the bacon and left it on the plate. I asked why, but I couldn’t get an answer. Now, I am almost positive he had bacon at least once since we’d come home from vacation, so I didn’t really think all that much about it.

DC discovered bacon a few years ago on a cruise ship and like his garlic bread, takes every opportunity to order it. I used to buy it for him, but decided that he really did not need to eat that much bacon, so I let it become one of his “restaurant only” foods, like cheeseburger and fries.

This week, at the hotel where we were ‘Snow-cationing’, bacon was available on the breakfast buffet. I didn’t really notice it until morning #3, but there was no way that DC had not seen it on the previous two mornings. I asked him if he wanted bacon. He started signing “all done”, a sign that he still uses when he REALLY does not want something. I asked him if he was sure. “No, Bacon!” – while signing more adamantly. “I don’t want to get sick! I don’t want to get sick!”.

Bacon had been one of the things I did not let him have after he got sick on vacation. Now, in his mind it was the reason he had gotten sick. There were a couple of other people in the breakfast room and I didn’t want him to continue yelling about “getting sick”, so I explained quickly that he did not have to have the bacon, but bacon was not the reason he became ill on vacation. He was getting more and more anxious about it, so I just let it go.

I know that some may disagree, but bacon is not really a necessity in anybody’s life, so I am not going to push it.

Now if I could somehow get him off the cheeseburgers and fries…….. hmmmmm.