THE SHADDOX BOYS

Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. They live with their mom, Mary, who is the writer of this blog. Jacob is 19 and is now four inches taller than his mom! He also has ADHD and gorgeous red hair. He is a freshman at a technical college studying computer maintenance. Elijah is 15! He is in 9th grade and he is not in ROTC at his high school. He also had red hair, but it is lighter and not as thick as his brother's hair. He is hearing impaired(auditory neuropathy) and wears two cochlear implants. He also has tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD and anxiety! Mary just started her 25th year as a teacher of the deaf. She is also in her last semester of graduate school to be a diagnostician! She will graduate in December of 2015!





Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Can Never Forget

Elijah is a deaf pre-teen. I know this deep down in my heart, but the majority of the time I can forget that he is. He wears his cochlear implants and he HEARS and HEARS very well. He can be playing the Wii in the den and hear the beep from the refrigerator door(it beeps when you leave the door open too long). He hears me when I call him from the back of the house and he is in the front of the house.

I live with a deaf-hearing pre-teen. There are times however, that I am reminded that he truly is deaf. When he takes a shower, I have to open the door, FLICK the lights to get his attention and sign for him to GET OUT! He loves to take VERY long showers and he sometimes makes a pretty good mess in there with water on the floor. Other times, he is just making a LOT of noise by banging things in the tub and I sign for him to be quiet!! This isn't too inconvenient and since I have been signing for 22 years, it isn't too big a deal. Other times, he is in bed with his CI processors OFF and he is YELLING for me. There is no great emergency, he just wants me to come back so he can tell me something or show me the cat that has jumped in his bed. Tonight, I had tucked him in and had made it all the way to the den when I hear my name being called. Now, you have to realize, I can't yell, "I'll be there in a minute," because he can't hear me. Sometimes, I do what I need to do and then walk back, but that results in him continuing to yell my name over and over again. Again, I don't really mind, but some days I am just TIRED and want to go and sit! Tonight, it was just me and him home alone. Jacob is off with a friend and my partner is working late. So, he calls me to his room and he asks me when Jacob will be home and I sign to him that he will be home soon. He voices back to me, "Jacob will be home soon" and I sign back YES! He then asks where my partner it and I tell him she is working and coming home. He confirms this by saying, "She will be home soon." I sign back YES. Well, I thought this was very sweet of him. He was worried about his family. I sign to him to go to sleep and that I love him. He told me he loved me. I guess I shouldn't mind having to walk back to talk to him and at least he knows enough sign that we can communicate without having to stop and put his ears(CI processors) on.

Most people don't realize that even a child with cochlear implants is still DEAF when their ears are off. I know my family forgets sometimes, because when we go for a swim without his ears on they just keep talking to him and most of the time he can't see their lips. I sometimes forget that Elijah is deaf, but not for long. I always have my mommy sensors on to keep an eye on him and keep him out of harms way when his ears are off!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Elijah's Week

Elijah had another awesome week at school this week. He finished up with all greens today and had NO red marks on any other days this past week. He did have a few yellows, but nothing too serious. We have seen great behavior at home too. He seems much more focused when he does homework at home and we are so excited to see this. Just wanted to share!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trip to Endocrinologist!

Elijah visits the endocrinologist every six months at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. He has "short stature" when you look at his information. We are keeping an eye on him to make sure that he reaches his genetic potential, as the doctor puts it.

Since July of 2012 he grew just over an inch. After a quick physical exam, the doctor said there is definitely testosterone in his system and he should be entering his growth spurt soon and we should see him grow taller in the next 12 months. This is good news, but not a guarantee. We will go back in July of this year to see how much he has grown and then around this time next year. We also learned that this doctor sees patients at the Plano hospital, which is a LOT closer than Dallas for us. Plus, a lot less traffic!

This is always an easy visit and we are usually in and out within 30 minutes. Elijah is always worried that there will be some kind of needle involved, and sometimes there is(drawing blood) but this time there was not.

We go see the psychiatrist on Monday and check in with her. We will have good news for her since we are seeing such an improvement in behavior. I will be glad to share this with her and we NEED to pick up another prescription! We have a three day weekend and I am going to let Jacob drive us to the doctor on Monday and to some of my mystery shops! He needs the practice!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sugar!

In yesterday's blog I mentioned that I thought the sugar from the doughnuts affected Elijah and made him arguementative. Well, today he got in trouble for hitting another student. The principal called me and he has consequences at school and I had some for him at home. I told her I was going to check online and see what he ate for lunch. I can check through the online parent page for the school district. He had a LARGE ice cream and chocolate milk. Both of these things have SUGAR! I emailed the principal to see if there was any way to monitor what Elijah eats in the cafeteria. She was going to check with the cafeteria manager.

When the principal and I talked about the incident at school, I asked how he reacted when she came and got him. He calmed down a great deal faster and was better behaved than he had been in the past. This was very good to hear. She also said he got back to work and very focussed on his work. I do think the new medication is helping a great deal, but we still have to be diligent with everything! Hopefully, he will have a better day tomorrow. Up until he hit the kid, he had had a good day! I guess that counts for something!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Update and Will it Last

Elijah had an AWESOME week at school last week. He has seven chances to earn a red, yellow or green(green is the best) for each class he has. He had all greens for every day but one last week and on that day he still only had one red. NOW, will it last?? That is the question. He was more argumentative this weekend, but then I realized he had two doughnuts for breakfast yesterday and one today...HMMM...could that be it. He earned them by having good days. Let's just say, he will be working for money for next weekend. No more doughnuts for him! I just think the sugar gets to him and causes it. We shall see.

I did email his teachers to ask them how he is really doing. We are going back to the doctor in a week and I really want to give her a good update on how he is doing. The green marks on his status sheet give only part of the story. I am hoping I haven't jinxed things by sending the email. We are also going to the endochronolgist this Friday....I sure hope he has grown! I'll keep y'all posted!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Medication

Elijah takes a great deal of medication to address his Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He also takes medication for his asthma. We recently changed his ADHD medication and he has been much calmer and more focused. We have noticed a significant change at home and we were glad to see that he had two very good days since we went back to school this past Monday.

Elijah brings home a status sheet each day that lists each class period. He can earn GREEN which means he behaved, a YELLOW which means he needed prompts and behavior was not so good, or a RED which means he had a really hard time in that class and there was probably a trip to the office to calm down. Elijah had ALL GREENS for the last two days. He was so proud of himself. Today he had six greens and one red. He had an extreme meltdown after lunch and his teacher had emailed me. She was curious to know if I might know what set him off.  I really had no idea. She also mentioned he had a bit of a hard time in PE and maybe that started it. Now Elijah gets NO iPad, nintendo or Wii during the school week. He had purchased a mini iPad of his own(saving for a long time!) and I told him if he had an ALL green day he could have 30 min on the iPad. I was shocked that he had had two all green days.....he had trouble getting even four or five greens in one day for the last few months. I thought maybe he was worried about getting the iPad and so that caused the melt down.

Well, later tonight, he went to take his evening medication and he says, "Mom, my Tuesday medicine is still in here." I went and looked and sure enough he had not take his medication last night. I always remind him to take it and he always goes and takes it. I remember reminding him last night, but I had not double checked to make sure he took it. I emailed his teacher to let her know that he had not taken his medication last night and this was probably the reason he had the melt down.

I know there may be many people out there who don't believe in medicating children OR adults, but Elijah couldn't function in the world if he didn't have his medication to support him!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Maintaining Processors

Elijah's cochlear implant processors usually require very little maintenance. He changes his batteries when they die and that is usually what we deal with the majority of the time. He told me last week that his right ear sounded funny. I had seen the red light on the processor(Freedom) blink a few times, and there had been no code for a dying or dead battery(H1 or H2) code. The coil wire was very bent and I know it has been at least six months since we have changed it. I called Cochlear and they sent me a new one under the warranty. We have two back up coils, so I had already change it out and had the old one ready to be mailed back. The new one came in today and I got the old one all ready to be mailed back.

Sitting at dinner tonight, Elijah tells me that his left ear is now bugging him. We change his program and he says it sounds better. Later I notice the red blinking light and ask him to come over. This time there is a distinctive H3 code, which means the coil is NOT on his head, but it was on his head. So, we put a new coil on this processor and now I will call Cochlear on Monday and get them to send us another coil. At least this time, there was a code so I knew that the coil wasn't working.

He has a controller(bottom piece) that I need to replace, because the FM port cover came off. However, when they send you a new one of those, someone has to be at the house to sign for it. UGH, that is a hassle. I am going to wait for Spring Break and call before then and get another one. It works just fine and he uses his FM at school everyday, so I am sure the next controller's door will come off as well.

Elijah's warranty/service agreement on his processors expires in June of this year. I will pay for another warranty for another year. I think it is worth the money. I will also get the loss/damage coverage WITH the service agreement.