Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Phoebe in Wonderland

Phoebe in Wonderland is a movie that depicts a family dealing with a child with Tourette Syndrome. The family does not know this is what they are dealing with at first. The daughter acts strangely, makes sounds, spits, has OCD tendencies and overall is just not acting "normal". It was a hard movie for to me to watch, because I had gone through the range of emotions that the mother in the movie goes through. I had thought there was NO way that Elijah had Tourette Syndrome. Even when we suspected it, I didn't grasp the full effect of this condition.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of Tourette Syndrome and its co morbid disorders. There is a point in the movie when the family is eating dinner. There are the two girls(Phoebe and her younger sister) and the parents. I don't remember exactly how it all starts, but the girls tease their parents about having a baby. They keeping being silly and saying the mom should have another baby. The parents are extremely stressed with everything that has been going on with Phoebe and the father looks at her and says(and I paraphrase) "Do you think your mom can handle another one like you?" Of course, he regrets it as soon as he says it. The daughter is hurt and the mother is upset. Later the parents talk and the father tells his wife that he has apologized to Phoebe, but the mother is still very upset with her husband. She finally says(and paraphrasing again) "You said exactly what I was thinking. You are right, I can't handle another one like her." I cried through this entire part of this movie. It was at a time, when I felt the same way about Elijah. I just didn't know what to do with him or how to best help him.

Elijah is doing very well now and I am thankful for that. We have had some very rough years, and we may have some rough times again, but I am better equipped to handle it. He has good doctors and a great staff at his school. We just take it day by day!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Wind Brings a Cough

The wind has really come through today. We had gusts up to 30 mph this afternoon and they are supposed to get stronger tonight. Elijah had good day at school and we had a nice night together. I put him to bed and within 10 minutes, THE COUGH starts. Now this just isn't your regular cough, this is that "OLD MAN WHO SMOKES 2 PACKS OF CIGARETTES COUGH". I immediately go back to his room and he informs me he has a cough. He follows me to the kitchen and I give him a teaspoon of prescription cough medication, that has codeine. The bottle said 5 ml and when I measured from the spoon into an actual small 5 ml measuring dispenser, what I had given him wasn't enough. SO, I gave him a bit more and a breathing treatment.

All of this kept him up longer than his usual bed time. He is usually OUT by 8:00 or 8:15. I emailed his two teachers to let them know what was going on, because between the prescription cough medication AND staying up a bit later, his behavior could be ALL over the place tomorrow. He is fast asleep now and I am hoping that this was just a small flare and all will be better tomorrow. It never fails though, we go to the pulmanoligist and get a good report and then a week later, he is sick! Keep him in your prayers that this will all blow over!

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Day Off and Doctor Visits

I took the day off from work today to take the boys to the doctor. I had originally planned on only taking half a day and taking the boys to the pulmanoligist(asthma doc), but then Elijah needed a check up with the psych, so I made it a whole day!

Overall, it was a good day. We slept in to 7:30, which was really nice. We had a lazy morning and then Elijah and I left around 9:15 to go and see the psych. It was an awesome visit. We talked about how well he was doing and she noticed a significant decrease in his tics, just from the time we were in the office. I left her the paperwork to complete for camp. It has to be dated for next week, so I couldn't get it today. Elijah and I left there to run a few errands and then dropped off his prescription at CVS. We also stopped and grabbed a pizza for lunch and brought it home.

Our original pulmanoligist appointment was for 2:10, but due to a scheduling problem on their end they called and we moved it to 4:00. We spent the afternoon at home and just hung out. I paid a few bills and just enjoyed the time at home. I started some chicken in the crock pot and cooked some rice! We got to the doctor's office around 4:00 and left around 5:15. This was actually a quick visit and now we just had to fight traffic home. We arrived home around 6:00 and dinner was basically done, so we warmed things up and ate.

I think all of us needed an easy day today. Just a day to not have to do a lot of chores and to relax. The next doctor's appointment is on March 4th to see the neurologist!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sugar AGAIN!

Elijah had another good week at school. He hasn't been able to buy ice cream since we figured out that sugar is NOT good for him. He has had a pretty good weekend, until today. He was argumentative this afternoon and back to being just a pain in the rear. He argued with me any chance he could get and had to get the last word in. Later, after my partner came home we figured out he had snuck into our room at SOME point today and gotten into chocolate. We are not sure how much chocolate, but I guess enough to put him IN THIS MOOD. Just more of a confirmation to me, that a large amount of sugar is not good for him.

Let's just say, I don't take all sugar away from him, but I try to keep it to a minimal. This is especially true on school days. He has sugar free syrup with his waffles or pancakes in the morning. He has low calorie cookies in his lunch if he takes it. He does get chocolate milk at school, but just a pint. Let's just say, these small amounts of sugar are not good for him. Ice cream, doughnuts, candy, and a few other foods affect him badly. Sometimes we just have these days, and at least we have figured out what triggers it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Elijah's Week and Driving with Jacob

Elijah had another awesome week! It is thrilling to see him have such awesome days and to NOT get phone calls from principals! He is also very happy!

Now, let's turn our attention to Jacob. He finished driver's education class and got his permit back in July of 2012. He had to wait at least six months to take his driver's license test AND log 20 hours of driving in that time. He had to get at least 10 hours of daytime driving and other 10 of night time driving. He has all of his daytime hours, but needs those night time hours. He also needs to just PRACTICE a lot more. I made an appointment for the first day of Spring Break to take his test for his license.

So, last night we went out driving into Dallas. Now, we didn't go into downtown Dallas, but he did drive on two highways and on some major streets with LOTS of traffic. He did all after 6:00! Let's just say it was an experience for us both. He didn't quite get that the red tail lights were on because the headlights were on and when the get REALLY BRIGHT, that means the car is BRAKING. Lets just say I said the words BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE a great deal. Overall, he did a good job, but he needs more practice. He also needs to practice parallel parking...YIKES!