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!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Losing Weight

When we got Elijah's bloodwork, back and it showed he was susceptible to diabetes, I made the decision to put him on a diet. I also added walking to his daily routine. I also decided it was time for me to lose some weight and change some of my habits. Elijah's cholesterol was also a little high for his age so we are working on that too.

He is now eating a cup of Cheerios, a bowl of strawberries, an egg(made with egg beaters so no cholesterol) and a half a cup of milk(to drink) for breakfast. There is also a half a cup of milk with his cereal. Lunch varies depending on the day, but he likes to have a ham or turkey sandwich with an apple most days. Dinner also varies, but thankfully we had already added vegetables to his routine so we didn't have to worry about trying to get him to eat vegetables. He is averaging between 1200 to 1600 calories a day. His snack in the afternoon consists of half a cup of Greek yogurt(no sugar added) with strawberries, blueberries and sometimes pineapple. At night he usually eats a Skinny Cow no sugar added ice cream sandwich. I found them on sale and stocked up! He usually has a cup of milk too!

He lost 1.2 pounds the first week and then at our second weigh in today he lost another 2.6 pounds! You can really see the weight loss in his face and his stomach seems to be shrinking some. He is also walking between 1-2 miles a day with me. I am averaging 2-3 miles walking, with another 2 miles during the day doing housework or daily activities. My FitBit keeps track of that for me! I have found that measuring and weighing food makes a HUGE difference for both of us. A cup of milk really isn't a whole lot of milk and both of were probably drinking twice as much as we are now. It also helps that I am off this summer and have the time to walk and keep track of calories.

Elijah really hasn't complained too much. He sometimes doesn't want to walk, but he usually can be coaxed easily to come with us. He earns more time on electronics when he walks! He is really enjoying the fruit and LOVES pineapple! He could eat it with every meal I think. Hoping for a good weigh in next weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Nucleus 6 Turn On

Today was the day that Elijah's Nucleus 6 processors were turned on. It was a very good visit and Elijah cooperated very well. He sat and listened to the tones and identified the quietest tones and then it was quite obvious when the tones  were loud. He actually winced a few times, but thankfully did not get mad. Once it was all done, he sat and listened with both of his new processors. He liked it and said that they "felt good", meaning on his ears. The audiologist then showed us how to turn the telecoil on, and explained how to change programs. For now, he has only two programs, one new one and one from his Freedom processors. The audiologist also gave me a tutorial on the remote system. It is pretty cool, and will change settings on both processors at the same time!

Elijah quickly turned on the telecoil, plugged his music links into his iPad and started playing. The audiologist and I visited for a bit and reviewed a few things on the new processors. She wants to see him again before school starts and do a hearing test, so I set up that appointment for August. We left and took some pictures. For some reason, I cannot post pictures on this blog, but I will when whatever glitch gets fixed.

We arrived home and took out his colored covers and put a blue one on one ear and the orange on the other ear. The audiologist labeled his processors on the coil, with an R for right and an L for left. There really is no other way to label them. He will be using rechargeable batteries, so he won't be using SkinIts right now. I am thinking of ordering him a few more colors. I am hoping the Aqua+ Pack comes in soon, so he can wear it and swim with his processor!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Just One More Thing

Elijah just can't seem to ever catch a break. When we went to the pediatrician on Monday, he had blood drawn. He is on so many meds for his Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD, that the doctor wanted to check his liver function and whatever else could be affected. The doctor also checked his cholesterol which was a little high, but not too bad, and also checked for diabetes. Well, he doesn't have diabetes, but he is not too far from it. The nurse said she was going to send me information on a Step 1 diet. I really wasn't too surprised, he has put on so much weight in the last two years. I can blame it on medicine, but I can also blame it on poor food choices.

I was at the rec center when the nurse called and then my honey actually called me. She was close by, so Elijah and I met her at the grocery store. We picked up some fruit, yogurt and Cheerios. Cheerios will be for breakfast. The fruit will be for a snack as will the yogurt. I have needed an incentive to lose weight and now I have one....for Elijah, because he needs to lose weight. I am also going to have him walk with me whenever I go walking. All we can do is get up every morning and tackle this the best that we can. I am going to start counting his calories too. I tried to explain to him why we have to change things up with what he eats, and finally told him if he doesn't make these changes then there are needles in his future. I know this isn't going to be easy, for any of us. He doesn't have diabetes now, and my goal is for him NOT to ever get it. This is a true kick in the rear for me, but I think I needed it to put these changes in place!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Elijah's Nucleus 6 Processors Arrived Today!

I was quite surprised to hear my doorbell ring this morning. Elijah and I were getting ready to leave to go to the local rec center for his Lego Robotics Camp, when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to the FedEx man standing there with this HUGE Cochlear box. SunMed had said the processors would ship in 5-7 days, and today is only day 4. When I had talked to Cochlear they had said 6-8 weeks.
It also never fails that I miss anything that needs a signature from Cochlear. I always have to drive in to the FedEx office to pick up the shipment. I should have run out and bought a lottery ticket today! We had to rush off to the rec center so we didn't get to take a look at anything until we got home, 3 hours later.
We looked at all of the tiny little boxes in the two big boxes, and then left it all alone. I tried to snap the processor and battery together, but could not get them together. I decided to leave it alone, because there was probably something I was missing and I didn't want to break them!
I got an appointment for Elijah for Monday at 3:30! I am very excited for him. I will be sure to post pictures.  Here is a picture of him with the cool boxes his processors came in.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elijah's N6's Have Been Ordered

I got the email today that Elijah's N6's have been approved at the in-network rate! He and I sat and looked at the order form and he decided he wanted the color Maize(beige). He also picked out two different processor covers(one for each ear). We are both very excited that he will be upgrading to the N6 from his Freedoms. I was told it will take 5-7 days for them to ship to us, and hopefully someone will be home to sign for them. If not, I will make the 20 minute drive to the FedEx office the next day and pick them up! I can also send his Freedoms back to be cleaned once his N6's are programmed. I made an appointment for him on June 25th to get them programmed. Even with insurance coverage these processors are still expensive, but I am happy that Elijah will get this upgrade!
Here you can see the size difference between the Freedom, which Elijah is wearing now, and the N6 he will be wearing soon!