Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I have worked with her 24 years now. We are the same age! So she likes to tell everyone how old I am!! I made her the sweatshirt she is wearing, it says "Camping Woman".
M.A. used to love going camping with us. Now she struggles to leave the house. Transitioning from house to camping is hard for her.
Six of the years I have worked with her she had her own apartment. I would call and visit her daily to make sure she was o.k. I took her grocery shopping and taught her independent living skills at her apartment. She did very well. The only problem we had were some of her mentally ill neighbors wanting to take advantage of her.
I had taught her Independent living skills before she moved into her own apartment; while she lived in our group home. She loved to learn things and was always eager to please. She was a very hard worker. She often had 2 jobs and sometimes volunteered at the Library. She loves books. Around age 40 she started slowing down. Her health also started causing some problems. Mostly arthritis and leg clots and infections in her legs.
She moved back into our group home when she was 38. She wasn't able to learn new things anymore and was slowing down quickly. It was hard to watch her personality change so much. She developed her own agenda. She lost the ability to tell time. Others may have thought she was being un-cooperative. But she just decided that she had more important things to do. Getting set in her ways. She started sleeping less at night and more in the day. And she started shrinking into a little old lady.
M.A. had a roommate in our group home who was 1 year younger than us. She too had Down Syndrome. She was lower functioning. We adored her. She lived with us for 16 wonderful years before dying from Alzheimer's at 44 years young. Her name was Susie. We miss her every day.
M.A. and Susie started one of the new Alzheimer drugs, but they both became increasingly agitated on it. So we stopped it. Then a few years later after Susie died, M.A. was put on another new Alzheimer drug. This one had an un-known side effect of weight loss!! After realizing she lost 50 pounds- I ran her to the Emergency Room, only to learn it was a side effect of the drug!
So far I would say that this drug has helped alot! After being on it a few years some of her humor has returned!! Before we noticed her becoming very quiet.
We did learn a frightening thing about these medications at a medication training from a Psychiatrist. They warned that taking people off of these Alzheimers meds could kill them within days! So when the pharmacy told us they were changing her med and giving her a generic, I worried. Thank the Lord the generic was re-called after only a few days! I don't dare ask why.
M.A. is a gift from God in my life. I love her more than words can say. She has taught me so much about faith and love and life. Often at 3 or 4 or 5 a.m you can find M.A. sitting on her bed reading her story bible. And she prays for me too! Can you imagine how sweet her prayers must sound to God. She has the beautiful pure faith of a child.
I thank God for her in my life every day!
Now we need to raise airfare for Tom, around $1,000.00 and $500.00 or so for his stay-hotel etc.
Praising God for His great goodness and mercy!
Thank You Lord!
We are so undeserving.
Thank You for your prayers!!!! (((HUGS)))
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Meanwhile, Samson has been in a mood. He was walking past me at dinner on Friday night, there was no room for him to get past me. So he smashed into me!! I pulled him aside and told him "You need to say Excuse Me!" I was then surprised as he threw his arms up in anger. That was very unlike him! Then he stormed off and he didn't speak to me for TWO days!! Because he was mad at me! He never gets mad at anyone!
Since he was avoiding me, his brothers and sisters told him he needed to tell mom he was sorry. But he quickly folded his arms across his chest and mumbled angry words about "mom" to them, refusing. Then I decided to give him a few consequences. No cookies. Still no apology. No pop and pizza at his brothers birthday party. He was not happy, but nope, no apology. His dad told him- "Tell your mom you are sorry". Nope. He was avoiding me and refusing to speak to me!!?? He has never done anything like this before!
Finally this morning two of his sisters semi-pushed him towards me and told him if he wanted cookies, pizza, pop, and TV, he better "Go apologize to Mom." He would walk towards me, and look at me; and just stand there. So after a few pushes closer to me, from his sisters, and after standing there and saying nothing to me; I asked him what he wanted. And he said "Sorry". It was still a little defiant, but he said it. I accepted his apology and he practically ran to go watch football!
And now he acts as though nothing ever happened!
So often we are told that teens with DS don't mature as quickly as kids without DS. But I would have to say after this incident- Samson is just as capable of being moody as his 3 teen age siblings right now. The hormones have physically have changed him. He already has facial hair and has begun maturing into a mans body at 15. His brother who does not have DS and is the same age has not even physically matured as much. Samson is not a late bloomer in that way. So I think it makes sense that yes, his new found defiance is indeed, just like a regular, normal teenager.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
This is Isaiah(6 yrs) and Samson (15 yrs) playing tether ball up north. Isaiah is a very good sport when Samson wins! This is why in the vids on my other blog, Samson is always calling "Isaiah!" Because he is a fun brother to play with.
Samson's other brothers- 15 yr old brother Gabe and 19 yr old brother Matthew are too rough! And his oldest brother Andy (35 yrs) just ignores Samson, because Andy doesn't like being developmentally delayed, so he refuses to spend time with others who are. Andy craves to be "normal". And Samson never gets to see his brother Ian (age 29).
So that makes Isaiah a "best" brother :o) and a very good friend! Soon they will have 2 of their 5 new little brothers home from Bulgaria. They are very excited for more brothers in a family of lots of girls! No mom didn't ask for lots of girls, it just happened that way!