Yesterday was a blur.....carpet and toilet guys in our apartment right and left. As they spoke Spanish, and only one of my insiders speak Spanish, I kept switching. Once I'm in the land of sign language or Spanish, it's tough to switch back....poor kids, they are going to learn both these languages no matter what it seems. Even when husband came home, I found that to tell him about the day, I switched to Spanish. Dang it....I wish there wasn't a division between the two. 

But the Spanish did come in handy with four guys tromping in and out over the water mess. Guess what? They shampooed the entire carpet.....so it's wet AGAIN. At least the mold was taken care of, and all the padding was removed. I don't even want to think of what the power bill will be with two dehumidifiers and one fan heater running all weekend. But we have clean carpet, and I caught the boys using their Spanish as well. Bueno......see, all it takes is a little courage guys. 

Husband and I had our weekly date last night......and I found myself looking forward to it all day long. It's nice, now that we have learned to schedule time for "us", to have just a few hours a week of a real date. We use the balcony, as Aramis won't take to a sitter during the evening hours.....and literally checks on us every few minutes or so. He still can't use the bathroom without an escort, etc.....so a babysitter would have to have a quick training into the land of schizophrenia at dark. It's a whole different world as the night approaches, and he knows it! 

Husband says the company bid on a job in Manhattan, and more than likely that's where we'll be sent. Time to simplify everything again for another cross country trip. Ah well, I look forward to these events. There's something in me that just loves to get up and go......I truly think it's from all the years wishing I could run away from my home of birth, but never having the courage to do so. 

Manhattan, huh? I've been there....told husband to make sure he understands that coffee comes with milk, and taxi cabs are everywhere. It's a different world for certain. The boys asked what to expect, as they had found it on the map already.....I told them it's like "Law and Order"....oh, that provided the mental image they needed. 

We had time to actually sit and connect......I was able to tell him how the second book is coming along, and he was able to tell me about all the things that go on at work. Our big laugh? He worked so hard to make sure the tank was "just right" for the Sea Lion exhibit, only to find out that a blind Sea Lion is being put in the tank. Well, glad he made the walls so smooth.......but also glad that a rescued animal will have a fine home. 

Husband also thinks it's going to be strange to ride the subway to work with all the guys.....concrete clothing and all. Well, looks like an adventure for all of us then......

And it'll be a big "NO" for Dante returning to public school. Manhattan? We don't think so.....he has an image that public school will be like iCarly or Wizards of Waverly Place....especially as his first crush is Selena Gomez (I think that's her name....he's lost when she's on the show)....but no darling, school in Manhattan will not be like either television show. And if the UT bus system lost the youngest boy twice, I don't even want to think of being lost in Manhattan. 

Aramis is unwilling to return to public school, as he still believes his delusions that the teachers use shock collars on students. No amount of reasoning can change that belief structure, and as long as he still "sees" things, the psychiatrist says to keep him home. He is improving in homework, and has regained some of his handwriting skills. His cognitive abilities have returned to almost normal, and simple math, well he works at it very slowly as he has to really think, but he's getting there. Far better than the eradication phase, as certain numbers were always removed from the page.  

Someone wrote me the other day and said Seroquel was a bad experience for them, and to get Aramis off of it. But that's all they said.....so for now, we'll need more information as it's helping more than it's hurting so far. He only has the problem of over heating right now, with severe sweating, so he then gets leg aches and cramps. To do any activity requires literally pouring water into him as fast as possible. Fortunately, he doesn't fight it, and drinks. 

He's willing to learn to skateboard now, which is a huge improvement, and provides both the boys an opportunity to get outside and do some form of physical activity every day other than walking. I'm impressed by how much progress they both have made with their new skateboards...and still haven't discovered skinned knees. That will come......and they'll live. 

Dante is getting huge, and he's only 9. It's obvious he's taking after his Dad, and building the width and height from him. He was always such a skinny little guy, active and the smallest in class. No more....this guy is growing, and has is entering the teens quicker than we can keep up. We actually watch him grow, it's happening that fast. He asked what this "thing" was on his lip yesterday was....well dude, it's your first pimple. Welcome to teenager-hood. And now, to add the endorsement of daily using the cleaning pads to prevent acne......hate to say it: but I told you. Skip this part of your hygiene and you'll regret it. Lip pimples are the worse.....but considering he has a mustache already, it's not really a surprise. 

Aramis wanted to know if he will 1)ever get rid of schizophrenia and 2) why he's the only one with it? Well, no to the first, and no to the second. I know lots of people with schizophrenia, I also know lots of people with all sorts of different disorders. I have a disorder, your Dad has a disorder, (he wanted to know the alphabet soup connected with each), the neighbor across the hall has a disorder, the other neighbor has a nephew with schizophrenia, as does the lady who lives downstairs, but it's her step-son. Lots of people have "it", and they are still beautiful, wonderful people who live a full and happy life. Really? Yes really, so remember that you are Aramis......and yes, you'll need medication, but nothing will change how much we love you and how wonderful you are. It does help that our psychiatrist treats children, so he is slowly realizing that the crowded waiting room with all these new "friends" are also people with an alphabet soup attached to their names. It does not define who they are, and no: scarlet letters went out of fashion years ago, along with institutions and mental wards. 

I found out yesterday for a relative who I was able to reconnect with, that my brother lost another set of children to the state. The mother was able to get them back, but she's "not the best mother", so moved to prevent their being taken again. Good grief, will the cycle ever stop? My brother is in jail again.....and another set of kids. 

I was fortunate to be able to talk with husband about this last night, and how much it's bothered me, bringing up memories of our childhood, and how it feels like the past just keeps on giving. I told him that when I mention this to my psychiatrist, she just looks at me with this expression that's difficult to define. His reply? Well of course.....but I'm changing the past, I'm not permitting the past to ruin the boys lives, so what more can she say? These things do happen, and to break the cycle is asking a lot of many people who don't even realize they are still caught in it. Ah....now that makes sense. I still wish I could save the world, or at the very least, go back in time and save my brothers. But alas, those are dreamscape thoughts that fade when the morning light of reality breaks through. 

Well, that wraps up events in our corner of the world. Sending warm and peaceful thoughts to everyone out there. 



Shelly
 


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    Shelly Dowen-Johnson

    I am currently traveling with my husband across the United States, due to the nature of the work he does. 

    I am the mother of two boys, one who has recently been diagnosed with Early Onset Childhood Schizophrenia (Schizoaffective Disorder). 

    It appears the Dowen family gene sequencing contributes much more than the darling dimples both boys have inherited!  But, as always, with love, tender care and support....we will thrive! 

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