Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Morning Walk

My husband Web and I (married 31 years)
I am known as Marmie Karen.  I am fifty-three, healthy and in love with life and relationship.  This is the first of, I hope, many posts on how I have navigated life with my son Zach, who, at age four became autistic; he is the youngest of my four children.

My aim is to be vulnerable and honest, to encourage and fan the fires of hope and joy inside of other mamas on a similar journey.
I have been walking down the road of autism for almost seventeen years.  I pray my failures and triumphs might offer someone the courage to lift a head look forward; to have fun and feel the light in what many of us find to be a cold dark, harder than hard valley of the shadow of death.

People who come into our home (where we have lived for the past 25 years), family, friends and caregivers, say it is one of the most peaceful places they've ever been to.  I find this almost comical knowing what I know about our life, you know, the flug pooh and all, but...I feel it too…now anyway, at first I begged God to send His peace because, as all who live with autism know, it is anything but peaceful; couple that with endless seizures....  All I can say is that God answered my hollering prayer and quietly sent us a part of Himself in a fuzzy blanket of peace.

Zachie Angel (2 years ago)
A little about my Zach Angel; he is 19 (will be 20 in July) he requires care and watching all day, all night; he has interactive seizures (mostly grand mal, about one a week although this week, he has had four) and can no longer use the toilet.  He needs help in every arena of life.  Showering, shaving, dressing, changing diapers, preparation of foods, basically, every aspect of daily living and can never be left alone.  He rarely sleeps through the night and does not like to travel (bummer!).  He loves Winnie The Pooh and Tigger; his books, Grandma and Me, The Tortoise and The Hare, Arthur's Teacher Trouble and pictures of family.  He likes to play Millie's Math House on his computer and watch his three favorite movies, Homeward Bound, Winnie The Pooh and the Blustery Day and The Fox and The Hound.  He is not aggressive, but when he is in a "mood", he will bang his own head with his hand, or hit the wall, bite his clothing, make loud sounds, or scream and pound the floor; these outbursts, or melt downs are short lived (never fun, but apparently necessary for Zach); we acknowledge that we can see he is unhappy (we try NOT to say "wow, you are Oscar the Grouchy" very often anyway) and get a feel for whether he wants us to help him get "unstuck" or if he would prefer we leave the vicinity till he calms down, it's a toss up, half we talk tenderly and help him move on, and half we get out of his bubble.  His care used to fall primarily on my shoulders, but for the past eighteen months we, my husband and I, have had some respite care provided by Creative Supports here in the beautiful Rogue Valley.   Ahhhhh…..deep breath, deeeeeep breath...

Practically, I have found supplements that help Zach (I will share more on those in an upcoming blog), developed gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free recipes for him that taste good and don't crumble into sawdust (coming later), started him on several diets, the ketogenic diet did not help Zach; the gluten free/dairy free diet has helped with his moods.  We cut out all pesticides and chemically treated foods.  This has also helped with seizures and moods.  We try to shop local and only serve Zach organic,  grass fed meats, raw foods and give him filtered water to drink.

A typical plate for Zach.
We have found healthy choices to be key!
Organic green beans, fresh pear, raw pecans,
raw olives and organic chicken livers
 (he loves these foods and can feed himself
so long as everything is cut into bite sized pieces).

Something soothing to start this blog:  Today, when Zach and I went for our morning walk down the trail (a half mile loop built on our property by volunteers) we saw new born twin fawns :-), a few days before we saw peanut sized wild turkeys.  It is green, wild flowers are popping.  These are just a few of the things I lift my head from the endless chores to see.  Zach doesn't seem to notice the wildlife; no matter, we assume he does even if he won't stop his Forrest Gump flying and take a gander.

Baby fawn #1 and below #2.  What shall we call these beauties?

Fawn pile!

 I'm in love with lavender, if I were nine, I'd marry a bunch.  Take a whiff, ahhhhh, energizing and soothing.
Zach on his morning walk, with Pooh and Tigger ball (his favorite thing)

So, today I share nature, get out in it if you can, push a stroller, a wheelchair, grab a hand (swing it) and walk; smile, the simplicity of it can lift you out of the loud grinding demands of autism.

Coming soon, Yummy recipes and supplements that help!

1 comment:

  1. You're awesome Karen. And the twin fawns...what a special morning.