Many interesting things happened on our trip north in November that I feel should be shared with the special needs community – or anyone wanting to know what it’s like to live with someone with a brain injury.
We rented a little cottage in Chardon, Ohio as most of our activities would take place in a 35-mile radius, and it’s where I went to high school. My husband took David on a walk around the neighborhood which took them near the shopping plaza where my Mother had once owned a Beauty Shop, called Evelyn, Hairdresser. Unfortunately, the old arcade where her shop was located has long since been bricked up, and in its place is a Marc’s department store.
They stopped into this store to look around and then walked home. Several days later, while I was out visiting with some good friends, David took himself for a walk, as he often does at home. We usually know where he is as we have Life 360 on our cell phones and Big Dave always knew where he was.
I came home to a beaming David. He had purchased a carton of ice cream! Things such as this could make a parent of a special needs person panic, however, when David goes for a walk, it allows him to feel more in control of his life. It makes him feel even more so, when he can buy something he wants.
Even at home, David makes us coffee each night before he goes to bed, setting the timer to go off in the morning. The coffee pot we had at the cottage did not have a timer, so he got up each morning to press the ON button. Because I was going to cook some of our meals, I had brought three shaker-type containers; garlic salt, garlic and herb, and one marked CREAMER.
One morning, David presented me with a cup of coffee. I usually pour my own, but he had done this apparently an hour earlier. When I looked into the cup, it looked a bit strange as things were floating in it. I thanked him and took a swig. When he left the room, I poured it down the drain and got another cup.
The next morning, he did the same thing. When I asked him what he had put into the cup, he walked over to the three shakers and pointed to the garlic and herb. I thanked him and he left the kitchen. Again, I poured it out and got a fresh cup, then proceeded to put all the shakers away, with the exception of the powered CREAMER. Problem solved.
Special people such as David do not need to be scolded. David would have been hurt and most probably stomped off as he was only trying to do something nice for me. We caregivers don’t always know what to do in situations such as this. My advice is to smile, say thank you, and deal with it as nicely as you can.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!