Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Life Has Been Busy

It's been crazy for me lately; obviously, since I haven't posted since Sept. 11th, and it's now Sept. 20...I think. See, I don't even know what day it is anymore! I had to go to the Big Bear Film Festival this past weekend, so Erik drove up with the kids on Saturday. I got to spend Friday night at the events, and was there for the Awards: Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, the cinematographer who shot such great films as "Deliverance," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "Close Encounters..." and most recently, "The Black Dahlia" was getting an award. Also, the director Martha Coolidge was there. It's so nice to go to these small film festivals, because the filmmakers get to hang out with more notable filmmakers. Martha Coolidge was just hanging out, watching films.

On Saturday, though, it was family day. We took the kids to this little zoo they have up there, right at the base of the ski lift. It was great. The animals are all injured in some way, but the exhibits are very natural, and they are very close, so you can actually see the animals. They had wolves, bears, coyotes, leopards, foxes, bobcats, owls, all kinds of birds, and other wildlife. I liked it much better than the LA zoo, because the animals are so far away you can barely see them. And for Owen, it's much harder to see them since he doesn't know what he's looking for.

Then, Sunday morning, Owen fell down the stairs and scared the living daylights out of me and Erik. See, we were staying in this two story condo, and they had the living space upstairs, so there was a door at the top of the stairs. Owen snuck behind Erik and started going up the stairs, which he has been feeling pretty confident about lately, and no sooner did I say to Erik to go get him than he tried to open the door, lost his balance and fell down the stairs. I actually didn't feel like he was really hurt, and for the first ten minutes it didn't register that my son had just fallen down the stairs. They were heavily carpeted, but still. He cried for a few minutes, and then he seemed okay, but we watched him closely all day. He didn't get tired, he didn't sleep, his vision seemed normal. We looked for all the signs. Erik felt bad about it all day. I had mentioned to him that the thing that scared me the most is that he could have broken his neck and been paralyzed (that's me, always thinking the worst), and that stuck with Erik. See, he has been trying to allow Owen some freedom, to explore and learn how to do things. But I told him, we have to accept that our child is not like other 3 yea-olds. He has Down Syndrome; he will not be able to climb the stairs for a long time and we must respect his limitations. We both want him to be like other kids, I know that. But when it comes to safety, I am always so cautious with him because I know that he cannot do things like other kids his age. I told Erik that maybe I should call the pediatrician and he said, "why? He seems fine. They are just going to make you bring him in so they don't get sued by telling you what to watch for and not seeing him." But then I said, "but what if I don't bring him in, and weeks later something happens? What if they send social services to our house and take our daughter, thinking we abused our child? I mean, look at what happened to Britney Spears." Of course, I never did call, because he really has seemed fine.

So, things have been crazy busy, and I can't seem to get things done. It's one thing after another, if it's not work, it's life stuff. Tomorrow we meet with the regional center and our new coordinator. I'm going to see about getting a behaviouralist for Owen. And, I'm going to ask about respite again. It seems that everyone else is getting it, but not us. One of my friends with a child with Down Syndrome said, "Suzanne, you got to stop being so together. I mean, really, they will never give you services if you are doing so well." I laughed at the time, but I am having my moments. Moments when I feel like I will lose it if I don't get away and breathe. In fact, my moments are coming my frequently, when I really just wish I could find one hour to myself each day. Just one hour to go for a walk, or write, or just sit and do nothing. Maybe in about ten years I can have that??


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been a long time....You will get some alone time when the kids start getting more independant - 7ish. By that time you will wish you had them all cuddled up in your arms like a little baby again. Owens fall sounds like the fall you took when you were a baby - except you fell down stairs that were cement covered in tile and metal corner braces. I hope he is OK :-) By him falling, he will likely be more cautious next time. Heck, as an adult I have fallen down many stairs because I was in a hurry. It sounds very exciting to be doing the job that you do. We miss you and will see you soon!!!
Love Anne

6:45 AM  
Blogger shellsbells said...

How frightening that must've been! Have you gotten Owen's neck x-rayed? I don't want to add to your worries, but it's better to be safe than sorry. We got our Owen's neck x-rayed when he turned 3. When we attend the DS conference in Chicago, we learned from another family that there is something with DS children (I'm sorry I don't remember what it's called) where it affects the stability of their necks. Ask your pediatrician about it. We did and he didn't know. We live in such a remote area, Owen was his first DS patient, he now has 3 others. After looking it up, he found out what it was and ordered an x-ray. Everything turned out to be fine.

10:41 AM  

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