(Picture credit: aminerecipes.com)
I have been away for a few days working on some personal things about my life outside of Thomas. I have decided to take on some serious counseling and as any of you who have had counseling before know, it can--and is for me right now--be a lot of hard work and work that isn't always easy. I thought my days of intensive therapy were over years ago but it seems like there is a lot still to work on. As such, I haven't been writing my posts here because my mind is filled with processing a great deal of things about my life both currently and a bit from the past. I wanted, however, to write today to let you know how Thomas is doing in the last few days.
To begin with, he is doing relatively well. He has moved from being on his laptop in the living room back to his bedroom and he's quite busy in there doing things. He filmed a YouTube video that he wants me to post here but I'll admit that I haven't had time to go and watch it first. I'm not sure what it's about so I don't want to put it out there if I need to be protecting Thomas instead. He also just finished up putting one of his Gundam models together. If you don't remember or if you are new to my blog, Gundam models are these...I call them robots...that come from Japan and all of the directions are in Japanese. Somehow Thomas still manages to get one put together. Here is one that he's built in the past just so you get an idea.
This one was the last one he built and he proudly displayed it for his "Friday's With Tom" blog post a while back. When I get a chance I will take a picture of his new one and post it.
Beyond that I now have him making dinners as much as possible. We still haven't gotten our act together mostly because I haven't been around much, to plan meals on the 3x5 cards that were a plan of Dr. K.'s. Instead, I thought in the meantime, that I would just have him cook what Dan and I decide for dinner in the morning before Thomas gets up. So far he has made lasagna and garlic bread with a salad (he cut up the carrots for the salad himself--a brave act on his part since he hasn't liked working with knives in the past). He also made what we call taco rice which is wild rice with taco meat on top and sprinkled with cheese and we had my mom's canned peaches with that. What I've done is basically have Thomas shop in our house for the ingredients and then put it all together. He did really good with that and that is what we had for dinner last night. Needless to say, once again, he had the opportunity from both Dan and I to hear what a great job he did. All of this is giving him confidence to do it all over again sometime.
In therapy last week Dr. K. also wanted Thomas to try to learn to work with the BBQ grill and to see how it gets lit and to see it's behavior when it is lit. He was extremely afraid of the fire but when Dan went out to grill on Sunday, Thomas went out there with him and Dan patiently taught him how to light the grill and patiently and lovingly taught Thomas about how to work with the fire. I loved this because Dan isn't always the best and most patient with Thomas so for the two of them to have this father-son time together made me happy. Thomas came inside after learning about the grill and he was very excited. I could actually see a point when he might be able to make a hamburger on the grill. I would be so proud of him if he could do that.
Beyond all of that, his cognitive difficulties remain and we are working on them here and there. I watched him as he looked for our rice cooker on a shelf in a very cluttered room and I could see that newly discovered visual neglect in play but I was quicker this time to point out that he has this limitation and that he needed to be sure to look everywhere and he finally found it. I think right now the visual neglect is the most disturbing thing of all to me. I suppose it's because it's so new, or rather so newly discovered.
So, today is another therapy appointment for me and that means another day on his own for the most part. He seems to be handling my extended absences well and as such I have allowed myself to be away a little more often. I know I won't always have the freedom to leave home because he'll be sick again someday but for now, I am taking advantage of his strength and independence and doing some things that make me happy or that need to get done.