Time To Change

TOP 5 ways you can tell you are getting old?
  1. You are listening to the 'Oldies' radio station while driving to work and they play a song from your high school days! - Talk about a shocker, they played Depeche Mode's People are People on Kool FM 94.5!! 
  2. You find yourself reading the obituaries to see if you are listed, feeling it possible but thinking they just hadn't bothered to mention it to you earlier...
  3. You learn that people you work with were not even born yet when you were hired!
  4. The Pharmacist knows you by sight, and already has your blood pressure, and cholesterol prescriptions on the counter as you approach to pick them up!
  5. You remember watching this episode when it originally aired on TV (after the television had a few minutes to warm up of course)
 

I've never been one to feel overwhelmed by the onset of the Golden Years of life. I didn't blink an eye when the Thirty-somethings struck, and cared less when the Forty-somethings neared the half way point... If you've followed my blog from its inception you might remember when I reminisced about a few of my friends getting older. At the time a few of them were showing their age quite noticeably. I on the other hand didn't think I was showing my age in the least. I still have a few years left as an Quadragenarian, not quite reaching the prime of 'Middle Adulthood.'

However, I must confess, I'm still in need of reading glasses, and my normal eyesight has fallen to 20/20, which really bothers me as I can't see as clearly as I used to. My hair has started to gray a little on the sides - you know, at the temples so I have that distinguished look - and my beard is starting to look more like Santa's then it used to - these are symptoms of what they call 'Universal Aging'

But there is one factor that seems to be aging me more then anything. This 'proximal aging' is due in large part to one event and one event in particular that has arrive recently in our home.

PUBERTY!

No, not me! A certain somebody has reached that milestone in his life. 

I find it ironic that the word 'milestone' is so similar to 'millstone' (as in '...around my neck'), which is exactly what it feels like trying to navigate this season of life with a special needs child!

It didn't help, during his annual checkup, when the staff at the Melmed Center gently reminded us that though emotionally, intellectually, and academically, he is far behind his age group, hormonally he was absolutely perfect!

For the most part puberty isn't so bad to cope with. I've lived through it before with the emotional drama that young women encounter, and the brain-dead 'What? What?' that young men go through. But this is different. Yes, we experience the typical issues, like his voice starting to change.  There is nothing cuter then to listen to his formally monotone robotic-like voice as it squeaks, squeals, and cracks as he talks. I've already mentioned the occasional shave I have to give him. But there are a few rough sections of road when the puberty construction zone strikes on the Acronym Highway!

Years ago, I hurt my back and to help find some relief we bought a body pillow. Sleeping on my side, I could rest a leg on the pillow, and provide support, and relief until my back loosened up and I felt better. When we purchased the pillow all they had was this hideously ugly purple fuzzy body pillow. No problem, I thought. It wasn't a big deal, when all was said and done, and my back was better we could tuck that thing away in the closet. 

Yeah, big problem! It won't fit in our closet. The only place we could find for it was to tuck it behind our headboard. It was out of sight, out of the way, and out of mind.

Except that a certain little somebody - actually he is not little anymore, he is 5'6", has nearly surpassed his mother in height, and like those Labrador Retriever puppies with the giant over-sized paws, has lots more where that comes from since he has very large feet and hands to grow into still! - discovered the pillow and loves to cuddle on it...

...NAKED!

Yeah, this clearly must have something to do with the sensory integration dysfunction that he experiences; at least that's what I tell myself! 

Many are the times we have walked into the bedroom to find him naked, laying under the pillow.

We ask, 'What are you doing?' or 'Are you naked?'
He quickly replies, in that squeaky, crackly voice, "Oh, nothing! Nothing!' or 'Sorry! Sorry!' as he quickly situates his clothes to where they should be, and moves out from under the pillow.
We have even experienced him sitting naked at the computer with the pillow tucked between his legs, his arms pulling it tightly to his chest, while he surfs the internet for pictures of his favorite cartoon characters.

Another problem with puberty is that he sweats! He sweats like Shaq standing at the free throw line! Again this is accentuated by his sensory issues, he loves having his socks on all the time. We developed a routine recently where he takes his shoes off when he gets home and puts on slippers. He hates being without clothing - unless the purple pillow is nearby, or he doesn't have his medication - and loves wearing long sleeves, even in the summer. We try to have him wear shorts, and try to sleep without a shirt on, but eventually his compulsion gets the best of him and on the shirt goes, and he buries himself under his blankets to drift off to sleep in a pool of sweat, the fresh aroma of locker room wafting in the air.

With Michael being gone, he hates sleeping in his own bed, so he climbs into our bed, on my side, and bundles himself up under every blanket available. Normally this would not be a problem except for he is now sweating like a mad man underneath those layers!

The other night I pulled back the blankets to 'carry him' off to bed (which by the way means I have him stand up and I walk him back to his bed as he weighs over 100 pounds) and the sheets were all wet. You would have thought he had just got out of the pool and jumped into bed in his wet swim trunks!!!!

I won't say this isn't fair, but come on! Isn't there some kind of medicine they can prescribe to help deal with this, some kind of treatment, something? I don't care if it is a shot, a pill, or if they have to medically induce a coma until he's grown out of this, there must being something they can do. 

I thought medicine was based on compassion!! 

I am ready and willing to be compassionate. I'll even let my wife go first. She gets the coma for the winter and spring months, I'll go into the coma for summer and fall, at least until this naked sweaty construction zone clears up... =}

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