This is the second part of a guest blog post by my friend Connie Baum where she shares a very personal journey that her family has taken as a family with not one but two special needs sons. To read part one click here: http://www.growingupspecial.com/special-needs-finding-a-place-of-love-acceptance-part-1/
Guy’s health began to deteriorate, however. A surgery from which he did not recover well left him with memory issues, confusion, and lethargy. It was an exceedingly painful decision, but it needed to be made: Guy needed to be placed in a nursing facility for 24 hour care. At the time of his arrival, the staff estimated he might linger for six months. He was weak, thin, depressed, in great pain, and was very confused. He was 29 years young.
It was about this time in his life that his Services Coordinator, who had been a faithful partner in so many transitions in Guy’s life, transferred to a different office. He would be served by a new coordinator. I will always remember the young dark haired beauty who arrived, curls bouncing, carrying in the stack of folders pertinent to Guy’s case. We loved HER at first sight, too! She was a mighty advocate for as long as she worked with Guy.
Over a decade, Guy’s health had significantly improved. Because of what Mom had learned about water, supplements, sleep systems, energy medicine and a plethora of information he was able to participate in another workshop setting. It was with great joy that he became able to live in a Group Home. He would miss his friends at the Nursing Home but a Group Home would mean more opportunity for learning and a more upbeat existence.
Things with the agency sponsoring the group home began to unravel at the same time we parents needed to simplify our lives. We consulted our beloved services coordinators-past and present-for answers to our dilemma.
As we were debating our course of action we learned of a brand new agency with a fresh vision and hopeful philosophy. Could we trust this new agency? Would they let us down?
After a VERY rough start to the beginning of a chapter in life that put those step brothers back under the same roof, we have met the people who will be caring for both guys.
These people WANT our boys. They have a home that is laid out so as to accommodate them. They have children and relatives who will embrace them. They seem to be well qualified and well trained for the job they have accepted. This amazing couple, and their family, came to the agency at THE PERFECT TIME. I am persuaded it is a ‘God thing’!
Nothing in life is certain. But we are feeling mighty elated! We have no control over things like our kids’ lives, so we must TRUST that Divine Providence is at work.
Special needs have become special blessings on so many levels!
This morning we are marveling at the synchronicity of how our boys are enjoying a quality of life we dared to hope might be possible. If it is not synchronicity; if not a God thing, then, pray tell, what IS it?
If you would like to learn more about Connie you can check out her Health And Wealthy site
Guy began to leave his bed for longer periods of time. His appetite improved. He became strong enough to participate in a sheltered workshop program. Then he went to his workshop eagerly and more often.
The most amazing wonder of all was that after ten years, Guy Foster LEFT the nursing home to live in a Group Home setting, where he earns spending money from his job in a recycling center. He has a network of people with whom he exchanges letters and jokes; he has a standing invitation to drum with a group of Indian friends. He even enjoys regular visitors to his apartment and phone chats. He is proudly learning normal life skills.
At this writing, Guy Foster is 42 years young and full of vim, vinegar and vitality. He encourages others every day with his greeting cards, his empathy and his love. He also believes the world’s entire population should be drinking “his kind” of water!
What I would like to impart to anyone whose eyes have fallen on this page is this: Feed every family member organic whole foods when you can; pure, filtered water and lots of it. Get adequate amounts of sleep and rest and balance that with movement, exercise. Supplement everyone’s diets with whole foods supplements and add in green super foods and highly mineralized juices. Not just fruit juices, but the supplemental juice products used by the ounce. Use as much fresh, raw food as you possibly can because we all need the phytonutrients, anti-oxidants, enzymes and vitamin/mineral content that is so plentiful in fresh foods. I’d also encourage anyone to boldly immerse yourselves in the study of body work-Reiki, Ortho-bionomy, massage therapy- whatever strikes your fancy. Investigate the wonders of energy medicine. Learn all you can about herbs, homeopathic remedies, Macrobiotic foods, Ayurvedic methods, and whatever else resonates with you. Find a good chiropractor who understands that the body heals from the inside, not the other way around. Any health practitioner worth his salt will teach you a variety of complementary ways of working with bodies that may not be “perfect” according to someone’s standard. One more thing: Make the kinds of memories that cause you to laugh so hard your face and belly hurt!
Families who avoid artificial sweeteners, MSG, soda pop, processed, packaged and micro waved food products as well as fluoride-laden dental products will notice a huge improvement in the quality of their lives. These changes will be remarkable where issues are noted involving the nervous system, digestion, and elimination.
As soon as the physical body gets its needs met, the mental needs fall into line, along with the emotional and spiritual. When those requirements are satisfied, fewer behavior issues are problematic, sleep is more refreshing, cheer is the order of the day and peace can reign in the busiest household!
Thank you Connie for sharing with us the experiences that you have had and the knowledge that you dont have to accept life as status quo…you can seek therapies that enrich the lives of our special needs loved ones.
The Care and Feeding of Guy Foster—Part One
The care and feeding of any family of kids is an important undertaking. Every growing body needs lots of whole foods; good pure water; adequate exercise and sleep. Every body requires large amounts of hugs and laughter to mature properly. That’s what people have in common with one another.
I have had a lifelong interest in food, nutrition and all things pertaining to health so it was natural for me to gravitate toward healthy choices as I prepared meals for my growing family.
When we welcomed a certain charming three year old with multiple health issues into our family, it became all the more imperative to pay attention to what we all ate and drank and how we managed the care of our health.
The new kid on our block, Guy Foster, had four caretakers in three months before his arrival. Prior to that, he had lived in two hospitals and he endured multiple orthopedic, exploratory, corrective and brain surgical procedures. To be honest, Guy was an adorable, busy blob of humanity whose needs were monumental.
The most pressing issue was a shunt that keeps spinal fluid from collecting in his skull. There were many other challenges, too, but the most persistent was the dreadful odor that surrounded Guy’s body. No amount of scrubbing, no brand of soap, and no sort of deodorant offered any relief. It was a major concern.
Guy’s health had its ups and downs. When Guy was 29 he underwent a surgery that had a bad outcome. That’s when it was decided he should live in a nursing home. Only those who have gone through that process can appreciate the pain of that time in our lives.
During Guy’s tenure in the nursing home we discovered a new kind of water. It had more minerals and oxygen so we thought it would be good to get Guy to drink that. He even had a spray bottle for topical use.
We also acquired a magnetic mattress and pillow, along with a Far Infra Red comforter for the hospital bed on which he languished most of his days AND nights. We slipped magnetic insoles into his shoes, much to the chagrin of his orthotics and prosthetics specialists. They just did not fathom the concept.
The dietary people were unhappy, too. They did not appreciate or value the purpose behind the juice or “green stuff”-barley grass-we provided to accompany Guy’s meals and the nursing staff complained bitterly, loudly, and often that the whole foods supplements we brought for Guy had not been sanctioned nor labeled by the pharmacy department.
As time passed, we opted not to use any medications in Guy’s treatment. The medical staff at the nursing home became ENRAGED over that decision but as Guy’s legal guardian I had the right to make that choice. It was in Guy’s best interest, after all.
Over time, the toxicity of the medications eventually left Guy’s battered body, leaving him more alert, more active. The many surgical scars that covered much of his body had faded into oblivion. Best of all, even his breath was sweet! He was no longer plagued by the issue of odor!
Thank You Connie for your guest blog post!