Just a follow up! I said that we have had to deal with all sorts of people that has really made our journey that much more difficult. I closed the blog talking about a little boy that came up to greet Dylan and just shared his love and acceptance of Dylan, just the way he is. That little boys’ mom should be very proud of him. She is raising him to love and not hate, to accept people with differences! Bravo to her. I also want to share an amazing and humbling event that just took place about two hours ago. This helps to restore my faith in mankind even further. As Terri, Dylan, and I were leaving Wal-Mart, I was approached by a gentleman with two young daughters. I thought he wanted my cart, which I would have gladly given to him, but that’s not what he wanted. He says to me, “Hey, I want to let you know, I understand how difficult it is raising a child with special needs. I have a daughter who is special needs herself. I want to give you this.” He said handing me something from his hand. I actually wasn’t sure what he was giving me, but, then he said, “Please have dinner on me tonight.” I thanked him as he and his two beautiful little girls walked towards the entrance of the store. I stood there in amazement for several seconds, before I looked at the bill in my hand. I was both humbled and overwhelmed. In my hand was a brand new 100.00 dollar bill. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I continued to stand there dumbfounded for several minutes. I slowly put the bill in my pocket and got in the car. Terri noticed right away that something was wrong, so she asked me. A few hot tears began to streak down my face. I was at a loss for words. I finally said, “Give me a minute. I regained my composure and fished the 100 dollar bill from my pocket and placed it in her hand. She looked at me shocked. “Where did that come from?” she asked. I told her what had just happened and the tears began to well up inside me once again. She said that she noticed the man looking at us as we were putting Dylan into the car. We snapped a picture of his truck! This is why I continue to hold out hope. It is these type of things that restores my faith. This man was truly an Angel in every sense of the word. He didn’t know me, or my situation, but he felt compelled to help us. That is the real meaning of tithing. That is what God truly expects from us. To reach out to others to give anonymously expecting nothing back in return. There is no doubt that this man will be blessed tenfold. For the stranger that gave of himself freely, I want to say thank you and may God bless you abundantly.
The Real Superman Part XX
By Jeff King
It has been awhile since I have written. I was bogged down working at summer school and studying my last two college classes of the last semester. I just recently finished both. There has been a few things that have taken place since I last wrote The Real Superman. Dylan was scheduled to have the battery in his VNS changed today, which is 8/5/2015. It never happened, because, the surgeon’s secretary would call every few days to move the surgery further. It was originally scheduled for 7:00 AM, but she called us yesterday after calling us two previous time to reschedule and make it later. Now they wanted to schedule it for 2:00 PM, which is actually insane, because, Dylan wouldn’t have been able to eat anything after 12:00 AM this morning. That means he would have to go about 18 hours before he would be able to eat anything. I guess when you’re second class people these surgeons can reschedule you anytime they feel like it. Dylan being possibly two years old mentally, would be very angry if he was unable to eat for that long, and besides, it isn’t good for his health to go for that long. I am considering on launching a complaint against this surgeon, because, it is ridiculous to expect a child that is like Dylan to go that long without anything to eat.
I truly have a problem with the way people treat children with special needs. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t everyone that does it, but when you’re a parent of a child that has special needs, you notice all the stares and whispers. You notice how some people treat you differently. Just as I was explaining. If we were people that had top of the line health insurance and not Medicaid for Dylan, but perhaps, Blue Cross and Blue Shield; or if we were paying cash, I can bet money that this doctor wouldn’t have continued to put Dylan’s surgery off! It just peeves me! Goddamnit, we are not second class citizens. We matter too! These children matter! We ended up canceling it and rescheduling it for next Thursday. The Secretary told us that if we didn’t reschedule it for next week then we would have to wait until October before we could reschedule it, because the surgeon was going on vacation. Must be real nice? Anyhow, I guess we should be use to this sort of thing by now, since these are the things we have had to deal with since Dylan has been little.
I have written before about how people would say things, for example the woman at the mall who accused Dylan of pushing her kid off the Humpty Dumpty Sliding board. Then there was the woman who blocked the wheelchair access aisle so we couldn’t get Dylan out of the store in his wheelchair. The woman that said that I wasn’t even man enough to make a normal child. Then we went to the MVA to aquire a special parking permit in front of my house, so we can have parking right out in front. We have fought people over this issue. On occasion we have some assclown that decides to park there, but unbeknown to them it is a 500.00 fine to park there. I have actually had words with several neighbors because they parked there. I had one neighbor across from me had someone visiting from Florida parked there. We pull up it is pouring down raining and someone is parked in our spot. I didn’t know who it was. I layed on my horn, hoping someone would come out to investigate and perhaps know who the vehicle belonged to, but to no avail, so I called the police and the officer comes to write a ticket for the vehicle. The lady across the street from me pulls up and ask me what was the problem, I told her that someone parked in my spot. She then says to me, “Do you want me to go get him and make him move?” I replied that I had already called the police. The officer hadn’t arrived as of yet, but she then replies, “Well that is unneccesary!” I did’t know she knew this person, but she began to cuss me out like it was my fault that this ass hat parked in my spot! My daughter began to yell at her, and began to threaten her. That is when the clown that had parked in my spot finally came out of her house and walked across the street. He asked me what was the problem and I explained that I have a permit for the parking space and that it is a 500.00 fine to park there. He said he didn’t even see the two great big signs that read “PERMIT PARKING ONLY”, which also has a number that is affixed to my driver’s side windshield. I replied, “Can you read?” Which he took offense with me. That is when the police officer pulled up. I explained to the officer what transpired. I told the officer if he moves I am not worried about if he gives him a ticket. I just want my parking space so I could get Dylan out of the car and into the house. This is the kind of issues we have had to deal with. One time some Jack hole had parked there and I called the police. The officer that came actually asked me what I expected him to do about it. I informed him that they usually write a ticket for the violators. He told me that he wasn’t comfortable doing that and to park somewhere else. I promptly took his name and badge number and told him that I was calling for another officer. He was a real smart ass. He said, “Go right ahead, they will just send me back and I am not writing a ticket, I don’t have to.” Which really pissed me off. The woman who parked there came walking down the street and the officer asked if the car was hers and she said yes. He said, well you can’t park here. She said “Oh I am sorry, I didn’t know that?” She got in and drove off. Then the officer says to me, “all taken care of” Like he did something. I quickly replied, “Yes, but no thanks to you.” I will be in touch with your supervisor.” I called his supervisor the next day and was assured that I wouldn’t have another issue with an officer writing a ticket, because that is his job.
These are the things we have to deal with. I also explained the stares people give to Dylan. Like he is some kind of freak. He yells out, because he cannot speak. We expect children to stare, but then we have grown ass people rudely stare. We hear them whisper and occasionally laugh. One time, me, Dylan, Terri and my mom was in Wal-Mart and I was walking ahead of them. Terri was pushing Dylan in his chair and Dylan began to scream, it is an impulsive sensory thing that he does. Most people pay no mind to him, because most people no better, but as they’re walking along, Dylan is screaming. I was up ahead, because I was checking on something. Dylan let out an ear piercing squeal there was a lady directly in front of me she looked up and said, “Geese, shut that kid up!” I said, “Excuse me?” and she laughed, “I said, shut that kid up!” I was angry and I yelled at the woman, “What in the hell is wrong with you lady? That’s my child you’re talking about and he is Autistic!” She turned horribly red, “Oh I am so sorry, I didn’t know? I work with kids like him.” She replied. “I sure hope the hell not!” I said furiously “Because I sure feel sorry for them! You intensive asshole!” I added. By then Terri had overheard what was going on and she immediately reamed the woman out as well. Suddenly my 65 year old mother came careening down the aisle with a cart, “What did that bitch say about my grandson!” she yelled. I immediately calmed her down we got what we came to get and quickly left the store without further incident.
These are the things that saddens me. I often wonder is how Dylan will be treated when we’re no longer around and sometimes I feel hopeless; however, there remains a glimmer of hope. We were out at a mall yesterday and me and Dylan sat on a bench waiting for Terri to finish in Torrid. This little boy escaped from his mother and came running over to wear we were sitting. I was on the bench, but Dylan was in his wheelchair. The little boy bean to rub Dylan’s hand and say hi. His mom came over and said, “Did you tell the little boy hi?” they both smiled at us the young woman said hi to me and asked me how I was doing? I told her good thanks. She smiled and walked away. It is these type of things that gives me hope. We have people hating one another because of race issues. We have people hating people because of religion and politics. It seems as if the world is seriously going to hell and we are all on a one way dead end road towards doomsday, but there is yet hope. The little boy that came up to Dylan was probably about three-years old and an African American. He didn’t notice Dylan’s skin color, or his disability, he noticed that Dylan was a kid, just like him. That is truly love and that’s the kind of love that produces hope. (To be continued.)
By Jeff King
Charlotte is a little girl that suffered the same intractable seizures that Dylan has, but quite possibly worse than what Dylan has. She was having up to 300 seizures in a week, and she was incapable of doing anything, but having seizures. Her parent’s the Figis tried everything possible to give their little girl a chance at a normal life. They even tried the ketogenic diet, which actually was spear-headed by Dylan’s neurologist, Dr. James Rubenstein. We actually considered this diet for Dylan, but Dr. Rubenstein didn’t think Dylan could benefit from it, since Dylan loves to eat. That is one thing that he loves to do. His favorite food has got to be egg salad, but he loves any bread, therefore, the diet would be very hard and expensive to implement, and we just don’t have the finances to incorporate it into Dylan’s diet. That being said, the Figis tried this diet, but it didn’t work for poor Charlotte, then they discovered a something that seemed to prove very promising to them. Charlotte’s parents found out that there was a boy being treated for Dravet syndrome (Intractable epilepsy) with a form of Cannabis oil that was low in tetrahydrocannabinol, but high in cannabidiol. This was actually working for this child and it had reduced his seizures by half. Charlotte’s parents found a dispensary in Denver and paid for a high strain of Marijuana and employed a friend to extract the oil for them. They tried it on Charlotte and immediately they began to see results. Charlotte went several hours without any seizures and then several days went by; still no seizures. They had discovered a medical miracle. Charlotte’s life was forever changed. She is able to walk, talk, and do all the things a normal child is able to do. To read more about Charlotte’s amazing story please go to this link http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/07/health/charlotte-child-medical-marijuana/. Upon reading little Charlotte’s story I was so overwhelmed with joy. For the first time, I felt like there is certainly hope for Dylan. I shared the story with Terri.
We both did more research and found hundreds of cases like Charlotte where this CBD oil was working wonders on people with intractable seizures. Where other medications wouldn’t work, this stuff was working, and without all the negative side effects that these man-made poisons were causing in our children. There is only one problem, medical marijuana isn’t legal in the state of Maryland, at least not at the time that we were researching it. They have since legalized medical marijuana in our state, but, the oil is still not legal.
We even considered selling our house and moving to a state where it was legal, however, I am a permanent substitute teacher and I only make 22, 200 dollars a year. Terri doesn’t work, because someone has to be home at all times in case Dylan gets sick and needs to stay home. We do get about 650.00 a month in social security for Dylan, but that is based on my income. The more I make, the less that they give him. It is a vicious cycle and they have put us through the wringer at least once a year since we have started getting it for him. The actually act like the money is coming out of their pockets. The social security administration is the worst government entity that I have ever had to deal with. I will explain that in a later post though.
Anyway, we decided that it just wasn’t feasible to sell our house, which our mortgage is only 650.00 per month, because it is a town house that I bought as an estate sale. We bought what we knew we could afford at the time. We only had two children then and this is the only house that Dylan has ever known, unlike our other two children, but anyhow, my two other children were in high school, so we really didn’t want to pull up roots and move them somewhere else; let alone another state.
My daughter Destiny graduated with honors this year and wants to be an early education teacher, which she decided since she has had to learn to help take care of Dylan at an early age, so she feels drawn into the education field. We are very proud of her. Our son Dacota will be a senior when school starts again in August. He is thinking about taking up graphic art and design. He is actually good at this already. We are also very proud of him. These two children have grown up knowing what it is like to love and care for a person that has special needs. It has helped them to develop real compassion and ultimate character traits. We sure didn’t want to move, because it just wouldn’t have been fair to them. So for now, we have been writing letters to state and local legislators trying to convince them to champion our cause to get this Charlotte’s Web oil legalized here in Maryland. I am even thinking about including a poll on the blog and asking people to vote, so we can present it to our congressman.
I recently became concerned with another issue that we were facing with Dylan. He is a growing boy and he is very solid. The last time he was weighed he already weighed 95 pounds. This may not seem like a big deal, but our room is upstairs, and yes, he still sleeps with us, because as I said in an earlier post, that we became concerned that he may stop breathing in his sleep, so Terri and I decided that it would be best for him to sleep with us, so that we can monitor him through the night. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about these sort of thing, but, it is what it is. I have been obese for the past two years and hadn’t been really strong enough to continue to lift Dylan up to take him up to bed when he fell asleep downstairs, so in February of this year, I began a diet and exercise program in which I have lost over 30 pounds. I have gained more muscle. I have recently contacted some companies to see if they wanted to exchange products for a review on my blog, so I will be adding those reviews whenever I receive these companies’ products. I figured I needed to get stronger and healthier so that I can do everything in my power to be around for Dylan as long as I can possibly be. As I stated in a previous post. I made a promise to him, that as long as I had a breath in my body and a beat in my heart, I would never place Dylan in a healthcare facility. I will continue to keep everyone updated about the Charlotte’s Web oil and these companies’ products. I am also interested in other things which could be helpful for Dylan and would appreciate any ideas, or feedback that anyone may have! Thank You! Please continue this journey with us and as always we appreciate your comments and feedback. (The Real Superman will as always be continued.)
By Jeff King
December 22nd, 2011 was finally here. We took Dylan to his surgery appointment early that morning at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. We had to be there by 6:00 AM to get him prepared for the VNS. My wife and I was quite nervous about this procedure. We had researched it and we knew that he was at the top hospital in the world. With the top neurological surgeon for children, George Jallo. Who is also the Clinical Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a Professor of Neurosurgery. This guy is the best in this field and he has the credentials to prove it. We were still very worried. We prayed and waited with Dylan until the anesthesiologist showed up. He had his own team that he brought with him. They assured us that Dylan was in good hands. Of course we were concerned after what Terri had went through, but this was the hospital that I had taken her to. This was where the surgeon who had put her back together once practiced at. He had moved on to another hospital, but he had designed the surgery that saved my wife’s life Dr. Charles Yeo was a miracle worker and we were sure that Dr. Jallo was cut from the same cloth. He worked at the same hospital. The hospital that people from all over the world come to when they want to get well! Dylan was in good hands indeed.
The surgery took about three hours and the Doctors assistant kept us informed throughout the surgery. This is definitely a first class hospital and they deserve every award they receive.
After about three hours the Doctor came out and told us himself that everything went well and that they were getting ready to transfer Dylan into recovery. It took about a half an hour before a nurse came out and got us and took us to Dylan. He was out like a light and we examined is tiny body. He had a scar that ran up the left side of his chest to just under his chin. It looked like someone had cut his throat. It was a little disturbing looking to us. Dylan was out for about an hour before he finally woke from his drug induced slumber. We thought he would wake up crying or screaming, but, no, he didn’t. Like some sort of Friday the 13th movie Dylan sat up like Jason Voorhees. He was ready to get up and go. We gave him some juice and he drank it down like it was nothing.
Almost immediately we noticed a difference in Dylan. The first few weeks we almost had the old Dylan back. He was more alert and for the first time in over a year he was seizure free! Our thoughts were, “finally, we have found the magic bullet. This would surely be the golden cure that we were looking for. We took him to Dr. Rubenstein over the next several weeks so that he could adjust the stimulator. He was amazed how well the surgery went and how well Dylan was doing. He witnessed Dylan trying to communicate again. He wasn’t talking yet, but he was definitely more vocal and we truly believed that soon, he would talk once again. Finally our son had returned. How I missed that boy.
Dylan was more animated than he had been in over a year. He was walking around and moving at will. He began to play with some of the toys that had been lying dormant for the past year. We were definitely witnessing our second miracle; the first one being the day he started running. What we didn’t know that this too was only a temporary fix and that the seizures would be back with a fiery vengeance in about 4 months. (To be continued.)