Monday, 28 May 2012
My son, Brandon, is thirty-nine years old and he has been living independently for the past fifteen years. He has hit many road bumps and obstacles along the way. But nothing had prepared either one of us for what was about to happen.
Brandon has been living in an apartment near the beach for the past seven years. He loves where he lives. Both Brandon and I had expected him to live there until the end of his life, but then the unexpected happened. The city decided to demolish a seven story parking structure, which is attached to Brandon’s apartment building and to rebuild an eleven story parking structure in its place. It will take approximately two years to be completed.
I am sure you can imagine the excruciating noise from the jackhammers and all the other equipment, especially if you have sensory issues. Brandon has autism and he has had epilepsy since he was nine years old, but finally after all these years we have found a new medication that has helped him tremendously with his seizures.
He was getting ready to see if he could work again with Best Buddies to find him a new job. However, with the shaking and the vibrations from the demolition of the building, he began to experience multiple seizures daily for the past several weeks. That is something he has never experienced before.
How was I going to help my son with both the noise and possibly having to move? I asked Brandon this question: “What do you dislike more, all the loud noises or moving into a new place to live? His answer was, “I hate them both.”
We are waiting until they process Brandon’s request to move and that may take four to six weeks. The way this company works is that they will show Brandon two new apartments and if he does not like either one he can stay where he lives now and apply again in a year.
Brandon just called me and said, “I don’t want to move,” but he changes his mind everyday. I know how extremely hard this must be for him and how difficult it has been for me to watch him go through this. I tried to explain to Brandon that this too is a process. I tried to explain to Brandon: “Some days you will want to move and other days you will want to stay. Why don’t we take a look at the two units and make a decision when we see them? That way you will be in charge and have choices.” He felt confused because he couldn’t make a decision and stick with it.
This is really tough and all I can do is to be here to support him while this demolition and rebuilding persists. His counselor from the regional center is looking into a volunteer job for Brandon. I am trying to find something for Brandon to do during the day as well when the noise is impossible for him to be in his apartment.
Just when you think you may have been through the toughest of times, things like this appear. This is called living life and being independent. If we want to live independently, then we will not be spared from the every day challenges that occur. What better way to learn life than through living it?