Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays

He was almost eighty, but could have easily passed for sixty, his face unlined by trouble. Thin, a salty beard, with khakis and a golf shirt.

That's my son. D.J. He's thirty-five years old. It's Down's syndrome. 

He's a good kid. Struggled with depression the last few years. The medication he's taking makes him not himself any more. He hardly ever talks. Just sits inside himself.

He loves coming for these little workouts. It's his favorite thing to do. He's not happy that Christmas is on Friday. That's one of his workout days and he hates to miss.

He got violent. Started breaking things. He's strong, a strong kid. 

Took a long time to get in to see a therapist. There aren't many who know how to treat someone with Down's. Waited almost a year. D.J. started wandering off, leaving the house. Had to put locks on the doors so that he couldn't get out.

Depression isn't common with Down's, but it's not unusual. We didn't know. The doctor said a precipitating event usually kicks off depression in a case like this.

D.J. idolizes his older brother Pete. Pete came back a few years ago to live with us. He was on probation for DUI. It was his fifth.

He spent some time in jail, a bit of time, and when he got out, he came back. D.J. wanted to do everything with Pete, and Pete would talk it up, but he would never do anything. Never did a thing. 

Pete met a girl from Brazil on Skype, and he was up late at night for months, talking to her. 

One morning, he was gone. Up and went to Brazil. Didn't tell anyone a thing. Didn't say goodbye to D.J. 

After that, D.J. started to get angry. Then he got depressed. 

These workouts are his favorite time. He couldn't do any of the exercises when he started. Now he does all of them pretty well. 

Is that your boy? 

Fourteen? He is really something. That boy's going places. 

Sure was nice talking to you. Happy holidays.

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