Saturday, July 2, 2011

Special Needs or Just Plain Special??

Bubba before surgery
At school they call him James; his mom calls him Hector; his Pappy calls him Tough Guy;  but to me, he's my sweet Bubbalooey.  Those of you who have been my friends for a few years have grown up with Bubby - my grandson with spina bifida.  Society gives him the tag "special needs".  He has a seizure disorder, he uses a walker or wheelchair, he has special bathroom needs, takes special medications, his speech isn't perfect, and his right side is significantly weaker than his left.  And so, I guess he does have "special needs".

I've not known a lot of "special needs" children in my life.  My first experience was in grade school.  We had the same last name, but were not related.  We met at Girl Scout day camp, and I was her buddy.  And it lasted long past camp.  While I could walk and run, Betty Lou was in a wheel chair.  And although she had trouble expressing herself, she was smart as a whip and had a wonderful sense of humor.  But she had another talent - she could write beautiful poetry.  Yes, she was special.

During my college years, I did an internship with Mental Health/Mental Retardation.  During this time, I became acquainted with a little girl with Down's Syndrome.  Although she had a lot of health problems, she was so very sweet and very loving and had a beautiful smile.  Oh yes, she was special.

I have a great-nephew who is autistic.  For a few years he was almost controllable.  But following his diagnosis and subsequent medication, he has become the most wonderful little guy.  Again, he has a beautiful smile and a wonderful sense of humor.  And again, he is very kind and loving.  And yes, Jeramy is special.

Bubba after surgery
But back to my Bubbalooey.  Is he sweet?  Oh yeah.  Is he loving?  Oh yeah.  And does he make me laugh?  Every day!    Does he have special needs, most definitely.  Most parents never have to be concerned about their child having a seizure and Bubba's have become less frequent.  Our merciful God has insured that, when the seizure has ended,  Bubba doesn't remember he has had a seizure.  And the only time I see him angry is when you continually ask him if he's OK after he's had a seizure, or if there's no chocolate milk.

Yesterday, he had surgery to replace his shunts.  He was angry that he couldn't have anything to eat or drink and he called me on the phone to tell me so.  And last night, at 10:50, he called to tell me that he was better, and had a funny hat.  So, society and the medical community may term him "special needs", but to me, he's just Special.


JustCindy said...

What a wonderful post about "special". I may never meet Bubby but he will always have a special place in my heart. I continue to pray for him to have a speedy recovery.

Kristin Marie said...

I get mad when there's no chocolate milk too.

I am so glad that Bubba is doing well though, I was thinking about all of you guys yesterday.

Give him a hug and a kiss for me!

Pat said...

Tell Bubby somebody in Delaware is thinking about him and hoping he is home soon....and that his Grammy never runs out of chocolate milk to give him!!! :)

Retired Knitter said...

I totally agree. He looks like a very special little person. He is very lucky to have you.