Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adults in Diapers

When Master Hand Grenade was little, he became deathly ill.  When he was 8 days old, he was airlifted to our local trauma hospital with a dire prognosis.  After telling Sir Knight and I to say our goodbyes, the neonatal trauma team went to work in an attempt to save our son, whom they had labeled a "rag doll".  Two terrifying days later, the doctors told us that Master Hand Grenade would live - maybe, but he would be terribly "compromised".  After walking into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to see my son's body racked in seizures, I knew we were in for a long haul.

Hand Grenade's prognosis was dim.  He would "down-look" for the rest of his life.  He would never hear, never walk and be mentally retarded.  He would suffer from seizures and his neurological system had been compromised to the point that his movements would never be "normal".  Many hours were spent in prayer and petition.  I thanked God for saving our son's life and begged him for the strength to bear the burden of raising a disabled child.  I knew that life would never be "normal" again.  Our family had a new normal.

After we brought our precious bundle home, we learned a whole new way of life.  Now, rather than happily picking my son up from a nap, I entered his room with fear and trepidation.  I was terrified to find a cold, blue baby in place of my downy, sweet son.  Trips, even to the grocery store, were punctuated by continual screaming.  I would drive with tears streaming down my face.

In charge of operation
"Gravel Driveway"
As my little son grew, it became evident that we was not developing as other children did.  He couldn't sit up, feed himself or even roll over.  He regularly had seizures, turning his lips blue and practically stopping his mothers heart.  He didn't respond when we called his name, unless he happened to be looking at us at that moment.  The doctors couldn't tell us anything.  They shrugged their shoulders and said "you're on your own".  They did, however, repeatedly direct us to social services so that we could get State Aid for our "disabled" son.  But the truth was, God gave Master Hand Grenade to us, not to the State. He would provide a way for us to take care of him.

After much study and research, we chose to take Master Hand Grenade off the anti-seizure medication he was on.  It was a long haul (they never told us it was addictive) watching our little boy go through withdrawals, wondering the whole time if we were doing the right thing.  Amazingly, one week after we administered his final dose, Master Hand Grenade fed himself.  Within two weeks he was rolling over and a month later, he sat up for the first time!  And the best part - he never had another seizure - ever!

Being bandaged by a buddy (they
were filming a video)
It took longer for Master Hand Grenade to walk than a "normal" child.  We knew he didn't hear well (although he did hear).  He had no sight problems, and, as far as we could tell, he didn't have any problems with intelligence.  We were completely on our own.  Nobody could tell us what he was capable of or if he was limited in certain areas.  We kind of made it up as we went along.  As he became more stable, I took him to "Mommy and Me" gymnastics to help him with his balance.  We taught him how to play close attention to us so that he could hear us when we spoke to him.

In his early years, I was never sure what I could expect him to be able to do.  Sir Knight and I talked into many a night discussing how to best ensure a productive future for our son.  Finally, we decided, we had to make him normal.  We would treat him like the other kids, expect the same things from him and, when things were especially difficult, teach him a new way to accomplish his goal.  He had to be a productive member of society and it was our job to make sure he was.

Finally, it came time to potty train young Master Hand Grenade.  Could he do it?  Would he be able to tell when he had to go?  Should I just let it go until he decided to do it on his own?  What was a mother to do?  But in the end I knew.  He had to be potty trained.  It was a matter of health (disease can be spread through fecal material), psychological well-being (it would be embarrassing and psychologically damaging to still be in a diaper when your friends used the bathroom) and familial harmony had to be maintained (without him being potty trained, someone would always have to clean up his mess).  In that vein, potty training commenced and Master Hand Grenade scored yet another victory.

It has come to my attention that the world is full of adults in diapers.  Babies are cute and sweet and we willingly attend to their every need.  But as they grow in awareness and they become physically larger we no longer think their poopy pants are cute.  We realize that we had better take the time to train them so we are not stuck cleaning up their messes forever.  Our country is full of people who never had to learn to use the toilet, so they just go wherever they are and we clean up the mess. They have all kinds of excuses, "I was in too big a hurry", "I forgot", "I was too busy playing", but the result is the same, they make a mess and we clean it up.  Of course, there are people, just like children, that require special help, but by and large, the people making the messes are more than able to control themselves, they just choose not to.  And the messes they are making are causing massive societal illness.  Rage, antipathy and dependence is spreading from one person to another wreaking havoc on our society.  The people who are cleaning up the messes are getting tired of it.  They want to know why the other people aren't required to poop in the toilet, or at the very least clean up their own messes.  The answer is that our government, acting as overindulgent parents, aren't requiring people to clean up their own messes.  The mess is growing and has spilled out onto the street.  There doesn't seem to be enough grownups to take care of it anymore.

Do we want to be a
nation of this?
You can forgive folly in a child, but the mess that has become our nation is unforgivable.  We need to be productive members of society and not disabled children.  I have known many "disabled" people who take more responsibility for themselves than the  majority of able-bodied people on the welfare rolls.  It is time for us to quit messing ourselves, clean up our act and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

By the way, Master Hand Grenade is a wholesome, handsome, God-fearing young man that is capable of anything.  He never lets his "disabilities" slow him down (in fact, you would never convince him that he has any disabilities).  He is all that is good in our country.  He will never join the ranks of adults in diapers.


  1. Enola, you are so right....again.

    I'm hoping and praying that the mess this country is in right now will be the turning point and we'll rise out of the abyss a better and more capable people. Personal responsibility and respect for each other must become the norm, not the exception. Master Hand Grenade is a fine example of these traits.

    NoCal Gal

  2. Thank you for your story. What saddens me though, is what could have happend, especially now-a-days.....DCFS would have stolen your child from you claiming that you were endangering his health by NOT giving him the "medicine", they would then continue to poison your child and then he would, in fact, become what the doctors insisted he would become.

    Another reason not to take the State up on it's handouts, as I'm sure that would have also played a part in making sure your child was "taken care of" by THEIR standards, not yours.

    Thank God that you listened to your own feelings and put trust in what you value most.

    1. I read the entire blog....I get it that you are totally independent, but, for some of us who have legitimate Disabilities and HAVE to wear diapers to help protect the rest of the community from sitting down in a puddle of urine, and to also help protect against the spreead of infectious transmittal of diseases through baterial infections, I suggest that you take in account that there are LOTS of people who have disabilities that are NOT SO easily seen nor are they adult babies NOR are they (The disabled people with hidden Disabilities) responsible for being this way...however...the "Normal" people who made these people/created these people...ARE! They did some serious drugs,or drank too heavily and didn't care what the consequences were, to my knowlege, Alcohol and Drugs have done MORE damage to our society than any other thing known to man....Drinking causes and is linked to Domestic Violence, Low Birth weight, Birth Defects, same with Drugs....so...who is REALLY to blame....The so-called "NORMAL" people...who "self Medicate" to escape from their "Horrid tormented lives" That's who.....Who's the baby NOW!!!!!

  3. Enola,
    You are such a God-fearing, awesome mother and strong, God-willed and inspired woman!

    Enabling Master Hand Grenade to become eternally dependent on you, or others, for that which he could possibly do on his own, would have been a sentence to a life imprisonment by disability, which is countermanding of God's plan of his life's instilled potential.

    Thank you and Sir Knight for risking your personal fears and parental shame, and interceding with what was BEST for your son, by giving him a chance to live his own life, intended by God's individual plan for him.

    This is what unconditional true love is, nurturing the positive potentials in each of our best individual capability's, to the highest outcome and to the highest extent possible and not settling for acceptable, mediocre or just enough. Thank you for not falling captive to join the state of entitlements.

    The tenets of social entitlements is not to design programs structured as a "treatment" to a temporary societal illness with an end date in sight, but rather toward enabling citizens into a lifetime of chronic dependent diseased states. Our government initiated this beast in the 1940's that is literally and figuratively killing our God-intended human NEED to know ourselves and to discover autonomy, to practice self functioning, and be productive to ourselves and to our communities and country.

    The programs are humanly addictive. The zero balance of autonomy and negative economical outcomes of progress achieved in letting go, or attempts at getting out of these programs is evident by the escalating numbers of our US population signing up to become a new lifetime member of this entitlement society. This dependency will be the un-doing and ending of our Freedoms, Economy, and Liberties.

    There is a fine line of differences between societal stages of Socialism, Fascism and Communism.
    We are now stepping over that line.

    It's long past due time for people to start raising their own chickens instead of holding out their hands for that gov given free chicken in the gov given free pot, in the gov given free home with the gov given free utilities, with cell phone and the gov given monthly stipend.

    Where ARE the gov given jobs?


  4. My favorite part was hearing you say that God gave your son to you and not to the state, so God could take care of you!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story, and an excellent point you have made! Being a productive member of society is something that people forget should be the goal of ALL citizens (when possible) and parents should encourage this with all their children.
    I have a young adult with Aspergers and we elected to raise her like she was "normal" and of course, she IS!

  6. Amen! Our daughter was diagnosed at the age of three as severely autistic. We knew that if we accepted that she would never function in society. She is homeschooled by my husband. She is eight years old, reads at a high school level, is learning German, etc. We pray and work to set the bar high. As you and your husband did, we treat her normal. She is autistic. She follows behind in social skills, but you have to be around her for sometime before you notice. God doesn't give as a child with a disability that we can't handle. We also do not have any state handout for her. She's ours and we provide for her needs.

  7. When I started school I was hyperactiv.The school wanted my mother to put me on ritalin.Thankfully my mother refused,she told the school that I would learn self control.She was right.The schools answer to this was to say I was learning disabled.They pulloed me from my regular classes and put me in with the retated kids for a portion of the day.This lasted til I went to junior high.I found it very embarissing to be pulled from class like that,and the other kids made my life miserable.As a plus though I found that the retarded kids were far more compassinate and not in the habit of teasing people.My classmates never could figure out why I would rather paly with these kids then them.As far as I'm concerned it was the so called normal kids who were really retarded,because they never learned compassion and caring.The so called retarded kids never had to learn those,because it just came natural to them.By the way this learning disabled child scored in the high 90's on the California proficiency exams and was a candidate for early graduation at the age of 16. So much for schools knowing what is best for a child.

  8. Thanks, Miss Enola, for sharing your inspiring, courageous, wisdom filled story.

    Great analogy about what has happened to our country.

    Excellent post!

    Donna G.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Enola. More people need to hear these stories, especially how you stepped out in faith to take your child off of the meds. More often than not, I think this would be much better for anyone. I am so proud of you and your husband! We would not be where we are in the country if more people were like the two of you! :)

    Heather C

  10. Twenty six years after I left Vietnam I came unglued emotionally. I was diagnosed with PTSD and put on a powerful drug. Then I was told later that I would have to take it for the rest of my life. I willingly took it for two years while I healed from a number of tragedies. When I was ready, I privately began to reduce the medication a bit at a time. It took me six months to get off that drug.

    It took guts, faith and my Proverbs 31 Babe to get me through that year or so. It can be done indeed! It was tough, sure, but I am a way better person.

    I am "normal" nowadays: balanced, wholesome and healthy with a deep abiding faith. I qualify for disability from SS, but there is no way I would take that and insult myself and The Lord. God healed me (albeit the hard way) and I am fine.

    Thanks for your blog!

  11. I get see the flip side in real life- the people assuming learned helplessness. In our local school district there is a child of around age 11 who is still literally in diapers (not developmentally disabled). Not surprising since many of the adults are still very dependent on the adult diapers- welfare and other handouts. Frustrating, as children talk of their parents' extensive blue ray collections and text on their smartphones while downing the govt. free breakfast and lunch that I pay for while my kid packs and I use a tracfone!

  12. I'm with you, Enola-- once again, you lift me up and help me stand.

    I have a 6-year-old son with ADHD (maybe?). If things do not improve with the school system soon, I'll be homeschooling him...

    ...and if that goes well, maybe the others too.

    I thank God that I grew up in the 80s. Had I been born 10 years later, I would have been diagnosed with Asperger's as a child (instead of as an adult-- bad enough things happened, but that's another story). God only knows what would have happened to me if I had grown up being told what I COULDN'T do, instead of being told that I was "a little backward," but I'd learn. As it is, there are things that are "a little off," but I am a capable adult woman and mother (and, so I'm told, much more pleasant than some of my "normal" peers). And when I do mess something up because of my "tragic disability?" I do what any responsible adult should-- apologize, put it right, and learn from my mistake. REVOLUTIONARY!!

    I am reminded of my stepmother. Momma was "slow." She struggled to read, struggled to do basic math, struggled to finish high school. But finish she did-- and this in a time and place where it was not really typical for girls to graduate at all. The "slow" girl grew into a "slow" woman-- one who raised twin boys, tended the sick at a local hospital, and eventually became a restaurant owner. After she met my father and retired from the restaurant business, she began to have trouble with her memory. Fearing Alzheimer's, Daddy took her to a neurologist, only to find that her difficulties were due to a massive stroke that she'd probably suffered as an infant.

    What would have become of her today?? She would have been labeled "disabled" and spent her "education" learning to wipe herself and tie her shoes properly. She would have been "given" disability and free housing. She certainly wouldn't have been a wife, or a restaurant owner, or the stepmother of two boys and later a grown woman who desperately needed a mother.

    The world would have been much poorer if Momma had had the "benefits" available to "the disabled" today.

    Once upon a time, at least in the houses of common sense, "the disabled" were simply DIFFERENT.

    I'd like to see that time come again.