Finally A Diagnosis

I was woken up on Saturday morning by a phone call at not quite 8 a.m. by my younger brother Denton. He really has no concept of time and wanted to tell me his good news. Apparently the day before when he was at his physiatrists office he finally after almost 25 years got a diagnosis. He’s on the Autism Spectrum. He was given an official Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis which we have been seeking out since he was about 3. The doctors suspected but for some reason would not settle on the diagnosis.

This was not really news to me. My parents, our family, my husband and I all suspected he was. We have other family members on the spectrum. I have a cousin with 5 kids under 10 and of them, 4 are somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. The father (my cousin) of the children has never been diagnosed himself but we all suspected as well and he was diagnosed with ADHD the same as my brother when he was younger. My Aunt was head of the Autism Society in Nova Scotia for a number of years. So we are very aware of Autism.

My brother was all excited because he really thought it would make such a big difference in his life. He has been struggling to hold down a job. He can’t fully take care of himself and still lives at home with my parents. They really struggle with him and with dealing with a lot of his issues both emotionally, mentally and behaviorally. As for me, I’m not so sure, to be honest, that it will make a whole lot of difference. This province has a lot of resources for children with Autism. Adults diagnosed in adulthood are virtually ignored. They don’t get the help that they need typically.

He’s still the same person. The lovable goofy younger brother who always annoyed me It’s still going to be a struggle for him every day. I sympathize with him. I can’t begin to understand the struggles he’s going through and honestly have no idea how to help him. I plan to do some more research on Autism. I know a lot but I could know a lot more. At least it now gives us something to work with. A diagnosis that will allow him to apply for and hopefully get the disability tax credit hopefully among other things. I am really hoping we can find programs and resources that will help as he gets older. My parents aren’t getting any younger. They need help with him.

Maybe the diagnosis will open up some doors as far as resources to help him on a day to day basis and to help my parents with him. He’s a bright young man. He’s moderate functioning when it comes to day to day things and being able to take care of himself but he needs help. Help that we can’t give him but maybe now we have a starting point. I am hoping maybe that with some research and some advocating that we can see what else we can do to help him on his journey.

Always look on the brighter side

I have to admit I was starting to get a little stressed out and frustrated about our finances. Both of us leaving our full-time jobs in the city, packing up and moving halfway across the province was starting to seem like a bit of a bad move financially for us. Even though we did it to eventually get financially ahead. I left a good paying job with good benefits to working full-time for myself and my mom transcribing court cases. I am essentially self-employed now and it is piece work basically. Which means losing our health and other benefits the bank provided and now having to consider paying for them on our own.

We depleted all our savings, maxed out our one credit card in the hopes of a better life, a life with less stress, more fresh air, more sunshine and a simpler life. When we left the city initially Eddie also had a job to go to. It didn’t work out. He got a part-time job which he loves but we were struggling. Then we realized he was a good typist and good at transcribing. Just as good as I am pretty much. That helped a little. My parents own our house that we are living in, have no mortgage and want very little for it all inclusive and didn’t mind that we would need a few months to get to the point that we paid what they were asking for. So we paid as much as we could making sure we paid at least the utilities. And continued to work as hard we can.

Today has been a wonderful day. We found out from the bank that I am getting a payout from my pension plan. Just over four thousand dollars and I am getting a small refund from our taxes. His ended up paying off half what he owed CRA and I lost a little of mine for what I owed but now I owe them nothing and am getting back some still and his is more than half paid off. So now we can pay off our credit card and replenish our savings. So yeah, today is a good day. Always look on the brighter side. Things will eventually work out if work your hardest, do your best and sometimes, just hope for a miracle.

And I’m offically hooked!

We had our first little geocaching adventure today! I just needed to get out. Still coughing or not I didn’t particularly care. I bundled up warm, took my inhalers, diabetes supplies, water, food and our geocaching kit we put together and went. Initially, we were actually going to drive this afternoon to Berwick (about an hour away) to get me checked out at the walk-in clinic there but my voice and cough have started to improve so we figured we’d give it another day or two and see how I feel on the weekend.

I just really needed to get out. 3 weeks of only leaving the house once or twice (to go to the hospital) and weeks before of rarely leaving have gotten to me and I’m really shack wacky to say the least! So I convinced Edward to go get some gas and pick up a few things at the dollar store, put together a little kit and some supplies and we headed out for a few hours. I’m pretty sure the fresh air did me some good!

Our first stop was near the Digby airport as there was supposedly a cache a few hundred meters off the road into the woods. We searched high and low and couldn’t find anything. It’s great because the geocaching app will lead you right too it, has comments and logs of finds. But we still didn’t find anything. Even with the hints. But getting out in the fresh air inspired us.  I used my phone to take the pictures below because we forgot our camera.

Next, we headed up North Range to the North Range United Baptist Church where there was supposedly a cache there. We did find that one, our very first find, but sadly it was all wet inside (wasn’t that great of a container) the log book was just some strips of paper that were damp but I was still able to write on one. So I was able to write our names on it and put it back, everything else (the swag) was soaked and covered in mud so we didn’t take or leave anything.

Nearby was a second cache (like 2 min down the road) near another church. I couldn’t find the name of the church. The app indicated the cache was in behind the graveyard on the outside of the fence. The image above is taken from behind the cemetery. It was so beautiful and peaceful back there. It was a little hike in, about 10 minutes due to fallen trees and rocky and hilly terrain along the fence, but it wasn’t too bad. I loved the hike but we couldn’t locate it anywhere. So we left with nothing but a picture. Eddie did slip and fall but only because he was trying to rush. I gave him shit for it. We need to be careful obviously and watch every step. I still enjoyed it immensely and so did he



After we left the second church we headed back towards where we live and up the Waldeck Line Rd a little bit. There are a few on the road but the road gets pretty rough. It’s literally above our house on the hill and over the highway. We located the first one in the series on the road. It was the first one we actually got pictures of. Again it was wet inside and you can’t really tell from the picture but it was all frozen in ice (it’s still cold in the woods). This one the paper was frozen and we couldn’t pull it apart so we just logged it on the app and put it back. It was a little bit of a hike down an old path in the woods. It wasn’t too hard a find. A little further down Waldeck Line road at the corner of Purdy road, there was another. We found the broken canister but everything else was long gone. So we marked it as needing maintenance.

We headed back towards our house after that but I wanted to try the 4 that were in Cornwallis Park. The first one we stopped at was supposed to be on or near the tank above. We looked all over, following the clues and couldn’t locate it. But I got a nice picture of the tank anyways. We live really close so maybe we will try it again someday. Another one was on the beach and over some rocks. It was a bit too much for this time of year so we didn’t bother with that one for now. The third was in a park near the water and it was getting really windy and cold so we decided to save that one for another day as well. The last of the 4 was supposed to be in a tree right beside the road. It was so high up. I couldn’t reach to see. Eddie looked as best he could but couldn’t find it. By then it was 5:30 and we were getting hungry so we decided to head home.

All in all, we really enjoyed it. We found 3 out of the 6 we looked for. One was totally destroyed and the other 2 were wet. We took nothing, we left nothing but we still managed to have tons of fun! I managed to get about 5100 steps in total which is half of the goal I have set. So really good exercise and fresh air. I feel great. He really enjoyed it as well. I can’t wait for the next time we go out. We need to do a little more planning next time I think. Maybe map the route we want to take rather than just driving all over the place. The problem was is that you can’t tell that a road is mud/gravel and then you get there and realize that you can’t drive down it in an Altima Lesson learned. Plan plan plan ahead!