Saturday, July 31, 2010

BBOH - Resolved...

BBOH = Big Ball Of Hate.  Me for the last several days.  I'd been walking around in a tremendous funk, doing my best to appear pleasant and such.  But it was fake.  Totally faux.

Ordinary things pushed me closer and closer to the edge of reason.  These were not major life events.  I'm talkin'...stepping in water puddles the dogs leave as they lap from their bowl?  I yelled out, "REALLY???  I work all day and come home to THIS?" as if it was the worst thing ever.  The basset surely said to the beagles, "well, ladies...she's finally hit the wall.  Where's my 10 bucks?"

I wasn't doing well with digesting the many personal disappointments that came my way over the course of about 2 weeks.  They ranged in severity from "eh...pretty severe" to "um...not really a big deal".  But I let them get to me.  All of 'em.  And my joy?  I misplaced it somewhere in Faux Town.  I stayed in prayer, because I know that if I'm feeling bad about life, God's feeling bad that I'm feeling bad about life.  I had been asking Him to just hold onto me and get me through the funk.  Can't really shine a light if I'm sitting on it.  Hide it under a buttox?  NO!  I'm gonna let it shine...

This all peaked yesterday at work.  I had been working through a My Size high stack of ER charts and hit a string of probably 7 suicidal ideations in a row.  It's rare to have so many of those without the occasional fish hook removal or GSW from trying to exterminate groundhogs.  Just when I was sure that token fish hook chart would be next?  Reason code: Attempt.  Birth year:  1999.  Same as my son's.  TILT!  Nope, couldn't code that one right then.  Time to escape out back. 

But as I jumped out of my chair, I was met with shaky legs and nearly fell.  Then I began to lose feeling in my face and left hand, and the right hand was shaking like it was electrocuted.  Really, ms?  Must you have my attention at a time like this?  Could you just get over yourself for once?  So needy and annoying... 

I stared up at the sky, praying out loud for all the pain I had read about.  I realized how "real" that verse is that says satan's like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  I just saw 8 "someone"s.  I lifted them all to God.  I was mad that there is so much hurt.  Mad that an 11yr old felt such a lack of hope and joy.  VERY mad.  And I wanted some answers.  Right now.  Oh temper temper...

I was mad at how my son just cried the other night because he didn't get a birthday card for about the 5th consecutive year from his grandparents, and that the first thing he questions is his personal worth when holidays and birthdays go by with no acknowledgement from them.  Mad that my body fails me at all the wrong times.  Mad that I was working such long days and missing my kids so much.  Mad I haven't been able to enjoy a vacation, beach trip, etc with my family, yet we're working like crazy people.  "Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage" became personified!  I knew I had to get back to work and was mad about that.  Knew I had to finish that little boy's chart.  Pulled on the door with all of my frustration didn't budge.  Locked out.  Oh ho ho yes...temper temper.  I then had to walk alllllllll the way around the entire building, which is a strip mall.  With bad legs and what was then no feeling in the left half of my body, head to foot.  WHY!  OH TEMPER TEMPER!  Hey, is that the roar of the lion I heard or the sound of me, having an aneurysm?     

So I began to walk, carefully, one step at a time.  As weird as it sounds, a song popped in my head.  "Hosanna" by Hillsong.  I don't sit and listen to Hillsong often, so I don't know how that happened.  I started humming along.  Noticed that, wow, what a beautiful day it really was.  'Bout 80 and breezy, bright blue sky, puffy clouds.  Thought about the little boy and trusted he'd get the help he needed.  Thought about my kids.  Thought about the kids I work with at school and how I can't wait to get back to them.  I noticed my legs were more steady.  I came to the part of "Hosanna" that I love and began to mumble sing it.  It's this part:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

In my walk from the back of the building to the front, I realized that my heartbreak was nothing compared to God's.  My eyes have been opened to the things I'd never seen.  It's not been nice and fluffy like those clouds.  But everything I am is supposed to be for His cause as I walk, shaky legged, from here to eternity.  If only I can just remember that?  Thankfully, He's pretty patient with me:-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trucker Stories

My husband's a trucker.  I'm not going to lie.  When you're married to a guy who does this for a living, it's pretty glamorous.  Once in awhile, if I'm reeeeeally good, he takes me for a ride.  That in and of itself is an adventure.

I usually make a few hopeless attempts at flailing all 5' of myself up into the cab.  Alas, my knight comes to the rescue, wrinkles his mustache and says, "the handles are right THERE..." pointing as if to say, "duh".  Because let's face it, he was comfortably in his seat, firing up the beast, but all he's noticing is the leaping.  He yells, "get your 3 points of contact!"  Easy, big fella. 

Mind you, I've ridden in oil trucks, concrete trucks, concrete pump trucks, and roll off trucks.  He's driven them all.  My fave?  Oil truck.  It has a train horn.  Ladies...there is nothing more empowering than pushing that button.  Nothing.

Aside from the glitz, there is real work at hand.  I know this, because he spends upwards of 70-80hrs/wk completing it.  To pass the time, he interacts with fellow drivers via CB radio.  The following are items up for discussion as you unsuspectingly pass them by on your way to work...

If you ride very close to the left hand painted line as you travel in the 1st lane (for those of you not from PA, that's the right hand lane), truckers will accuse you of being afraid of the...Shoulder Monster.  "ROOOOOOOOOOAR".  Ya know, the sound the rumble strips make when you drift over onto them.  They roar over the CB. 

If you forget to turn off your turn signals, or neglect to use them, they will say to one another, "Hey!  Ya got yer Which Ways on!" or "Hey!  Don't fergit yer Which Ways.  We might wanna know yer plan!"

If you tailgate them on the highway or turnpike, they tell stories of when they've lost recaps, and how the recaps have gone through car windshields, injuring or killing front seat occupants.  They say, "I'd give a little more space if I were you, little feller."  Duly noted.

Southern drivers are continually surprised by the Smart Car. 

If you're in traffic on your laptop, cell phone, holding your coffee, eating a bagel, and checking yourself out in your mirror, they're making fun of you.  They also make fun of the way in which you hold your coffee if you deviate from the usual manner in which one would hold a cup.  Some hold it up high for all to see.  I call that the Statue of Liberty.  My husband has used that term out in the field to rave reviews.  I have a special way I hold mine.  I hold it for dear life!

If you cut them off, it scares them.  Just because they have all those giant wheels doesn't mean they stop faster.  It's actually the opposite.

So this is a public service announcement of sorts.  Couple things to focus on:

  • Stay in the center of your lane, because there's really no such thing as the Shoulder Monster. 
  • Heed your Which Ways.
  • Keep a safe following distance.  Those recaps are bad news.
  • If you're driving a Smart, pass a trucker slowly.  No matter how many times he sees one, he just can't get used to it.
  • If you need to use your laptop/cell combo while eating breakfast, please wait 'til you get to work.  I won't suggest the mirror thing.  Come on, we have to look good as we ENTER work.  That can only be assured by checking ahead of time.
  • If you have to cut in front of one, don't. 
  • If you are proud of your coffee and wish to hold it high like the Statue of Liberty, go ahead.  Just know they're laughing.
  • And more seriously, know that behind the truck driver is a wife who prays for your safety and his...faithfully, each morning.  'Cause she's been on the other end of that phone call. 
And this concludes your Public Service Announcement!  MS, trucking, clothes shopping...what does this diary of sorts NOT discuss?  Ah yes, just a tiny glimpse into my 200mph, hole-filled mind:-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My Life, nice and neat...

I was once told that I "compartmentalize" my life.  I recall thinking, immediately after hearing that..."and I paid a copay for this?"  What exactly is he referring to?  So I asked.  You don't know unless you ask...

Therapist:  "It's when you separate different aspects of your life into compartments, not allowing them to cross."

Me:  ((screwy sideways smile)) " one of those tupperware dishes that has the sections so your food doesn't touch?"

Therapist:  ((straight faced, slightly annoyed)) "I suppose you could make that analogy.  Yes."

Me:  "yeah, I didn't like my food to touch when I was little.  But they didn't make those dishes back then, so I had to deal with the anxiety of watching the juice from my stewed tomatoes run ((hand making gestures of slow blob running sideways))toward my mashed potatoes.  And I'd try to stop it ((jazz hands)) from happening, but I never could."

Therapist:  "you're doing it again.  You're making jokes instead of addressing the issues at hand."

As you can tell, my therapy sessions didn't last long.  Not sure who was tired of whom.  But something tells me the therapist wasn't sad that I walked out the one day and didn't reschedule.  It truly was easier to be a child of the 70s and keep it all inside.  This guy was nice and all, but I wasn't getting rid of my mental and emotional tupperware dividing dishes.  That stuff lasts forever!

Didn't he get it?  I have to "compartmentalize".  We've all got our coping mechanisms, right?  Of course prayer is my 1st weapon, don't get me wrong.  But just the day to day stuff?  I keep it separate.  I gotta.  I can't let my health run over into my work.  I can't let my work run over into my homelife.  Can't let business run into personal and vice versa.  That would essentially be...shepherd's pie.  I can't live like shepherd's pie.  Things would get real messy, real fast. 

But now I'm starting to call that methodology into question.  I have never been hit so hard by a sermon than I was this morning.  The opening scripture reading was "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  And in my wonderfully divided mind, I'm saying to myself, "mm hmm, I know that.  I also know I'm awfully smart and quite strong.  I'm alright."  But then he went into how even the strongest people in the Bible had weaknesses.  Samson, David, some other guy.  I checked out for a moment to ponder...could I maybe not be as strong as I think?  Nah.  That's crazy talk.  We were encouraged to think about our weaknesses and how we might improve upon them.

So I went out for a very long walk.  I had another big convo with God and asked that He show me the biggest weakness I need to work on and to let that be the first thing that pops into my head.  I'm not one of those people who "hears" God, so I give Him choices as to how to speak to me.  Control freak.  Like, "if I'm supposed to do this, make this red light turn green....NOW!"  I think with a mind that runs as fast as mine, I wouldn't hear God if He were screaming my name.  But thankfully, God always humors me.

The first thing that popped into my head?  Compartmentalization.  I literally yelled out, "WHAT???"  I'm telling you, someone's going to send the men in the van for me along this walking route.  But there was no answer.  Ugh...hate it when He does that.

So as I sat here deciding whether or not to blog this, because it's not so much about ms as it is about life in general...that Meredith Andrews song came on, "Can Anybody Hear Me".  And she says, "I know You're here with me, but I just need the faith to see nothing can separate me from Your love".  Separate.  Compartmentalize.  I still don't quite get it, but I'll keep listening.  Or giving Him traffic light ultimatums...


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Taking MS Out For A Walk

I took ms out yesterday for a morning walk. 

I love where I live.  There are houses sort of dotted inside the woods, there's a large farmhouse, couple of ponds, lots of birds singing, chickens get the idea.  I was truly enjoying the scenery, listening to the beautiful sounds of the birds, enjoying the awesomeness of the hugeungous hawk that was perched on top of the roof of one of the houses...and the little round bird, who must have been upset with said hawk, 'cause it perched next to him and didn't stop screaming in his ear.  He finally got the point and flew away.  That made me laugh, because it reminded me of my husband and I.  He's like the big hawk, perched on his chair after a long day's work.  I'm the little round bird, needing his help around the house, so I yell at him until he decides it is no longer relaxing to sit...

I was truly enjoying every moment of my walk.  I gave thanks to God for the fact that I could see all of the beauty around me, because I only had one tiny black spot in my line of sight.  I gave thanks for the air moving in and out of me with no pain or discomfort.  I gave thanks that my legs were moving beautifully and with full feeling, though they were beyond tired from the exercise...but that was the good kind of tired!  I gave thanks, believe it or not, for a condition like this.  It has allowed me to understand that nothing is to be taken for granted.  Not sight, mobility, hearing, sensation, or lack of pain.  It might sound silly, but I felt like it was just me and God, that I had His full attention, and it felt almost surreal.

I heard a car coming down the hill and was snapped back to reality, carefully moving myself as far to the side of the road as possible.  I was completely exhausted from my exercise, getting ready to lift my hand in that courteous, "how ya doin'" wave.  Just that quick, I tripped over a rock, turned my ankle, and was heading down in a hurry, face first.  I thought I was as good as gone, because everything switched into sloooow motion...Matrix style.  My mind only had time to yell, "right hand out!" but all I got down was my finger tips.  My body prepared for impact.  But it never came?

By the grace of the God I had praised and conversed with the entire hour prior, I was able to keep from falling on the road, directly into the path of the Toyota.  I knew the brand of car, because I could see the emblem coming at me.  The driver had the wherewithal to see the Matrix playing out ahead of him/her, thereby giving me lots of room to wreck.  I'm sure that person was in awe of my mad skillz.  Either that or wondering if I was related to the lady who staggers around this area each morning, looking as if she had way too much to drink the night before, complete with gigantic sunglasses, fumbling for a cigarette pack in her handbag.  I've still not figured out where it is she walks to.  In any case, my favorite phrase applies..."I'm not drunk, I have MS". 

Once I composed myself, I brushed the stones out of my fingertips and took a physical inventory.  My ankle felt a little twinge, but even that was disappearing.  I stood in the road, completely in awe of the fact that I was absolutely fine.  Tired, but fine.  I wondered how something so crazy could even happen!  I mean, how can you be headed for face plant, directly in the path of an oncoming car, and nuthin'!  I made my way home, a little shaken up by what nearly happened.  I kid you not, the following Bible verse popped into my head:

“If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:9-12).

Ooooh okay, got it!  Hey, thanks for that too:-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Best Times In Life Are...

Oh I bet you thought I'd say "free"!  Nope.  That's too easy.  And plus, I said "times".  Times aren't things...

The best times in life are wet!  Think about it.  Log flume?  Fun.  Jumping waves?  Fun.  Throwing someone in a pool?  Getting thrown in the pool?  Super Soakers?  Yep, all fun.  How about getting stuck in an absolute downpour, raindrops the diameter of nickels, rain so hard you can't lift your head up.  And if you do, you have to hold your breath so as not to drown.  Now imagine that...with your equally insane best friend an arm's length away from you.  Clearly a Master Card commercial in the making.

I noticed my legs have been feeling a lot like jelly.  Not the Beyonce kind, the Smuckers kind.  See, with this job and all the sitting that comes with it, my legs think they're on vacation.  I feel weak, I lack energy, and I know the only way I'll get past that is to fight through it.  What to do?  Youuuuuu guessed it!  Call on Pretty/Stylish Friend!  She's always up for a walk!

We began our journey of walking and talking, laughing and joking.  I'm considerably shorter, so it takes like, 8 of my steps to 1 of hers.  Or maybe just 3.  I don't know.  What I do know wasn't long before I lost feeling in both legs from my hips to my knees.  My legs were LIVID!  Just like I'd be if I were on vacation and someone roused me from a peaceful slumber on the beach!  They revolted in large fashion.  As I looked down to carefully monitor my steps so as not to fall, I got a few friendly shocks in my back.  Hello, L'Hermitte's sign!  Haven't had YOU around in a long while!

Then we heard thunder. Though I'm a grown woman, I'm terrified of thunder storms. Always have been.  PSF asked if I was okay, ya know, with the storm coming in. No, not really...but let's keep going. I just needed to keep my numb legs moving. 'Cause anyone who has this lovely feature about them knows that, if you stop moving, you're essentially done moving. For awhile.

By the time we reached the top of the hill, my legs were all out swearing, numbness spreading downward.  I had to focus on not looking down to avoid electric shocks, and I had tremors in my right hand.  Then the rain came.  It quickly turned into a strong that we couldn't keep our heads up, because we couldn't see!  Clothing stuck fast to us, sneakers oozing water with each step, but that didn't stop us from sharing bits of our day as if it were 70 and sunny...cracking up all the way.  We stomped in the streams of water rushing down the walking path, we jumped into mud puddles, and we even skipped a little. 

I kept repeating over and over how good that rain felt.  PSF shared the sentiment, but she couldn't possibly know exactly how amazing it felt to me.  And I praise God that she couldn't, because that would mean she'd have to know what it felt not feel?  I'd never want someone to know that.   

Somewhere in the course of walking and talking in that downpouring, cool rain - the feeling came back in my legs.  The electric shocks were gone from my back.  My hand stopped its tremor party.   I was so taken with how beautiful those huge raindrops felt on my back, neck, and head...and the way every annoying symptom disappeared...and how beautiful the skies looked where the storm had passed by.  It was almost as if the rain was washing ms away, and it was absolutely incredible.  I looked over at my dear friend, soaked to the core.  Yep.  Still pretty and stylish.  Oh come on, a little torrential downpour can't mess with that!  

What an incredible feeling it feel.  And to not feel, if you're talking about electric shock sensations.  But most of all, what an incredible feeling it is to have friends who love you that much.  Skipping?  In the pouring rain?  At nearly 40 years old?  Maybe we can have adjoining rooms at the asylum. 

I wouldn't have it any other way:-)

Happy Birthday to My Son - How Far You've Come :-)

Eleven years ago, I gave birth to the most handsome baby boy.  Ok, so he more closely resembled an angry, wrinkly, old man.  But a handsome one nonetheless. 

Each year, as I watch my son blow out his candles, I'm reminded of how far he's come and all he's persevered through. 

I've already written about his journey through Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis, so I won't rehash every detail.  But what goes through my mind at times like this is his perseverance.  Despite the tremendous pain he experienced as a baby, he was a joyful, loving, squeezable little guy.  He slept either on my chest in a recliner, or in his car seat.  His GI tract had a long way to go just to heal, and he had terrible reflux.  I can still remember our 1am, 1:20am, 2am, 2:10am, get the idea...chats.  I'd tell him, as he awoke with little grunts of pain, yet smiling with his big hazels at the sound of my voice, that..."I love you,'re doing great...Mommy's here." 

I'd stare into his face and wonder how a tiny baby could be so strong. I'd whisper to him as he was in and out of painful sleep, telling him to fight, no matter what.  I'd sing a special song.   It was essentially his name, over and over, in varied octaves.  The song in a word?  Awful.  Plus, my singing voice is about as pleasing as a pimple inside your nose. But he found it comforting. 

I can't recall whether or not I shared his vaccine injury at 18mos of age, which included an encephalitic episode, seizure, and projectile vomiting that even Linda Blair couldn't duplicate.  Then how, when he awoke the next morning, the spark of those hazels was gone.  The resulting dx?  Autism.  And how a place called the Family Hope Center, through God's direction and healing hand, restored him several years later.  It wasn't a cake walk by any means.  It required waking each morning at 5:30am or so to begin our program of neurological therapies.  That in addition to a full day of 1st grade for him and work for us, then come home and do more therapies.  It was a journey through hell and back.  Many tears for both of us.  Many difficult school conferences.  Many "you gotta fight through this" telling him, and me telling me.

By this point, my son had blown out his 4 candles on the gluten/dairy free cake I made.  Yeah, he turned 11...but somebody was too concerned with making the cake than with reminding herself to buy the candles.  Mom had 4 in her desk drawer.  Probably from when I was little or something.

Fast forward to present day.  He's held my hand as I walked around amusement parks wobbly legged.  He's lent me an encouraging word if he noticed me feeling a bit down.  We are one another's constant reminder to fight through, persevere, 'cause you got this!  Hey, maybe being a "fighter" isn't always bad?  Just not with parking lot attendants...;-)

Happy Birthday to my little hero.  Thank you, Lord, for healing him not once...but twice.  May he bring you glory in all he does:-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hope Through The Storm

My daughter likes to create pictures on the computer and show them to me when I get in from work.  She's got quite the collection going!  Circa 1978, I recall proudly presenting artist's renditions to my mother.  My drawings may have been more clear had I colored during a seizure.  Color inside the lines?  Nah, you can keep your lines!  Not only won't I color inside of them, I won't even be near them.  Though she tried her best to decipher what it was I was drawing, Mom never really put the "X" on the board.

Mom:  "oh!" ...insert slight head tilt and eye squint... "that's a pretty cow!"
Me:  ...insert annoyed face... "'s a race car, Mommy" 

In any case, my daughter also creates titles for each picture she does.  This one is called "Hope Through The Storm".  I had to know exactly what she meant by that, so I inquired.  She said, and I quote, "when life brings us rain, we have to hold onto the Lord's promises, because He is our hope and salvation."

As I wiped the look of duh off my face, I let that sink in just a bit more.  Where did this kid come from and is she really a product  I'm thinking of calling Maury.  But I was there, I remember!

We've all got our own storms, right?  Mine come in many forms.  The  It's always there.  Just a matter of how is it intermittent wiper mist or "holy crap" wiper setting, where the wipers are nearly flying off their arms and the car is rocking side to side when sitting still.  Eh, maybe somewhere in between.

In the mind of a child, it's all very simple.  Yes, it will rain.  But our hope is found in the Lord, no matter the circumstances.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

We can look for hope in all sorts of places.  I'll tell you where hope is's not at the bottom of an empty bottle.  Even if it's a really pretty bottle, because hey, some are!  I'm getting a little too philosophical for my own good, and I apologize in advance, but I'd say that addiction is nothing more than a huge distraction.  The distraction from hope and trust in the Lord. 
Some people say they'd curl up in a ball if they were told they had ms.  Or that they'd become an alcoholic and drink through it.  Or insert other negative response.  Curling up in a ball...yeah, I've done that, I'll be honest here.  Usually, it was because I was so sore and spastic that it hurt to stretch out.  And I've had other negative responses when it was just me, myself, and I.  But when it was all said and done, I felt worse from top to bottom.  There was hope at the center of every flare and every pseudo-exacerbation, I just didn't always see it at the time.  Too busy in a ball, being distracted.  I missed how family and friends cared for me, how they prepared meals for my family, and how Mom and my grandmother cleaned the house for me.  There are blessings in everything, even the worst of things. 
No matter the storm, there is always that hope.  I'll keep the visual of my daughter's picture in my mind when I become short-sighted and notice myself curling up, 'cause that'll happen.  All my Mom had to reflect on was...Crayola Hell.  But I have a cloud, a rainbow, and the little face of a beautiful child, reminding me that God is as close as we allow Him to be:-)  

Monday, July 12, 2010

I = Magic 8 Ball

My days at work are quite entertaining.  I realized that, when bosses, coworkers, and patients approach me with inquiries, I sound a whole lot like...Magic 8 Ball!

For example...

  • Patient:  "Can you tell me if my secondary insurance paid their part of that claim?"
  • Me, furiously clicking the mouse in attempts to find the information, relying on prior knowledge of what coinsurance looks like:  "As I see it, yes"

  • Boss:  "Do you really think you can get that many charts entered by the end of today?"
  • Me, performing lighting-quick mental analysis:  "Signs point to yes"

  • Coworker:  "Hey lady, you ever gonna take a lunch break today or what?"
  • Me, trying to compensate for the previous flaw in aforementioned, lightning-quick mental analysis by working through lunch: "Very doubtful".

  • Me to coworker:  "Can you show me where you find whether or not a secondary insurance paid their portion of a claim?"
  • Coworker:  "Sure!"...then clicking at approx 157 wpm..."and there it is"
  • Me:  "Reply hazy, try again" followed by a mental note to "Ask again later"

The great thing about Magic 8 Ball is that it's mostly optimistic.  With 10 affirmative answers, 5 tweeners, and 5 negatives, the likelihood of giving someone a good answer?  "Outlook good"!   

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mama Said Knock You Out

"Fight-or-Flight Response".  If you google that, you'll come up with all sorts of neurological explanations about neurons and synapses and signals, oh my!  I used to be a fighter, not a  But I've had to learn over the years to flight.  Or fly.  Whatever it would be.  I've mastered flight.  Yep.  I beat that fighting stuff long ago.  Pffft.

We were going to Hershey Park for the evening.  There was also a concert.  For anyone who's been to Hershey, you know the deal.  You turn into the complex of Giant Center/Hershey Arena/Hershey Park.  You choose a lane, resembling EZ Pass and cash tolls a la turnpike, you present your cash or parking then race through the slalom that is the seemingly 10 mile drive to the next parking directive.  And if you've not been to Hershey, just go with me on this.  It's quite the process.

I knew where I wanted to go, so I hopped out into the far lane and cruised on about my business, eager to get as close of a parking space as possible.  But, as I neared the Giant Center (which is very far from the Park) in my self-made express lane, I got the "Lighted Stick Of Denial" from one of the parking lot attendants.  He wrangled me to the right, directly into bumper to bumper, stopped traffic.  But those people were there to see the concert, while I wanted to simply go to the Park.  I nicely explained I was here for the Park, NOT the concert.  He ignored me and pointed with his lighted stick.  What was that?  Talk to the stick, 'cause the attendant be thick?  Inch by inch, I crawled along in a parking lot miles away from my destination...miles and miles away from the shuttle that takes one into the Park.  Temper...temper.

There was no outlet from this parking lot and I could see a plethora of empty spaces way down at the Park, where I needed to be.  I knew my legs wouldn't make the miles of walking TO it, plus miles AROUND it, then reverse.  I arrived back at the gate, flicked on my right hand turn signal, and attempted to exit the lot of Far Far Away.  Another attendant stood in front of my car, pointing me back to the left, into the line of inching along cars I just came from.  I put my window down and said, "I'm going out!".  "Go THAT way", he said, pointing me back into that same...line.  Temper.............temper...........

I drove around in yet another circle, stopping every inch or so.  I again tried to exit the lot by turning right.  Same guy, same stance in front of my car.  "THAT WAY", he said.  I yelled, "I want out!  How do I get out!", as I had yet again conformed and re-entered the line of automobile salmon inching along.  He said, "oh...well you'd go this way", pointing to the right.  The way I wanted to go.  2 tries ago.  And I began to feel as if I was trapped in this Parking Lot of Hell.  Temmmmmmmmmmper...

I finally came around.  Again.  Surely he'd know I'm me.  I'd been doing circles for about a half hour now.  We already discussed my desire to exit.  Angry lady, black station wagon, black tinted windows.  It's not hard to remember the car.  But again, he began to point as if to stop me and not allow me out of the PLOH.  Explosion in 3...2...

I slammed the car in park, jumped out, left my door hanging open, and tore off straight for him.  Full speed walk, yelling, pointing, holding up all traffic patterns they were trying to create, because I was standing in the middle of it all.  It was the me of 10+ years ago.  The problem?  Twofold.  First, my kids were in the car, watching me go off.  Thankfully, they could not hear what I was saying.  And second, I had myself SO worked up that my legs were shaking.  My stomp of fury back to my car was squiggly at best.  Thankfully, I didn't fall.  He'd have directed the line of cars to run over me.  I just know it.  I think I looked about as intelligent as this.  Though that's pretty funny.  Wait, do I know that guy? 

The end of the story is that the attendant stopped ALL traffic in order to let me out.  I made my way down to the Park and found a space directly next to where we needed to be (SCORE!).  We had an incredible night.  On my very first bathroom trip, I prayed to God, asking to be forgiven for losing my mind on the guy and in front of my kids.  And I apologized for not...flighting. 

Just goes to can't keep me confined to a place I don't wanna be, just like you can't put Baby in a corner.  And it also goes to show that the temper I so proudly proclaimed years ago as "under control"?  Ain't.

Wish I could blame MS for this one, but MS won't own my temper any more than I'll own MS!  In a strange way, I can appreciate that I have this sort of unfriendly reminder to act right.  I say, "Mama said knock you out, HOUH!"  MS says, "Kay.  Try to stomp away with angel hair pasta legs!  You look like an idiot and everyone is laughing at you.  Including me.  Because I'm MS!  With capital letters!"  Duly noted...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Another Trip To Dressbarn...

Let me begin by giving you a visual.  The way I dress to shop for clothes?

- Jean shorts
- Athletic style t-shirt
- Canvas Nikes with a hole in the great toe - because you refer to it by its proper name when you're a medical biller/coder.  Recognize.
- You guessed Phillies hat.  This time, backwards.  I had "Hat To The Back" from TLC in my head.  Can we all refresh our lyrics for a moment? 

"That's the kinda girl I am, don't cha know I really don't give a (darn).  Let me be me for me and not what I'm supposed to be."

Thank you, TLC.  I enjoy being me, and me = Sporty Spice.  The looks are always priceless from the poor sales girl prowling the "Womens" side of the store.  The response to my entrance is always the same.  Look me in the face, look me down to my sneakers with hole (in great toe), look me up to my face, then say, "um...can I help you find something?"  I'm itching to say...just once..."yes, where do you keep your collection of pink Philadelphia sports teams hats, 'cause I need one in Flyers."  And no, I don't need to try that on. 

I politely asked today's sales girl to just open a dressing room door and I'd take care of the rest.  Seriously, why do they not let you enter and exit freely?  It's an empty room.  I can get into the medical supply room at work easier than I can enter a dressing room.  Anyway, I found an armload of tops and went in to do battle.  Tried on a beautiful top with a camisole sewn in.  Love those!  Went to button it and...wait.  Where's the button?  No button.  Move fingers down.  No button.  What the?  There are no buttons on this shirt?  Nor this one, nor that one, nor these, nor those.  Sales girl knocked on the door to ask how I'm doing.  I came out of the dressing room to inform her that there were no buttons on these shirts.  And that I'm disgusted.  She just stared at me, speechless.  For at least 5 'Missippi'.  Rather than break into pantomime, I asked what that was all about.  New styles, she said.  I openly contemplated purchasing the shirts and asking my mother to sew buttons on them, but realized I couldn't slice holes in the opposite side and sew the edges.  Rest assured, the queen bee sales lady entered the scene.  I knew her by the evening gown that she donned, versus my sales girl's khakis and modest top. 

Queen Bee informed me that the unbuttoned look accentuates certain things about me that are positives.  The most attractive thing about my body is my ankles.  Unless people would be so uncomfortable at the look of me in an unbuttoned shirt, thereby looking down at my feet...well, as you can see, I'm just confused by the whole concept.  And anyway, I heard her cheesy line to the lady before me about this hideous shirt she came out of the dressing room with.  Queen Bee said, as if accepting an Emmy, "I LOVE how that makes your eyes pop!"  What.  No one is looking at her eyes.  That shirt looks like a giant color blind test, and I'm familiar with those from my neurology appointments.  I'm not picking on the lady wearing it, I'm picking on the shirt.  Millions of green and orange and red hues in the shape of...dots.  I'm telling you, I saw the number 76 in it.  Yet Queen Bee closed the sale.  You gotta get up a lot earlier in the morning if you want to put that one over on ME, Queen Bee!  And no one gets up earlier than I.  Wait, did I even go to bed?  Anyway.

I can't wear buttonless shirts to work.  What does that look say?  If I were the CEO, I'd think it said this woman is lazy and lacks attention to detail.  So I had to put every last shirt away and start over, carefully reviewing all shirts for buttons.  I'm a believer in the "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" mantra.  Nope, can't think of a job I want that those shirts would work for.

...and if you'd like to indulge in that video, it's been found:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Guess Who's Not Tired!


I was so certain that exercising would restore a somewhat normal pattern of sleep.  On the first night.  I'm so impatient.  For the past 2 days, my legs were so shaky and weak that I occasionally steadied myself by pushing off the wall, or simply stuffing myself into it, like the Geico caveman on the zamboni.  But this morning?  I woke up with about 75% leg strength and minimal wobbles.  YAY!  It's a beautiful day...80 degrees, bright blue skies, puffy clouds, and low humidity!  I gotta walk!  But I don't feel like going alone, 'cause what if my legs want to quit on me?  I know!  Pretty/stylish friend!  She's always willing to walk with me!  And in true fashion, she accepted my offer with only a few minutes' notice:-)

You know, I refer to her as such for HIPAA purposes in blogs, but that's quite a superficial, unfitting title for a woman who is really so much more.  PS friend and I have a pretty remarkable friendship.  We joke about going out for breakfast 40yrs from now.  I'll stuff the jelly packets in my purse and she'll take the silverware.  It's good to iron these things out now.  And it's fun to think of the silly things we'll do 20, 40, or even just 2 years from now.  Any adventure we take on ends up being quite hysterical.  Like the time we went to a retreat in Hershey and I walked into the wall at the hotel?  Shocked bystanders were quite concerned, but PS friend was laughing hysterically.  As was I.  Or how about the time I misjudged the distance from my car to her fence and flattened out a nice spot in the quarterpanel?  That dent stays.  It reminds me of the laughter. 

That laughter is so important.  I was explaining to her tonight, during my first big walk since my legs decided to take a vacay, that I was looking so forward to a trip we'll be taking in August to see Joyce Meyer.  Just the anticipation of going brings a smile to my face and I think to blessed to have friends like this.  Friends who accept me for all of my invisible symptoms.  Emotions up and down?  That's okay!  Propensity for walking into fixed objects?  Go right ahead!  Friends who won't mind cutting into dinnertime to put in a couple miles worth of walking with I walk a little slower and a little less straight than normal?  Nice! 

And, while you're walking, having guys in a passing car yell at you?  Well, at her.  That, my dear PS friend, is something you may keep allllllllllll to yourself!  I don't dig "Scrubs". 

Are you singing it yet?  Link attached.  You're welcome.