Monday, January 16, 2012

MS Symptom - Snobbishness

I've been a lot of things over the course of my life, but a snob was never one.  Walk into a room and look past you?  Never.  Neglect to acknowledge you as you walk past me?  Nope.

But now?  Yep.

Well, maybe just once in awhile...and maybe just in certain circumstances.  Or not.  I really don't know.  It's not something I often notice about myself.

Thankfully, I have very kind and compassionate friends.

Yesterday, I was approached and asked if I was alright, to which I offered an, "oh yes, I'm felling well.  How come?"  Seems as if I glanced at this friend and walked right by without so much as a greeting or warm smile.  And this isn't the first time someone has been compassionate enough to ask those questions.

I was talking with a friend who's had ms considerably longer than I have and who presents much like I do.  She's sort of like my Yoda of ms.  In any case, I asked her of this phenomenon and she helped me to identify that I've not suddenly become a snob, that it's more a case of concentrating so hard to *not* forget something that I simply may walk right by without flinching.  Or, I may look at a person, but really not be processing the fact that they are them.  What?  Well, it made sense when we were talking...and not really looking at each other, at least not for long, 'cause we were making sure to remember everything we had in our minds.

My husband finds it humorous.  I'll be having a conversation with him and he'll notice my eyes relocate to like, his knees.  Or his foot.  And he'll wonder, "do I have something on my pants?  Is my shoe untied?"  No.  It's that something in my mind has triggered the thought of...did I remember to get the milk out of the car?  I may even get up, mid-conversation, to look in the fridge.  It's closer than looking in the car.  Though if it's not in the fridge, that doesn't automatically qualify it as being in the car.  Let's be completely honest, people...that milk could be just about anywhere:  on the washing machine, in the pantry, or at the mailbox from when I got the mail.  I've digressed...

Just another thing to be conscious of, I suppose.  Maybe the Society should add "MS Social Behavior 101" to the schedule of seminars they present?

Who wants to sit at my table!?!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Serenity Is Popular

Once in awhile, I like to take a look at the 'stats' tab of my blog to see the 'traffic sources'.  I have to say, the google searches that drop people onto my page are pretty interesting.

For example: "when did they stop making the Chrysler Newport".  Obviously, someone out there secretly wishes Chrysler would bring it back.  2013 Newport?  Certainly!  Oh, I also had a hit for the keyword "cougar".  First and foremost, I'd like to apologize to the person who searched for that and :-)

But most recently, I noticed a tremendous spike in hits.  The keywords?  "Serenity", "one day at a time", and "full serenity prayer".

Hi, serenity folks.  My name is Tina, and I understand.

Maybe it's a health challenge, an unresolved hurt, an unhealthy habit, a poor self-image, negativity, or fear - it comes in all different flavors, right?  Whatever the "thing" is could probably be summed up as...something we're striving to be free from.

I'll go first:

One of the things I wanted to be free from was the negative thoughts that plagued me when I looked in the mirror.  For the majority of my life, I had such a distaste for my own image that I'd only glance long enough to make sure my hair was decent and that nothing was in my nose.  Or teeth.  Only by the Lord's help was I able to come to the point where I finally understood that, if I was His creation, how could I possibly see anything but beauty when I looked in the mirror?  I don't mean cougar beauty, Mr. Google Search.  I'm referring to the sort of beauty that comes from above.  The kind of beauty that's within.  The kind of beauty I can't look to others to make me feel.  It's so easy to look in the mirror and see sickness, brokenness, and many other negative things...or?  I can see myself as He does.  Mind you, I don't get it right every time.  But I'm much better at it than I was for so many years.  Plus, my parents paid a lot of money for my smile.  I suppose the least I could do is appreciate it :-)  Please tell me I'm not the only ms'er out there who requires a double take when looking at the teeth, because the floating black spots in my left eye can make it look as if I have a bit of pepper stuck in them?  C'mon.  Don't leave me out on this island...

Anyway, I came across a video of a song that has helped me out when I've forgotten all that aforementioned good stuff, because let's face it, that does happen.  I find that I'm reminded of God's love for me when I sing it...and that singing also clears my cats from whatever room I'm in.  Double win, as I can move about freely without tripping over one of them.

Be blessed, friends.  And hang in there, pepper in your teeth or not :-)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Elevators Are Amusement Park Rides

Late summertime '03 and recently dx'd, we took the kids to an amusement park.  I've never been one for rides, but always had a fancy for the log flume.  I boarded the log, screamed the whole way, and was satisfactorily drenched.  The  problem came when we reached the 'dock'.  I attempted to stand and...nothing.  Oh, surely there was a problem.  Tried it again?  Nothing.  The attendant came back to our log and said, "ma'am?  You have to exit the boat now".  I was overcome with...panic.  I remember the way my husband's facial expression changed from confusion to concern to compassion in about 2 minutes, flat.  He bent down, told me to put my arms up, and picked my then 70lb heavier self up and out of that log as if I were a toddler.  He sat me on a bench and took the kids for cotton candy.  A little while later, my legs came least enough for me to make it back to our hotel room to rest.

My neurologist said that, since my lesion load was primarily in my thoracic spine, quick drops may result in leg weakness and loss of signal.  Amusement park rides would no longer be a good idea.  In addition, she cautioned that I may even feel slightly weak if I were to quickly drive down a large hill.  It's as if she knew my driving.  There is a particular hill in our town that my mother used to purposely choose in order to give me that 'stomach in throat' feeling.  I remember laughing as she'd hit the gas in the old '72 Buick and excitedly advise me to "hold on"!  I was like that pig in the car insurance commercial.  "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"  And think back to that time of no seatbelts, friends.  Not as if we needed them.  I'm convinced that there will never be an automotive safety system as effective and reliable as "Mom Arm".  My car is supposed to have 7 airbags and state of the art seatbelts with every seat.  I'll take Mom Arm over all of that technology.  Isn't it funny how ineffective Dad Arm was?  I recall eating the dashboard, thereby loosening my tooth, without so much as a flinch of Dad's arm.  Mom so would've had me...

I've digressed and retro'd.  Again.

In any case, the log flume and large hill effect?  Now includes elevators.

It's not as if ms issued a corporate memo that disclosed: "effective x/x/2011, I will become less tolerant of descending elevator rides.  When you choose the 'down' button, be prepared for mild leg weakness and slight dizziness."  I found out the hard way, while picking my grandmother up from the nursing facility.  It's not nearly as severe as that time on the log flume, mind you, but it is noticeable.  And I feel a little funny asking Mommom to lend me her walker.  Know what I'm sayin'?

I can't really resort to using the stairs, because I have a hard time on the downgrade.  Sort of how I can walk uphill all day long, but have trouble making my way down.  Gravity is not being kind to more ways than one.

Ladies my age are grinning at that right about now ;-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nasopharyngitis > My Husband

My husband is a formidable man.  He is strong enough to lift an old home heating oil tank into the bed of a pickup truck, yet gentle enough to carry an ailing bird to safety.  He'll work a 36hr shift if presented with the task, as long as you give him enough coffee.  Basically, there's little he can't do...except when the unthinkable strikes.  What is the unthinkable?

Nasopharyngitis.  Otherwise known as (:::hands to mouth in horror:::)

The common cold.

Make no mistake.  My husband's symptoms are much more severe than typical cases of nasopharyngitis.  In addition to what I refer to as "productive sniffling", which is quite pleasant while one is trying to eat, he experiences terrible spasms in his legs.  These spasms cause his legs to stretch outward, become rigid, and cease movement.  The only thing he's able to do to comfort them is place them on the coffee table.  All medicinal supplies, snacks, hot teas, coffees, and meals must be brought to him.  This is mandatory, as he is rendered completely helpless.  Evidence of the aforementioned helplessness can be noted when he asks, "so exactly how do I take this Zicam meltaway?"  Rest assured, I assist him with tender lovingkindness, responding with, "you put your...mouth?  It will do the rest."

Lastly, he forms an odd growth around his hip area.  This growth is called "Bassetus Houndus".  This phenomenon is pictured below:

It's moments like these that remind me just how fortunate I am to only have ms.

You all should know that this is the sort of relationship my husband and I have.  We deem one another deserving of such mockery and take full advantage of 'harassable moments'.  This is mine.  I accept it willingly and with great joy.

(love you, honey:-)