All posts by Still Mindy

Thirty-something, married with two kids and a dog. Living every day to the fullest with multiple sclerosis, impaired vision, and deafness. Couldn't make it without my Savior, Jesus Christ!

Dang it all…

I could not come up with a better title than that. Because, well, it’s after 10 pm and my brain is mush. So yes, I’m going to write a blog with mush-brain and see how you like it. Ha!

So what’s happening lately? Well, the kids are back to school, sort of. We had a big fat snow day on Friday and then a scheduled day off to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Of course nobody went sledding because it’s cold man, and all the wifi is indoors. I’m still working on getting my routines back, aka my groove.

I’ve got a new responsibility I’m pretty excited/nervous about. I had been praying for some time about wanting to get back to doing what I enjoy, which is accounting. I miss it so much I obsess over our household budget and I balance our checkbook way more often than necessary. But alas, my prayers have been answered! My pastor called me last week wondering if I could help out the church with some bookkeeping and payroll. Heck yes, I said, I’m on it. I warned him that I was nervous because this is the real-est responsibility I’ve been given since my disability, but he assured me they were very forgiving, and grateful to find someone willing and knowledgeable. I’m stoked. It’s a little scary realizing that my to-do list now holds tasks that must not be overlooked, but I think I’ll be able to adjust just fine. Up until now it’s just been a lot of household junk like vacuuming and cleaning toilets. Which no one really notices if I forget to do.

I’m also doing a lot of crocheting. It’s such a relaxing thing for me, it’s a form of therapy in a way. I was running out of projects so I came up with this insane idea to make an afghan for each of my nieces and nephews, of which I have 12. These afghans are easy to do but they are time consuming so I’m just going to knock them out one at a time and give them away as I finish them. I’m starting with the oldest child first and we’ll go from there. Of course after I had this brilliant idea I found out there were three women in my extended family who are all pregnant, each with their first babies, so I had to put the afghan project on hold in order to make some adorable soft baby blankets.

All this busy-ness with accounting and crocheting leaves me zero time to obsess about food. Which I suppose is good, but it means I haven’t really discovered any new recipes to try and I’m getting rather bored with my vegan diet. No matter, I really can eat oatmeal and potatoes all day if need be, with a smoothie thrown in once in awhile. I’ll get over this hump, I’m sure.

Not a whole lot else going on around here, and if there is I can’t remember what so it must not be all that important. Good night folks, and may you dream of delicious donuts!

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Not worth all the cheese in the world

So I’ve mentioned before that I gave up meat, dairy, and eggs for health reasons. I’ve been taking note of my disappearing MS symptoms ever since giving up dairy in June. It’s seriously amazing to me how much better I feel. No fatigue, no nerve pain in my feet, no premenstrual headaches. Two of my favorite foods in the world were always coffee with half and half and pizza. So it’s been a sacrifice, for sure. But so worth it, for how good I’ve been feeling. Then earlier this week I gave into temptation, two days in a row. I ate pizza one night, and the next night a chicken & broccoli casserole with cheese. Both were delicious, I’ll admit. I was hopeful that it wasn’t enough food to have any effect on my symptoms. But then two days ago I had a hint of the nerve pain in my foot. It lasted all of five minutes and went away, so I figured that was the end of it. Not too bad, I thought, I can handle this!

Of course, I spoke too soon. Yesterday The Headache arrived. It crept in around 2 pm and by 3 it was in full force. Y’all I am the biggest baby when it comes to headaches. I have no tolerance for them. At. All. It seriously ruined my entire afternoon and while I knew it wouldn’t last and with a couple Aleve it could be taken care of, the whole time I was thinking, that food was not worth it. Not even close. So back to the vegan diet I go. It’s difficult at times, yes, and I kind of feel like a pain in the rear at family functions or other group gatherings, but I’ve gotta keep sticking with it for my health.

Hobbling Along

We are into a new year, 2018, and I’m still hanging on. Hobbling, to be more accurate, but still. Yeah, I ended up going to the urgent care to get my ankle checked out. It was still pretty swollen and in considerable pain from my fall down the stairs after Christmas, especially after Piper the Hyper Dog rammed into it running after her ball. Definitely dropped a real fudge bomb there. And it was so loud my son came running up from the basement to see what had happened. Both the kids were downstairs and heard it plain as day. I won’t even apologize for that one. That was some serious pain and with zero warning. Anyway, I didn’t break anything but it is sprained. I’m wearing a brace on it throughout the day to help keep me from bending it as I go up and down the stairs (which is all day long, ugh). The swelling has gone down, mostly, and the pain is not as bad, so I just have to ride this out. And remember to be a lot more careful on stairs from now on. 

Accident-prone

My husband says I get hurt more often than anyone he knows. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I certainly get hurt more than at least my immediate family. Christmas morning I burned my fingers. I was taking a pan of bacon out of the oven when I knocked off the oven thermometer. So of course I let my instinct to move it with my bare hand take over, and that lasted all of a half second before I dropped everything where I stood and proceeded to spew fudge words under my breath as I ran to the freezer to find cold things. Burns are the most painful things ever, y’all. All dern day I had to keep my fingers on ice or they would start screaming at me. So basically I was relieved of most of my planned kitchen duties, other than putting away clean dishes with my one good hand. Thank goodness my mother-in-law was there to save the day.

Then today I went to the hospital to have my monthly Tysabri infusion. All went well with the infusion, but then as I was rushing down the stairs to be sure my ride didn’t leave without me, I miscalculated the number of steps and fell down the last one or two. I’m not sure, it all happened so fast, but I think it must have been the last two steps that I missed because I twisted my ankle real good and I fell hard. I dropped everything I was holding as I went down, of course, and just laid there, afraid to move. I was looking up to see if anyone would come to help me get up. Two people across the way just stood and stared, but then eventually I was surrounded by employees from the building. A nurse offered to have me stay and get the ankle checked out, and a valet driver brought me a wheelchair. Even my paratransit driver came inside looking for me, and was able to help me into the van. I really wish I had the whole thing on tape because I think it would give everyone a good laugh. Graceful I am not.

It’s now several hours later and I’m wondering if I should have taken that nurse up on her offer to stay and get the ankle checked out. I kept my leg elevated the whole drive home and then I’ve iced the ankle periodically throughout the day, but my it is still pretty swollen and I can’t bend it. Ah, I guess I’ll just give it a little more time and rest and hopefully it will heal up on its own.

Music makes my heart happy

Okay. So it seems I’m not on my computer as frequently as I would like to blog (I keep it upstairs in my bedroom) so I’m gonna try blogging from my phone when the mood strikes. Which is surprisingly and nerdly (making up words here) often.

What I want to share about today is music. Music has always been very important to me. I have a sort of eclectic mix of what I like, mainly because I don’t care to just listen to something because other people say it’s good. If it makes me feel something good inside, it’s a winner in my book. When I lost my hearing I lost what I had with music, and that was devastating, but they tell me my brain can learn to appreciate music again, with time and practice. Right now it all just sounds weird and mechanical, but they said if I listen to familiar music, stuff my brain would remember, it would get better over time. Problem is, I have trouble remembering what I used to listen to.

Enter The Office. I’ve been rewatching the show on Netflix cuz I loved it when it originally aired. Still makes me laugh out loud. One character on the show, Andy Bernard, will occasionally start singing songs that were semi-popular at the time. In one episode he was singing a song by the Indigo Girls and I recognized it immediately. Yes!! I had forgotten them but I remember I had a cassette tape I used to listen to on long road trips to see friends, or my drives to work at the Pizza Hut two towns over.

This didn’t bring back a flood of music memories, but it was at least a key to the particular time period that I knew held lots of my formerly favorite music. So, I started a Pandora station with the Indigo Girls and over the last few days I have been spending a little bit of time each day building the perfect station for retraining my brain with my very own personalized “oldies”.

So far it seems to be working, and I’m having fun singing along to all these songs I forgot I knew.

In other news, the kids had a show day today so they are hanging out with me at home. And it’s sunny outside, so the sun just dances off the blanket of snow outside. I love this season!

Cherishing the silence

I’m finding that I do my best thinking when my “ears” are off (my cochlear implant processors). Even at night, when the house is quiet. It’s just a whole different kind of quiet, because all I hear is the low ringing tones of tinnitus and absolutely nothing else. You probably don’t realize there is noise to be heard, but just try plugging your ears for a few seconds and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a word for that noise but I can’t think of it at the moment. Ambient maybe?

What’s funny about me enjoying this silent existence is that it used to terrify me. So much so, that I needed medication just to sleep at night. But 4 years of deafness and now I welcome the silence. It’s helpful to retreat into myself, to focus my thoughts, but mostly I embrace it because it’s now my favorite time to talk to Jesus. He meets me here in the silence. He was here with me every day while I wrestled with hearing loss and vision loss back in 2013, and he’s never left me since. I don’t share this info often, but there was a song I used to sing during that time, over and over and over mostly in my head, and it brought me peace and comfort when not much else did. I’ll post the lyrics below because you might see how unbelievably appropriate it was for what I was going through. The interesting thing about it, no – miraculous – is that prior to losing my hearing, I had only heard that song one time that I can recall. It was in a movie that I watched once years ago. How on earth could I have remembered that song? Only God knows. But boy, did that song ever save me from a really ugly and scary time in my life, and I believe it will now forever be my theme song.

Losing my hearing and vision was an enormous life changer for me, for obvious reasons, but God has used it all to bring about incredibly wonderful changes. The biggest change, and the one I am most grateful for, is that it solidified my faith in Jesus. He showed me through that song, through the support we received from family and friends, through Scripture, through the fact that we survived it all, that He will never leave me.

So. When I’m settling in for the night and am taking off my ears and entering the silence, I am delighted to talk to Him. He is my peace, forever and always, amen.

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul

Jesus, I will never let you go

You’ve taken me from the miry clay

Set my feet upon the rock, and now I know

I love you, I need you

Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go

My Savior, my closest friend

I will worship you until the very end

Vertigo can go

I had a case of vertigo back in early June. That time it came on really quickly, and I went to the urgent care to get it checked out. They told me it was probably resulting from a recent head cold and sent me home with some meds for the dizziness.

I have not been sick since then, but the vertigo has reappeared. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but I remember having it on Saturday and it hasn’t let up since. I have no clue what’s causing it, but I’ve read that it can be common for people with MS, so I’m not all that concerned. Annoyed, yes, but not concerned. I’m sure it will go away soon. I’m hoping. It better, because I have my entire extended families coming for Thanksgiving dinner, and I would like to be able to enjoy them without having to sit down the entire time. I’m seriously walking around like a drunk person, only without the benefit of being drunk. I have to laugh, so you can too. Just picture me hobbling down the stairs, clutching the walls as I go.

Ok, well, if you could think to pray for me I would be grateful. And I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, however you spend it. If anything, spend it thanking God for all you’ve been given. Peace out…