Category Archives: Family

In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

Father’s Day 2017

Today was Father’s Day, and I know my husband’s dream day is a day where he doesn’t have to do anything, a Day of Nothing if you will, so I tried to give him that today. The problem with that is that the lawn still needed to be mowed. Also, I had planned a dinner of steak and potatoes, and I’m not allowed to grill steak because it’s just too good to risk messing up, so he was stuck grilling as well. But he says he doesn’t mind that, so I guess that’s okay. I marinated the steak early in the day, baked the potatoes, and the rest was up to him. I’m really uncomfortable operating a grill, so I was totally fine with the compromise.

We did manage to prepare a nice brunch for him this morning, and that was a lot of fun. I made the bacon, Luke made the pancakes, and Natalie set the table. All while Dad rested in the recliner, watching the replay of last night’s Tigers game. It was a mostly relaxing day for him, and I know he got a good nap in before dinner, so I’ll call that successful enough.

I really wanted to give my husband the same spectacular treatment I feel like I was given on Mother’s Day, but I think that was just too much to live up to. Still I think between the Tigers’ game and a day of mostly nothing, I hope we came close. I really do, because he really works hard for our family. Seriously. He’s the glue, man. I can’t fathom where we would be without him. I hope he knows how much we appreciate him and all he does for our family.

Tigers’ Game!!

We went to a Tigers game last night! We love the Detroit Tigers around here. Baseball is really the only sport I am able to follow. Simple enough rules, and it moves slow enough that I can keep up. My boys love it too, of course, so it’s fun to share in the excitement of a good game. My daughter actually kind of hates baseball, and most other sports, because she says it’s boring. But despite her lack of enthusiasm, she tried her very hardest to have a good time. And as you can see from the photo, she managed to put on a smile.

The Tigers were down one run in the 9th inning so we all turned our hats on inside out and sported our rally caps. I didn’t get a picture of all of us but I assure you it was cute. (It didn’t work though, they didn’t manage to score again.)

We stopped for dinner on the way home, and enjoyed each other’s company thoroughly. It was good to do something like this as a family and I’m so looking forward to more adventures together this summer.

Grooming the garden


Okay, it’s not a garden. I just use that word for alliteration’s sake. The boys are away at a baseball game and the girls opted to stay home. When Natalie asked if she could go next door to help her friend pull weeds, it reminded me that I had been wanting to trim the front bushes. And since it’s evening, and the sun sets on the back of the house, I decided now was a good time. But halfway through she came back over to help me finish up, so I had to get a photo! Cuz that’s a good way to help make the memory stick.

Speaking of memory, and as a sidenote, I met with my neurologist earlier this week. She addressed my concerns and asked if I had anything else to discuss or ask about. I said no. Later that day, it occurred to me that there was one concern I forgot to mention: the fact that I occasionally have trouble with my short term memory. Ha! The irony there, l tell ya. Can’t take me anywhere, is what I say.

Anyhoo, hope y’all are enjoying the summer so far. Stay cool!

Hot Mess

85 degree summer heat.

Baseball tournament.

M.S.

Tingly hands debut.

Nerve pain.

Broken A/C freak out.

Sunburn won’t let me cool down.

Feeling helpless.

How does this not bother everyone else the way it does me?

What is wrong with me?

Oh yeah…. M.S.

Crying in the shower, snot running down the drain.

A good night’s sleep tried to help.

Literally dragged my foot to the bathroom the next morning (I did say “tried”).

I sat and waited in the physical therapy office for a half hour before checking in with the receptionist to see what the hold-up was. She was quite obviously unaware of the time of day, and had forgotten to let the therapist know I had arrived. It goes on from there, my bad luck, but I’m tired of hashing it out, those dumb details, so I’ll attempt brevity. I missed my ride, they tried to get me a new one, but I took a ride from a friend instead. Because I didn’t want to risk unleashing my emotions on a complete stranger. I came really close to doing that already at the therapist’s office, after discovering I had missed my originally scheduled ride. My husband reassured me that this was just a minor bump in the road, which I should have already known of course, but he knew I needed to hear it (He still amazes me, coming up with the right thing to say).

This was not my typical Monday. I don’t usually have to be anywhere, or talk to anyone but my family. So it was hard to do in the wake of a rough-on-me weekend. I just didn’t have the tools necessary to cope with minor hiccups like delayed appointments and missed rides. I spouted my frustration on Facebook and received lots of encouragement in return, but I felt a little shameful doing it. Because I like to be the positive one. I guess today I just decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Because it was going to take a lot of effort.

But those positive words helped, and the ride from a friend, and then a good nap in my own bed (with working air conditioning!). The kids were with grandpa for most of the day so my only interruption was the dog barking at who knows what. It was nice. And then I grabbed a beer, turned on some Led Zeppelin, and started chopping vegetables for dinner. I managed to relax. Truly relax.

I have more doctors to see this week and then I start some physical therapy next week. I’d bore you with the physical therapy details if I could remember them. So you’re in luck, cuz I have a terrible memory.

Peace out, readers. I hope you take some time this week to relax. Really, truly relax. It can only do you good.

 

Birthday Boy

The night before my son turned 10, he asked me to take his picture of his last day as a 9 year old, and put it on Facebook. Turns out, he had done the same thing the year before when he was turning 9. I had forgotten all about it, but maybe he hadn’t. Or maybe it’s just a thing with him, that he really enjoys the anticipation of special days like birthdays and holidays. He’s going to be one of those people who grow up to celebrate their birthday all month, simply because they are adults and they CAN. I love birthdays, and I have friends who love birthdays and we all agree that it’s cool to make it as big or as little a thing as you want. Because LIFE, people, we’re celebrating life.

So, speaking of celebration… on the exact day of Luke’s 10th birthday (the day after the above photo was taken) we all went to FunTyme to ride go-karts. Because we had so much fun on Mother’s Day, we figured, why not? Only this time Natalie rode with Dad, so Mom got to fly solo. They made sure I knew where the traffic light was located this time, as well as which position each color was so I would be sure to come in when the light turned red.

Dad beat the pants off all of us, and I was in 2nd place for several laps, until I hit the bump. There’s a decent bump coming over the bridge that I had learned to brace myself for each time. Only I was a second too late on this particular lap and I got jostled pretty good. Jostled so much that my right cochlear earpiece fell off. Well, flew off is probably more accurate. Oh, I was internally freaking, let me assure you. I calmly pulled the kart to the side and stopped, while flagging the operator to come over and help me find the earpiece. It was nowhere near the kart and I was starting to worry that I or someone else had run over it. The second operator came running and helped search the track a little further from where we were standing. He found it right away and held it up with a big smile. At least I imagine he was smiling… I couldn’t see that far, of course. Oh man, I wanted to hug that kid. I realize that the cochlear implant company can easily replace the earpiece, but I have no idea if my warranty covers it, and I didn’t want to have to make that call (with only the left year operational, of course).

Me: Hi, my right earpiece isn’t working.

AB: Can you tell me what’s going on with it?

Me: Well, it won’t stay on my ear anymore, because it’s… uh… sort of smashed to smithereens.

AB: Uh…

The earpiece showed no signs of damage and it worked fine, right off the bat. I was extremely relieved and grateful and we all had a good laugh at my expense. I’m still loving this go-kart thing though, and I think now I’ve got the two most valuable lessons under my belt: 1) know where the lights are and 2) don’t wear your earpieces while driving. The cars are so loud, hearing isn’t so useful to me then anyway.

But back to the birthday celebrations. After the racing, we let Luke hit some balls in the batting cages while Natalie practiced her cartwheels in the grass nearby. After that we all went to Chipotle for some yummy tacos and burritos. None of us had eaten there before, and we were quite pleased. Luke’s favorite restaurant has always been Taco Bell, but someone had told him that Chipotle was like Taco Bell, only better, so of course he had to try it.

Our last stop of the night was for ice cream. Because my son can eat ice cream all day long, and he will if you let him. It’s no coincidence that that’s all I craved when I was pregnant with him. TEN whole years ago. Can’t believe it, my baby boy is ten. Happy birthday, Luke.

Best Mother’s Day ever

 

I had only asked for one thing on Mother’s Day. Well, it started out as one thing. First I wanted one whole day where I didn’t have to wash dishes or cook. And a day with no fighting or tension. Then I said it would be nice to walk around downtown and stop for pie or ice cream. Oh and wouldn’t it be nice if we could do a little shopping and find that perfect side table I’ve been wanting for the living room? It was starting to feel like I was asking for too much, but I tried to be gracious and easygoing about it. The way I saw it, I was giving them options to choose from.

But no, my husband is such a giver that he managed to fit all that and more into the day! He managed to throw in something I had been wanting to do for a long time now…. drive a go-kart! I don’t get to drive real cars anymore, and I still miss it from time to time. It’s mainly the independence that I miss, but I’m gradually regaining that sense of independence with help from friends and public transportation. But just driving for the sake of driving, that’s something I always loved and still sometimes miss. So being allowed to drive around a figure eight for a few minutes was absolutely exhilarating! I’m requesting we make it a Mother’s Day tradition, since it’s something all four of us can enjoy together. And this year was made especially memorable because I got to go around the track an extra two laps! Mike was explaining to the operator after I blew past the red light the first time, that I was colorblind, and just couldn’t see that the light had changed from green to red. He had no explanation for the second time around though, as he didn’t really want to tell the guy the real story – that I couldn’t even see the lights. Ha! Next time I’ll be sure my passenger is aware of her task of letting me know when it’s time to come in.

After go-karting we came back home and took some serious naps. Then Luke grilled up some brats and we sat out on the deck and ate them along with potato salad and coleslaw. Of course we had to finish a delicious backyard meal with dessert, so afterwards we went for ice cream. I’ll have you know I took a break from counting calories this weekend. I ate a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, and pecans and it was so yummy I didn’t want it to end. You ever have one of those? Where you literally cherish every bite? That was me yesterday. So good.

When we got back home I napped again while the kids had fun playing ball out back with dad.

Overall it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I love hanging out with my family, and even more so when it’s doing things we ALL enjoy.

We have more festivities coming up this week between Luke’s baseball games starting, his 10th birthday shenanigans, and the 2017 MS Walk. So I have my literal to-do list and then I have the one floating around in my brain, taunting me and stressing me out. I have to figure out what to do about the latter, because it’s all worry over things I can’t control, and I haven’t really mastered the whole letting go thing. One day at a time, I suppose. I’m a planner so often I find myself looking too far into the future and I just need to stop that.

Today is Monday. It’s going to be a good day. Not nearly as good as yesterday, of course, but I can still hold onto those wonderful feelings. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.