Saturday, November 14, 2009

Slacker Here!

The title about sums it up. I have been a slacker when it comes to blogging. I almost feel guilty about getting on here and blogging anything when we are so busy as a family. Between school starting back up for the kids, along with their extracurricular activities, me taking on more hours at work along with going to school too, not a lot of time in between.

It is November already, which I am totally in disbelief, where did the time go? I had my one year Fingo study appointment at the end of September and everything went well. I was clinically documented as being in a relapse with my MS, which I knew, but still felt fine. This little pill I am taking everyday is surely doing something because I would have had an IV in my arm with steroids dripping into my veins two years ago for that type of relapse.
Halloween was a blast, the kids had great costumes and my son Kyle looked fantastic in his. He said this was his last year to go, so I had to make sure he went out with a bang. Doug and I took the kids over the the nursing home where great grandma Mona is and oh my, all the residents there just laughed and laughed at Kyle's costume. Grandma especially couldn't stop laughing. She laughed so hard that tears were streaming down her cheeks. It sure made my day to bring so much joy and laughter to these residents just by bringing my children in to see their great great grandmother and show off their costumes.

Speaking of that son of mine, he turns 12 on Tuesday, November 17th. I am in such disbelief that my baby is going to be 12, just doesn't seem possible, even though I am reminded constantly that his birthday is in X amount of days. Time sure does fly by.

I am sure I have a ton more to tell, but figure I'd just do a little update for now to try and jump start my blogging again. I only have two followers, so I doubt I was missed too much anyhow...hehe!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Almost Over?

I truly cannot believe July is almost over. I haven't had time to post lately, sorry. It has been a hellish month so far. My grandmother is not adjusting well to being in the nursing section and it has been very hard on me. She keeps blaming me for putting her there and has been very cruel with her words. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is not her anymore and that if she were still in her right mind, she would not be that way with me. She is refusing to eat and take her medications, therefore, that is another stress. I am at my wits end, tired of being called on a daily basis about issues with her and worried sick.

I just turned 35 July 7th, but I feel as though I have aged ten years in the last month. I look so much older than I am, which really sucks! I try very hard to take good care of myself, eat right and exercise, but stress sure does take its toll on ones body. I am literally hanging on by a thread. Husband is still out of work and it is very difficult to be around his constant negative attitude. I am an optimistic person, but when you are around someone who is NOT optimistic it tends to wear you down. Due to the unemployment for six months and counting I have to make very tough decisions on our financial situation. I try to get his input on things, but the communication between us in the last few months has been very scant and constantly interrupted. I almost feel like I am on the verge of a breakdown and that scares me. I have way too much on my plate and DO NOT have time for a breakdown.

School is going well so far. I didn't do very well on one of my tests in Law and Ethics, but it has been a very bad month. I have since brought my grade up, but it is disheartening when you are working so hard, but can't devote the time you need to something so important to you due to constant family chaos.

I am working on trying to let go and have others help me, but it is a work in progress. It is also a work in progress getting others to help me, especially with my grandmother. Best advice I can give to those of you that have aging parents or grandparents; just because they may not be themselves any longer, doesn't mean they don't need you to still be a part of their lives. Please go visit them, even if it is just for fifteen minutes. They may or may not remember your visit, but for the moments you are there, they do love it.

I suppose I could go on and on about how horrible things have been for the summer so far, but I need to also remember how blessed I am too, which isn't easy when things are so chaotic. I have great friends who are encouraging and supportive, two healthy smart kids, a home, food and a husband who love me.

This too shall pass.........

Friday, June 26, 2009

So many questions?

Thursday, June 18th: Get a call at 6:30pm from the nurse where my grandmother lives to inform me that she is unable/unwilling to get out of bed due to horrible leg pain. She is incontinent and has a call into the on-call doc to get her some pain meds. Come find out, this was going on since 9am that morning and why I wasn't called until 6:30 that evening is beyond me and had me LIVID! I had to go straight up there and pick up some pain meds on the way. She was sleeping and comfortable by the time I got there, which made me feel better, but still very upset that I wasn't notified earlier in the day. The nurse informed me that the doc would be coming in Friday to check on her and assess her condition and decide what to do. Got home late.

Friday, June 19th: I was up pretty early and went to be with my grandma and wait on the doc to visit. She didn't get over to see grandma until 12:30pm. In the meantime, I had to try and entertain my soon to be birthday girl, while tending to my grandmother. The doc was certain she had a fracture of the femur head and sent her right away to the ER for xrays and evaluation. In the meantime, I had to drop off my daughter at home, inform some family members, go to the store to get ingredients for her birthday dinner tomorrow and still needed to make her cheesecake. Long story short, no fractures, just severe osteoarthritis and probably sciatic nerve pain as well. Because she can no longer bare weight on her leg for transferring to the bed/toilet, etc. to her wheelchair, she'll need to be admitted to skilled nursing until she gets her strength back. I had a ton of paperwork to sign, had to transfer some clothes from her apartment to the skilled nursing unit (which is in the same building, thank goodness). Didn't get home until 8pm and had to make a cheesecake so it would be set up for little miss birthday girl the next day. Didn't get to bed until midnight and knew I had to get up and at 'em early next day. Talk about symptoms creeping in....oh boy! Oh and I forgot to mention, I agreed to watch my BFFs 6 month old dachshund/chihuahua for the week while they vacationed in Florida, which to say the least wasn't a great idea considering all that is going on. She's a cutie pie though, but EXTREMELY HIGH MAINTENANCE!

Saturday, June 20th...Birthday: Well, my now nine year old had a great day for her birthday. I made bacon for her that morning and then got 40 meatballs rolled, cooked and into the crockpot with marinara sauce. We went to the Indiana Art Museum and truly enjoyed looking at all the wonderful art. Afterwards, I finished up making her dinner and then company arrived. It was a nice small family birthday celebration. Despite all of the other chaos, it all worked out just fine.

The rest of the week: Monday was spent studying like a mad woman for finals, which I pulled off getting an A on both exams and finished the quarter up with a 97 in anatomy/physiology and a 98 in medical terminology. Tuesday was spent cleaning up dog urine in the morning, which I was not too happy about since she was outside for 25 minutes and then decided to come in and pee on my carpet. Afterwards, I was off to officially sign papers to fully admit my grandma into skilled nursing per her family physicians suggestion and orders. I was told I should have plenty of time to empty out her apartment. Wasn't an hour later I get a call saying the apartment had been sold and I had to have it empty by the 30th. So much for having plenty of time. Wednesday I took the kids to swim and then my daughter, sister in law and I went to Beef & Boards and saw Annie. It was a wonderful play and a wonderful all around day, but exhausting. Thursday, was catch up around the house and Cassie had friends over for most of the day.

Friday, Fingolimod 9 month check up: All went very well. My blood pressure was a little low and it took 4 sticks to draw blood, but for the most part things are going well, neurologist says I am in a mild flare. I kind of already knew this, but just kept hoping it was just the weather changes, stress, etc....

He believes the flare is currently attacking my spinal cord due to my current symptoms. I declined a round of IV steroids because I don't feel that bad and truly don't have time for them. I am going to try and wait it out.

Upcoming: Tomorrow will be spent taking a dog back home (woohoo, happy about that) going through my grandma's apartment and trying to figure out what can be transferred over to her nursing room (not too happy about that). All the rest will probably be donated. Have no idea what to do with her furniture, will probably donate that too. Sunday will be hopefully a nice day, but a busy one. Monday will be spent taking my grandmother to get a bone scan to try and figure out why she is in so much pain. Then on Tuesday I start back up my next quarter of school. I will also be taking on more hours at work starting the month of July. Cassie will be starting drama camp M-F 9a-12p for the entire month of July. Did I mention football camp starts then too? Like I said, welcome to my chaos and if it can happen, it will definitely happen to me.

Oh, one more thing......I fell again today, makes my 7th fall in the month of June alone. Gotta love Multiple Sclerosis, summer heat, tons of stress and drop foot!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time Flies....

Birthday Girl: My baby girl turns nine on Saturday. I can't believe she will be nine! Time sure does fly by. We are just having a family party. The menu will be meatballs in marinara sauce with rotini on the side, or make meatball sub sandwiches. (Have all the good Italian cheeses to go with it as well, yum!). Instead of a regular cake like most people, she has chosen a chocolate, chocolate chip cheesecake instead. I will be very busy on Friday making a ton of meatballs and a cheesecake. And just how do you put candles into a cheesecake without messing it up? Oh well, her birthday.

Father's Day: My father has been gone five years now, so this day is sad for me since I can no longer celebrate my father. All of my grandfather's are passed away as well, so that leaves all the attention to my father in law. He is a wonderful man! Plus my husband needs to be recognized for being a wonderful father to our two children. We don't have grand plans for this day since we'll just be celebrating a birthday the day before.

Final Exams: Monday are finals for my two classes. I am absolutely terrified! I have done so well in both classes, but fear the final in one, anatomy/physiology. I have retained a ton of information in Medical Terminology course, but for some reason I cannot retain much in anatomy/physiology. It hasn't helped that we have had such drastic weather changes, which in turn screws with my MS. I am literally exhausted all the time. Makes it very difficult to study when you can't stay awake and your mind is constantly wondering all the time. I swear I think I have ADD. I cannot concentrate at all right now. Of course, it also doesn't help that I have two children that need my constant attention and refereeing all the time.

Unemployment: My husband still has not found a job. This is by far the most discouraging and stressful thing we have been through in our almost fourteen years of marriage. It has been six months now. He is over qualified for most of the positions he is applying for, therefore, he can't get a break. I know the companies are afraid of hiring someone with all his experience out of fear that if a better paying job comes along they'll lose him, which wouldn't happen, especially if he enjoyed the job. Please pray that he finds a job that he likes soon, it is getting very tough in all aspects.

Fingolimod: I have been on this drug almost nine months now and have my nine month visit next Friday. I can't say that I am feeling 100%, but I can say that without a doubt I would be in worse shape MS wise without it. With all the stresses in my life, which MS doesn't like at all, I'd be on an IV drip of steroids as we speak. I can feel the pot a boiling and it is as though I have an attack coming on, but so far it is just simmering and I hope to keep it that way. I can deal with the increasing of old symptoms, but just no new stuff.

Well, hope everyone is doing well. I'll update next week after my appointment with the neurologist and study staff. Be well!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh Boy!

What a week already! We have had crazy weather. One day it is almost 90 degrees and so humid you can barely breathe, the next day it is 58 degrees, damp and rainy. Today it is a cool breeze, finally some sunshine, but only 63 outside and it is June 4th in Indiana. It is no wonder my Multiple Sclerosis is going haywire on me.

I have been dragging all week and when I say dragging, I literally mean......DRAGGING! It has been a while since I have had problems being able to pick up my right foot/leg, but this week it is turned inward and dragging, which makes it hard for walking. I "could" get one of those hideous drop foot braces (see picture below, so you can get the full effect) that just really pull your outfit together, but I'd prefer not to have a leg/foot brace tan line this summer, not to mention I can't wear an open toe shoe with one of those super sexy braces either. While washing up dishes yesterday afternoon, I was leaning up against the counter and almost fell because I started sliding sideways against the counter top and didn't even realize it until I was practically leaning to one side. What's up with that? I can place that one in my odd things that happen to a person with MS file.

Last night while in class, I lost my balance and fell into the table behind me. Not a hard fall, but one that freaked the last six people left in class out. I just hit the table with my elbow and came down with such grace to my knees and then into a squatting position. Took me a little while to get up, but I did, without any assistance......taking my bow....thank you very much! On the bright side, got a 100% on my test that night...woohoo!

Well, now onto the stupid prescription sunglasses....AGAIN! I picked up yet another pair and they just didn't seem like the ones I initially ordered. A lot bigger than the ones I remember and I mean A LOT BIGGER! I put them on and felt like I had on those enormously large clown glasses without all the make up , nice colorful outfit and wig. I thought, okay, I'll give them a try and pretend like I'm in Hollywood. One day while driving, one of the lenses pops out and of course scares the crap out of me. I thought, "you've gotta be kidding me!" I have been back three times already to get sunglasses and the place can't seem to get them right. So, today, I go back again and say, "I think I have given up on trying to get a decent pair of prescription sunglasses from your company and would just like to trade them in for regular frames/lenses with clip-on sunglasses". Something that should be super simple, turned into a forty-five minute wait and come find out they'll need to specially order my lenses due to my prescription. I just looked at the newly put in charge manager and said, "Of course you will, story of my life!" You know what that means......yet ANOTHER trip back to the eyeglass place.

One of these days, I will have some sort of simplicity, until then, I'll keep on blogging about my ongoing chaos.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Way Behind

Been a while since I've blogged about my crazy life. So much has happened since my last entry I don't even know where to begin, so I will try to condense it the best I can.

I will begin by saying, as of week 7 in school I have a 4.0 and am hoping to keep that GPA, so please wish me luck, I need every ounce I can get.

Midterm day: I studied like a madwoman of course. In the middle of my midterm, my phone keeps buzzing in my front pocket. I'm thinking to myself, "Either that person has the wrong number or there is an emergency!" I can't even look at the phone because I don't want to be accused of cheating, plus I need to keep my focus on the huge test in front of me. Twenty minutes later, test turned in, out in the hallway I check my messages. An emergency, my 99 year old grandmother, whom I am caretaker of and power attorney has fallen and the assisted living facility needed my permission to send her to the hospital. So off to the hospital they send her, all the while, I have another exam in the next class and CANNOT leave. Great timing huh? Long story short, my grandmother is fine, no broken bones, just a bad sprain and is doing fine now.

Glasses Pickup: I'm not even 35 yet, but had to get bi-focals, WTF? Anyways, I ordered them along with new prescription sunglasses. Got my new glasses fine, but the sunglasses had white spots all through the lenses, so had to have them redone. Well, the machine is broke, so I will need to come back. Go back a few days later because they are ready. Well, still tons of white spots, so they will need to redo them again. Wait around for 20 minutes and they have ruined the frames from heating them up too much, so now I have to pick out new frames (at no cost of course). They don't have anymore of the frames I originally picked out, that would be too easy. So, I pick out a little larger frame, feeling like I need to be in Hollywood while wearing them but need new sunglasses. I am told it'll only take about 20 minutes since they have my lenses in stock to tint. Now I am there for an hour, and instead of 20 minutes later, he comes out 30 minutes later and replies, "Well, we are having problems with your lenses and will need to order special lenses to fit those frames". I just laughed and said, "Of course you are, story of my life"!

Possible Shingles Outbreak: Well, as you can see, I have had a few stresses lately. Between exams, work, being a mother and trying to encourage my unemployed husband that he can find a job since being laid off five months ago, I am run down. I started having blurred vision and my eye hurt and felt like I had something stuck in it. A few days later I had a couple of blisters show up around my brow line and in the brow line itself. I started to freak out at the possibility of losing my vision and scarring of my face. Call my study nurse and let her know what is going on since I am part of a study that suppresses my immune system, this could potentially be life threatening, but not too worried about that. Go to the eye doc and no herpes zoster or any kind of herpes found......THANK YOU GOD FOR ANSWERED PRAYERS! What the eye doc did find was two little sand rocks in my eye that have scratched the surface of my eye. He got those out and told me to put lubricating eye drops in my eye for next few days. Also, the breakouts look more like a contact dermatitis issue (I had just changed shampoos). Whew, close call, but still feel like it was the beginning of shingles and I had tons of people praying including myself that it wasn't. Power of prayer, power of prayer, thank you!

Hope everyone is having a good Memorial Week End and may this week end be about spending time with your loved ones and remembering the ones who have passed away with what love and joy they brought to your lives.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creeping Up...

It seems like so many things in life, there is always something out there that is waiting around the corner about to creep up on you. This something for me is my Multiple Sclerosis and all the issues and symptoms that come with it.

I have been doing very well. I have relapsing remitting MS, which means, I have relapses (worsening of symptoms over several days/weeks) and then remissions (symptoms improve or go away and back to a normal being). I don't truly recover completely from relapses any longer, I just "adjust" to the "new" normal me. For the last few days, I have been having an increase of symptoms. I keep telling myself it is just because I am tired or because I am over doing it, but as each day passes, more symptoms creep up. Since I started the study drug, Fingolimod, it is harder for me to tell if I am truly relapsing, which is great. In the past, I usually would get hit pretty hard and it was VERY obvious and I would require IV steroids to bounce me back. Time will tell.

Okay, done complaining about the MS. I had a wonderful Mother's Day! My kids made me special cards and the DH (this can mean "damn husband" or "darling husband", depending my mood) took my daughter to the store to pick something out for me. Did I ever hit the jackpot on that one. I awoke to having coffee and the Sunday paper brought to me in bed, then after that was greeted with a center piece on the table that my daughter made for me. It was filled with all kinds of individually wrapped dark chocolates, all my favorites. My son, fairly typical 11 year old boy, made me a very simple card and a photo frame with his picture during school for a class project. At least this year he did sign his card. To end the day with being taken out for dinner, was icing on the cake. Just a lovely day!

Lastly, to end my post in the "It can only happen to me category".........well, I must say, I don't have any true funnies yet this week. But remember, it is still the start of a new week, so I'm sure I will have something later. Or, to look on the optimistic side of things, maybe I'll have a week where nothing too out of the ordinary will happen. be continued....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So Forgetful....

Well, I have been studying like a mad woman for the past week for tests in my anatomy/physiology and medical terminology classes. Very condensed and a ton of information to learn in a very short amount of time. I swear I read the chapters like three times in the anatomy class and ended up getting a C on one and a B on the other one. It was like I drew a complete blank when those tests were put in front of me. On the second one (B), I thought I only missed one, but ended up missing four and was in complete shock.

Okay, so now comes the next two tests in medical term and I get a perfect score on those, go figure!! So weird how our brains can retain some things and all the other stuff just must fly out of our ears or something.

I realize I shouldn't complain about a C and a B, but for an almost 35 year old woman going back to school, I want to be an example for my kids and when I don't get an A, I feel like a failure. I shouldn't feel that way, but can't help it. I set high standards for them, therefore, I need to set high standards for me too. I suppose maybe I am being humbled, okay I accept, now allow my brain to function again please! (Think that will work?).

I find that as I get older, I am so much more forgetful. I want to kick my own ass for not applying myself more when I was in high school. I could cram for a test 10 minutes before the exam and ace it. Now I have to read things over and over and over and over. Heck I picked up an old magazine the other day and read an article that I thought was very good and didn't realize I had already read it until I was almost finished with it. Kind of scary eh?

And at last for the it can only happen to me category.....I was running late this morning for work and ending up spilling coffee all over my only clean and ironed pair of pants, which happened to be light in color. I truly do not have time to change, so off I go with my stained pants to work. On the way to work I realize that I have a "tide to go" pen in the van. Once I get to work, I am desperately trying to rub this stain out with the pen. I applied too much pressure and the tip breaks off and out spills all the solution onto my pants. Of course I now have a coffee stain and a huge wet spot on my pants. Once it dries, I realize it sure did get the stain out, along with the rest of where was once a light beige color. That spot is now super white, white. So instead of having a coffee stain I have a bleach spot. Should have just left it alone. The lesson learned here is don't use too much of the "tide to go" pen on your clothing. Or is it, don't press so hard to hurry the process along and break the tip of the pen off?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Always Something....

I am very new to blogging, but since I completely lost ten years of journaling when I switched out systems, I figured I'd let the world wide web lose it instead, so I can blame someone else and not feel like such a moron. A little about me:

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 7 years ago and hate that I lost a lot of that symptom and relapse history. That would have been useful in trying to finish a book I am working on. I promised my children I would try and write a children's book for those parents who are newly diagnosed to read to their young children. When I was diagnosed, not much was out there from a kids' perspective in explaining MS. I suppose I can start from scratch, hey how about that, I can actually do something over again? How many get to do that?

I started a drug study in October. It is a double blind placebo in which I get to literally be a guinea pig. I use to take shots and even tried monthly infusions with no success, so when this opportunity was made available to me, I took it. I thought, "heck, swallow a pill everyday instead of getting poked with sharp objects to help slow down my disease progression, count me in!" So far, I have done really well. I have had a few speed bumps that slowed me down in the beginning, but now I'm doing really well. I will probably post about that too, but mostly just the amusement I find in living out my daily life.

All jokes aside, well not really, because I will try and use this blog to describe what it is like for someone with my disease trying to raise a family, work part time and go back to school part time, all the while trying to keep from losing what is left of her mind. I try and find the humor in everything I do, because once I've calmed down after a crazy moment in life, I tend to laugh about it anyhow, because after can only happen to me!

You will soon find out why I chose this title and I hope you will get some laughs too.