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Showing posts from June, 2016

Fill that basket. We only get one chance.

Yep, that's me, hanging upside down. All the blood rushing to my head, seeing the world from a different perspective. Daring anyone to tell me I am wrong for wanting to experience something different.

Living with MS is a far cry from every little girl's dream, but it is allowing me to see a different side to life. And it forces me out of my comfort zone. Mainly because everyday is outside said comfort zone. 

I no longer wilt at the prospect of taking control of my day. I ask strangers for directions and I go out of my way to find answers. I mean...I write a blog that only millions of prospective viewers possibly see. I am pouring my life out to people whom I may never meet.

I talked about basket lists last week. Well, without even trying, my basket is filling up. Just this month this has happened (in no particular order):

*I won my first ever, paid writing competition. FIRST PLACE! For the first 5,000 words of my soon-to-be-published young adult novel Bombs Bursting in Air, I rece…

Ann Romney and I are really NOT in this together.

Today is the day! Your last badge assignment was to read a book about multiple sclerosis. I hope you found an interesting one. They are not all nonfiction statistics, y'know.
I chose Ann Romney's memoir in this together: my story. I really enjoy true life stories and I enjoyed reading Mrs. Romney's journey with MS. Since she was diagnosed prior to me, many of our recollections differ. And, unfortunately, much of our treatment(s) are vastly unalike.
Whoever coined the phrase "money can't buy happiness" didn't have an incurable disease. While folks in Ann Romney's world find solace in equestrian therapy, this country bumpkin wants her insurance to assist in paying for Ampyra so that I  can walk. Ann Romney has one of the leading neurologists in the world on her side, and I am happy for her; but I cannot relate to the privileges she enjoys.
It is not Ann Romney's fault that she is wealthy and I am not. We are very, very different in every aspect other t…

Call for Book Reviews

Attempting to be normal

It is always there...that question. Because the MonSter has become as essential to me as my right arm, the question often catches me off guard and I actually have think about it really hard before realizing that is directed to me.

"What is wrong with your leg?"

"Did you hurt your leg?"

In the beginning I blamed my cane. The physical existence of my colorful walking aid is enough to alarm some folks, even without seeing my crazy walking gait.

Other times I can fully understand the inquisition as I literally sail through the air from point A to point B.

Being physically handicapped is so difficult to hide. I hate it: the looks of alternating sympathy and disdain; the quickness to assist or ignore; the unnecessary need to verbalize support in the form of a related story in order to relate to my situation. 

Firstly, do not feel sorry for me. I have actually been very fortunate to this point. On the other hand, do not curl up your nose when you look at me and my cane. We do n…

Oh, no! I have become my mother!

We are told it will happen. We are reminded of it often. We are warned to select our words and actions carefully. 

We then shake our head vigorously and deny the inevitable.

And then...

It happens.

We become our mother.

Well, not totally, but certainly very close.

Since my retirement  my mother has become pretty mu ch my best friend. We do everything together. We exercise, we shop, we get mani/pedis,  we attend meetings, we plan our calendars...To the point where I have begun to worry is we will be going on double dates soon. 

I am okay with it all, though. Mom has been my champion for years, even when I was practicing my young rendition of angst in the worst way. I was a terrible teenager. My young adult years were not much better. In fact, I will admit that I probably did not gain any type of maturity until MS came to live with me. And even then it was not immediate. Talk about late bloomers. I was 41 when diagnosed and still playing the role of unruly child.

Now roles are reversing. Mom…

My new Monday mantra.

Good Monday morning!

Yesterday I got thrown with a very awkward question. It was awkward because of its specific content. The person who asked is not known for having a refined social persona, but she is highly educated. Book smarts versus mature common sense? Probably.

The question: How are you doing with your MS?

Not How are you doing? How are you feeling? What's up with you?

How are you dong with your MS?

While I attempted to filter that question, she continued; either oblivious to my confusion or in an attempt to cover up what she really did recognize as weird on her part.

Her: I ask that because Aunt So-and-so asked me if you were still walking. She has't seen you for a while. I told her that you walk with a cane but you get around okay.

At this point I am still processing and silent.

Her: When I mentioned the walking stick she about freaked, though. I told her that you have had that cane for years. She thought you were probably in a wheel chair by now.

Okay, this is when the bomb…

School's out for the summer and my MS is still here.

This has decidedly been an interesting ear for me. After thirty-three years of teaching this is the first time I have not been in on the end-of-the-school-year hoopla. I find myself in a very bittersweet frame of mind.

I loved my job. The smell of new text books, the eraser dust on the chalk tray (I refused to transform to the white board phase), the sound of the pencil sharpener, the blank page of a new grade book. the million and one requests to go to the bathroom...
I loved it all.
It was that bathroom thing that got me in the end, though. I thanked God daily that my classroom was right beside the girls' bathroom because I spent most of my time there. And I often paid the consequences for slipping out in the middle of class. You just do not leave twenty eighth graders to fend for themselves. But I had no choice. It was either blind trust that they could hold it together for a minute or two, or total public mortification. Unfortunately my public mortification might have been the be…