Monday, May 31, 2010

Overdoin' It

To borrow brilliant lyrics from The Cure : 'I don't care if Monday's blue, Tuesday's gray, and Wednesday too. Thursday, I don't care about you. It's Friday. I'm in love . . . ' And that pretty much sums up my week. Sorry I left y'all hangin' with nothing but a story of losing my pants to tide you over this holiday weekend. Good news. I did manage to keep my pants up ~ most of the weekend anyways.

Once Jason returned from Indy the week just sort of flew by. It was the boys' last week of school and excitement reigned supreme at the Spindler abode. I reference The Cure above, not just because I think an early CCSVI diagnosis may actually cure MS - possibly even wipe it from existence, BUT because Friday of this past week began a new for me. I'm startin' to LOVE stuff again. Please let me explain . . .

Only the locals will appreciate my next referenced quote. And for that I am sorry, but it must be said. I open the door Friday morning to a gush of heat against my happily air conditioned, well-rested body. The first thing that comes to mind is, "It's hot, Don!" Ha! Remember that one? You know literary times is hard when you begin quoting local car dealership commercials. Anyways, it was hot! But checking to see that pants were still on, good and snug, I stepped outside with Gooch and stood while he did his business. Why not sit and relax? 'Cause I felt like standing.

The past 10 years, if nothing else, I've learned to conserve what little energy I'd been given, if any at all. My dad and mom's work ethic had always been more, welllll, ummm, aggressive, let's call it. The first there, no breaks, and the last to leave even after clean-up. I remember my dad not even pausing during a task to wipe sweat from his brow. And did you know it's more efficient to carry two five gallon buckets of water at a time, than to make two trips with just one? Ahhhh, I miss those days. Anybody's barn need cleaning?

So I should have been all resting up for my big day Friday. And especially with it being sooo scorching hot outside. Guess what? I feel like I been resting for 10 years. So I try and catch up on some laundry. A task, keep in mind, that because of the heat from the dryer, usually wipes me out. Not so today. Thank you, Jesus!

And guess what else? Goochie's gotta go out again? No problem. And this time Abe accompanies us. Great. "Mom, you wanna watch me play basketball?" he so sweetly inquired, surely expecting the usual brush off answer. Usually I returrn with, "Honey, it's too hot right now," or "I can watch from inside," or "How about later, sweetie?" Not this time, sportsfans. Momma came to play! I wish you all could have seen his face when I answered, "No! I don't wanna watch son. I wanna play!" Huh? "Pass it here," I said.

I dribbled, whilst I talked some smack. "Did you know I got to play a little varsity ball my sophomre year? Yeh, I traveled with the sectional team. Pretty big stuff back then," I bragged. A little more dribbling. A couple, even thru the leg! "And I walked on to the college team my freshman year at USI." A jog right, square up and a slightly modified jump shot to follow . . . (modified in that only my heels left the ground). Guess what? B~R~I~C~K

My follow thru was just as fluent and beautiful as it had been say in 1994, however, wow, there was still much work to be done. But it had hit the backboard and rim before the concrete. Considering the heat and my lack of proper basketball attire, i.e. Nike high-tops, I think I did pretty well. Sure I hadn't played since college. Sure my depth perception is still lacking. But shame on all y'all when it comes time for lessons on defense and blocking out for rebounds.

So we played around a bit. Both of us need no help in the talking department. I sank a few. He sank a few. And he got bored. Can you believe that? What a breakthrough! And he gets bored. Oh well, where did Gooch go? Crazed pit bull on the loose! Hardly, if you ever come across him he'll either kiss (lick) your feet off or fall asleep on ya. Lazy boy was sleepin' in the shade under the trampoline. Hmmmmm, now there's somethin' else I wanna conquer.

But inside lunch needed made and more laundry done. Maybe I should rest. So Jason gets home to take Abe and not even knowing about our little scrimmage outside he warns, "Babe, you ought to take it easy." But he follows with a kiss and thanks me for tackling the laundry. Yay, me! So should I go out and brush up on my shot before I've got to be ready to leave for the end of the year parties at school? Silly, right? Right.

So I get ready for these big farewell parties at school. Jason comes to get me and drops me at the door. I walk in. No cane. My Asa was honored earlier in the day with 'A-B' Honor Roll for the fourth semester in a row. WAY TO GO, BIG MAN! For some reason or another I had thought that was what we were going in to see. Alas, I missed it but did get to see a cool slide show of their year. And many other parents have told me how very excited he'd been. By the way, anybody get that on video?

So then I had to leave the third grade send-off festivities to make it to the kindergarten ice cream party. Where's that room again? My sense of direction has always been bad, even pre-neurological disorder. So little ole me waddles the entire school. I take the scenic route to Abe's room. The long way. And why not? Maybe I had wanted to. I had time to spare. Or had I? I reach his room astonished at how the school had grown since I attended. (And yes, they really had built on. I'm not that out of shape). Guess what? Half the kiddos were already gone and even clean-up was over. Grrrrrrrrr!

He had been so worried I wouldn't be able to be there. "It's a long walk," he had warned me earlier. And, huh?! He'd had no idea just how long it truly had been. Bless his heart, he had even told me if I could makje it there without him that he would help me back to the truck. He ran to greet me with a hug, just as Asa had done, but letting go of me I was met with eyes welling of disappointment.

What a loser! I hadn't set foot in that school all year but maybe once for a school play. I had not participated alongside their teachers or been active in their classrooms or anything as my mom used to do. And here was my teeny, tiny window of opportunity to begin redeeming myself as a better more active mom and I miss yet again. Asa's awards. Abel's ice cream. I'm sure I was fouled, ref. I need to go back to the free throw line.

Abel near tears "cause he loves school and his friends," he says, and misses them already. And Asa literally in tears because his favorite teacher in the whole wide world is being forced to retire due to schools merging, we exit the building, ladies and gentlemen. The parent pick-up line being long and endless, all four of us decide to make the trek to the parking lot instead of waiting it out under the awning. And . . . I made it! Barely, but I did. No cane. And yes, pants still up. So at least Jason had left this ordeal proud of me. 1 out of 4. Gotta start somewhere.

So usually I couldn't have done that. And on the rare occasion that I tried something like that, I would have been paying for it for days. Remember the school play I had mentioned earlier? Much less walking, yet I was dead for days following. So did I go home to die? Nope. Folded some laundry while Jason went back to work and the boys tried to out do each other with their pitiful stories. Sniff, sniff. One is gonna miss his girlfriend most of all. And the other may never, ever get to see his teacher again - ever! Poor guy. What up with that? These can't be my kids. There's time for more girlfriends in the summer, Abe! And Asa, I know where Mrs. Deig lives, sweetie. This is little ole Mt. Vernon afterall. Wonder what she'd charge to homeschool?

Unable, even with offering to school them at some basketball, to cheer them up I made plans to party on. Another great quote opportunity: "Party on, Wayne." "Party on, Garth." Mike Myers and Dana Carvey rocked it out in 'Wayne's World'. So Asa wanted his Granny and after two hours of tears, I wanted a break. Off we were. I remember Jason looking over to me in astonishment that I was still awake, let alone mobile. "Where to little lady?" Hacienda for my favorite cold beverage - a strawberry daquiri! Well, maybe two. And even after a chicken chimichanga, I devoured an entire dessert on my own. Me - 1. Rocky Mountain Mudslide - 0.

Belly full after a day like I had? Should have knocked me out, right? Wrong. Wonder if that old putt-putt place my mom and dad used to take us to is still open? Surely not. Jason and I had been to it a couple times when we were dating and it was starting to get old even then. Yeh, that's been a couple years or so back, I guess. So now it'd probably be a used car lot. Or worse yet be standing in ruins as only a reminder of what once was. Tragic. But not so! Turned the corner and there she was. Midget Links.

Same working draw bridge. Same windmill. And everything with a new coat of paint. Somebody'd been really treatin' her nice. The paved walk was a little more treacherous than I had remembered. And the old shade trees, still there to do their jobs, may have been to blame for some of the greens shifting a bit. But all in all, a wonderful experience. $6 per person and play as long as you want. That's unheard of. Back in the day that would have been like telling my dad he could have all he could eat for only $6. I'm just saying - they'd have had to take my club away.

I'm sure Jason had heard it all before but I'd get to a hole and tell him what the trick was. Or tell him dad would cuss at that hole. 19 holes and I only played, what? Six, maybe? Jason says half. Whatever, baby. Thx. Perhaps had I not had such an eventful day prior to this outing I'd have been okay. Perhaps had I not drank two daquiris. Or finished an entire family sized dessert alone. Who knows? I can't wait to bring the boys back with us and find out.

After a little rest and some air conditioning . . . I was up and at it again. My hobble was becoming more prominent, but as a wise friend told me, it may take a little time to get my strength up. Wise words from a wise friend. I mean she's my friend, right? So right away you know she's smart. She'd mentioned rehab and stuff and improvements taking time. And I know all this stuff. I used to be an athlete. Want me to talk some smack?

Seriously though, my ankle was hurt playing volleyball one year. It killed me to sit out. I remember my coach not putting me back in right away. She even went so far as to take it easy on me in practice. (Miss you, Coach Redman!) She said she was being cautious and wanted to save me until I was really needed. Whatever! I just wanted to play!

And although my friend and coach were right. I'm still just wanting to play. What if this all goes away again tomorrow? Will I have wasted time on the bench? "Well, we're ahead by 6 Angie, so we don't need to put you in yet." So what? I still want in! 10 years people. 10 years. I've missed enough. But yes, if this is gonna be a lasting thing, I may need some rehab. I prolly do, but you gotta understand, people, this is rough on me as I've been there many times before. Please tell me not all rehab is the same, is it?

I've learned the easiest, simplest most effective way to fold laundry next to 80 year old stroke patients. And struggled to prop myself against kitchen counters to learn how to best operate both electric and manual can openers. And bathing techniques, I'll spare you the details. I don't wanna go back to this people! I wanna go back even further to try-outs for USI. I want to run into the trainer's office and get rehab there. Like here's how to strengthen that leg back up, freshman. Do that ten times, no make that twenty times a day. Give me any lip and we'll make it 50! Again, with the work ethic! I know.

Seriously though. Bottom line. I wanna do as much as I can as soon as I can. What if this quits on me? I mean I haven't even technically been treated for something I technically haven't even been diagnosed with having. Confused? Me too. A placebo effect, then? On what? I had nothing done. I just wanna enjoy this while it lasts. I'm loving this ride, people, and everything on it.

So Saturday I'll surely pay, right? Wrong. Up and feeling good again. Praise God! We check on the boys but end up leaving them again to shop for an end of the school year, let's kick-off summer right, celebratory type of honor roll reward/gift or something. After standing an hour in 90 + degrees and test driving two very awesome cars we walked every aisle of Toys'R'Us and found absolutely nothing. Bummer. Home, and rest? No. Home and cleaning.

Sunday. Church. And home again, to clean. Then church again for their Memorial Roll. My Dad and Unc are on there. I still get emotional. Had a good cry on the way home listening to our song. 'There's Tear In My Beer' - huh - gets me everytime. I've gotta teach my fellers to do the two step. Then rest, right? You're supposed to rest on Sunday. Nope. We were off to a late show. 'Iron Man 2' starring Sam Rockwell. Huh? Well, Robert Downey Jr. was in it too. I've always liked Robert Downey Jr. since way back in his John Hughes days. But this Sam character?! Where in the world did he come from. And why my sudden fascination with him?

I dunno. I'll post more on that after my follow-up appointment with his look alike this week. I gotta get off here people. I got a Challenger to go test drive! V'room, v'room!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Supper and a Show

Bebopping. Modocking. Gettin' jiggy with it. All expressions that could be used to explain what I had been doing prior to the incident. Legitimate words? I'll consult Webster later, but for now I'll just say - I had been struttin' my stuff moments before 'THE SHOW' as I've come to call it.

But let's start at the beginning, shall we? Got Jason packed and ready to go Monday morning. After taking Ace to school, he would be off again to Indy. I had followed them to the front door to see them off kissing 'em both goodbye. Jason returned my kiss with a look of suprise, a crooked little grin, and another kiss. Why's that noteworthy you ask? Another improvement people! He usually comes in to me on the couch for a goodbye or when in a hurry, yells to me from the foyer, "Love you, Babe!"

Upon my return to my well worn spot on th couch, I was greeted by Abe's whining about Daddy leaving. "He'll be back tomorrow, Goober!" And over his tears and sniffles, I continue with my famous, "Suck it up, buttercup!" Once we fired up the Wii and got breakfast in our bellies all was right with the world again. Thank you, Mario!

It was shaping up to be a humid, muggy Monday. As I opened the sliding glass door to let out the Gooch I was met with a wall of heat. As that usually crippling nemesis rushed in to greet me, I stepped out, and get this people, I stayed standing as Gooch did his business. I didn't venture out to the trampoline, or even off the patio for that matter but I did manage to bypass my usual resting place. Just outside the door and placed invitingly in the shade - I snubbed that chair. A victory? Yeh, take that heat!

Next on the agenda had been to get Abel ready for school. Cleaned up, dressed, and fed in way less time than usual. So with 30 minutes to spare before we'd needed to head out, Abel rolls his eyes and asks, "You gonna take me?" I assure him I checked things out and my license is still good. Though clearly still worried, he forces a smile and says, "That's a relief!" Quite the sarcastic ball of joy, my son. A comic terror. Don Rickles comes to mind.

The truck doesn't ding or beep at me. I don't trip over the stump out front. The low hanging tree branches don't bonk me in the head. And I get the door to the house open on the first try. The day is shapin' up pretty nice. What next? With Jason gone I ought to conserve energy and take a nap. But no, I prop my feet up and head to Farmville. I got me some soybeans needs harvestin' boys and girls. Yeehaw! And I need bricks and lumber . . .

And the boys are home before I knew it. My how times flies when you're farmin'. We have snacks, fight over the Wii and watch "Rocky IV." Poor Apollo. He dies every time we watch it. Then as supper time approaches my inquiries as to what sounded good were met with denial of hunger. Whoops! Maybe we'd gone a little too hard on the snacks. So with that we started up another classic via Netflix.

And I sang along. Amidst the boys' heckling and cries for mercy I sang every word to every song in 'Annie.' I was Annie, Ms. Hannigan, Grace Ferrell, the Rockettes, and even Daddy Warbucks. The boys were impressed - not with my singing ability of course, but with the fact that I knew every last word to every last song. And suprisingly a good chunk of the dialog too.
They can be sooo easily entertained sometimes, I tell ya! And I hadn't even put on my show.

Wait for it. Wait for. Here it comes . . . I pause the movie so as to not miss a second of the action. I head to the kitchen to scrounge up some supper. Asa decides on soup and a bologna sandwich. Easy. Done. Want milk? Come and get it. Abel wants a pizza lunchable. Fine. Super easy. Come get it. And for me? Me who was still standing in the kitchen? A got out more bread and bologna and microwaved some more soup as Asa's had smelled sooo good.

A one trip kinda gal myself - how was I to make it back to the table in the living room to join my kiddos? They'd been waiting on me to start our movie back up. Should I ask them for help? I'd already ordered each of them to the kitchen to fetch and transport their own meals. Why should they have to cater mine as well? I was walking steadier. Let's put this to the test.

My glass filled only about half way, as per my norm if I'm to be the sole carrier, I thought it safe enough to place beneath my somewhatoutstretched upper left arm. Tilting somewhat towards a spill at only half full, the large 32 oz. tumbler had been the least of my worries. In my left hand then I grasped the Campbell's Soup at Hand mug. Brilliant invention. Just heat and drink from the lid. Similar to a toddler's sippy cup. So right up my alley!

Then with my right hand (usualy my weakest) I pick up my plate with a lone bologna sandwich atop. I figured this would be the easiest of my parcels to pick up should I crash. Supper, Gooch! Come and get it! What mess? I don't see a mess. But alas the 20 to 30 feet I traveled hadn't warranted even a bump or a jostle. Yeah, me! Consider this a celebratory bebopping!

Both boys had been gazing up at me in astonishment. That should have been enough of a recognition. Not so. I had been so proud of the feat I had just accomplished that I turned my head to gaze out our 8 foot sliding glass doors in hopes that others had been witness to it too. And at that very second . . . my size 20 capris fell swiftly to my ankles. Whoooosh!

Had I been expecting a crowd of spectators in my back yard? Were they to stand and applaud at my having made it all that way spill free? I don't know what I had been thinking besides wanting to share in that glorious moment with as many as I could. Lucky for me it had been only birds, bunnies and squirrels as spectators to my wardrobe malfunction.

Also lucky I had anything on under my pants. Still nothing I'd want to parade around the neighborhood in so as any modest young woman would do, yes even me, I immediately bent to retrieve them. On my way down I even sat my bologna sandwich on the table. Crisis averted? Not exactly. Spill my drink? Guess again. For that soup container being only warm to touch - the soup itself had been HOT on my naked legs!

Pants up, spill cleaned, ego trampled, we began again with 'Annie.' I prayed the sun WOULD come out tomorrow. "Betcha bottom dollar . . ." I just couldn't seem to catch a break. The silver lining though, once I'd thought about it, I must be losing weight. Another "Yeah, me!" moment. I'd just have to have my favorite camoflauge pants taken in a bit. Not for purposes of vanity, and clearly not of modesty, but for that of safety's sake!

Pants around your waist makes for much easier walking than pants around your ankles. And that's a fact, Jack! No studies needed. And hysterical antics during dinner, especially any involving your mother being pantsed, maybe hazardous to your health. Abel hadn't yet tore into his pizza, but Asa almost lost his soup over the whole ordeal as well. They were both reeling still hours later way past bedtime.

Come home soon, baby. We miss you here at the pantsing emporium. The high is supposed to be 96 Tuesday. And with that said tomorrow may prove to be a pantless on purpose day. Pray for me people. And my neighbors!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Loved Ones Placebo

So my kiddos were the first to notice. Abel said, "Man, Mom, you're going fast with your MS." Asa concurred with a nod and a "Yeh!" Perhaps they had been trying to see in me the improvements I had been so desperate to achieve. It had not been easy suffering a massive pity party hangover all on my own. Maybe I should have sent out invitations. I had been so wrapped up in my own grief and frustration, I hadn't acknowledged there'd be anyone else affected. What a self-centered, hussy I'd become! Dumb. Clueless. Completely unaware.

For months now they'd seen me glued to the computer. They'd already been witness to an inexplicable transformation in me. What was Mom up to? Usually she just does some laundry and let's out the puppy. What has gotten into her? They'd been hushed as I made countless calls. They'd learned to scatter as I'd pounce and dive for a ringing phone. Angela. Pity Party of 1 - you may be seated now.

Jason was the first to discover CTV's 2 part story. He'd watched it for himself testing for legitimacy and such before passing it along to his loving skeptic of a wife. Not the smartest parenting move we'd ever made as the boys had been right there as uncontrollable tears overcame me. Both little men had come to my rescue demanding to know what was wrong. Asa had even reasoned, "Well if it's gonna upset you, Mom, don't watch the silly thing." Smart boy, I tell ya. At this I explained that a doctor who's wife had MS may have found something that could make Mommy better. More tears and another viewing of the series followed.

As far as I'd sunk myself into this theory, attempting to hide it from my two shadows would have been near to impossible. They'd seen me ecstatic at the news crew following Ginger. Laughing with her language barrier antics. "Did you see that? Did you see that?" I remember yelling at my husband in excitement over the difference in her walk post-procedure.

They'd seen me cry and celebrate with Denise's before and after videos. One of the boys even said, "That poor lady walks like you Mom!" And to that, I replied thru tears, "I know boys, but look at her now!" And we did, Denise. Over and over. And the now famous jumping video, which I'd still like to put to Van Halen, well that just astonished them. "Will you be able to do that Mom?" Followed by, "I've NEVER seen you jump, Mom."

Looking back maybe I shouldn't have shared in what I thought could be a fix. I repeatedly explained to them and myself that it could mean only small, nearly unnoticable improvements - maybe even none at all, but just stopping anything more disabling from happening. But, a skeptic about many things, I'd spent quite a bit of time in the beginning testing this theory's validity. I don't think I could have disproved Zamboni had my life depended on it. And guess what? It kinda did.

So to my point -----> maybe the boys' commenting on my speed had been their attempt of cheering me up. After all, it works in reverse. If they get the new Wii game they want - instant cheer! Surely had there been any true improvement I would have noticed it. Right? Or Jason. Or our friends, the ones who have been blessed to see me pretty bad off . . .

Ryan and Angel were second to say anything. We went out to eat Friday night and although I did spend the majority of the evening either sitting stuffing my face with a burrito or enjoying the ride thru Target on the motorized cart -- both of them said they thought I seemed to be getting around better than usual. Hmmm. I chalked it up to the nice, cool weather and having had all that completely unneccesary 'recovery' time.

Later that night, I caught my hubby of nearly 13 years checkin' me out as I crossed the room. Could there be something to this? Surely he wasn't checkin' me out just to check me out?! And as I turned to ask him if he was gonna be a part of this conspiracy to make me think I was better when clearly I was not - he spoke first saying, "Honey, I think maybe you are getting around a little quicker than normal."

Cha! Right! Whatever. I'd been thru enough, don't ya think? So I go off on a tangent about how important being honest with me right now is. And he goes off on a tangent about how hard it was for him to have to walk in that hospital room and relay the bad news. THANK YOU JASON FOR THIS WAKE UP CALL! Clearly I couldn't jump off this sinking ship as I was not the only passenger. I never really had been.

He said he'd thought he'd noticed improvement earlier but figured I'd dismiss him just as I had the others. Now that our kiddos and our friends had noticed - he said he was studying me closer. Study on, baby! I used to turn guys' heads for other reasons, but at this point I'll take what I can get. And one thing I couldn't continue to dismiss was my need to sleep. Still up at 11:00? No doubt I'd pay big for this Saturday.

Good morning, world! The plan had been I was gonna sleep in. Couldn't do it. I was awake just after 7 and rarin' to go. Odd. But, I'll take it. I mess around on the computer a little and after breakfast Jason and the boys ventured out on a walk to the park and back. Once there and having played a while on the playground, Jason says Asa asked if he was gonna have to walk back too. Poor guy! We all need to get in better shape this summer.

Once Asa recovered and Jason finished mowing we made our way out back. Did I hobble to the nearest seat as usual? Nope. I hobbled further out to the trampoline, climbed aboard without the stool or anyone's help and attempted to jump. Ha! Another fail! No sugar-coating that one! But after flaling around awhile as the boys jumped, I still found the energy to dismount the apparatus all on my own. Then on to the swing with my hubby. He and his puppy dog eyes. He so wanted to go to the roller derby that night, but just knew I wouldn't have the energy.

Dirty pool. Tell an Orth she can't. We've been over this right? So I suggest we go inside, get some lunch and see how I feel then. A twinkle in his eye. He was stoked. There was hope for the derby. And then, walking to the house - BOOM! I fall ramming my left shoulder into our huge 8 foot sliding glass doors. As luck would have it they survived the hit. They are so strong, those doors, they'd be the only thing left standing should our entire house crumble to the ground in a nuclear blast. No joke.

What had happened? I turned to look at my sexy husband, that's what! Turning and walking and talking at the same time? Who was I kidding? I had turned to watch him lift his leaf blower and ask him if he thought it would be too late to get advance tickets. He hadn't even seen me fall. When our eyes met again he looked distraught. At the fall? At missing the derby? He told me to stay put and he'd come thru the house to get me.

And as much as I would have enjoyed my prince to sweep me up in his arms and rescue me - I was no damsel in distress. Whatever, I'd thought. I got this. Off your ass and on your feet Orth! Next, he nearly passes me sitting on the couch to go out the back door and scrape my carcass from the concrete. Huh? "You okay?" he asks. And, yeh, I thought so. Got lunch yet? I'm hungry. Turkey and bacon from DQ. Yeah, me!

So boys off to my Mom's and I walked them ALL the way in. Thru the gravel drive, the garage, up the steps, down the hall, thru the laundry and then most of the way thru her place to find her napping on her couch. Quite the trek I tell ya. What on earth had I been thinking? A brief hello-goodbye and thank-you and we were on our way. No rest? Dang! But I guess I hadn't needed it as I made it back to th truck without falling.

And although Jason dropped me off in front of the coliseum I still had steps to climb and standing in line to do. I stood between our friends oth of them readied to caych me should I fall. What was this? My cane was even getting in my way. And what else? Two, count 'em two trips to the bathroom. Was my bladder beginning to wake up from its peaceful slumber?

Then to conclude festivities for the evening I got up and walked out all be myself. To explain, there's been time's Jason and Ryan have practically carried me out. Not tonight. I even went down the steps - on my own, suckas! Yehhh! What could this mean? Could I have accidentally been liberated by just his having gone in the veins to look around? No - this was silly! Improvements people were seeing was making me start to see them too.

Then waiting with me for Jason to go fetch the truck, Ryan and Angel comment AGAIN on how well I seem to be getting around. Enough already. I love you guys. Goodnight! And headed home, guess who doesn't fall asleep? Not me. And well, not Jason either, as he was tasked with driving, but still . . . could I be improving? He found nothing. So no Angela. This must all be in your head.

Talking it over on our ride home we decide to enjoy it while it lasts no matter what it is. Can one have a placebo effect knowing full well her doctor saw nothing and did nothing? Jason explained I was still hobbling and even falling as I just did earlier in the day. "Difference is," he says, "you're hobbling with purpose." So I'm maybe a little faster, possibly smoother, and when I did fall, I got right back up. I can live with that. But will it stay? And had I been ballooned would things be even better? God forgive me for being greedy. I so hope I feel like going to church tomorrow.

And at 6:30 A.M. I was up and ready. We even went to Evansville before church. Now that is unheard of. Mario Galaxy 2 was released today and we had to have it. Only 4 left at 9 in the morning. Crazy people! Then we went to church. It was a wonderful service. Graduates were honored and 13 were baptized. And instead of being hounded about things as I'd feared would happen, instead I was greeted with, "Angela, we've missed you." And, "You're looking well. Wow! Look at you go!"

Then we returned to Mario Galaxy Central where I tried to catch up on blogging as loud Mario music shot through the house. Why hadn't I gone to the basement to escape? I hardly ever do anymore as it's just another flight of steps put there to be the death of me. But today, I'd felt like tackling them. And when the boys returned from their afternoon fishing trip - that's just what I did. And my honey followed. Not Gooch, although he followed too.

We all snuggled in the dark watching the lead up to the 'LOST' finale. And at about five 'til 8 when Abel poked his head down in the basement wanting to go upstairs, Ihurriedly climbed both flights of stairs to my bedroom. No stopping. No break. Can you believe it? I did it - and I still can't believe it. In the history of our having lived here I don't think I've ever accomplished that feat. The things a true fan will do so as not to miss a second of 'LOST.'

Six years of that show, and guess what? I won't say anything to SPOIL it for those who haven't seen it yet, but I was right since day 1. Are there any other shows out there I could figure out for ya? I loved the ending. Not all the answers were given. Not even close - but it couldn't have ended any better. Period.

And with that said, I hope my blog ends the same way . . . well, not until I'm cured of course, but definitely after that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

So What Next?

Wellll, I'm still crashing. Months of tiring research, followed by begging countless local docs for my life, I deserve a break. No? Well what about undergoing the so-called gold standard of CCSVI testing only to come out stenosis free? Surely, that's enough to bring an already down girl - down even lower. If not to recover physically, it was more than apparent I needed to recover mentally.

Saturday after the show I spent my afternoon reeling from the days prior confrontation. Stewing in adrenaline I couldn't just lay down for a nap. It would be a long, treacherous climb down from the high I had been on. Maybe I had gone too far. And if I did, I am truly sorry. But maybe I was looking for someone to take all my frustrations out on. Maybe that pitiful, unsuspecting lady was to be my something tangible. Maybe putting a face on things would even my odds.

Tired of fighting what I could not see for so long, perhaps she had been a Godsend. Fighting the system. Fighting the normal way of thinking about my disease. Fighting for a chance at a better life. Perhaps this nameless lady, if nothing else, had been a sign. I needed to train harder. I needed less distractions. I needed to train with the King of Sting. The Master of Disaster. The one and only Apollo Creed. [[insert sappy, uber inspirational musical montage here]]

To quote another 80s classic . . . I needed to, "Focus, Daniel-san! Look eye! Allllways look eye! And don't forget to breathe!" Can you believe they're re-making "Karate Kid" without starring little Ralph Macchio? Maybe he'll get to make a cameo appearance. Go ahead and sweep the leg, Johnny. You're still gonna get your ass kicked. No matter how many times I watch it - Danny always wins. Always! But, there I am again, off the subject.

Back to the fight. Not between me and Lady Nameless, but between me and well -- not only does my opponent have no face, he too has no name. No wonder I'm losing. I'm fighting for my life in a completely dark void. No walls, floors or ceilings. Just space. I've been frantically punching and clawing at nothing. Towards nothing.

It's no wonder I'm growing exhausted and weary. I need to reorganize. And prioritize. First order of business I need to put a name and face to this. This may consist of several different names and faces along the way, but as weak as I've grown I must reassess my initial knee jerk response to go at this fast and furious. I just don't have - as my dad would have said - "enough shit in them britches!"

First I will focus on my follow up appointment with my maverick doc. We'll call him Maverick since this is still somewhat of a covert operation we're all taking part in. So now we have a name. And for some reason or another he reminds me of the actor Sam Rockwell. Especially his charater Eric Knox in "Charlie's Angels." So now we have a face. What to do? What to do?

Much of this attack will hinge on what he has to say at the follow up. I have been pondering several possibilities of how it may go: 1. He's reviewed the films further and after having done extensive homework on the disorder, he now want's to go back in and balloon or stent me. Yeh, I know! Stop dreamin' right?! It could happen. And that's what I'm prayin' for but, I'm preppin' for just about every other possibility.

Like 2. He's terribly sorry but he just knew going in he wouldn't find anything. At this I plan to respond, "Exactly, dear doctor! You didn't go in with an open mind!" With this I will request that he sends the scans out to all area interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons to see if their less neurologically focused eyes could see anything out of the ordinary." Whether or not he obliges - I plan on taking this approach on my own should need be.

3. He admits to having ballooned my stenosis and lied about not finding any in order to test people's supposed instant relief of symptoms. Well, with this I will thank him for being one sly, unethical SOB. Then I will report my walking backwards and my improved peripheal vision. Although both were prolly due to the massive amounts of adrenaline racing to my heart - still they had been at least temporary improvements. Should this improbable scenario play out, I will accept the lack of symptom relief and await a follow-up in 6mos. to determine if the cleared veins stopped any new plaques from forming. This would in itself be enough of a success story for me.

And finally, 4. He says he tried and wishes me luck with my future endeavors. At this I will ask, "You mean like my upcoming trip to Poland?" Depending on his response to this which would most likely include a "goodbye" I will commence with the shaming. With his dismissal of me as a patient having already happened, I don't see as it could do any harm.

I will continue, "It'll surely suck to go that far but once I'm back - I'll be sure to bring you some new scans and show you where my stenosis were." If he still stands silent not offering to at least review his scans, I will finish with, "Maybe that way once you can see exactly what it is you're supposed to be looking for you can begin treating us by the truckloads." If this was hooking him at all I would go on about stardom and being a rock star. Not only would all of the midwest go to him. Perhaps all of the US and Canada. Nothin' wrong with a little ego strokin'. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Now that I feel like a CNN or FOX News correspondent having leaked our military's plan of attack to enemies - I'll continue on with updating you on my greatfully uneventful week. I mean really. Do they think enemies of the U.S. do not have cable TV or internet? We might as well put it on Facebook. Attn: Combatant Terrorist Cells -- the president of our great nation is due to arrive in Syria this evening at promptly 8 o'clock central standard time. He will be the third man to exit the plane and will be wearing a navy blue pant suit with a beige shirt and burgundy stripped tie. Please note that your clearest shot at him would be from the Gate A waiting area to which access may be obtained thru . . . blah, blah, blah! I go off on tangents sometimes. But why report our gameplans when you could be reporting on CCSVI? Surely Maverick would be too busy looking over my scans and researching to be following my blog!

So Amelia calls to report she and her crew had safely made it home. And she wanted to thank me for coming. I told her I sure was glad I had, otherwise Mom would have been without a space. Busy with preparations and nerves, little sis had missed all my excitement. She enjoyed my filling her in and I enjoyed hearing of the sour answers Baby Girl had given the judge. I couldn't figure why she hadn't won leadline. Now I knew. With this I became inspired to share with her a few tricks of the trade. I asked Amelia if my coming down to "pretend" judge would be okay. She said "sure" because as Mom had always done it for us - her and Baby Girl were already hard at it. Amelia even told me Baby Girl even took turns at being judge leaving Amelia to lead tiny Leo. Now that, I'd love to see. With the close of that convo - I headed to bed.

Sunday morning greeted me with aches and pains in places I'd forgot even existed. I so wanted to make it to church, but didn't. Not only would it have been physically hard on me, it would have been mentally trying as I'm sure many would want to know how my procedure had gone. Prior to my going they had annointed a prayer cloth and prayed for me. I love my church family, but explaining to them, or anyone for that matter would be difficult. No blockages usually warrants a "Praise God!" or a "Hallelujah!" Not so in my case. Can I get an "Amen?" I'll wrestle with how to tell 'em all next Sunday.

Monday was the same 'ol, same 'ol. Still keepin' up with my new MS friends on Facebook, but takin' it easy on any research. Tuesday I dared venture out of the house again to get a CD of my scans. Why haven't I posted them yet? Why haven't I sent them out all over the world yet? Remember above about my learning to prioritize? Jason's made a couple of copies, but as of right now I'm focusing solely on Maverick. I've symbolically put his picture up on my dresser's mirror like Rocky did with his picture of Ivan Drago.

And I've been a little nervous that I'd see two huge, gorgeous perfectly straight jugulars staring back at me. So honestly, I haven't even looked at them myself yet. I plan to this weekend. I promise. Tuesday, Tuesday. 'Lost' and 'Glee' are on again and opposite of each other. Talk about decision making. I went with 'Lost' and boy was I glad I did. Locke says to Ben, "Benjamin, you never cease to amaze me!" I'm so gonna miss that show. Don't forget the finale is Sunday.

Then hump day. More uneventful, rainy time spent on my couch. I've recently discovered Farmville. Way easier than the real deal. Super addicting. Hold on peeps, I gotta go check my crops! So with nothing on Wednesday night we watched the pilot episode of '21 Jump Street' on Netflix and dined on DiMaggio's pizza. Once in bed we watched last night's 'Glee' guest starring Neil Patrick Harris. My dear anti-choir husband, who just so happens to have a pretty decent singing voice, had no clue Doogie Howser, M.D. could sing. Yep, this show is so good even Jason likes it. Our fave is Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester character. I'm a Gleek! Heck, we are Gleeks!

Thursday is trash day. And that is always cause to smile. When will this soreness as if I've ran a marathon ever go away? Anyone reading remember Coach Tucker's two-a-day summer volleyball conditioning. I haven't felt this sore since enduring that madness. Ahhh, those were the days! I bet Coach Tucker and Coach Sylvester would hit it off big time. A match made in Heaven, no less.

So we all got gussied up for Asa's Cub Scouting annual Blue and Gold banquet. By gussied up I mean to say I brushed my teeth and hair, and put on pants and a bra. I know, right?! I went all out. So we get there and it takes forever. My big man is now a Webelo - even though he had spaghetti sauce all down the front of him as if still only a Tiger Cub. He's a passionate eater for sure, but he get's it honest. My right leg having fallen completely asleep I whisper to Jason that I have to leave early - as if my other leg were to doze off we'd be in an immobile world of hurt. I exited as stealthily as one could with a severe limp, a cane, and a strapping 250 lb man helping them out the door.

Once home, 10 minutes shy of my promised return time, I bolted upstairs to find "Grey's Anatomy" on TV. I had wanted to be home well before 8 to properly warm my TV up in preparation forthe "Grey's Anatomy" special 2 hour season finale. Can't have missed much I'd thought. Wrong again, Angela. I turned on my set to find Alex lying in a pool of blood on the floor of an elevator. Damn! At the first commercial break I came to I phoned my Mom. The only one I knew who was as big a Grey's junkie as me.

She answers with her voice all shaky demanding to know where I had been as she has tried to call me 5 times already. After I tell her, she excitedly continues, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" She fills me in as best she can while trying to keep track of how many rounds the gunman had already fired. And I learn that my favorite of the show's new character's was already gunned down. "Dead?" I asked. "Yes," my mom responded, "shot at very close range right between the eyes." And two security guards so that's at least 4 shots if everyone downed thus far only received 1 each. Gunmen ourselves, me and mom always pay attention to that sort of thing. Shows back on, BYE!

More chaos ensues. And with the next commercial break, I answer the instantly ringing phone to hear mom ask, "How many shots was that?" Another nurse and nameless white coat wearing man down, she desperately reasoned that he would soon be out of ammo. At this point we were only 30 minutes in to a 2 hour show. Thus, I played devil's advocate reasoning that he'd been a smart enough guy to have made it that far unscathed and even undetected, then I'd have to put my money on his being a smart enough man to have brought along at least a few extra clips.

To that she responded, "Noooooo!" and nearly hung up on me. Anyways, "Grey's" was prolly the best episode ever. Complete with a risky aorta repair with no attending and a crazed gunmen ordering Yang to stop whilst he brandished his firearm at her temple. Damn! And Avery faking Derrick's flatline. Ballsy brilliance. He's my new favorite newby. Followed closely by Owen who took a bullet trying to save Christina.

And what up, Calliope? You had been my all-time favorite 'til last night. I'm not nearly as well put together as you, hell, I'm even crippled and completely lacking depth perception, BUT had that crazed man put his outstretched hand out to me - complete with palm open and gun resting unsupported on it - you bet your ass I would have tried to snatch 'er up. I'd have lit that room up so bright only the blood on the walls could have dimmed the light. Damn girl!

But was this blog about me or Grey? Or maybe Izzy? Alex talking to who he thought was Izzy in his dying moments. That even made me cry people! I did have tears left. Luckily these didn't hurt as much as the ones I'd shed the previous week. So back to me already. You can go to and watch the show for yourselves. Geesh! I always struggled writing reviews for movies I liked, always wanting to give a play by play. And well, there's not enough room in any of the newspapers I'd written for to entertain such nonsense. Space should be saved for important breakthrough stories like CCSVI! Yeah, for blogs! Especially the neverending ones . . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Throwdown at the Fairgrounds

My doctor hadn't told, me, personally, much of anything that dreary Friday morning. It had been nothing like hospital drama's on television. No one had been talking about their doomed relationship with Dr. McSteamy or their plans of parenting a baby with their newly turned lesbian lover. Everyone, with the acception of the nurse put in charge of dispensing my IV med rations, had been eerily silent. That had not been all bad as I had hoped everyone would be focused on their piece of the puzzle and not on what or who they'd be having for dessert.

Had my doc told me to take it easy? He had asked, "Can you make that a little darker?" But as I had my head taped to a table, ala Dexter style, rendered completely incapable of movement, I had assumed he had been questioning a technician. Thus, my previous query had been nothing but a fabrication as he never really had spoken directly to me. The only other words I heard him utter, regarding going in again to do a venogram could have also very easily been directed at a technician.

Remembering our initial meeting as I had been uber determined and perhaps overly confident that he would find something if he were willing to look - I imagine a hush had fallen over him due to his caring nature. Perhaps, he had spared me the bad news wanting to wrap it all up in black paper and ribbon to give it to me later with a note that read: I TOLD YOU SO! No, surely not! He had shared the lackluster news with Jason immediately afterwards explaining that if he had told me anything I might not have been able to remember it. And Jason had relayed to me that our maverick doc had seemed genuinely disappointed. Yeh, dude. Me too.

So where had I heard such nonsense? Did I need to rest? Maybe one of my nurses had told me. In fact, the nurse that had wheeled me to the truck had a bit of a flirty exchange with my darling husband. (It's allll good. I'm used to it.) To steal a quote from another favorite movie of mine, "He IS really, really ridiculously good looking." Can you name the movie? It's "Zoolander" starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and even more importantly - David Bowie!

Anyways, she wheels me to the truck somewhat speeding up when she recognizes my gorgeous husband holding the passenger door open. The truck's metallic finish gleemed as bright as its chrome even on that dreary cloud-filled day. They were a stunning sight - that man and his truck. I'm lucky passersby didn't start jockeying for position or diving into the truck's bed just for a chance at this surreal destiny.

Now face to face, each on opposite sides of the wheelchair, they bend in perfect unison towards one another to clear the foot rests out of my way. It would have been the perfect moment for stealing a kiss had I not been sitting right there between them close enough I could have become a victim of wayward saliva. Next she smiles up at him and bats her lashes. In hopes of breaking up this flirt fest I rock forward to my feet. As soon as my rear lifted from the seat she slid around to the back of the chair. A cunning move if I'd ever seen one, to gain a position closer to my Jason. Then I turn to rest my rear against the truck before thrusting up and back to my seat, only to find her left hand on the chair and her right, . . . on my buff husband's left bicep.

Again with the slow motion, dreamy eyelashes, already. She giggles shyly and inserts the tip of her index finger from her left hand ever so slightly into her mouth, just past her sensuous pink glossed lips, and playfuly bites down, making sure she has his undivided attention before asking for his number. He takes his right hand from the door forcefully pushing me into the truck before aggressively, passionately embracing her around her waist, nearly lifting her from the ground. Their chests begin to heave against the others in ecstasy as he now reaches with his left hand to clutch her neck and run his fingers thru her flowing hair. Once caressing her head in his massive hand, he . . .

ENOUGH WITH THE FABRICATIONS! But they're sooo much fun. Did I have you going? Seriously, she flirted a little, but nothing too drastic. And after I had gotten myself positioned in the truck she wished me well and said to Jason, "Now you let her rest some today, but you can have her back to work by tomorrow." Gee, thanks, I remember thinking at the time. And she did wink as she'd said it. I swear it. Maybe there had been a gnat fly in her eye. I dunno. Anywho, it seemed to me not much recooperation time was to be needed. Fine, but what of recovery time for a broken down old MSer like myself?

We'd just play it by ear, as we always do. It's not like I had to return to work as my only official occupation as of 2000 has been that of a trophy wife. And as for typical stay at home mom or housewife chores around the house, yeh, right!? If you are wondering that, you don't really know me. It still bothers me when stuff is left unattended or piles up, but with MS, such is life. Quite often all I can do is sit back and stew about it. I had been so looking forward to being able to give my huge new house a real thourough going over.

Oh well, what other questions had I left you pondering? Ahhhh, yes. Would I appear drunk? Probably, but who cares? It was a risk I was willing to take. Would I fall? Odds here were not in my favor, but thankfully, no! By the grace of God I did not fall. There is no earthly reason why I shouldn't have - the grass was tall and the terrain - uneven, at best. And with nothing but a strange dancing horse within my reach as any form of support, I'd almost expected to fall. My plan had been to throw fists as I was going down. Put on a good show for the masses. Then as we were being separated, some big strong cowboy would help me up, ya know, to protect the other lady from me. I had it all worked out. No worries!

The horse, of course was a different story! I didn't have a plan for him. I didn't know the horse. How would I, since I didn't even recognize his owner? And she'd made it clear in more ways than one that she didn't know me. Nor did she want to. Would he be as hateful and contrary as his owner? Probably a kicker. So here it goes . . .

As I let go of the Cruiser having already voiced my request that she kindly move, she answered her domineering, "No" and commenced to swinging her horse's rear towards me. First things first. You should never walk behind a horse - especially one you are not familar with and even more so one that is being led by a woman with an uncanny vendetta against PT Cruisers. I mean really?! Turning his ass end to the car? Really?! So I'm sorry Grandpa, but I break a couple of rules here. I hope my boys weren't taking notes on equine safety.

I put my left hand on the horses whithers (the part of him just in front of where the saddle should go). And with that although his owner is still attempting to turn him, he stops as if confused, receiving commands from both directions now. With this, my forward momentum could not be stopped - - - that is, without some creative assistance. Again, I knew this lady wasn't gonna help me so I took advantage of that suprisingly decently trained animal. I sunk my right hand into the neck strap of his halter. He even put his head down as if he were being corrected to do so.

Good job, boy, I'd thought at the time, until his owner jerked down on the lead causing her horse's head to fly up in fear. I bet she was wondering what in the world her horse was up to, whereas I was thinking he was all of a sudden being very well behaved. When she saw that I was touching her horse, with both of my hands at that point, her mood changed - real quick. She'd gone from uber arrogant lady in charge to timid and pissed lady just thinking she was in charge.

I could see fury swirling deep in her eyes, but the simple fact that she chose to begin positioning herself further and further from me on the opposite side of her horse now even nearing his hip -- well, it made me wonder. Had she been in fights before? Was she literally using her horse as a shield from little 'ol innocent, nearly crippled me? Must be paid well, that horse - he's not only a show horse - he blocks punches and Chryslers! So not wanting to exchange any further words without being able to make eye contact I moved my left hand from his whithers to the halter and took another brave step forward. As I did this she motioned clear across the enormous arena and explained, "You can park over there."

I said nothing as I made my way to the front of that horse. Seeing me approach, she continued, "That's where people park, 'cause this here is the practice arena." Well, no, I'd thought to myself, it wasn't exactly. Quite specifically the practice area (as it was not technically considered an arena unless it was entirely fenced in) was maybe 10 yards or so away from the small grassy spot that we were going to battle over. Had I brought my 'A' game and had the fortitude to stay standing long enough I would have calmly, kindly, and rationally explained this to her. But alas, my time upright was beginning to wane.

Let me clarify a few things for ya here. First, we aren't just people. My grandfather is an honorary lifetime member of this particular saddle club. Also, it just so happens that he built the darned arena. Yeh, take that nameless lady! And I have been showing on these very grounds with this very club since 1984. I've been on a brief hiatus since my diagnosis, but WHATEVER! All these fascinating fun facts aside we had always parked there as of late due to unforseen circumstances beyond our control.

My dear mother is even more immobile than me. It saddens me to see her like that as she used to, after practicing with us two weels solid prior to the show date, and mowing and weedeating the entire grounds the Thursday before, plus washing and trimming all our horses, and loading the trailer, . . . she'd still have ass kickin' energy to spare. I know it saddens her to see me like this too. But again with the constantly getting off the subject already. I LOVE YOU MOM!

It's hard enough for either of us to get dressed and get out and drive to such an event. Let alone be expected to park miles away and trek rough terrain to bleachers that are either too high for her to get up on or too low for me to get up from. I've been blessed with only MS so far, but mom has more of a smorgesboard of diagnosies. I'll mention diabetes and periphreal artery disease just to give you an idea. We're a sad pair the two of us. And had it been any hotter out, well, I won't even go there. This nameless lady, or myself would have surely required an ambulance by this point. Resulting from either a shorter wick on my fuse, or from heat exhaustion, you decide. But still I wouldn't cross us if you could help it. There's only so many ambulances in Posey County.

Where was I? Breaking yet another cardinal rule of equine safety no doubt. It's usually not too smart to stand directly square in front of any animal that large. So there I was near the head of the horse as she continued backing up. I remember it well. But what's this? A silver PT Cruiser gaining on her horse? No. The Cruiser hadn't moved. She had been backing her horse this entire conversation to maintain maximum distance from me. I can't have looked that scary in my tank top, cut off jogging pants and knee high socks. Maybe it had been the crazed drunk factor that had her rattled. So upon the revelation that she'd ran out of room she began her departure towards, get this -- the actual practice AREA!

Mom had a chance. She should have accelerated wildly into her spot. But she didn't. She was waitin' to see this play out. I wonder who she had her money on? I realize I'm a bit handicapped these days, but I still had come from my momma and my daddy, and by God, we was parkin' there or I was gonna take the whole arena down tryin'. If I couldn't get 'er done with the Cruiser, I'd be back with my truck. No? Guess not. All this walking and adrenaline was making me think irrationally. Our old truck may not even start, and besides, it didn't have air conditioning. We was gonna have to win this one fair and square and soon so we wouldn't miss seeing what we'd come all that way for. Had we already missed her? We'd better not have. Yeehaw!

After some silence and my discovering she was not officially forfeiting, but simply taking a scenic route to re-position herself and her horse between the Cruiser and the arena, I again took ahold of that silver brazened halter. With this maneuver I'd lost a little respect for my horse friend as all my halter horses had been able to pivot turn and would not have needed an entire acre for the simple purpose of turning around. I am a snob when it comes to horses. I apologize for that. I'm workin' on it. Promise.

So just to be sure we were clear, I asked, "So, YOU'RE really not gonna let us park here?" Emphasis on YOU! And before allowing adequate time for her to answer - 'cause I sure didn't want hear much more from her besides an apology - I asked, "What authority do you have here exactly?" Well, guess what blog fans? That seemed to really shake her. At this point she began surveying the surrounding grounds, I had imagined, eagerly searching out an authority, should one actually be required to squelch this matter. It became clearer she hadn't been happy with the grip I had been maintaining on her horse, when she pulled him left whilst motioning me to talk to someone on my right.

Neigh! (pun intended) Someone waaaay, away on my right. Half way to the opposite end of the arena stood the announcer's stand. She explained that her club did not allow people, blah bla bla, and if I needed an officer of the club to relay the rules to me, bla, bla, bla - she was sure I could find one there. Well, I was sure I could have to, but I was in no shape to further tempt fate and attempt that trek. I took a step forward towards the railing on the arena fearing my horse crutch might soon be made to leave me. However, as of yet, I still wasn't gonna release that halter of my own free will.

So half the distance between the animal and the rail I turned my back to the arena to peruse any of the nearby spectators that we may have drawn from the show itself. Besides a couple of fellow halter class participants and some youth class parents and handlers who had left the practice area to see what all the commotion was about, the majority of the crowd was still immersed in their own little worlds readying their horses or simply, innocently watching the show. Alas my attempt to recognize an officer nearer to my current location had failed.

And as "cog fog" had clearly already kicked into high gear I could not have come up with any of their names or even been able to pick them out of a line up. The club's secretary, for Pete's sake, grew up riding horses with me. We'd gotten our 10 year 4-H pins together and graduated high school together. How in the world could I have forgotten my dear friend in all of this. She'd have had my back for sure. What a missed opportunity. She's an ass kicker from way back! Love ya, Phillona!

So after my survey of anyone within my short walking distance capabilities had miserably failed, I said quite eloquently, if I do say so myself, "As you can see I'm not getting around too well today, and I don't really want to have to go all that way for permission to do something I've always been allowed to do." Calm. Simple. And kind - well as kind a kind as I could muster anyways. I continued (whilst pretending to still be seeking someone specific out), "Is there anyone around here closer that we could ask?"

Luckily, the actual president of the club had been standing all of maybe 20 feet away manning the gates. She had spotted him earlier and did not offer him as an authority at that time. Now upon my persistence to solve the matter, closer to home, if you will, she offered him up as somebody who "might be able to help us." Yep, those are the exact words she had used to describe this fella. I only learned later on in the day that he was indeed the club's president. Head honcho. Man in charge. And it was clear this lady had no respect for him or trust in him - none whatsoever.

But all the petty perceptions aside she called out for him and started that direction. Knowing I wouldn't be able to keep up with the pace I finally released the halter - and none too soon as when I did I found a sweaty aching palm. I must have unknowingly had a death grip on that sucker.

Sidenote: After sharing an account of this with my little sister she became astounded at my actually having clutched another person's horse's halter. You know what? She's right! That had been horrible horsemen ettiquette. AND had someone done that to me when I was showing my Dusty, Imp, or Oakie, or anybody for that matter -- I surely, without a thought, would have loosened my grip on my leather lead strap and attacked. SMACK! And that leather strap as a weapon, would have stung a bit. Prolly more - guaranteed! What had I done? Amelia was so right. That would have sent me in to . . . wellllll, CRAZY MAD!

Alone again, I opted to step towards the railing. Two steadied steps later I took my right hand from the rail and again set out on my own unassisted. I didn't have to go far as the gentleman she had called for was coming towards us faster than I was coming towards him. During my stroll, the mystery lady had been filling the man in on the situation. At one point early on in their conversation he stopped to turn and point behind him. At what, you wonder? At the practice area, of course. Like me, he too had known where it was. Again, for clarification purposes, the terrain of this particular practice area was worked up dirt, very similar to what was in the actual arena with the exception of thickness.

Admittedly, I hadn't heard his side of the dialog. Or hers. I only imagined that it had been going in my favor. Especially when he turned around. That was so great. That's what inspired me to let go. Another sidenote: The last show of last year there were two cars parked there. Mine and my mom's. Just a little history. Couldn't keep that fun fact bottled up too much longer. So as he stood between the arena and my mom in her Cruiser, I heard him clearly explain, "we usually let her park here."

If looks could kill, that poor man would have been standing there DEAD! Then the four of us - the president, the nameless lady, her horse, and myself - stood there motionless. Should I have jumped for joy? Ha! I wish. I'll leave that for Denise. What was next? The man was looking from his boots to the lady and back again as if awaiting some sort of approval of his previous declaration. Obama's not too worried about making anyone happy. Why should this guy act so timid?

I break the silence. (Imagine that, right? No suprise there!) To the man, I say, "Well, thank you, sir. I sure appreciate it." Then I do the unheard of. While thanking him I take two, yes two, steps backwards without help and without falling. Then another monumental thing happens as I recognize my mom in her Cruiser with her window down awaiting a go ahead. How could that have been when I have little to no peripheal vision? Hmmmm?

I then motion towards my mom as I cross in front of her car, continuing to thank him, saying, "We sure appreciate it. Neither of us can get around very well." He motioned at mom to pull forward. Thankfully she waited for me to cross to the passenger side of the vehicle. Noticing the lady still standing there staring the man down in utter disbelief and disgust, I added one more, "Thank you!" in hopes of illiciting some kind of response from the disgruntled defeated. With this third and final "thanks" he nodded his head and replied, "No problem" before turning to return to his post as gatekeeper.

Before collapsing into the Cruiser's seat I stood a bit to reflect, a bit to calm myself, and a bit to watch that lady follow that poor man and give him what for. He may have said "no problem" but only time would tell. I wonder what membership fees are these days? I'm thinking about renewing mine just to re-elect this guy. Once in the car I had to fight to find the energy to even reach the door and pull it closed. I was spent ladies and gentlemen.

Baby Girl got a 4th out of 8. Phenomenal considering it was her solo debut, she was the youngest exhibitor, AND the only of the contestants to be leading a pony. How awesome to beat 4 horses with a tiny pony. GOOD JOB! And I got to see it. She and her new man Leo were adorable. And she came in second in leadline. I found out later that when the judge had asked her if she was having any fun -- she wrinkled her nose at him and said, "No." Could it be that maybe she was my child after all? Nah.

Had it been me, I would have said, "Yes, sir." And winked. Ahhh, those were the days. Perhaps I'll see more of them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Liberation FAIL: The Morning After

As promised, here is my account of the morning after my LIBERATION FAIL. Had I been accidentally liberated after all?

At just before 8 that beautiful Saturday morning my oldest son Asa awoke us by entering our room to see what time it was. I spotted him as he delicately maneuvered the corner into the doorway. He had entered nearly tip toeing and squinting desperately to make out the digital numbers that illuminated the table at my head. He was making his best effort not to wake us. And I had been remaining still, in order to let in. But, before he could unwrinkle his brow or offer any gentle morning greetings in came his baby brother, Abel.

Only 2 and a half years separate the two boys but they are as different as night and day. Asa had clearly not wanted to wake us before determining whether or not it was an appropriate time to do so. And had it been an acceptable time I am sure he would have woke me with a "Good morning, Mama." Followed promptly with a report of the time and a request for permission to go downstairs. Had I not been ready to accompany him he would have joined me for a bit or returned to his room to watch TV. I love you, Goose!

And I love you too, Abel! But, Little Robert, on the other hand, had burst in to the room like a bolt of lightning with complete disregard for how it may effect anyone else - big bro included. He had been traveling at such a high rate of speed that he even ran into Asa on the way. One would have thought Asa's hulky 115 lbs. physique would have caused Abel's wirey 44 lbs. frame to lose its forward momentum, perhaps even causing it to change direction, but this reasoning would prove false. As if he'd channeled Speed Racer, Abel's bump into Asa did not slow him but only slightly changed his direction.

It took his dad's gruff protest from the far-side of our king mattress, to halt his charge. With this growl, both Abel and Asa stopped cold in their tracks. Asa looked like a deer caught in headlights as he had been so careful not to wake us just seconds before. He stood still as a mannequin taking time to register the out of control nonsense that had since transpired. And Abel, well, Abel as if he had been playing a game of freeze tag, stopped only a nano second before continuing his pursuit.

Thankfully, the space left between me and Abel was not enough to allow for him to pick up as much force as he'd first entered with. Had he not bumped Asa or been frightened still by his father, the kiss that he planted on my head would have surely been disasterous. Maintaining his initial speed, or heaven forbid achieving any acceleration would have drew blood as I am sure our heads would have clumsily collided resulting in at least one, if not two bloody noses. Depending on his point of contact I could also forsee busted lips and/or blackened eyes. But he wouldn't have wanted to hurt me. It would have all been in the name of love as his only goal as of yet for the day was to kiss his momma, good morning!

And he did just that, awarding me a delightful peck right on the lips followed by a delicate hug around my neck. Before I knew what had happened we had gained a tenant. As I was realizing his feet were no longer touching the floor, but instead pawing at my blanket to secure a warm spot underneath, I felt a draft from behind me as Asa was joining us too. Big bro had entered from the foot of the bed climbing up the inclined mattress as though it were a mountain. Once to the summit, he burrowed in the blanket's slack between his dad and me. I love my life! And it's very moments like this that, LIBERATED or not - make life worth living. Thank you, God for blessing me with this family and with this new day!

BZZZZZZZZZZ! Time's up! Party's over! I wish I could write more about this. More about snuggling. More about cuddling. An "I love you, Mom" here. Or a hug here. Or how about, "You are the best mom ever!" with another one of those precious little kisses? No? Well what about all of us getting served breakfast in bed by cartoon elves. Huh? No such luck, as 'Papa Bear' was quick to go into protective mode scaring his cubs plum off the bed. In his defense he was only wanting to keep them from hurting me, but aside from being itchy and a little sore all over from yesterday's emotional rollercoaster - - I felt fine.

So then 'Mama Bear' took charge and yelled back tellin' him to leave her babies alone. I've got just as mean a growl as him. Admittedly, it was my bite that suffered in comparison. So Jason apologizes and tells me he just didn't want them to hurt me. I'd already knew that, but he was being so sweet and treating me as if I were ever so delicate. Gag me with a spoon, right? I'd be okay. I was just the same that morning as the morning before. Still got MS? Yep! Still got MS.

Let's all head downstairs for Pete's sake. Enough with this special treatment already. I waited allowing my three man to brave the stairs before me. This was nothing new as if I go ahead of them I only cause a traffic jam. Thirteen steps up and thirteen now down. Whew! Maybe I had been a bit more sore than I had realized. The groin area stung a bit however no more so than, say you'd burn from a heat rash. And as I had catheters enter on both sides, my discomfort could have been due to the tiny knicks that were made in my skin or more likely from the aggressive shaving I endured during preparation. Either way, it was no biggie. But Jason had been right as it probably wouldn't be smart to encourage the boys to crowd me.

The pup let out and breakfast had (without the elves of course), the boys commenced wrestlin' on the Wii and harvesting crops in Farmville as Jason and I discussed our plans for the day. Jason was having a friend from out of town come over to play some of his arcade machines. If I wasn't feeling up to it though he was prepared to call it off. No need for that as I thought to myself - I might even get Jason to pick up the house a little if there was someone coming over. Especially a celebrity.

Sidenote: Ever seen the movie "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters"??? Well, it's a pretty good little film definitely worth renting even though my husband was not in it. He was supposed tohave been at the event where the documentary begins, but was not due to my falling ill. Yeah, MS! Oh well, maybe next time. Maybe they'll ask him and Ryan to be in the sequel titled, "Indiana Jones: The Holy ARCADE Barn Find." If I can find it, I ought to post the video I made on this adventure for y'all to see. It was such a hoot to make! But I digress.

So Jason does start cleaning. And I get on the computer to check the weather and see if the horseshow is still on. I felt like going right then, but as anyone reading with MS knows, I might not feel like it in the three ours 'til show time. Mom even called me to offer me a ride out there. She didn't really feel like going herself but if I felt like it, she said she'd push herself to do it. I agreed to go, but warned that I may not feel like it later. Being my mom, of course, she already knew that and had expected just such a response. She said she wouldn't start getting ready 'til just before time. So it was a plan. A tentative one, sure, but that's about as good as it gets with me.

As to not disrupt Jason and his guest's attempts at world record scores, I was to take the boys with me. I had thought, fine - no longer than we would be there I would just make them sit in the Cruiser. Mom calls to confirm my status and is on her way. She arrives just after our red carpet is rolled back up. Thank goodness, cause I trip on rugs and such. Anyways we pile in the Cruiser and are off. We arrive at the fairgrounds not a moment too late as the first class is already underway. Mom takes a right upon entering the grounds and coasts cautiously thru the practice area even passing Leo, my niece's new pony, being primped and readied. Once past the arenas gates and now on the grass approaching the bleachers, Mom applies the brakes.

Here it comes people! The moment you've all been waiting for . . . the place we ALWAYS park was not available. Huh? More like WTF? Yes, we had arrived later than usual, but no, our usual spot had not been taken by another vehicle. Lucky, there, I guess, though the reason why soon becomes all too clear. From the back seat the boys begin asking, "Granny, is this where we're parking?" and "Did we miss it?" and "How come that horse is in your way?" As mom crosses her hands frustrated like across her chest she answers saying, "Well I guess we'll park right here." Then one of the boys squeezed in a whiny, "Granny. I can't see." Wait one damn minute here!

I ordered mom to nudge towards 'em a bit and let them know she wanted to park there. Let them know you hadn't just been drivin' by in your nice clean rear-wheeled drive vehicle just to test it's rough terrain capabilities. With this she began an overly-cautious in my opinion, inching forward causing one of the two ladies that had been blocking us from parking to succumb to the vehicular threat. Do the math people! Horse vs. PT Cruiser. The Cruiser would not walk away unscathed, but the horse, ladies and gentleman, would not walk away!

I saw this and began fighting with the door handle. Me and this lady were about to have words. I went so far as to ask God to help me in this potentially quite foolish endeavor. Completely unsteady on my feet and weak from lying down most of yesterday, not to even mention the procedure - my mind cleared just enough after my brief prayer that #1 Mom should probably have the car in park before I exit. The ground remaining still for my descent and travels would only be beneficial. What good would I have been to anyone had I fallen from the moving Cruiser? One thing is for sure. That lady would not have moved her horse in order to help me.

#2 Once in park the doors are set to unlock. My wonderful Chrysler product at home has this very same child safety feature. That information aside, however, if I pulled on the lock mechanism itself I would be able to override the feature and unlock the door manually. Either way, I was on my out of that vehicle. Mom threw it into park. I could tell she was nine kinds of aggravated. I only hoped it was more at the situation itself than with me barking orders like some sort of drill seargeant. Maybe, she was angry she didn't feel up to tackling the situation herself. Back in the day I would have pitted my mom against anyone else's mom in the entire world - even most of the dads. I asked myself as my feet met the grass, "WWMD? What would Momma Do?" And as I didn't have the physical means as I once did, I opted for a verbal attack.

Before closing my door, I used it to steady myself and lean in a bit to threaten the boys not to leave the vehicle under any circumstances. Granny concurred, no doubt wishing I would do the same. I began politely as I approached her and her horse. I said, "Excuse me. Could I get you to move your horse over a little ways so we can park here?" Simple. Kind enough request, right? Several other more colorful variations had ran thru my mind as I hobbled the length of the Cruiser's hood not once taking my left hand off it to steady me. And her reply . . .

How's that for a cliff hanger? Next installment to be titled "Throwdown at the Fairgrounds." A prelude: As she swung her horse's ass towards me. She answered plain and simple, "No." I did not know her horse from Adam. Would he prove to be a kicker? I did not know if I would be able to stand free of any support. Would I merely appear drunk and belligerent only to fall on the ground? Join me, won't you, as my legs and my ticker are put to the test. Had my doctor told me to take it easy the next couple of days?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not Yet Dudes, But I Will

Time's up! Now get out! Don't let the door hit ya on the way out! I'd never been discharged from a hospital as fast as I had that hazy Friday afternoon. Sure check-in had been smooth and efficient, but check-out seemed hasty. Can she walk? K. Great, buh-bye! Rushed at best, I would usher no complaints, as heading home had always been my favorite part of any hospital hoop-lah.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder if the expedited nature of my departure was due in part to the honest opinion I had shared with one of my nurses. My post-op nurse (named improperly as this procedure in no way warrants being labeled an operation) finally broke down and asked me what symptoms outside of my MS had brought me to this doc and this test. Huh? Was that part of the recovery protocol? Surely not . . .

"Well," I responded, "I'm glad you asked!" I could feel my husband glaring at me from across the room. He began to approach with a masculine protectiveness as if offended she had asked me such a thing. I dismissed his reflex to shield his wife and ignored his desire to tackle the question himself. Surely, as the procedure was complete and results already reported, any venom that may spew from my mouth at this point wouldn't affect the day's outcome.

Mine and Jason's somewhat telepathic prelude to an answer left just enough silence in the air to warrant further explanation from said nurse regarding her initial inquiry. She continued explaining her husband had MS for nearly 20 years. And that before it got too bad for him to work he had been a doctor. Literally unable to contain myself, I interrupted asking, " . . . and he hasn't heard of CCSVI?"

She replied that if there was anything to it that she was sure he had. Puzzled, I interrupted again, asking, " . . . and he hasn't had this done to test for it?"

"Well, no," she went on, declaring, "He's well into his 60s. He walks o.k. with crutches." As if that mattered?! There's a simple procedure that could give him his life back. He can't enjoy struggling with crutches. He can't enjoy being tired all the time. He can't enjoy what's left of his life wondering what was gonna malfunction next. This was aggravating - to say the least. Wouldn't the 20 or more years left of his life be of better quality with cleared, free-flowing veins?

As I pondered all these questions and pictured this poor, feeble man locked in his wife's basement waiting for his daily rationing of table scraps, I shuttered. Could it be he has only a 5 gallon bucket to void in and a concrete floor to rest on ---- this horrific picture, sent chills down my spine. A bit far-fetched, I suppose, but a disgust for this nurse's acceptance of ignorance was raising the temperature in the room. I could feel my cheeks swell with red. Had I been on my 'A' game - I would have let this lady have it.

My blood pressure had been high but was acceptable. Her work for now had been done. And without my ever really answering her initial question . . . she announced she'd be back soon. Good. I needed to organize my thoughts. I would take this time to cool down, as heat is not my friend. And I would muster up my best, most eloquent plea as to why she ought to look into this wacky vascular idea. I would eagerly await her return.

She'd made it to the threshold of the door to turn and advise, "Hon, don't be down. If there was really anything to this we'd be all over it." (PAUSE) Great, I'd thought, she was trying to comfort me as every good nurse would before leaving a patient's room. And don't get me wrong. She had been a really good nurse -- that is, up until now! Then as if to herself, as if to further her misdirected point, she asked somewhat rhetorically, "Why don't you think its not all over the media and being done everywhere?"

"Honestly," I answered loudly causing her to change direction even though she'd been well on her way out, "do you want my honest opinion?" I'm not sure how or if she even answered and I didn't much care as I was about to come undone. Seeing her re-approach my bed, I continued, "I think alot of it has to do with neurologists and big pharma not wanting to lose out on all the money we MSers continue to just hand them over!"

Silence followed. So much so I could hear a fellow patients heart monitor beeping two doors down. The soothing symphony of beeps and dings was eventually interrupted by my husband exhaling. As long as he must of been holding his breath he's lucky he hadn't passed out. Taking in a deep breath of my own I couldn't help but trudge forward and take advantage of my captive audience. It's not all that often you are given the chance to speak frankly with anyone in the healthcare profession - let alone one with a close personal connection to MS. I continued, "Proof is out there that if this is found, fixing it alleviates symptoms - some of them immediately . . ."

I was just getting wound up when this time she interrupted me, proclaiming, "Loss of MS patients would not affect neurologists. There are plenty of other disorders to keep them in business." And with that she exited. With that she rushed away before I could switch into low gear and come at her with a rebuttal. Now get this . . . she NEVER came back. Had her shift been over? Or had I left her perplexed and bewildered? I hadn't intended on frazzling her, even if she really did have her husband shackled to a wall at home.

As the afternoon progressed, I learned my father-in-law had also given her a piece of his mind. Returning from lunch he proudly told us he'd come across someone who's husband had MS. And that he told her all about CCSVI. He just couldn't believe how disinterested she'd seemed. Ha! My first chuckle since the crappy news. I burst his bubble telling him we too had came across this gem and that she was due back soon to check my vitals.

Oh, well. Can't win 'em all. But to say you fought 'em all - now that's somethin'. The nurse that had prepped me was now the one to discharge me. She was nice too, but niether of us opted to talk about anything but the weather. The trip home seemed unusually long. Jason called my mom to tell her we were on our way. I didn't 'cause I just wasn't ready. She gets emotional. Then I get emotional. And I had cried enough already. Truth be told, I was probably more sore from weeping than from the procedure itself.

Upon arriving home, I discovered I'd need as much energy as I could muster to fight back tears of overwhelming disappointment and harder yet, to somehow or another dig deep enough to find a smile. No question, the toughest part of my day was yet to come. The walk from the truck to the porch? No. From the foyer to the living room couch? Difficult, but no.

I rounded the hallway corner to find my boys nearly fresh off the bus, playing on the laptop together. What was this? They were getting along? I had to be dreaming. Or maybe I was in the wrong house. As I took a moment to watch them -- my everythings, my reasons for taking my next breath -- a lump began to form in my throat. As prepared as I had been, having rehearsed many potential scenarios, once I saw the excitement in their eyes, I struggled to breath let alone come up with anything to say.

Once they spotted me they bolted across the room. "I missed you Mommy," Asa said after a hug. And Abel with his eyes so wide and bright, stood back after he'd kissed me, just far enough as if in anticipation that I might break out into a cartwheel. Then he asks, "Did you get liberated?" Dang! I knew that had been coming. I look away from him over to Asa in hopes of gaining some composure. No such luck. He was no help, as he too stood there all starry eyed awaiting my response. Wise beyond his years, he even smiled and nodded as if to grant me permission or instill in me the confidence I now so desperately needed.

I LOVE THESE GOOFY GOOBERS!!! I swallow hard and answer, "Not yet dudes, but I will!" At this very moment my chest ached with heart break and my stomach churned with toxic disappointment. Recognizing these ailments as severely contagious, I fought to bury them deep and continued, "I was only in the hospital today so they could look around . . ." NO RESPONSE, so I followed with, "So how did school go and what are we gonna do this weekend?" Normalcy. Nice. I pray I can maintain it.

Off to bed early, I finally called my Mom to say goodnight. I waited 'til I was alone expecting there to be at least a few more tears shed. To my delightful suprise my wells must have ran dry. Or maybe my renewed hope had built a fortress. At our conversations end I felt driven - like I had been Lou Holtz giving his fighting Irish a pep talk that would have driven Notre Dame to beat any NFL franchise. I was pumped. More now than before, if that was even possible.

I had blogging to do and research to ummm, well, research. And, what's this? Amelia called to tell me she was sorry, but that she'd talked to mom and it had sounded like all this had done was fire me up. So true. I dare ya to tell me I can't do something. By God, then I'll do it twice. Maybe this had been just what I needed. If thru this I can get this maverick doc properly schooled in CCSVI, then there'll soon be a super doc added to the mid-west. Whatever comes from this -- IT"S GONNA BE POSITIVE! Baby sis always did have a way with fueling fires. Pyro!

And she wasn't through. "And I wanted to tell you that your 4 year old niece is going to show her new pony all by herself tomorrow," Amelia continued. "But don't worry, we'll tape it so you can see her." Yeah, right, I'd thought at the time. If I could walk tomorrow. I wasn't gonna miss this. We talked for a while which was nice. We're both so busy with our own lifes that we don't get the chance too often to really talk.

We shared old showing memories and hopes of making future ones. I shared in and tried to soothe her nerves about her daughter's first show in a class on her own. Truth be told Amelia, I might have been just as nervous as you. She'll be fine! We always were - well, mostly. And as I could hear her littlest man getting fussy in the background I said, "I love you. G'night" knowing full well she probably wouldn't sleep a wink!

I soon learnedthat I wouldn't either. Was it the adrenaline or the dye driving me batty? An itchy night of countless trips to the commode commenced. Thank you God that my bathroom is so very near my bed. And thank you God for Benadryl. And thank you God for my wonderful husband Jason who went all the way downstairs to fetch them for me. Many have commented that this journey has been a rollercoaster ride. And today it truly had been. On that table, in that room, the range of emotions I'd gone thru was catastrophic.

I once stood in line over an hour with my cousin to ride Opryland's Cannonball rollercoaster. It had two upside down loops in it and I was barely tall enough to ride. We were the next to board and I remember tearing through the line of people behind us to get back to my mom and dad. Boy, Larry was pissed! But a little encouragement mixed with a few threats and a bribe or two of icecream later, we made our way back towards the front of the line. Some nice man having seen me bolt offered to let us back in ahead of him. Yeah! Great. Thanks, fella.

Where in the world is she going with that silly story? Stay tuned, dear readers. How dare you doubt me! So we ride it. HARD! And as soon as we're off I'm pulling on his shirt wanting to get back in line. Again! Again! The wait, the fear, the bolt, the fight, the ride - it had all been worth it to me. And the wait for this? No matter how long, or how many distractions, how many arguments for or against, I want this and, I WILL GET ON THAT RIDE!

It's getting late y'all and I have flying monkeys to hunt down and massacre tomorrow. I'll continue next time with "Throwdown At The Fairgrounds!" Intrigued? Well, ya should be. I damn near got in a fight. Until then, sweet dreams all!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Liberation ~ FAIL (Pt. 3)

I woke in the room from which I had started to the sound of Jason's footsteps. I didn't have my glasses back on yet, but still, I could tell it wasn't good news. I asked him right away if the doc had talked to him. He answered, "Yes." The silence that followed reassured my initial feeling that the news can't have been good. If it had been Jason would have skipped down the hall whistling and singing and be eager to tell me all about it. Alas, it had to have been bad news.

I hate being right all the time. Seriously, his head hung down and shoulders drooped as he grasped the rail of my bed and gave me the news. He told me that even the good doctor had sounded disappointed upon talking to him. He went on to say that he went ahead with the venogram knowing how desperately we'd wanted them to find something. But, as far as he could see, aside from some narrowing in the chest, everything looked pretty ordinary to him.

As Jason gave me the information I returned it with uncontrollable tears. He got closer to me to tell me not to cry and as he did I saw tears in his eyes too. Once our wells ran dry a nurse entered asking if we were ready for the rest of my family to come in. "No!" I demanded and began to cry again. This was sooo not me. I'd been prepared for this.

First, I didn't even think he was gonna do the right test. Arteries vs. veins, I sure have learned alot about the human body these past months. Second, just because he'd added the proper test while I was still on the table didn't mean he'd know exactly what he was looking for. Thus, one could argue maybe he had missed something. A kink here or there that doesn't bother the normal person but some how or another makes me drag my leg. And third, pull it together Angela! You ain't gonna die from this. Suck it up, buttercup!

Poland in '11, right?! Now that really would have sucked. To be that far away and over $12,000 gone to find out I don't have it! Can you imagine? My rational next plan of action was to get my results on CD and send them to all the big names in CCSVI to review. I hadn't been this quick on my feet, but had thought this up earlier in case I was to receive this crappy news. "Be prepared," just like the Boy Scout motto. This too shall pass. I made it thru alive and for that I thank God. Send in the fam!

Well, hey, Angel had joined them. I was so happy to see her. I felt that she would understnd my disappointment but be there to help nudge me along forward towards my goal. At this point I could have very easily fallen from this path on to another or worse - back to the road with no outlet I'd been traveling the past 10 years.

So throughout the remaining time I had to spend flat in bed I came up with this: There is a fix for people with MS. That is a fact. And for the first time in the 10 years I've had this MonSter I've had hope that I could get better vs. constantly worse. So one of three things was going to happen from all this come Hell or high water.

1. A stenosis was going to be found and fixed alleviating my symptoms and stopping further damage. OR 2. Someone is going to figure out I've been misdiagnosed this entire time and I just have BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. And that's an easy fix too! Sorry we missed that before! OR 3. I'll start on a new drug I've heard countless other MSers rave about as doing wonders for their walking and fatigue. All 3 scenarios sound better than the one I had been in. The one in which I sadly gave in to whatever came at me with a shrug of my shoulders and MS as an excuse.

I had been down if no one had noticed. I needed my anti-depressants for more than just fighting the side effects of my MS meds. I was missing out on soooo much. And there was nothing I could do about it besides take it in stride and deteriorate with some dignity. Enjoying as much as I can, while I can. What a defeated attitude. That had never been me. And never an Orth! Why should it be me now? I was gonna fight! Hell, I might've even wanted a fight.

STRIKE ONE! Two to go before I'm out. Or boxing, let's do boxing. Ivan Drago could win all the rounds allowed before a call, BUT if Rocky waited 'til the last seconds of the last round to lay him out for a ten count then --- "Your winner, ladies and gentleman, is Rockyyyyyy Balboooooa!"

So going back to Oz, Dorothy and crew had to bring the Wizard the Wicked Witch of the West's broomstick before he would grant them any wishes. So what's next, you ask? Well, it's really quite simple. I'm off to fetch the broomstick! Flying monkies be damned!

Liberation ~ FAIL (Pt. 2)

The "Wizard of Oz" might possibly be the best analogy I've made thus far. With Angela as Dorothy. Jason as the Scarecrow. Abel as the Tin Man. Asa as The Cowardly Lion. And introducing Gooch as Toto. Ya know, Toto shoud've been a pit bull all along. Anyways, I thought I had made it to the Emerald City. Quite possibly, I had even met the Wizard but I'd soon find out my first visit to him would not be the one to get me back to Kansas.

I heard no more words from the doc after his starting the venogram. The silence, I'd thought, must mean he's hard at work. Then he steps out and one of the nurses advises that the doc was going back to get a closer look at the film. "A-ha," I'd thought, "He's prolly back there deciding how many stents he'd need. Or whether or not to use the pink or the purple ones." Time passed and I was advised they were waiting on the docs o.k. to take out the caths. WTF?

No stents? No balloons? Tears of disappointment soon mixed with tears of pain as the caths made their exits. I should have asked for more meds when the venous entry hadn't gone so well. But at the time, my hope and optimism must have masked my pain. No such luck this time. It became clear that whatever they had given me was now gone. The venous line left with about the same amount of pain that it had entered.

The arterial cath however was quite different. Son of a turkey farmer! Wow. That hurt! Finally my eyes closed, TIGHT! I told myself, as Rocky told Clubber Lang, "You ain't bad. You ain't bad. You ain't nothin'!" But guess what? It sure was somethin' - PAINFUL. I managed to ask if I could get anything else for pain. After explaining to me what all I had already, I repeated myself again. Then he asks, "Can I give her anything else?" And although smart enough to realize he wasn't asking me, I answered quite clearly, "Yes! Yes, you can."

I think I heard a chuckle in the background as he ignored me. Stacy was that you? He repeated his question and was given the go ahead before the removal of the artery cath. Thank God, 'cause whether or not my head remained taped down, I was about to come on up off of that table. "Breathe for me, Angela," someone had said. "Don't forget to breath Daniel-son," I had gritted my teeth and thought to myself. Pain meds in, caths out and I was on my way.

A heated blanket joined us on our way back to my room and I briefly went to Sleepytown. Heat can really sock it to me. Ever wanna kill me off? Just turn up the heat. Huh? Maybe I've said too much. During the return trip I reflected on my experience thus far. Maybe he had found something and just hadn't been prepared to tackle it. Maybe he had done something - but I wasn't feeling any different. Hmmmmm! Wonder what he had told Jason. Surely he had talked to Jason. Stay tuned for Part 3 . . .