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.


  1. You know, there was something you mentioned in your treatment post about experiencing a *zing* in your brain. That is the same comment those who have had the treatment describe. You could have had a blockage somewhere lower that the snake pushed loose. I would gather that something happened and perhaps we are not looking at the entire picture here by focusing just on our neck veins.

  2. or there's been talk of a faulty valve perhaps being inadvertently corrected while fishing for a stenosis. whatever happened . . . I'm feeling better!