Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not Giving Up

This post is titled 'Not Giving Up' for various reasons. After reading this there'll be a test. Will you be able to find the hidden references? Good luck. And happy reading!

So the story continues on Friday afternoon. With news of my dear Wendy remaining stable and comfortable and promises there'd be someone with her at all times from here on out, I began baking. Huh?! Odd I know, but Friday night Father's Day festivities had been planned since long before all this went down. My only job had been to bring a desert. I found out later that my mom and sister would also bring sweets unsure as to whether or not I would be up to making anything. I don't think they were sure I'd even come. But Father's Day to celebrate my Grandpa that I don't see nearly as often as I should? Wendy would have wanted me to go. She would have insisted.

It was also for my Mom's birthday. Poor girl always had to share with Father's Day. Just as I've always had to share mine with Mother's Day. Anyways, she was turning (50ish we'll say) on the 19th. So I made a yellow cake for her. And covered it in blue icing for Grandpa. And made it five layers thick for the five years I've been without my Daddy on Father's Day. Or has it been 6 now? Seems like he was just here. Anyways, 5 layers was pushing it. What had I been thinking? Well honestly, I had my mind on Wendy.

I made cakes 'til my batter ran low. Then I made cupcakes. The boys made cards for the guests of honor. I didn't offer much guidance so all the cards may have said Happy Birthday. Sorry, Grandpa! It's the thought that counts, right? So we get there and the air is off. WHAT? Remember back at Easter when I swore off returning there until the air had been allowed on? No? Well, I'd forgot too. Everyone was miserable, but the good news is . . . I did just fine. No trouble swallowing as I did at Easter. And I didn't need help to the truck upon leaving. Yay, me! And yay, to the makers of that wonderful spread.

I devoured two plates of taco fixins that night. So stuffed from that and the afternoon's taste testing of batter and icing - I couldn't even eat my own cake. Tragic. Besides my boys, devoted husband, and loving mother no one else had any either. Well, unless you count Jason backing in to it. Or Uncle Scott reaching for something and getting his sleeve in it. Sorry, gentlemen. I won't build as high next time. And not as Smurf blue. Promise. Hope it didn't stain. It had been a good night. And tuff to leave. I was enjoying visiting with everyone even more than I enjoyed the food. And folks, that's a lot! Had I hugged and told Wendy how much I loved her last time I'd seen her? What a lousy friend I'd been.

Once home and having checked on Wendy, we were off to bed. We had a big day planned for our Saturday. First up, a wedding on the riverfront. Then possibly a little horse show time. Then some pool construction. Then maybe squeeze in some more horse show dragging my friend Angel along. We were sure to get bored watching the guys build the pool. And after, maybe Roca Bar for pizza? Maybe board games? Maybe Evansville to visit Wendy? Who knew? The skies the limit. Well, maybe not. The sky Friday night just so happened to open up and soak most of our plans.

We'd all gotten up early that beautiful Saturday morning anxious to begin our day. Phone rings. Show is cancelled due to torrential down pours flooding the arena. WHATEVER. We used to show in mud belly deep during a downpour. Bunch of pansies. Fine - more time for the pool. Jason was set to go get another load of sand to level the pool area when he went out to discover the basketball goal and swing overturned amongst the muddy mess of earth we'd planned to sit the pool upon. Yikes. Guess that's be a no go to unless the sun did some serious drying out before the afternoon.

We work at tidying the house a bit instead. We get on our laptops and play a little Mario Galaxy 2 on Wii. Just kinda waiting around for time to get ready for the wedding. Once off the couch to assist the hubby in finding clothes before his shower he questions me as to exactly what time this was supposed to start. "12:30," I reply, almost sure. With the raised eyebrow I'd gotten in response I returned to my laptop to double check my RSVP information. Yikes, again! It had started at 11:30. The time was currently 11:45. Whoops! Completely my fault. I am so sorry Marcie and Roger. I suck. I'm sooo sorry. Please forgive me. And forgive Jason for being too mad to go to the reception. Grrrrowl. You'd have thought there was a bear on the loose in Park Ridge.

So instead Jason hits Subway for lunch and we are just finishing up when our friends arrive to help. All business the guys exit to the back yard and the mud slinging begins. Seriously they leveled all they could and moved a little sand around, but with soupy mud slopped in the middle there wasn't much more they could do. Plus, didn't it get to 100 degrees Saturday? It would've been ridiculous for them to attempt much more. Sweaty, goobers! Angel and I had been enjoying watching you play in the dirt.

Then shortly after 3:30 the phone rings again. It was Kent. And Wendy had passed. He reported that he had been by her side and that she'd gone peacefully. Without thinking I'd said, "Well, Praise God!" I was happy he'd been there and happy it'd been a peaceful transition. And thankfully, I think, Kent understood. I offered my help again. I told him I was sorry again. And I told him I love him again. Very few tears came during this conversation. Had I cried them all already?

After the men folk showered we headed to Evansville for supper. A slight detour to drop off the kiddos at Granny & Pawpaw's first. For some reason or the other I had an unusually short fuse with them today. And upon our arrival to the restaurant a little boy at the table next to ours nearly caused me to pull my hair out. Had my boys been there possibly they could have strong-armed the loud mouth. Geesh! Even my two sitting on either side of me arguing aren't that loud. Maybe his ignoring parents are hearing impaired or deaf. I dunno. Just thinkin'.

Next we go cross country in search of flowers for my dad's headstone. Wendy would be laid to rest at the same cemetery and I wanted his stone to look extra nice. Plus it was Father's Day weekend. Plus I hadn't spiffied it up in a bit. It was due. So Yee Haw! I exhausted myself shopping for flowers. And by shopping for flowers what I mean to say is being pushed around in a wheelchair by my husband and friends whilst I point at flowers I like and complain about their prices. Exhausting work, I tell ya! Maybe all the activities of the week were finally coming to bite me in my ass. The one that is still sore from Tuesday's fall, I might add. Good night, dear friends. I'm sorry you have such a LOSER for a friend. What a way to spend your Saturday night. Sorry!

Home just a little before 9, I think. I caught up on Facebook and started on flowers as Jason found a movie on Netflix. Can't say as I remember much about it as I was eyeball deep in flowers and emotionally drowning. It was almost 11 when I deemed the arrangement nice enough for Dad. I used deep purple, red and white, with a touch of yellow. I think it turned out pretty nice. I'd pat myself on the back if I had enuff energy. When would the funeral be, I wondered. Lord please give me the energy to get thru this. Amen.

Sunday started much better than Saturday. Sunday school lesson was great. And church service, WOW! After a song that had been sung I became emotional and was compelled to stand and thank my pastor and church family for their prayers for Wendy. I told of her struggling to let go after fighting nearly 15 years and of her leaving behind a 19 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. She'd been most concerned with how her son would take things. I asked them to continue to be in prayer about this and for those trying to help. At least that's what I meant to say. Jason says I became a bit hard to understand. Imagine that! At least I'd found my tears. I was worried I had been getting dehydrated.

From here on out the day gets all jacked up. Jason had planned on taking his dad to a movie. Upon calling to confirm plans his mom wants to go. Fine, but the boys have wanted to go from the get go. I'll take the boys and the rest of you go yourselves. We squabble about things and as I have been denied vehicle access we get in the truck and head to the cemetery to bring flowers and visit Dad and Unk. Then off to Granny & Pawpaw's. We all pile in to the van to spend the day together. Yippee! (Please overlook heavy levels of sarcasm, but this heat with Jason's mood wasn't gonna mix well.)

Chinese buffet, next stop. His mom had already eaten thinking she wasn't getting to go anywhere. And I was eating before a movie again. Period. Chinese, Japenese, Viatnamese or Mexican. Nada. Then we discover the next time both movies started even close to near the same time as the other wasn't for nearly 3 hours. What were we to do for all that time? Mary needed paint so we headed to Home Depot. She thought we should stay in the car, but that wouldn't have been killing any time and the van hadn't even had a chance to cool off yet. It was miserably hot that day. Have I mentioned that yet?

So we go in (yes, of course Jason's pushing me) and we meander thru must of the store. We pick out a much needed bathroom sink and faucet for our master bath. Happy Father's Day, Baby! Sorry your day has sucked. Surely you and your dad can try going out just the two of you again. Why had it sucked, you ask? Well, plans had been shot again. Remember Saturday? Then the food wasn't all that good. Then pushing me around a store? He could do that everyday. Plus Home Depot. Did I fail to mention the boys hate Home Depot? Well, they do. At least for now anyways.

We return to the sauna, no wait, I mean van. What next? There was still an hour and a half or more to go before the movie. "GameStop, GameStop," the boys chanted. And Granny said, "Home." And home it was. Kenny thanked Jason for lunch and disappointed it hadn't been more, we left. I wanted him to go back and get his dad and me and the boys would just go another day. But he said, "No." He reasoned his boys wanted to spend the day with their dad too. And they did. So we played the Wii a while and watched Netflix 'til late. I could barely keep my eyes open.

Please Monday, be kind. And praise the Lord - it was. I kept my feet up and relaxed, attempting to prepare for the upcoming visitation and services. I prayed the most for her son's understanding and acceptance. Still as late afternoon approached I found myself counting down the time until Jason's arrival home. I had planned on sneaking off to bed early. Nothing set in stone by any means, but it had sure sounded nice to me. As hot as it was, though Jason had talked about taking the boys fishing. Either way, Gooch and I planned to nap. Or not. What's this? A change of plans. Can you believe it?

Jason comes home early and we're off on another adventure. "Four for 'Toy Story 3' please," I said. A medium popcorn combo with one coke and one diet, two hot dogs, an icee with both flavors, a bag of Reese's, cotton candy and a bottled water later we settled in just in time for the previews. The men folk, slightly ahead of me as per the usual, though more so today because of my stop at the butter dispenser. Yay, me! Call me crazy, but I like a little popcorn with my salt and butter. GREAT MOVIE! Several times, I almost teared up. Lucky for me the well was still dry. Thanks, Disney.

Then we headed across town to Gander Mountain for fishing stuff and a part for the boat. I sat this one out staying inside the truck. Then as close as we were to the big Dodge dealership we couldn't help but drive thru a couple of their lots. Why don't we just buy somethin' already? Geesh. Was that a belly growling I heard? 8:45 and we hadn't had supper. I voted for Steak-n-Shake, but Pizza Hut won out. They were open 'til 10 so we'd have to get serious. And we were --- seriously starving. Well at least the male population. The food was exceptional and our waiter, WOW! He was a keeper. Sure hope Jason tipped him well.

Both kiddos fell asleep on the late ride home, but as soon as we got in the house both of them wanted to stay up. Party on, guys. I'm out! And I was. I don't know when or even if they'd gone to bed. I was a goner before my head even reached the pillow. Had I sleep walked upstairs? Tuesday morning was a mess. Not that I'd even know what it's like to have a hangover, BUT I felt like I had a hangover. Nothing but Coke had been drank the day before. No alcohol whatsoever since falling from the truck. What in the world was wrong with me? Everything was so heavy . . .

Thank you boys for being so patient with me. They just kept coming in to my room asking me if they could go downstairs yet. "What's wrong, Mom?" they whined. I didn't know. 9:30 I finally found myself upright. Barely. Then downstairs and settled in with breakfast just after 10. Finished and cleaned up just in time for lunch. Yay, me. Mom of the year front runner, I am not. I really needed to start getting ready for visitation already at the rate I was getting things accomplished. Eyebrows needed done. Legs shaved. Shower. Teeth. Clothes.

I need a Facebook break. To heck with time management. Oh, no! Dr. Sclafani has been refused IRB approval? No way. This couldn't be. I went to where he responds to questions on ThisIsMS and, "Nooooooooooooo!" Things ain't lookin' good. Why kick a girl when's she's down? I mean, really?! Today? This had to be announced today? Damn. I post this too, as others waiting on him just as I have been - need to know. Do we wait longer or do we forrage elsewhere? I messaged Jason the uplifting (NOT) news. And before long, Jason had come home early. First order of business. ADVIL, please! Then he took the kiddos to his parents' and fetched things from upstairs and you know what? Jason rocks! We'll just have to tackle those issues later once we've got this one behind us. Good advice. And the Advil? Had I taken any Advil yet?

At just 10 after 4 the funeral home's parking lot was packed. WHAT? It only started at 4. Jason drops me at the door and I enter to find a line had already formed stretching well out to the middle of the lobby. Yeah, right?! I may have gotten a couple of dirty looks, but I argue that anyone who has assisted the nurse with the newly deceased's cleanliness and comfort just days prior to this event should be granted free passage inside the viewing. Hell, I even argue I should've been granted cutsies in line, BUT not wanting to offend anyone I simply made my way inside to a seat and sat down.

Now that I think about it, what did the line matter? Everyone receiving the line had already seen me at the hospital days prior. And for the family I didn't know, well, I've known Wendy 12 years now. Where you been? How come I don't know you? Never heard of you? You think I'm letting you sit in front of me? Okay, okay. I know. Displaced anger. Yada, yada, yada. Nevermind. Disregard this paragraph. Once the line finally shortened to within the viewing room Jason got in line and I followed him along the open chairs. Weakling! I know! Aunt, Uncles, and parents had been standing in the receiving line too, but my only interest was seeing that beautiful woman finally at peace. Finally without that crinkled brow expressing pain no matter how hard she'd fought to hide it. I know you girl, don't try and play me!

I hug her daughter and tell her what a wonderful job she's done all evening greeting everyone. And I remind her how proud her Mom would be of how everything had turned out. Dang! It's like I'm talking to Wendy they look so much alike. Then to Wendy. WOW! She was beautiful. The transformation made from just three days prior was miraculous. She'd always been beautiful to me, but I had been dreading hearing how bad she looked. Some people just don't think before they speak. Even if she had looked bad WHICH SHE DIDN'T, no one who loved her should have to hear about it. This ordeal was hard enuff, thx. This bitch session also goes out to all those who thought my Dad had on a wig. HE DID NOT. As a matter of fact that gorgeous head of salt and pepper George Clooney like hair cut had just been touched up by yours truly 2 days prior to his death. He can't help it he was really, really ridiculously good looking.

More displaced anger. Sorry. Forgive me please. So I make it to Wendy. Both hands on the casket. She is a vision. So much of an angel on Earth, I can't even imagine the impact she'll have in heaven. If I could've I would have stayed there with her awhile. But the line had been growing again and I'd spent so much time with her already. I'm a big girl. I could share. And Kent was a big boy. He could handle the truth. My hands on each of his arms, I look into his eyes and confess, "Kent, I haven't seen her this beautiful since your wedding. She is stunning." And with that he tells me about my picture with her from their wedding. What? I'd forgotten all about posing for that. Immediately I searched it out, remembered it, and having wanted a copy way back when. You better bet I'm gettin' me a copy now! We stayed the entire time. We'll see you in the morning, Darlin'.

And at about 6 Wednesday morning I just couldn't sleep any longer. I laid in bed trying to return to Sleepytown 'til 7. It was no use. When the mind was as awake as it had been - the body battling to sleep was futile. I gathered my clothes and went downstairs to catch up on Facebook, maybe do some farming. Bored, fast I decided to watch a movie on Netflix and attempt to curl my hair. 9:30. Hmmm, wonder if the hubby needs a wake up call? Need it or not, he got one. I'd hoped to get there by 10. I'd hoped for a seat. I hadn't even thought about a spot in the procession line 'o cars. Crickey! Was I gonna have to drive? Worse yet was I gonna be sittin' alone during the service? Only time would tell.

This time I walked in with my cane. I was a bit more confident this time having outlasted all the dirty look givers from the night before. I went straight for the casket which had strangely been left unattended. That was fine by me. I wouldn't mind saying bye without an audience. "I love you, Sweetie." And then I just stood awhile, apparently staring. Enter Kent. I asked how he was holding up and added a hug then returned to my Wendy telling him he was lucky he got to stand here with her. I told him if it wouldn't be unacceptable, I'd stand right here over her 'til service started. He said he wouldn't mind pointing out I'd spent many hours just watching her at the hospital. And I guess I had. But that entire time I was thinking happy, wonderful thoughts of her. Of things we'd done together. Secrets we'd shared. Plans we'd made. Dreams we'd had. And I thought of her HOMECOMING. Of her seeing Jesus. Did her Mom come to greet her? Had she danced with my dad? I hadn't been staring for staring's sake. It had been my way of dealing. And of helping her transition. Thanks for the dance party! I'm up for it again whenever you are.

So seats are filling. And news on the street is that pallbearers are to sit together in the room just off the viewing room. Man, I really hadn't thought this out. Had it been more important to have Jason at my side or to have him honored as a pallbearer? I'm such a drama queen sometimes. Kent sat in the front row, soon never to see his wife in this earthly body anymore. How dare I bitch about my husband being just across the room? Get over yourself, Angela! And as luck would have it - enter Wendy's best friend with her daughter. Her husband was missing in action too. She asked if she could sit next to us and I said, "Yes, please!" Her daughter had been a welcome distraction in the moments leading up to the service as quite often when I hear a song that had been played at my dad's funeral I lose it, however this time I'd made it tear free. Thank you, you gorgeous little doll baby, who worked so diligently at finding a spot upon her mom's lap that she'd be allowed to keep. Adorable!

The third row is where we watched from. I listened intently to each of the two pastors that spoke. Both message were very well put. I think Wendy would be ecstatic. The younger of the them even made a few joking mistakes allowing for a kind correction as to the facts from Wendy's son, which in turn caused the crowd to erupt in laughter. Besides the quoting of Facebook posts, and the mention of using Skype for Wendy to take part in church more often - the Winston Churchill reference stuck with me the most. There had been several good Bible verses mentioned but those had been somewhat expected. "Never give up." was the quote I'm smitten with.

The pastor, having addressed her children by name, several times throughout the message, did so yet again after giving a bit of background on Mr. Churchill. He said, "******. ******. You must know that your Mom NEVER gave up. NEVER." He continued, "What she did was LOOK UP and MOVE ON." Can I get an Amen? Amen! My dried up well, found a reserve. Keep it together, Angela. Another song. Happy thoughts. And it's time for dismissal. Row after row filed past Wendy and then to Kent and crew in the front row. Would I be able to do this? I was going to try. Maybe it'd be smart to just forgo the bending and hugging part of it. I'd play it by ear. God would give me strength. My turn. And I made it. Kent, bless his soul, even stood so I wouldn't have to risk bending. Next stop, a bend to hug a now standing little man. I told him I was very proud of him. And told him he'd have to come over soon as we were getting close to having our pool up. He said he would. Cool. And thank God I got back up from that position. The daughter, hopefully understanding of my situation got her upper arm rubbed, a smile, and an "I love you."

And then to the graveyard. Phooey! We didn't get to cruise by Dad. Worse yet I parked in the shade near the pond and Wendy was to be buried, nearer the top of the hill. Yikes, for real this time! Cane in hand. Right leg refusing to cooperate. Sun beating down. Dang. I went as far along the grass as I could at the foot of the hill as my husband completed his duty as pallbearer. (OK, so it's more of an incline than a hill - I know - there's a hill at the New Harmony cemetery - but still - whatever!) And Jason to the rescue. He descends the hill to get me. And God bless them, somehow or another there was an open chair under the tent out of the sun with the family just for me. Wow. And just as I sat, the pastor began to speak. How sweet was that? And I got a rose given to me from the casket spray. Blessed, I tell. Absolutely blessed. Now if I can make it back to the truck w/out falling I'll be home free. And I did. [insert exhaling a huge breath of relief here]

Next stop, Wendy's church for a meal. We almost didn't go, but I'm sure glad we did. It was delicious. And there was so much. I see many leftovers in Kent's future. Wonder if he'll need any help with those? Prolly not, but I'd offer for sure. Thank you General Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon. You did an awesome job and seem like a great church family. May God continue to bless and keep you.

And then we went home. [insert super mega huge sigh of relief here] And a nap? No? Jason off to work I tried a nap and failed. Too much to reflect upon I suppose. I'd hoped to be nearly comatose by the time Jason returned with the boys. No biggie. I got there soon after their arrival and slept great. I woke up in the same spot I'd gone down in. Complete, uninterrupted restful sleep. Praise God! I sure needed it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fw: here

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Spindler, Jason" <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Tue, June 22, 2010 2:00:37 PM
Subject: here

Long time, no talk. How's LIBERATION been treatin' ya? I just wanted to run something by you wonderful, wonderful people.

First, I need to tell you I tried to GO LOCAL. I thought it would save time and money and possibly cause there to be another place in the states that would be willing to do the procedure. Long story short - my doc didn't really believe in things and claimed not to find anything out of the ordinary. Strike one.

Strike two was my doc in New York being shut down pending that infamous IRB approval. Since then I connected with you guys, but have been very apprehensive of a strike three. I've nearly called you a billion times, but the only reason I haven't is my having mailed back and forth with my NY doc who has warned me against newbie docs.

Having performed several before his shut down, he is afraid several docs will be unsure of exactly what they are looking for and miss something. And even worse, there may be docs out just to disprove this theory. He believes everyone with real, true MS has CCSVI. During his shut down he has even traveled to Italy and spent time with Dr. Zamboni. Dedicated, right?!

The most recent development in my road to LIBERATION has been the good doctor's refusal of IRB approval. Is that a strike three? I'm unsure. He has mentioned he'd go anywhere he'd be allowed to treat his patients. COULD THAT ANYWHERE BE SAN DIEGO?

You've done soooo very much already. And for that, I and many others are greatful, BUT if you'd be willing to reach out to Dr. Scalafani and somehow or another recruit him to TEAM HUBBARD. That just might be a match made in Heaven. Next stop, WORLD DOMINATION!

Please let me know what you think. Either way, I love you guys. And keep up the good work! - Angela Spindler begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Couple of Sundays

So it's been a while since I've written. Had I been whisked away by a super hero doc for LIBERATION? No. Had I been busy with travel arrangements for my upcoming LIBERATION appointment? No. I still haven't even gotten a call. Two Sundays having passed, what have I been up to? Curious? Anyone? Well . . . if you're gonna drag it out of me . . . here ya go:

I'll begin two Sundays ago where I left off. Remember choking at church? No? Well, I do. And I did. The rest of the evening I spent recovering and praising God for answered prayers. As my head hit my pillow I thanked Him for all he has done, all He is doing and all He plans to do. Whatever is His will - with Him - I know I'll be okay. Amen. And I rested very well that night. And I pray my dear, dear Wendy rested well too.

Just a few blocks east of mine, at her home it seems she'd just gotten settled into, my friend Wendy was resting her weary head upon her own pillow for the last time. Earlier that week she had posted a Bible verse about God's will on Facebook. For some reason or the other it had come to me just then . . . Little did I, or even Wendy, know what was ahead. Or maybe, she had. Monday, for me, after the week that followed, well, I can't even think of anything to write. Wendy's Monday however is a different story.

At some point during her last day home I have heard a story that she took an hour to get out of her bed and in to her dining room to sit with her son so he could read a library book to her. It was a Berenstein Bears book. They had been working on a library program where prizes were given for reading so many hours per week. She was quite proud of the reader her 8 year old had become. As he was directed to having his reading progress filled out Wendy's husband had been directed to helping her back to her room.

It stormed a bit Monday night. Anyone remember that? Next thing I remember is the phone ringing at just after 6 o'clock. Suprisingly well-rested I just happened to roll over and grab it up on the secong ring. This was unusual as calls this early are usually my husband's work desperate for his help. Alot of the time we even let these go thru to our machine. But this day had been different. God's will perhaps. I saw who it was on the caller ID and swallowed hard before answering, "Hello?"

I knew it was not going to be good. But so much began racing thru my head. Maybe it would just be my dear friend on the other end. Maybe she needed a last minute ride to the doc or something. We hadn't spoken in 2 weeks. Maybe longer. I hadn't been as good a friend as she had been to me. My head began pounding. I announced to Jason who it was before I truly knew for sure. I said, "It's Kent, Baby." Two reasons. I wanted him to know it wasn't work. And more important - I wanted him to wake up enuff to be there for me should I need him. Guess what? I needed him.

On the other side of the line Kent said, "Angie?" And as unshaken as I could muster, I answered, "Yes." Then he introduced himself. Silly. Had I not known somber news was soon to follow - I surely would have laughed at him for this formality. Alas, I learned Wendy had been brought in to the ER Monday night and was currently in the ICU. He gave me a brief run down of what had caused them to call the ambulance. He said things did not look well. And finally warned me of her current condition - unsure I'd want to see her like she was.

Little did he know I was nearly dressed and out the door before I hung up the phone. I fought back tears and tried to keep my voice calm and comforting. I remember offering to take care of the kiddo, or whatever I could do. Learning he was already being attended to I was going to see my friend. And my wonderful husband - I LOVE YOU, JASON! - was taking me and even planning on staying over there with me. He's such a jewel. Hadn't we just been thru this with my dad? With Unk? Cancer sucks!

Jason calls his parents to see if they'll take our kiddos for the day. Thank you, Granny and Pawpaw. We made it to the hospital a little after 7. No one was there. Maybe things hadn't been as bad as I'd thought. She was the toughest, most resilient person in the entire world. It was quite possible she was already back home and busy with laundry. No? Her little man's swim lessons were on Tuesdays. Maybe she was at the pool. No such luck.

I took out a 1500 pc. puzzle and began searching the box for the straight edged pieces. No one was allowed back in the ICU 'til 9. Wouldn't have stopped me had it been my dad back there. But had it been my dad, which many times it was, I'd have probably still been back there from the night before. Where was that kind lady that had made that bed up for me all those years ago? I needed her now. Surely she'd be here by 8 and I could sneek back then. No?

8 came and went as I busied myself with that monsterous puzzle of missing pieces. Truth be told - Kent had me scared. I wanted so bad upon my arrival to march back in there to see her. I was fully prepared to lie and say I was a sister. Whatever. But, I was scared of seeing her. Having witnessed DEATH first hand twice in the past 5 years I knew all too well what it looked like. What it sounded like. Even what it smelled like. Then at about 8:30 Kent briskly strolls past the waiting area and thru the double doors to ICU. He had been in a zone not even glancing over to the waiting area. Jason deep in thought and code behind his lap top and me slow to process new information and even slower to act upon it, we failed to catch Kent.

I made it halfway down the hall between the waiting area and the double doors before coming to my senses. I'd waited this long. I could wait another half an hour to give Kent time alone with her. Remain calm, Angela. No alarms had sounded. Kent hadn't been running back there. In fact, he wasn't even jogging. I returned to my puzzle. The internal struggle of whether or not to go back there grew more intense. So much so that puzzle pieces not only failed to come together, they even began to fail making it out of the box.

10 'til 9? 5 'til 9? And still no one at the desk? Screw this. I'm going back. What a long, hard, HEAVY walk that was. Her room had been way in the back. And with patients' glass walled rooms and sliding doors on one side and nurses' stations desks on the other - I trudged along unassisted. No walls to steady myself. No railing. Only rolling carts, wheeled tables and IV poles scattered about to grab for. What kind of sick, twisted obstacle course had I happened upon? Give a girl with MS a break, already!

I approach her room to find the curtains drawn. And I hear her. Still a good 10 to 15 feet away, I can tell my friend is in pain. Possibly agony. I position myself between her door and the nurse's station, soon finding myself holding on to the cluttered work area - the only thing behind the double doors not on wheels. Or on very fast tennis shoes! (Wonder if getting a pair of those would help me?)

The rest of the day friends and family came and went and came again. Me and her nurse got pretty tight as I became allowed to stay and even got to help out with a couple of things. i.e. holding her head, fetching clean towels, etc. As I said earlier - it's as if I'd just done this. I even knew where things were. If I could walk, they'd sooo wanna hire me. And I'd so accept.

The intimate details of the rest of the day including her son's visit and her daughter's return from Florida just before 10 that night I will out of respect leave private. I will report only that her husband was instructed by her daughter not to let go until she'd got there. And although several nurses had said it wouldn't be long - my Wendy had different plans. One nurse, after disconnecting her IV meds brazenly estimated half an hour. Ha! Laughable. This was Wendy we were dealing with here.

Stuff I can report about this day. I enjoyed catching up with Kent and remembering old times. I talked about going wedding dress shopping with her. And about warning her she may be taking things too fast. This made him chuckle and he reminded me they'd be married 10 years next month. I had only been looking out for, and possibly over-protective of, my dear friend. And then there was her young mother's unexpected death. So much she'd been thru. But, back to the good times:

The limo scheduled to take them from their wedding to the reception failed to show up. Luckily my being somewhat slow even 10 years ago we just so happened to still be there and wound up escorting the newlyweds to their reception. And years later Kent practically throwing his new 5 lb. baby boy at me so I could change his dirty diapey. Thanks Kent! My nearly ten pounders handled just a bit different. I had been a nervous wreck handling that precious little thing. And big sis starts dating, gets her license and graduates high school. All milestones, Wendy worried she wouldn't get to see, BUT did! Praise God!

What else? My pastor. Sure he's my uncle too, but that aside, he rocks! I put a call in to my grandpa to check on his whereabouts. I'd hoped he'd be in route from work to home and I could acquire his cell # and get him to swing by. No such luck. Grandpa says, "Hang on a minute. He's right here." Well, crap. Home is nearly an hour away from the hospital and I knew he had services at church that night. Oh well. I explained all this to Grandpa and hung up. The nurse having given Wendy a half hour I had wanted a preacher in there. With this news I bowed my head and began to pray for Wendy's salvation and for anyone better prepared for this than I was. And prayer's work, folks!

Before long, a Catholic friend had out her Rosary and was in prayer too. Next up a Chaplain from the hospital. And then another, this one even in a collar. And then come the Baptists. Wendy's church's preacher Matt and an associate pastor. I learned later they had been there the previous night 'til after midnight, thus explaining their absence for most of the day. Praise the Lord. We had all kind of Bible Verses flying around at that point. I felt better after that but still not content, as nobody'd said the right words yet. Nothing truly from the heart yet.

And then all cleaned up from a long day at work and then on the farm -- in walks my uncle. Troy, as most know him, but Uncle Scott to me. Having heard the desperation in my voice earlier I could tell he was suprised it was just me and one other girl - Wendy's best friend. I rattled off all the 'holy' men we'd had in the room since my call. He smiled and joked that we didn't need him then, not coming into the room any further. She'd been on our church's prayer list for quite some time but I wasn't sure they'd ever really met so I commenced to introducing. With every little bit I'd tell about Wendy, Uncle Scott drew closer and closer.

Finally, I couldn't stand it and in tears I asked him to pray. We usually pray holding hands so although Wendy's hands had been covered I gently pulled down the sheet to reveal her delicate folded hands holding my prayer cloth. Crap! I'd forgotten I'd placed that in her hand the very first thing I'd arrived that morning. More tears came. And then his words. His perfect words. Thank you for that Uncle Scott. And thank God for giving him those words. As he left that night I thanked him and told him I love him. 'Cause I do! And life is too short and too fragile not to tell the people you love EVERYDAY. Amen.

Have I mentioned yet that I fell? I wish Kent would have had a camera as I went down fast. My weak spasmed legs folded like an accordian. Kent lept to the rescue, but alas I had refused assistance. He'd offered his chair countless times and I had refused. Upon falling I announced God had provided me with a seat I failed to realize I needed. I believe this amuzed Kent as he chuckled and said, "You're just as stubborn as my wife." And if the tables were turned I sure hoped I would be. This girl could take on Rocky, Apollo, Clubber and Ivan any day of the week and stand victorious.

It surely had been one long, trying day. I intended to stay and see her thru but couldn't short of them rolling in another bed for me to bunk with her. Jason had already fetched me a wheelchair. I'm so pathetic. What am I bitching about? My friend, only 7 years older than me was dying. Or was she? With her daughter's arrival I left knowing she wouldn't be left alone again. I asked to be called should anything change and again offered to help with her son or come over to relieve her daughter in the morning. Yeh, right?! Like that was gonna happen. Her daughter really is as stubborn as her. And I love her too!

Thinking I'd fall asleep on the ride home, shear exhaustion had quite the opposite effect on me. Jason told of his supervisory rolls in the waiting area as Wendy's son wandered in and out of the ICU. He had behaved exceptionally well, but seemed lost. Poor guy. And I became Ms. Chatty telling Jason of all the goings-on behind the double doors. Including her son telling her goodbye only to cross the room and comfort me with a pat on the shoulder as I remained perched albeit comfortably on the floor. Such a little gentleman.

Wednesday I awoke to no news, assuming the worse. I was sore in places I forgot existed. And emotionally spent. My eyes ached. There were no tears left. I spent most of this day attempting recovery and searching for word of news via Facebook. Nothing. I get word finally of no change - except location. They're moving her to hospice. Great. I think everyone will be more comfortable there. Praise God! More prayers answered. I report I'll be over later then, once they've got her settled in.

First, I'm takin' my kiddos to see Marmaduke. I'd been promising all last week so when Pawpaw and Granny offered to drive us. Off we went! They were gonna drop me at the hospital after and Jason was gonna come later to get me. Overzealous expectations with the day I'd had just previous. And God said, "Go back home, Angela. Rest." Well, that's not exactly what happened, but suffice it to say after the movie that's exactly what I did. Home and rest. Sorry Wendy. I missed ya, but I heard you had quite a few more visitors. You were probably tired of hearing my voice by now anyways.

So we make it back on Thursday to hear the phenomenal news you'd opened your eyes and told your baby boy you love him. Praise God, Wendy! That is wonderful! He knows you do, girl. And everyday in the loving home you made for him he will remember you do. We visited a while, this time with Kent and your dad, as he'd made it back from Florida now too. I thought maybe you hadn't been hanging on for just your baby girl, but your daddy too. Maybe now you could let go. As I squeezed your hand (still gripping my prayer cloth) and kissed your forehead, I felt this would be our last goodbye.

Woke up Friday morning even more sore than the days before. What now? Well I'm glad you asked. That night I dreamed a beautiful dream. Odd, but beautiful. Wendy and I danced ALL night. We were at the hospital, but felt great and were dancing room to room. Heck, we even looked great too. Both of us looked and dressed and had our hair fixed as if we were back in high school. Remember we're 7 yrs. apart so we didn't even go to high school together. Anyways, we danced thru the halls stopping at the occasional room as Wendy would tell me who needed praying for. Perhaps, I'd needed prayer for having such a trippy dream.

Or maybe not. Maybe it was the answering of another prayer. Had I prayed to be able to dance? Well actually, yes, but not recently. I'd prayed for Wendy's homecoming to be a rejoiceful one. And for those left behind an assurance they'd see her again. Had Wendy passed last night? No. Still hanging on. What up, buttercup? Everyone's said, bye. It's all gonna be okay. But, this girl is a fighter. And having fought so hard for so long . . . letting go might prove harder to do than continuing the fight.

The fight continues in 'Not Giving Up' - coming soon to a computer near you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knight in Shining Armor

So how did Friday compare to Thursday? Besides my diving backwards from the truck to the pavement - it went pretty well. Thankfully my ample back end took most of the impact. Had it been caused by the MS or the single strawberry daquiri? Perhaps the cold medication taken earlier had been the culprit. We may never know for sure.

What we do know is this okay day followed by dinner with friends and a shopping expedition for a larger swimming pool brought about nothing but work to be done on Saturday. A 24 ft. round above ground pool meant we had us some hard core excavating work to do. Guess what? We still do. Any volunteers? We're hoping to be ready for water by next weekend. Until then, my Aunt's local hotel pool and their many, many occupants will get to know the Spindlers - probably all too well. Thank you, Jean! We love ya!

I wasn't allowed to do hardly anything to help. No dirt moving. No sand unloading. But just that I felt like being out in that horrendous heat to do a little bossing --- welllll, that's what I do best anyways. I did manage to pick up a few branches and trash unnoticed. So there, Jason! And having been told to return to the house, I may have even snuck in shooting a basket or two.

That said, when Sunday morning rolled around all four of us had trouble dragging ourselves out of bed. But we made it to church, by golly! Sadly, we didn't get to stay for the entire service. To explain I was sitting in the pew with my nephew who was playing with small farm animal toys. I might have been too. Truth be told those little toys reminded me of Farmville and of how I had crops at home that needed harvesting. So I just got up and walked out.

Huh? Not hardly. Yes I was reminded of Farmville, but no that's not why we left. I had bent over to pick up one of the toys that had fallen off the bench. When I had I lost my breath and was unable to get it back after several attempts at coughing. So as he dropped another animal I quickly dove for it, hoping I'd also find the breath I left there on my previous visit. No such luck.

I gasped teary eyed, and apparently beet red looking over to Jason for some sign of what to do. He mouthed, "You okay?" And I mouthed back nothing as he got to his feet to help me out of the church. It truly must've been Jason in front of me and God behind cause I was blacking out the entire trip. It was as if I'd floated to the back of the church.

Then to the water fountain. I couldn't swallow. SHIT! That scared me. Then to the bathroom in an attempt to get something up. Mucus, snot, puke, a dinosaur bone - I apologize for the absurd graphic nature of this post, however I needed desperately to make room for some good 'ol fashioned air at this point. I seriously blacked out enough here to rest upon the sink awhile and flash back to my dad's last breaths. They had been so labored. I prayed, "Please, God! Please don't let me die today."

With that I returned to the hall ouside the restroom to a very concerned, very good looking husband. He wanted to take me to the Emergency Room. And a concerned church-goer insisted I needed oxygen. I just needed to cool off I reasoned to myself, and besides, God wasn't gonna let me die today. I just asked him not to. So Jason returned to our pew for my purse and knocked on the Sunday School doors for the kiddos. Air conditioner full blast and we were on our way home.

Still my breathing was sporadic and my color more of a fuschia now versus the crimson red it had been. What was going on? Would it pass? There's been times I've struggled with swallowing. But always before I either manage to choke it on down or expell it and go on about my intake of oxygen. With no foreign objects at play inj this scenario - I became somewhat frightened. Did you know respiratory failure is among the top recorded causes of death among MSers? Well, you do now. And that, for me, is scary as hell!

Once home and cooling off I still succumbed to moments of a heavy drowning feeling. Bizarre. After having pissed all my docs off, who would I turn to about this latest ordeal? Maybe I hadn't pissed anyone off. Maybe I just didn't want to hear the "I told you so!" that I was sure to from all my holier than thou p.h.d.s. So speaking of holy and knowing in my heart of hearts this was just an episode brought on by overdoing it in severe humidity - I decide to share this problem with only one. God. "You've got me home, God. And I thank you. Now please get me thru. Amen." And a cold coke and some warm, carefully sipped soup later - I was doing better.

Now the question can be asked, what exactly had I been praying to get thru? Most likely, I had been asking that He help me thru whatever this spell was I was having. Possibly, though I could have meant my MS. Or maybe I meant this CCSVI fiasco. Do I have it, or don't I? And would my most favoritist doctor of all ever answer my e-mail?

A game of Yahtzee! and a Dominos pizza later, I needed a Farmville fix. All was again right with the world. Praise God! As soon as the computer was up I noticed I had a rather large number of new e-mails waiting in my inbox. Perhaps I should check on that before I get my boots all dirty farmin'. And there he was! My knight in shining armor had taken the time to e-mail me back to reassure me everything was going to be okay.

As goosebumps form as I'm re-telling this miraculous story of a super doc responding to a silly little 'ol worrisome nobody like myself, I can't help but wonder if he'd been compelled to write this message to me anywhere around or near the time I'd ask God for help. Just puttin' that out there people. I believe! And there is no doubting whatsoever that without God, none of this would be possible. I love Him. And praise Him. Everyday.

And as for the messenger . . . I hold you in pretty high esteem too Doc. You truly are an instrument of God's. Your caring and compassion is monumental. I can't wait to finally meet you. You who have told me you believe whole-heartedly that anyone with true MS has CCSVI. You who have told me that docs just have to know how to look for it. And what to be looking for. I told you my story and you told me you feared that would happen to many more of us. You seemed confident you would find what my doc could not (or would not).

So you say this may well be the best thing that's happened to you in your medical careeer. I, dear doctor, can guarantee you are the best thing that has happened in mine. Thank you for writing me back. Thank you for all you've done. All you're doing, and all you plan to do. Next venogram I have will be done by you. I can't afford anymore unsure explorers . . .

You got my number, right? I'll be by the phone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Get a load of this . . .
And by load, I do mean SHIT!
Please enjoy the following Facebook post:
This means war.
Are you with me?
Today, the gray area has been eliminated. It's now just black and white. We have been patiently waiting to see if the National MS Societies in Canada and the US were actually going to go to the specialists who understand CCSVI in patients with MS. Drs. Dake, Haake and BNAC were all applicants for funding of their research. I know there were others who have studied CCSVI in patients and applied for funding. None of these very experienced doctors were given any money. No vascular doctors were awarded any research grants.

In the US, the money was awarded to 3 "insider" researchers--neurologists and doctors who are on panels, advisory committees for the NMMS, and have received NMMS monies before.

An MS patient of Dr. Aaron Miller's (head neurologist of the NMMS) made this post on tonight-regarding the study--

"I saw my neuro last night. He is the head NMSS neuro, the one who opened the panel discussion at the AAN meeting in Canada in April by saying we all know MS is an autoimmune disease.

He mentioned to me that today was the "big day", and that the studies being funded were diagnostic, not treatment based. I said, prove Zamboni's theory he said,, to disprove it."

So, now we know where we stand. Dr. Miller has made it clear. The research grants have made it clear. The line has been drawn in the sand. These studies are being funded to disprove Dr. Zamboni's research.

Where does this leave us? I believe we are now in the drivers' seat. We are not passengers in the MS Society mobile anymore. They have given us a very clear response. Now we take our money, our influence, and our power for ourselves. We use the connections we have made across national boundaries and languages--here on the internet--we organize and we mobilize money and research and treatment. We work with the vascular doctors, we work with the IRs, we support Dr. Zamboni and all of the brave, pioneering doctors who have taken up this challenge for us. We can do this.

I will not tell you how to donate your hard-earned money and volunteer hours. That's not for anyone to decide but you and your family. But I will tell you that the National MS Societies are not the end of this discussion. Neurologists can disprove Dr. Zamboni's research as much as they want. They cannot change the reality of an IR finding bilateral jugular stenosis. They cannot stop a vascular surgeon from encountering venous reflux. They cannot change a research paper written on discovery of CCSVI in 95% of pwMS. They cannot diminish my husband's return of energy, ability to hike, bike and ski after angioplasty. They cannot change the reality of the hundreds of patients finding symptom relief and remission from their MS. And they will not stop us from speaking out and looking for the truth and healing. Using science, and medicine and our God-given gifts. They may have some money (well, maybe less next year...) but they cannot buy the truth. The truth is free.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Monday, Monday . . .

Has this week flown by or what? It has for me, for sure, as I have slept a great deal of it. Monday we slept in 'til about 9, I believe. An uneventful, day if there ever was one. As Jason made his way home from work I made my way as fast as I could go to my dark, quiet bedroom. Hello, Sleepytown! And I was out before I even took my medicine.

Tuesday, thankfully, was also uneventful. And unvocal. Is that a word? Suffice it to say, I was losing my voice and my sweet darling angels were beginning to take advantage. Turds! I'll fix you! One sad, miserable desperate call to Jason later and he was on his way to the rescue. I had asked him to come get them and take them to his parents, or my mom's, or anywhere but here as I was no longer a useful tool in maintaining their safety.

To explain, usually when my David and Goliath are at odds I am able to threaten them. And no, usually Goliath is not the instigator, BUT if not closely supervised I can guarantee with every ounce of my being that he will be the finisher. He's a bad mammy jamma! Have we covered that already? Hold on a sec -- I think Notre Dame is calling to recruit. Seriously though, he could hurt Abel. And we are working on this.

I'm just at a loss right now as he could quite possibly take me out should he really want to. Shhhhh! Don't tell him! I was twice as big as my mean little baby sister growing up too, but I never hurt her on purpose. Maybe I broke her finger once at a slumber party of hers, but it was an accident. Honestly! Most of the time she would come full boar at me and I would fall to the floor in laughter with hopes of simply protecting myself from her fury. I'm sure it was a sight to behold. Nonethless, back to my point . . .

Without my verbal warning system I had nothing to rely on besides constantly physically pulling them off of each other. This became tiring - quick! When I'd have their attention and try to explain their transgressions, laughter would ensue. Turds! A couple of times, I was brought to laughter myself. Flashbacks of Amelia's fury intermingled with Mickey Mouse's voice begging for mercy. Anyways, when I couldn't shake the sinus headache I called for reinforcements. He came and got them before noon.

Shortly thereafter I became as heavily medicated as I felt comfortable with and turned in. For a few hours, perhaps? Hey, let's just skip to Wednesday shall we? Might as well, 'cause I did! Better yet, let's skip to Thursday 'cause most of the middle of the week remains a groggy, snot-soaked blur. First thing I truly remember upon the boys' return is Abe wanting to know whether or not I could yell again. Is that all I do? How sad!

Trash day was weird. I was up "bright-eyed and bushy tailed," as used to be the saying, at 5:30 that beautiful Thursday morning. And Jason, apparently not coherent enuff to check his Blackberry for the time, was right behind me down the stairs. Morning routine plays out sans the little men. Hadn't they come home last night? Long story short, the dog is walked, the wife medicated, and the trash out before Jason's shower and he leaves for the office with 10 minutes to spare before the hour. 10 minutes 'til 7, that is, and he isn't even due in 'til 8.

Silly boy. I think he needs a raise and a vacation! Come to find out he'd had no idea what time it was 'til he got to his office to find it like a ghost town. Worked well though 'cause he got alot of uninterrupted work done and me and Gooch enjoyed our morning awaiting the boys' wake from peaceful slumber. Maybe I should've napped. I knew their tornado like rampage towards the living room would wake me and the neighbors should they still be in Sleepytown.

But as quick as the thought had crossed my mind, it quickly flew away with the wind this storm was brewin'. I was sure there was an army tank making it's way down the steps to the first floor. Who would round the corner first? Would it be David or Goliath? And would all their limbs be intact? Asa was first. Abel second. And no body was bloody. This day was gonna be a good one.

And in fact it had been. I learned the good doctor on the east coast that had been shut down was currently in Italy studying with the master. And even cooler news? I learned this neat little fact after I had sent said doctor a personal email regarding my failed liberation attempt. I got all goose-pimply upon discovering this. Would he be sipping tea with the big boss man when my e-mail arrived? Would Zamboni himself read my message? Would they talk about my case being not unlike the bazillion others that would be told they don't have CCSVI? Will one say to the other, "Let's send for her and work on her together hear in beautiful Italy."? And the other respond, "Yes. Let's do that and to thank her we should lavish her with gifts and chocolates and money and . . . " You get the picture, right? No harm in a girl dreamin' the dream.

Other good news on Thursday was The Hubbard Foundation receiving an official IRB approval. This means basically that only a terrorist attack or natural disaster can shut them down from scanning patients for CCSVI. This is a huge step in the right direction. Thank you, Devin and family. You guys rock! I may just be out to California to see you real soon. Unless of course my east coast doc and the Italian Stallion don't call me first. Hehehehe.

No way will Friday be able to compare. Guess you'll have to stay tuned to find out. More tomorrow, promise. Sleep well. I know I'm gonna!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back In The Game

Thursday, aka the day after, should have been a day of recovery. But, I didn't need it. What'd I do? Not a lot I'm sure but the point is that after a day like Wednesday -----> I WAS NOT BEDRIDDEN! First and foremost, how did Wednesday even happen? No good day or so-called 'relapse' in all my 10 years of MS has allowed for a day like that. Thank you, God! Second, any over zealous activity on my part since my MS diagnosis, has always warranted a day or more of recovery time. So Thursday? Up early. Piddled around. No marathons, runway shows or dance competitions, BUT still I was up and alive! Yay, me! A friend is having a birthday get together on Friday. Wonder if they'll let little 'ol handicapped me make the cake? Pleeeeeaaaaaase, please, please! And, yes! Thank you, trustworthy (brave) friends.

So Friday gets here and I have absolutely nothing I need to start making a cake. What to do. What to do. Jason calls to ask if I was really, truly gonna make a cake. Awwww, YES! Standing for any period of time is hard on me. Standing, reading directions, understanding them, and actually being able to properly carry out said instructions - super hard on me. But guess what? YES! YES! YES! Friends I've had and somehow managed not to send running for the nearest exit, I thought might could handle a little egg shell in their cake. For me, I thought these jewels could endure just a tiny piece of cake for me. I love to make cakes. And I really love to decorate cakes. So YES! YES, I am making cake.

I had been preaching to the choir, as the saying goes, 'cause all Jason had wanted was to know what he needed to pick up at the store. What a sweetie! Eggs. Mix. Icing. I was soooo excited. Silly, right?! At 11:30 he arrived with a grocery bag in each hand. 45 minutes later, just before he left to return to work I was propping myself up against the counter tops wondering if I'd bitten off more than I could chew. But alas, everything I needed for the task at hand was laid out atop the bar and ready to go. The kitchen had been straightened up enough to move about as needed. I made my way in to the next room to retrieve a chair. No harm. No foul. It was okay to sit. Nobody'd have to know.

Dishwasher going. HOT. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. HOT. Now where'd my mixer run off to? Puppy? If I'm mixing this batter by hand you're gonna have to go up. And will I have enough icing for four layers? How soon out of the oven can I put them in the freezer? How long do they need to be out of the freezer before serving? I better call my baby sister. What up with the confidence? She asks, "Well, when do you need it by?" Kind, I suppose, like she was gonna do it for me or come help. But I answer, "The party starts at 6 so we need to leave by 5.

I glance at the clock and the time reads 1:56. Enough with the chit chat. Two cakes made and cooling, they needed removed from their pans and popped in the freezer. Done. Wash pans. Refill. Reload. Round two. And then I make more batter for cupcakes for the boys. And pellets. Huh? Well if the Pac-Man cake was to be successful he'd have to have pellets to eat. Otherwise he may just end up looking like cheese. And we can't have that. C'mon, people, you still with me? I thought a Pac-Man cake was an adorable idea. Pac-Man just turned 30 and our friend, who luckily is in to video games as crazy or crazier than we are, was turning 34. Jason raised an eyebrow and may have called me looney tunes, but I thought it'd be perfect.

So as the next round was baking and I was prepping just the right color yellow for the icing I made the mistake of asking my boys what color icing they'd like for their cupcakes. One wants blue. One wants orange. Okay?! So I make blue. Look at the yellow and blue together though. What a pretty green. Still no orange. Add red to yellow and wha-lah! Now everybody's happy. And I'm about eyeball deep in icing. I hope I've got enough to cover Pac-Man. Maybe I should color my layers. There's an idea! How creative is that? If we had to get more icing for the boys cupcakes, we could get it on the way and granny could put it on for us. Huh?! Time management has always been a strength. Last two layers out and cupcakes in with batter to spare. Would five layers be too much?

I couldn't let batter go to waste. It crossed my mind to devour it, raw eggs and all. It hadn't killed Rocky, right? But I couldn't risk getting sick before my cake's debut so, I searched for yet another round pan and more cupcake holders and used every last delicious drop of it. The boys helped clean the mixer and I took care of any excess clinging to the bowl before sending anything off to the sink. The timer dinged it's last of now four dings today and I shut 'er down. It was gettin' HOT in there! Once everything was nice and neatly tucked away in the freezer away from the livestock - it was cold shower time.

When Jason made his way thru the front door again, he enters to find me rared back on the couch, with my feet up, drying my hair. He must have expected me to be trapped in the kitchen, wide-eyed, and dirty, frantically clawing my way out thru mounds of yellow icing. With puffs of flour and clouds of smoke coming off flames as my backdrop. I don't know. But when he saw me there all calm and cool, the look on his face was priceless, "What has gotten in to you?" he asks.

A little nervous that I had mis-read the time on the kitchen clock earlier, I replied to his question with a question. "Surely it can't be five yet," I'd said. "What are you doing home so early?" Where had my afternoon gone? Would there be enuff time to put the cake together? I'd hoped to be entirely ready to go upon his arrival. Pleeeease, please, please don't let it be 5. Luckily it was only about 4:15. I continued on drying my hair whilst Jason began snooping in the kitchen. Finally he asks, "Where's the cake?"

I report it's all done and in the freezer. But before he could throw himself in reverse to return to the kitchen I ask him to help me out by going upstairs and getting the boys and me something to wear. "Well, sure," he says as he passes up the hallway towards the stirs and heads straight for the fridge. Curiosity killed the cat you know. "Huh?! Wellllll. Where is it?" he followed. And with that, dry or not, I deem my hair done. I explain on my way in to the kitchen that the cake is done. It just needs to be pieced together and iced. Then I'd be ready to go. "It's only four," I remind him. So as he shakes his head in disbelief and summons the boys to follow him upstairs I hurriedly commence to yankin' layers out of the freezer. But, what pan to carry it in? I'm a bit ill-prepared. Such is life sometimes. Think fast!

I decide on a huge clear cake pan. That way a picture of it may not show the clear glass pan. Okay? Good. Layer one down. Orange icing atop. Layer two. Green icing atop. Can I get it all before Jason returns? Yikes! Nope. As layer three is being placed, he warns, "Be careful!" Yeh, baby. I hadn't thought of that. Then blue icing on and Jason says, "You don't wanna do that. It'll mess up your yellow." Guess what? I was already three layers in had spread two layers of different colored icing. I calmly, and as sweetly as I could muster, reply, "It'll be okay, honey. I got it." He returns with a puzzled stare and I proceed explaining this little bit of icing in between was only to hold the layers together. Had I went with another layer as I'd planned, Jason may have had a come apart.

His being nervous was making me nervous. So four would be enough. Then as he instructs me as to what colors the cupcake pellets should be, I instruct him that quite possibly it would be the best use of time if he'd go ahead and take the boys to Granny and Papa's. But first I had to finish the cupcakes. I put them all in a clean round cake pan I found and commenced to splatter painting them with remnants of each of the colors I mixed. Turned out pretty cool. If I'd have had time I would have patted myself on the back here. Anyways, everybody gets their favorite color on every cupcake. Way to go, Mom! Hold your applause please. I still had a Pac-Man and three power pellets to go. But hands growing shaky, I needed a break.

Soon I found myself back on the couch with my feet up picking thru what Jason had brought me from upstairs to wear for the night. So many decisions. Short shorts or shorter shorts? And this low-cut tank top or that low-cut tank top? Once dressed I raced back out to the kitchen realizing if I was gonna get done what I'd hoped to, I'd have a better chance at it without an audience. Gooch? No. He didn't bother me. It was my dear husband that got me all shook up. i.e. before he left he asked if I was gonna ice it in the same pan I planned to take it in. Well, yeh, I'd thought. But before I could answer he said, "It'll look silly with icing all over the pan." Wellllll, indeed! I had to finish this before his return. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

A butter knife to cut out his mouth and ice the pellets. How nice! The multi-colored layers had turned out soooo cool. I was a proud momma. And I'd leave that sliver of cake out for Jason to taste test. Now back to icing. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. Done. And yes, it was a mess. So upon the hubby's return I was attempting to wipe off excess puddles of icing with a towel. "Don't do that!" he orders as he returns. "It looks, wellll, okay, I guess, you don't want to mess it up," he says. Gee, thanks. And he's supposed to be my #1 fan. But with absolutely no shells in the batter, at least it'd be edible. And it was. As I'd suggested earlier Jason did partake of the small sample and had commented it had in fact tasted, "pretty good." So there! Take it or leave it. I'd done my best. And I was proud. A bit worn out, sure, but proud nonetheless.

45 minutes later we arrive at Turoni's Pizzeria and Brewery. I love their cheese bread. Anyways, I was relieved to get there having had to oh so delicately hold the uncovered cake the entire trip. I did not sing, cough or sneeze the entire ride. And I kept all talking to a saliva free minimum. Both truck occupants were extra specially mindful of our new passenger nestled gingerly between us. If only I'd thought of us wearing our homemade Halloween costumes from a few years back. Now that would have been cool. Mario, Pac-Man and Centipede get into a truck. Wonderful potential for a joke, right?! Ha! Funny stuff.

So we get there. And Jason immediately starts explaining what the cake is supposed to be. I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Whatever. I'll try and attach a picture and let you be the judge. He prolly just didn't want anybody to inadvertently hurt my feelings or anything. Like ask, "What's with the cheese cake?" or whatever. Whatever. I had fun. So we get there and I walk without a cane alllllllllllll the way to the back of the restaurant. Yay me. Yummy cheesey bread. Yummy pizza. And guess what? Yummy cake. A success. Was I headed home to drop? No. Off to Walther's for fun and games. Had I lost my mind? Possibly it had been baked with the cake. Was I standing in line to play putt-putt again?

And off we went. Ryan. Then me. Then Jason. And Kristina. Then the next motley crew of the birthday boy, Chris, Andrew, Angelique, and Tucker. Angel came along with us as official score keeper and Angela wrangler. Ha! I didn't want one, but by hole ten I sure needed one. I could have used a piggy back ride at that point. Where was all you aforementioned muscle men at? All wrapped up in becoming the next Tiger Woods perhaps? Or focused on your golf games, maybe? Anyways, I'd made it further than I had the last time, but still pretty miserable. Maybe next time will be better. Maybe I could have done it had I not spent my entire afternoon in a hot kitchen. I shouldn't complain. SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED to even allow me to feel like attempting crazy stuff like this.

So I shot all 18 holes. Truly amazing when you think about it. The last 8 I didn't finish out. I made my first shot at them and in failing each hole in one attempt I leaned on my club or my wrangler (I love you, Angel!) and my husband played my lie for me. Thank you, baby. And thank you dear scorekeeper. Ha! No way I'd have come in second. Not now anyways. But, well, back in the day I could stomp that golf-crazed man-o-mine, but I won't start talkin' trash 'til after my real LIBERATION. Then it's on!

Break time. Some of us congregate in the snack area for awhile and others run ammock amongst the games. Then amidst fears of tiring babysitters, each of our party's partiers began to depart. Our kiddos were set to spend the night with Granny and Papa, but we left too as we had games at home for free. The good news here is: Once rested, I got up and was able to walk to the truck only holding hands with the hubby, versus holding on to him for dear life as I'd found doing around hole 16. Another pathetic, yay me, moment. But, hey. At this point, I'll take what I can get. So not ready to give it up for the night we cruise more car lots. And what gorgeous weather! We cruise with the windows down. And a couple of Challengers we stop at I even get out to take a closer look at. Gorgeous, those cars!

Don't know what time we made it home, but I know I was so spent that I fell asleep on the way there. In the door, up the stairs, THE END. Well, at least for Friday. Then Saturday happened. Up and going early again, as if I'd rested the day before. We got the boys back. We went to Applebee's for lunch. We went to see Shrek in 3-D. We went to GameStop. We headed back to Granny and Papa's as I had another night out planned - this one with old friends. But as their party venue had changed last minute and my throat and ears were growing sorer by the minute we opted for a quiet night in. Well, not all that quiet as we watched a gory David Carradine kung-fu movie on netflix and had carry-out from a nearby Mexican restaurant. Anyways, another full day, and I'm comin' down with a cold.

Sunday, I wake to Jason flying down the steps and out the front door. He had to go get the boys so Granny and Papa could make it to their church. When they returned I was up and outside with Gooch. We was squirrel hunting. Hehehe! Dad would've loved you, Gooch! Suprised to see me up Jason joined me out back. Then Abel. Then Asa. Then we played a little basketball. What next? Sunday School, kiddos! You'd have thought they'd just been sentenced to life in prison. Those sneaky turds tryin' to distract me with a favorite sport of mine in order to get me to miss church. How dare ya! Change your clothes boys! And that means you too, Jason. Of all things, Jason wanted to leave out for Holiday World. "The weather's nice," he explained, "so this might be our last chance before it gets too hot." I compromised a bit and promised if we made it to Sunday School we could skip church for some outdoor shenanigans of some kind or the other. Okay?! Fine. Everybody's happy. Well, 'cept God and the pastor. Forgive me. I'm sorry.

Then we're off to the party supply store. We'd only been to Evansville 50 times already but still hadn't managed to pick up anything for the Windows 7 themed party Jason was having at work Monday. Finally, we did. And then to feed our faces. We dined at Red Robin for the first time since it opened in town. They had a TV in the floor. Guess what? Now the boys want one. All that aside the food was very good. We might even go back someday. Hands down better than Applebee's. Or maybe not. As my cold is worsening, I can't taste too much. Matter of fact, I'm startin' to feel pretty miserable. It's been a long time since I've had a good old-fashioned head cold. So much for open windows. That'll teach me.

Next up we peruse a couple pool places only to discover we'd not be training any future Michael Phelps in our backyard, at least. Then we make our triumphant return to Midget Links. The boys are so stoked. (Even the big one!) Abel's never been golfing. And I'm not all that sure Asa has been either. Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma'am! Asa gets a hole in one on his first hole. Way to go, Goose! Immediately he gets a big head and starts in with the trash talk. Now that, he takes after me. I remain the official scorekeeper this time out going from bench to bench and enjoying the breeze. I needed no assistance thankfully that entire trip. What next? Not more car shopping?!

We crossed that money saving bridge back over to Henderson. Funny story. The lots sales manager came at us at a run as we stopped to look at the lot's lone 300C SRT8. "You guys have great taste in cars," he said. I thought, "I know dude, and I'd heard this same line before . . ." Years, and years, and years ago. The guy was toothless and hairless, 'cept the hair on his chest that laid tangled in his gold chain. The charm was similar to a Mustang emblem, or maybe it had been a Mercedes. Who knows? Who cares? Me and dad had been on a hunt for the perfect first car. I had fallen for a metallic blue Iroc-Z with t-tops. Anyways, he may have been stroking Jason's ego but the poor old dude did nothin' but grease me up makin' my imminent rejection of that very fine automobile, that much easier. What's up with sellin' cars on Sunday anyways? It's just wrong, I tell ya. Wrong!

Throat's gettin' scratchy. Ears are achin'. Can't breathe. Runny nose. Can't we just go home? So what if my car has 94,000 miles on it? We got it new in 2001. It's still gorgeous and comfy and has all the bells and whistles. I just wanna go home and lay down. And so that's just what we did. Supper from DQ then settled in to watch 21 Jump Street. Then bed early. Well, 9, but earlier than it's been since my failed LIBERATION. Maybe all this runnin' around nonsense was finally catchin' up with me. Finally takin' it's toll. Or could it be? Maybe I was just gettin' sick. There's a theory.

And here's another one for ya. Tell me whatcha think. I'm thinkin' about writin' or callin' all the doctors I'm currently on waiting lists for and tellin' them my sad story. Tell them I went local as advised and tell them the neurosurgeon I was finally able to convince to look came up with nothing. Think that will motivate them to look really, really extra hard or scare them off completely? I had been pretty content with my little improvements . . . content enuff just to sit tight until it's my turn. BUT this side swipe from a silly head cold has reminded me how crappy crashing can be. So I can't keep quiet anymore. My nose stops runnin' and I'm back in the game. Screamin' and yellin' and clawing for LIBERATION.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting Gas and Other Everyday Things

Wednesday was a wonderful day. So much so it warrants its very own post. So here it goes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Who am I kidding? That would be impossible. A boring 'ol day of errands? Ah, huh! Nothin' real special was just that for me - real dang special. Listen up!

Abel had a follow-up with his Orthopedic doc at 10:30 on the far, far east side of Evansville Wednesday morning. Who was gonna take him? Jason had just missed work to take me to my follow-up Tuesday. Granny and Papa had an appointment they had to be at. My mom could drive him, but the walk inside would be too much. Amelia was babysitting this summer. Wonder if Aunt Ann would be up for it? WHAT? What about his momma? Maybe that lazy bum could get off her ass and do something for a change. Maybe. Just maybe. I didn't wanna talk too much smack as even Michael Jordan misses a shot now and again, but ummm, could I have a chance pretty please?

So Jason gets up and is off to work. I lost count of how many times he asked me if I was sure I'd be okay. "You sure you don't want Aunt Ann to ride along?" Or, "I bet your mom would ride along." And even, "I really need to be at work today. Can I just call and cancel it?" FAITH, Jason! HAVE A LITTLE FAITH! So he finally leaves and the phone rings. Would it be him saying, he'd decided to come with me? No. It was my mom just checking on me. And I'm sorry I was short with you, Mom, but yes, I WILL BE FINE.

Understand, I have had hoards of worriers doubting my capabilities. Sure, it's 'cause they love me. And their grandchildren. Know what? They're growing on me too. I'd never do anything to harm them. They are more my flesh and blood than anyones and I love them more than life. OK? Now that I'm back from that tangent . . .

So I wake up the kiddos. Those turds are doubters too. "Well, where's dad?" And, "Are you takin' us to Granny and Papa's?" I find them clothes and thankfully they let out Gooch while I get myself ready. Thanks, guys! They were great helpers all day. It was like I was in some alternate reality or something. Except for having to threaten lives to get teeth brushed. That went down just as per usual. Then we were out the door to the truck. No? Wait. I'd forgotten my cell phone. I hoped I wouldn't need it, but I was sure there'd be world wide panic had I not answered it should it ring. So two trips to the truck and we were off. Like I'd needed to make two trips. Conserve, baby! Conserve!

What's this? Asa in the front? I don't think so Bub. Daddy may let you from time to time, but not with Momma all the way to Evansville. "But, Mom!?" Thru gritted teeth, I explained Daddy was a better driver. For the record - I lied. I do not believe this as fact however for the situation at hand it was suitable enough of an excuse as to why he couldn't be up front. He accepted the reasoning he'd be safer in the back. Yay. We all were happy.

I told him he could get in back at Huck's. And with that, the begging commenced. "Can we have something from Huck's?" And, "Can we go in?" And of course, "Plllleeeeaaaaaaaaase!" And no way should I have ventured into a store. This was getting ridiculous. This is soooo not me. Or was it? So in we went, loaded up on breakfast snacks and drinks, and off we were again. This time with Asa safely in the back.

Once settled and happily munching I turn on the radio. Booo hissss! My Lady Gaga cds weren't in there and I'd sooo been looking forward to a 'Bad Romance.' Oh well. And lane switching time proved tricky as I discovered upon approaching a Neon that had seen better days, I couldn't see all that well out of my rear view or side mirrors. My bad. Guess I needed to adjust them bad boys. Whoops! Whatever button I hit caused both side mirrors to close in against the truck. Craaaaap! 60mph down the highway, looking for how to undo what I just did, digging in my purse for my phone, and turning down the radio against pleas not to mess with the music. Wait! That doesn't leave any hands for the steering wheel. Ha!

So the turn off to Aunt Agnes' comes up and I take it. Dad always said go to Uncle Paul should I have any automotive troubles. And as I could not remedy this problem myself, at least not whilst barreling down the road, Uncle Paul's driveway would be my next stop. Nobody home, I try to find a fix myself. Surely I could handle this now that I've shifted to PARK. Still no good. C'mon, Burgess! Finally I break down and call Jason. He jokes with me, but talks me thru proper manipulation of buttons and the mirrors spring back into action. Then I adjust them. Crisis averted. Plus Jason had been relieved to have heard from me.
I figured as much since he answered my call on the very first ring. Silly boy.

I GOT THIS! So on down the highway we go. The boys jammin' to the music and I'm enjoying the freedom. What? My phone starts ringing. I answer. Jason asks, "You busy?" At that very moment I'm in the middle of construction on the LLoyd Expressway where you have to decide if you are going up or down. Pylons here. Cones there. Flashing lights on barrels, oh my. Is that oncoming car in my lane? "No, baby. I ain't busy. Whatcha need?" And it hadn't been much. He'd found a car he thought I might like in Henderson and wanted to tell me about it. Great, fine. Can I go now? Love you. Bye.

So we get there. Thanks in part to the boys' wonderful directions (the ones I never asked for by the way). And then we perused the parking lot for a handicap spot. At an orthopedic office? Yeh, right. We parked smack in the middle of the lot taking the first spot I felt comfortable maneuvering the truck into. What a walk I had ahead of me. Cane in hand, we were off. Had I needed my cane? Nope! We enter and take the elevators up. Then down a few halls for X-rays. And then around this corner to see the doctor. All was well. Can't even tell he'd ever had a break. Way to go Abel! Now I do need directions! How do we get out of here, boys? Then there's a tug at my shirt. "This way, Mom. Let's go down the stairs," Abel suggests. Guess what? I actually considered it for a second, but came to my senses and waited out the elevator. Maybe next time.

"Mom! Mom! I'm hungry," and "Yeh, Mom. I'm starving," ensued before we'd even reached the truck. Guess what? I made it to the truck. Guess what else? Next stop, Steak-n-Shake to celebrate Abel's clean bill of health and my success on the first leg of our adventure. Yay me. And yay, steakburgers! Lunch was delicious and the service was great. Then at the cash register near the exit, Asa decides he's gotta go to the bathroom. This, my friends, I had not been prepared for. We had gone before leaving the doctor's.

Oh man! Can I trust them without trapezing the entire length of the restaurant and forcing them into the women's room? 9 and 6. I give Asa a stern look of warning and set them loose turning to rest on a barstool facing out at the entire restaurant. Just as I was beginning to determine which employee to ask to accompany me into the men's room - out they came. Take your own advice Angela, right? HAVE A LITTLE FAITH!

Where to next? We sure could use some haircuts. So off we went towards Green River Road. There's a little place next to Chuck E. Cheese's that caters to kiddo cuts. Pricey, but as often as my two actually get their hair cut by anyone besides myself (NEVER), I thought, what the heck?! I even had mine trimmed up while the boys played video games. Two mohawks later and they still didn't wanna leave. Once out the door, the begging to go to Chunky's started. What in the world were they thinking? Hello? Remember me? Your Mom? The one who doesn't get around so well . . . yeh, I'd like to forget her too, but still she's too fresh in my memory not to be cautious. So the cheese craved mouse will have to wait for another day.

We got a bridge to cross and cars to look at. I must note here I've always been a tad scared of bridges. Whoopity doo! We was going to Kentucky. The boys questioned if I knew how to get to another state without Daddy. Funny. Yes. I said, "I knew Kentucky before I knew your Daddy." Now that really baffled 'em. Ummmmm. Followed by, "Turn the radio up, Mom!" And what's this? Low gas light? You've gotta be kidding me. No Gaga! And no gas? I hadn't gotten gas in years. This warranted another call to the hubby. This was big stuff, for me at least. Silly, right?!

As we cruise the first car lot I assess the situation. Looks like an easy in, easy out station just up the road. Once I'd gotten the okay to gas up (actually wanting encouragement versus permission), I pull in and get out with my debit card in hand. Please, please, please let me be able to pay at the pump. I don't wanna have to walk all the way in to the station and wait in line. Pleeeaaaase. So I drop my card getting out. Nervous much? I bend to pick it up and take that time to look over the pump a bit. Directions, directions. Wow! How many years since I'd pumped my own gas?

Once I'd felt confident enough with the pump, I turned to the truck. At least the tank had been on that side is about the only positive thing I can report at this point. In trying to open the gas cap, I dropped my card AGAIN! This time in a puddle of gas nearly too far under the truck to reach it. Once recovered, I made the executive decision to insert the card for payment and promptly return it to my purse in the cab of he truck. If I were to drop it a third time I may never get it back. My luck, it may even explode or somethin'.

So I struggle with the cap. I even talk to the truck. "C'mon, Burgess," I beg. Finally, I get it loose. And nozzle in. Set it to fill. CLICK. That wasn't gonna work how I remembered either. No biggie. I could stand there and hold it. And so I did. Thank you Burgess. Thank you God. Do I want a receipt? Do I have to go in to get it? Then, no. Of course not. My work here is done. Nozzle back. Cap back. In truck. Seatbelt on. Boys comment on that taking an unusually long time. And Asa asks, "Did you put the hose back up?" Yes. Yes, son, I did. And we're off.

One more car lot to see a Land Rover and then back over the twin bridges to the Indiana side. And phone rings again. Guess what? Jason can't get into the house to let the poor puppy out to the potty. I locked the house and Jason didn't have keys on the car's key ring. Whoops. Guess our next stop would be home. Hold it boy! I'm comin' Gooch! And he was happy to see us for sure. Good boy! Next we hang out a while. Farmville a bit. And Wii. And then when Jason gets home, I'm outta here.

Huh? Girls' Night Out. Baby sis had invited me out to dinner to celebrate our cousin's belated birthday with some friends. Yay! My sister has some pretty cool friends. Love you, girls! Even though one of you may or may not have called my sister fat. Huh!? I'm just sayin'. I've sent guys runnin' scared down the halls of good 'ol Mt. Vernon Senior High for that very same misconduct. Yeh, I used to be a bad ass. But, what's this? Could I be making a come back?

So, whatcha think? Pretty impressive, heh? Lackluster and ordinary to most, but what about you MSers? I can't help but be pretty darned impressed with myself. Relapse? Don't think so. But if it is. So what? Call it whatever. Call it KitKat. Call it Snickers. I'll take it. AND I'll fight tooth and nail to keep it. What will tomorrow bring? I need a candy bar.

Challenging Challengers

As much as I love the new Challenger and as much as I am completely convinced, my Dad, if he were still alive, would no doubt already own one (((sniff, sniff))) I will not be owning one anytime soon. Excuse me a moment while I wipe the tears from my eyes. First and foremost I decided against it because of my two growing boys. Not so much for their comfort as for their safety, . . . yeh, . . . Momma likes to go fast.

But alas, this blog is about my CCSVI journey. Perhaps I'll write a book on cars later. I think I'll call it "Angela's 'Guide to Wheelin' and Dealin' - The Fares Avenue Story." Ahhhh, yes! My Dad would be so proud. I get published, I'll dedicate it to him. And I'll have to have my picture on the cover, waving from a 2010 Challenger SRT. A blue one would probably best bring out the color of my eyes. So it's a plan then. Great!
Now back to my story. The three day Memorial Weekend is where I left you, right? It was a phenomenal weekend. Thanks and love to everyone involved. We covered up to Sunday, right? So Monday was more test driving. A Chrysler 300C SRT with a a bigger Hemi than the Challenger??? That was pretty sweet. But besides a little more power we wouldn't really be gaining anything over our current car. And a Buick Enclave? Never even heard of it, but it was pretty much luxury on wheels. Decisions, decisions.
Tuesday is probably what you've come for. THE FOLLOW-UP WITH THE MAVERICK DOC. We leave and Jason says, "Well, that pretty much went just like I thought it would. (long pause) You okay?" I didn't know exactly. Still don't. I felt the urge to be depressed, BUT about what, I wasn't sure. Now three days later I'm still processing what had gone down in that meeting of the minds. Ha! I call it that because in book smarts that Sam Rockwell lookalike may very well be the smartest person I have ever had the privilege of conversing with. Yet Jason and I are smarter when it comes to CCSVI and the impact it will surely have on this uber intelligent man's way of life. There's a storm brewin' Maverick, and it's headed your way!
Don't get me wrong. Pleeeaaase. This doc was compassionate enough to give this hair-brained scheme a look. And after seeing no evidence of anything in the angiogram he'd promised me, he did go ahead and go in thru the veins with a venogram. I sat there smiling at him as he explained what he'd done. Perplexed as to why I'd be smiling at lousy news he eventually asked if I had anything new to report. "Why, yes, I'm glad you asked!" I follow with my having noticed some improvements. Correction. Others having noticed improvements. And Maverick responds, "Well it can't have been anything I did."
Well experts say different dear man. I ask about valves. He says he didn't mess with them. As they are irrelevant anyways. WHAT? Nothing in my body is irrelevant. NOTHING! So I calmly continue with questioning as I do not want to scare off this potential team member. I explain I'm on a list for a study in NewYork and inquire as to whether or not he'd want to know if THEY found anything. Is that a smirk I see? Yes. Yes, it was.
He practically laughs and explains that is exactly why he went ahead with the venogram. He did not think we'd give up easily so he did the venogram to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that no CCSVI exists. And if it does, at least not in me. Wellllllllll, huh!? So I say, you're absolutely done with me then, are you willing to try and find it in others? "No. (pause) Well, at least not until there's more evidence of its existence," he says. Fine. Then I reference Ms. Gordon's Facebook wall of liberated at over 400 members and ask how many is enough. At this he offers to take a look at things should anything ever be found. But in the same breath he assures us nothing ever will be. A walking talking contradiction, am I right?
"So there'd be no need for you to save us a trip to New York and do a doppler ultrasound here?" I naively ask. Ha! Again, what's sooo funny? I'm considering changing his nickname from Maverick to Chuckles. He says there'd be no need for any further testing as he'd already been on the inside with the "GOLD STANDARD." Whooooooooaaaaa, Nelly! Had he just quoted Zamboni? Scalafani? Had he done his homework? Picking up on this slip of tongue I retort, "You know, Scalafani has even said he'd be willing to talk to 1st time docs." Whoops! Now I'd used the wrong words too, as Maverick's credentials soon followed. And I interrupted the long, impressive list explaining I had no doubt in his skill or ability whatsoever. What I had meant to say was "docs looking for CCSVI for their 1st time."
Whatever. I had lost him. He went on that clearly I was experiencing a relapse in my relapsing-remitting disease. Blah, bla, bla. Jason could tell this blasphemous comment had caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up, thus he took over. Jason asked about our traveling to California to take a ride in the Hubbard Foundation's MR machine as it's about as state of the art as is available on this planet and results are read by Haacke himself. Maverick's reply, "I wouldn't waste my money. (pause) But let me know how it goes." No. No. His new nickname should be Contradiction.
It's as if he wants to have missed something, but is too arrogant to admit that it's even possible he could. Another slip of tongue gave us a jewel of hope to walk away with. He had commented that he had even less doubt now about my venous flow as I had possibly the most stunning system of veins out of my brain that he'd ever seen. Huh? I was flustered at the time, but wish I would have had him elaborate a bit on this. Had he been speaking of collaterals? COLLATERALS? COLLATERALS? In this scenario, a whole bunch of collaterals . . . well, this in itself could be CCSVI. Anything causing flow from the brain to slow and/or not return properly to the heart = good news for me. It means there's still fixin' to be done.
If she's feelin' sooo much better why does she care? Huh?! Well, there is that. I should be happy in what I've lucked into I suppose. And I am. I'm very happy. I'm enjoying every second of this 'relapse' or as I've come to call it - PHENOMENON. I had just been hoping he had researched further and would want to go back in or at least look at a few other MSers. I know doubt still have issues. And even the healthiest of us, could always feel better. I'm not money hungry. I'm health hungry. Call it greedy, if you must, but this taste of what could be is DELICIOUS. And, I WANT MORE!
At the very,very, very least I hoped he would have agreed with my stuck leaflet or inverted valve assessment. Some acknowledgement of this theory's possibility would have been such a gift. In Scalafani's paper he spoke of misdiagnosis due to the catheter pressing thru. Whatever, happened, I'm greatful. Most of all to God! Then to my husband, family and friends. Thank you all for your encouragement and inspiration. (And to my older friends for your tolerance of me. Hopefully, it'll pay off soon.)
Anyways, this Sam Rockwell dance party, I fear, just may be over but to Kenny, my favorite father-in-law in the whole wide world, you are right . . . the fat lady ain't singin' yet. Ha! I have been dancin' a little more though!