Category Archives: Weirdness in General

H2O a Go Go

Multiple Sclerosis advice

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Yes friends, this is a repeat. But my brain has been a little slow lately.  And since this is one of my personal favorites, here you go….

You may think today’s blog is another one that has me whining about my obnoxious bladder.

Well, it’s not.

Although, to paraphrase my sister Laurie, “my bladder issues do still piss me off!”

When you tell people you have a chronic illness you find yourself on the receiving end of a ton of unsolicited advice. Most of that advice comes from well meaning people.  Because they are well meaning, the polite you grins and bears it even when it’s useless, clueless and ridiculous.

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“Just tell yourself, ‘I won’t get stressed, I won’t get stressed…’”

“Breathe…”

“You need to get more sleep.  Oh, you got nine and a half hours?  You must be sleeping too much…”

“You may not have MS, it could just be an allergy…”

The thing is, sometimes you may actually get something helpful out of the advice so it’s worth listening too.  (Yes, that advice could be construed as unsolicited advice directly from me.)

Imagine my shock when years after someone told me I should eat bee pollen, I discovered that bees are actually helpful and if we don’t take better care of them, they are going to go away and then the world could end.

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As someone who has written a book about multiple sclerosis that I am desperately trying to sell to the masses, (MS Madness!  A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis in case you’ve missed it the 10, 000 times I have mentioned it before-more unsolicted advice-buy, buy, buy…) I am even more open to advice.  I travel my area talking about my book and people want to tell me things that they have heard might possibly be helpful.  And again, that is a great thing.  I appreciate it, I really do.

But every once in a while, not so much.

Please allow me to briefly digress. I swear there will be a point to this digression; I think.

I am very proud that after many people suggested that maybe I didn’t have MS but actually had aspartame poisoning, I looked into it and discovered that they were right.  Well, not really.

My excellent neurologist says I still have MS and I believe him.  But I looked up aspartame and discovered it really is bad for you and sure wasn’t helping things.  I switched from artificial sweetener to Truvia, an expensive alternate, and completely gave up my beloved fountain diet cokes in favor of water.

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I drink water all the time now.  Plain water; no enhanced sugary flavors.  I tried diet coke again once and didn’t even like it anymore.  I thought I was doing great.

At one speaking event I foolishly forgot to pick up some bottled water. A friend offered to get me some and came back with SmartWater which I hadn’t seen before but thought would be great as maybe it would help me be smart.

After the presentations by many authors, a woman to approached me.  She asked if she could tell me something and of course, I agreed, hoping she was going to tell me that my book looked amazing and she couldn’t wait to buy it.  Instead she informed me that the SmartWater I was drinking really wasn’t smart at all.  I was quick to appease.

“Oh really, I’ve never drunk it before.  My friend got it.  Is it filled with sugary additives or something?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she said.

Hmmmm……

It was a chilly day in May and she was wearing socks with sandals.  I know it’s not right to stereotype but my first thought was the bottle; she must be Earthy Crunchy green and worried about the planet.

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“Oh, don’t worry, I recycle- I won’t throw away the bottle.”

That wasn’t a lie.  I really do recycle but turns out that isn’t enough anymore.  Don’t even get me started about the dangers of water bottles, that’s a whole other blog post.

“That’s not it either,” she replied.

Turns out, what she was referring too was the alkaline content in bottled water and how it does something really bad that could be making my MS worse or does something really good that could make my MS go away.  I couldn’t figure out which.  The only thing I know about alkaline has to do with batteries.

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Maybe I should ask the Energizer bunny what this woman was talking about.

Then she mentioned something about acid levels, which was really upsetting as I’ve never done acid in my life-not even in college.

Here I thought I was being so healthy!!!!   No diet coke for me!  No juice at this event-too much sugar.  No milk- now some say milk is bad.  No lemonade or even iced tea.  No beer or margaritas either.    No chemicals, poisons, GMO’s, alcohol or aspartame.  I was drinking what I thought I was supposed to be drinking, what everyone told me I was supposed to be drinking.ID-100207125

This woman then went on a 20 minute scientific diatribe while I stood there dumbly watching the custodian fold the chairs and empty the sods cups.    I couldn’t figure out science even before MS attacked my brain. I heard the word alkaline a lot and acidic.  And inflammation, that one was kind of familiar.  But I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.

I’m all about good advice and being polite though so I stopped trying to figure her theory out and just figured when she was done, she would tell me what I should do stop the water epidemic.  She finally stopped talking and so I asked her what I should do? How do I solve this problem of bottled water that I didn’t know I had?

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I was eager for an answer and good advice that would circumvent me going back to school to take a science class.  I didn’t even know what kind of science this was.   Biology?  Chemistry?  Earth Science?  Yes, water lives on the earth so it must be an Earth Sciences class I should take to sort this out.

Her response to my question of what should I do now that I know bottled water can be bad, was straightforward.

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“Oh, I don’t know.”

What??  See friends, I swear this is all true; you can’t make this stuff up with or without an MS brain.

I pressed her a little and she told me that she had just moved to the area from California which had the best water in the world and where she knew which bottled water was safe to drink.  Now that she was in MA, she had no idea.

I pressed her more and she then told me her best advice was to buy litmus strips (what?) and then take them to all of the Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and health food stores in my area where I should buy up all the bottled water they had and then bring it home to test each of them with the Litmus strips and then only drink the bottled water that tested well.

For one month.

Then, as companies can change their manufacturing processes and their water sources, I should repeat this test every month for infinity to make sure I was constantly getting the best water.ID-100307529

It was at this point that I began to peek around the corner of the empty room looking for the Candid Camera dude.  He never showed up.

I was more confused than ever.

About the only thing that seemed clear after the woman and I finally said goodbye was that there must have been something in her water.

There just had to be…ID-10036921

What is the craziest advice you have ever gotten?

 

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Just another Weird, Weird Day

“My MS is not your MS and your MS is weird.”

Brilliant, semi-famous quote written by me

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Your MS is weird.  And sometimes, I suppose, mine is too.  Life with MS is certainly weird.  And then there are weird people and weird circumstances.  Recently, all this weirdness converged on what should have been a relatively normal, unweird day.

I dropped my mom off for a doctor’s appointment and then left to run an errand.  When I returned to the office and she wasn’t ready I made myself comfortable with an engrossing book. As I sat my throat grew dry and I noticed a water cooler in the corner of the waiting room. I kept meaning to drink some but just couldn’t leave my compelling read.  After this sentence, no, after this paragraph, definitely after this chapter, I will get up and get some water.ID-10056064

But my mom poked her head into the room and nodded at me, which caused the nurse behind her to motion me to follow them.

This was concerning. My mom is very private and hates medical stuff.  If I was needed in her appointment it could be a bad sign.  Turns out, it was simple miscommunication.  Her wave was meant to tell me that she wasn’t quite done but the nurse took it as an invite and insisted I join them.

“Well, you’re here now so you might as well stay,” my mom said.

I sat in a chair opposite the doctor’s desk and my mom sat on the table.  The doctor entered and my mom introduced us. I was surprised by his strong Greek accent as my mother had never mentioned it before.  I could barely understand him but it didn’t matter- it wasn’t my appointment.

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Since I was stuck there I thought I would listen even if I only understood one out of twenty words he said.  I managed to grasp that he was talking about sodium; ie salt, ie the stuff that makes fast food taste good.  He wanted my mom to cut down on sodium.  He wanted this so much that he kept talking about it, a lot.

At least I think that’s what he was talking about.

But he seemed to address most of his talking to me.  So what if I happened to be munching on potato chips- again, it wasn’t my appointment.

(Kidding.  I wasn’t munching on anything but was completely regretting not grabbing that water when I had the chance.)

He told my mom he had something for us.  He left and came back holding a loaf of bread.  He manipulated the plastic bag the bread came in so that a slice was near the opening and he insisted I take it and split it with my mom.  It was an order and I guess the reasoning was to suggest we now eat this particular brand of low sodium bread.ID-100151613

I gave my mom half the slice but didn’t know what to do with my half.  I nibbled on it because that’s what the doctor seemed to want but it was like sawdust in my mouth.  I was trying not to choke.

There was a trash bin in his office but throwing my half away seemed rude.  Without salt it didn’t seem very crumbly. Should I scrunch it up and shove it into my pocketbook?

The whole thing seemed odd.  I’d never had a doctor, even one of my own, offer me a snack before.   I thought of how when I go to church and my priest offers me bread he’s polite enough to also offer some wine to accompany it.  Could I ask this doctor for wine?  What’s the sodium level in wine?

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He then said that we should only get 150 mg of sodium a day.  While he was stating this he was also pointing to a chart that recommended 1500 mg a day.  I was more confused than ever and was now super afraid of salt and hoped he knew the Heimlich as I tried desperately to finish my half slice of bread.   This seemed like major medical weirdness to me.

Outside his office, it was past lunchtime and despite the snack my mom and I were both hungry.  But I couldn’t think of a single place to go for lunch that wasn’t a salt trap designed to suck us in.  My mom suggested a place and I agreed to go there but was firm.

“Mom, we can go there but I’m going to tell the waitress that we don’t need menus as we will have water and plain lettuce for lunch, no dressing.”ID-100182547

“Good for you,” she said.  “I’m getting a menu.”

I stopped in front of the placard that said “Please wait to be seated” and read the specials board looking for anything that wasn’t filled with evil sodium.

My mom made her way into the restaurant and chose a table.  What was she doing?  We were supposed to wait to be seated as the sign clearly stated when I read it again.  I scolded her and she came back.  She also read the sign which in her reading said, “Please seat yourself.”

How did the sign change its wording in the seconds between my reading it twice and my mom reading it?    Since I’ve been able to read since 1st grade, I decided that the sign changing itself was a clear case of multiple sclerosis weirdness.

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After errands I dropped my mom off and headed home.  Thinking about health issues and my MS lack of reading skill issues had me wiped.  But I just had to go to the post office before I rested.  Who knows what was waiting for me in my mailbox- the Publisher’s Clearing House notice of my one million dollar winnings?

An invitation from Bradley Cooper to be his date at the premiere of his new movie?

Free tickets to the dream vacation of my choice?

Fatigue was not going to keep me from missing such important mail!

I collected my exciting mail- the water bill- and then got back into my car which refused to start.  Try as I might, I absolutely could not turn the key in the ignition.

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I struggled.

I forced.

I whined.

I took deep breaths and tried again.

And again.

There were many strong looking males in the parking lot, the type that looked like they might know a lot about cars, but I was too tired, too shy, too independent, too WIMPY to ask for help.  I preferred to sulk instead.

After about 20 minutes of this I called AAA.  I answered all the nice agent’s questions.

“Did you make sure the car is in park?”

Of course I did.

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“Did you jiggle the steering wheel?”

Of course I didn’t.

I jiggled and turned the key and the car started.  It was then that I remembered this same thing had happened to me twice before and jiggling the steering wheel was the mysterious answer.  But I had forgotten this trick.  Automotive weirdness.

Back at home I figured I had earned myself a snack, something crunchy.  I was proud that I had recently purchased something from Trader Joes that was sure to satisfy AND be healthy.  It was a bag called Crunchy Curls– a potato and lentil snack.ID-100132490

I checked the sodium, just to be sure.  And the nutrition label said that while this snack had no sugar, it had 380 mgs of sodium!  That’s more than regular potato chips.

But it’s made from potatoes and lentils?  How can this be?ID-100180475

And that, my friends, is unfortunately called life weirdness.

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What was the book that had me so involved I couldn’t even break to get some water?  It was the newly released Something on Our Minds, Volume 3– an anthology of writings by people living with multiple sclerosis.   The works are as varied as the writers and MS itself. Best of all, all proceeds from the sale of this edition will be given to the Accelerated Cure Project, an excellent non-profit determined to cure the MS beast.

Something on Our Minds, Volume 3 is available on Amazon and is totally worth checking out!

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Kayak Yak Yak Yak

Multiple Sclerosis on the waterID-10098500

WOW!  Time really flies when you’re resting.

When I took a break from my blog I had no idea it would take me almost two months to find the umph to write something new!  Trust me, it was not for a lack of MS ideas.  When something weird in my life would combine with MS I would write the incident down on a sticky note, intending to write about it eventually.

Now, weeks later, the weather is beautiful, I’m feeling good but am sick of sticky notes.   They’re not going to go away by themselves and so sticky note 1 (a pink one) translates into my latest blog.ID-100236758 (1)

Sometime last fall my elderly landlords gave me a prize they won in a raffle. It was a free all day kayak rental from a nearby surf shop.

When winter ended I took the prize to the surf shop to get the scoop on how the rental worked.  My thought was that since I had no way to transport a kayak, I would probably pass this prize on to someone else.

The business was owned by a couple in their 30’s who looked like the ultimate beach bums.  I say this in a loving, appreciative way.  They were tan and athletic looking and were wearing cut offs and shell jewelry.  They might even have had dreadlocks too but I can’t say for sure.

They were also very nice and very excited for me and my free rental.  They told me that they actually deliver the kayak to your kayak location of choice!!  How cool is that?  It was then that I decided I would use this prize myself.

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But then the heat, humidity, crowds, mosquitoes and greenheads of summer showed up and I put off using my prize.  But when fall arrived, my friend Carly and I decided it was paddle time.  We set the day and I headed to the surf shop to make the kayak drop off plans.  This time the nice couple was not so nice.  They were suspicious and even grouchy.

“You’ve already gotten your free kayak.”

“What?”

“Back in July you came in and reserved a kayak for a busy Saturday and said you would pick it up and you never showed.  We lost a ton of money that day holding it for you.”ID-100207033

Ok, I know that multiple sclerosis causes some strange cognitive issues.  I whine about them pretty regularly here in my blog.  But would MS dare to go that far?  Would MS cause me to venture out of my air conditioned, darkened cave through the crowds and bugs and take myself to a surf shop to reserve a kayak I couldn’t transport?

I know that MS does some pretty bizarre things and nothing about life with MS surprises me anymore. But seriously?

Fact was, I had started to look forward to this prize and had recently stopped my blog, telling my readers I was going to get out more and get exercise.  I needed this kayak!

I proclaimed my innocence and swore that the person they met in July wasn’t me and I must have appeared honest enough because eventually they believed me.  They admitted it might have been another woman who looked like me.   To that woman I say, “Lady who looks like me, cease and desist! Stop looking like me and when you reserve a kayak pick up the kayak.  You are giving me a bad rap!”

Anyway, the couple grew nice again and we set a time and a meeting spot at a beautiful lake.

The September day dawned gloriously- sunny, not at all hot, light breezes and perfect for a day on a lake.  Carly and I packed lunch, bug spray and bottled water and headed to the meeting spot.   I was keeping my ‘take better care of myself’ promise to my blog readers; I packed fruit.  And not just because chocolate and ice cream melt on warm days.ID-100345494

Carly and I waited for our boat.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Did I mess up the time?  Now THAT is something MS would totally do.

Was I at the wrong lake?  MS would totally do that too.

What if I messed up the time and the surf shop people thought I had kayak scammed them again???

What if they thought I was a twisted individual who enjoyed going from place to place requesting kayaks and then disappearing?  I don’t have a lot of excitement in my life but they can’t possibly think that’s how I get my kicks, could they?

I called the cell phone number they had given me.  No answer and so I left a message.  I called the store.   No answer and so I left a message.  I repeated this again, half an hour later.

Now even Carly was convinced I was the crazy lady who never had any intention of actually using a kayak; I just liked to reserve them.

An hour and half later Carly and I were about to give up when the surf folks called.  Of course they had dropped off the kayak- didn’t I see it?

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They had decided to show up earlier than the meet time and just left it for me next to the rack with all the privately owned, padlocked kayaks.  My reserved kayak was there waiting for me.  It was orange.

I walked over and sure enough, there was one lone, unchained kayak with a paddle and a life jacket inside.  Didn’t I know that was for me?

Is it just me or is that not crazy? Did MS keep me from psychically knowing a kayak was there with my name on it?

Well, it didn’t have my name on it but it WAS orange, the official MS color.  Should that have been enough to let me know that kayak was waiting for me?ID-10031395

Carly thought it was weird too and assured me that on this particular issue, and only on this issue, the confusion was not due to MS but due to the quirkiness that comes from my little area of the world.  She said something like “of all the Cape Cod stories I have ever heard, this is the Cape Coddiest.”

By the way, at the end of the call the surf people told me that I would really enjoy my kayaking experience that day as it was so beautiful out.  They knew; they had been out kayaking all morning!

Anyway, once we straightened the details out, it was an awesome afternoon.  We took turns taking the boat out and even invited other friends to join us for their own paddle around the lake.

When they were done with their turns I offered them grapes- they needed to be healthy after all and Carly and I had finished the potato chips while we were waiting for the boat that was right next to us.ID-100231894

My arms have never been strong to begin with and so it was quite the site watching me hoist my butt in and out of the little boat.  But once on the quiet lake there was nothing like the soft sound the paddle made as it gently stroked the water.  I was at total peace, soaking up some natural Vitamin D and exercising!

I knew I would pay for it the next day; that my arms would be throbbing with pain from this exertion they weren’t used to.  But MS surprised me yet again.  The next morning my arms were fine.  My legs however, were on fire.

How does that work?  All my legs did was rest in the boat while my wimpy arms moved them around a beautiful lake.  Go figure.

So in the end, it was a great day.  And an MS story wouldn’t be an MS story without a little confusion to add some intrigue.

I wonder how MS will handle the next exercise adventure?????

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Convicted Caper

Multiple sclerosis goes on the run

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As soon as I typed the above subtitle I started to laugh.  There are people living with MS who run, run well actually.  And often, they run races, half marathons and even full marathons, sometimes to raise money for MS research funding and awareness.

I’m not one of them.

I can’t remember the last time I ran.  That could be because it was a traumatic experience that I blocked or because MS has messed up my brain.  Anyway, if you’re a fellow MS’er who runs you have my support.

And my awe.

And my sympathy.

No, this blog is about a different type of running.

As in “on the lam.”

As in, away from the law.ID-100180737

Several months ago I wrote a blog (Lawbreaker) about how MS turned me into a criminal.  I thought that would be the end of the story.  I had repented of the unlawful sins I committed in that post and was now back to my law abiding, innocent self.  But apparently crime wasn’t done with me.

It started with my printer.

Yes, my printer.  I went to print something one day and my printer made this hideous, indefinable noise.  It sounded like- well, I can’t tell you because at the time it was indefinable.  But it was loud and scary and not very healthy sounding.

I took it to the computer store and the geek there-no I’m not being mean, I was at Geek Squad-defined the noise for me.

“It sounds like machine gun fire.”ID-100150936

And he was right. Me, who knows nothing about guns, had a printer that was set in the middle of a mob movie.

What was even more concerning about this was that it coincided with a car problem I was having.

I had to give up Gina Blue-my little blue Corolla.  She and her super leaky, unfixable roof were beyond due to go to that blessed parking lot in the sky.  I hope she is happy and at peace there.  I still miss her every day.

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Anyway, my mom came to my rescue and obtained a car for me to drive.

For this, I am especially grateful.  It is a very pleasant and efficient 2008 Toyota Camry, with one quirk however.  Every time I turn on the air vents, whether for heat or a/c this mysterious white powder comes flying out of the vents.

I kid you not; you can’t make this stuff up.

I have no idea what the powder is.

People tell me I should get it tested.  I have no idea where to do that.

Yes, I’ve had the filters replaced-twice- and had the car inspected several times.  No one can figure it out.  Yet, nine months after I started driving it, my car is still filled with this mystery.

The only thing I could come up with was that the prior owners must have been drug runners and there is a big kilo of something expensive hidden in my car somewhere.  Combine that with my printer’s constant gun shots, it’s hard to know what’s what.  I feel like I’m this close to having Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro show up at my door, demanding the goods.ID-100266028

Of course, these crimes were the fault of my new car and of my old printer.  But since they are in my possession I’m probably good for some kind of accessory responsibility.  The theft charges were totally due to multiple sclerosis however.

When I started my MS blog I had an awesome web guru that set it up for me and taught me how to use it.  He told me it was important to include images in my blog (they better attract readers) and showed me where to find free images.  I started blogging.

Then I started exploring.

And talking.

And questioning.

I met many bloggers who told me they get their images from the internet, all the time. If I were to broaden my scope I could come up with super funny images that would really make my readers crack up.

Yes, my web guru said this was dangerous.  But, I figured, he wasn’t a blogger and I had a bazillion bloggers telling me this was ok, especially if I wasn’t using the images to sell anything.

(Well maybe not a bazillion but close to it.)ID-10010474

And so I started scanning the worldwide web for free images.  And then I promptly got accused of stealing an artist’s conceptual property and copywright infringement and licensing violations and all kinds of scary other things.  Two different companies wanted me to cough up the bucks to make it up to them for the two images I used without permission, ie, stole.

I pleaded ignorance.

No dice.

I pleaded “other people are doing it too.”

As you can imagine, that didn’t jive.  They came back with “if everyone you know was robbing a bank would it be ok for you to rob one too?”

The irony of that is I need to rob a bank in order to pay these folks.ID-100317005

So my defense is simple poverty which is no defense at all.  Now I’m just hiding in hopes they get sick of looking for me.  Maybe if they truly come for me and expect me to cough up money I don’t have they might just settle for my car?

If they pull it apart they might find interesting property hidden inside worth way more than unlawful use of two internet pictures.

For the record, I no longer own the printer.  I had that destroyed.  The drug running car is still in my possession however and it is still covered in an unknown, possibly illegal substance.

I’d offer to pass it along to someone but I may need it in exchange for bail money….ID-100265697

FYI- When I started this blog a wise friend told me that eventually, MS was going to run out of topics to offer up.  Well, 150 blog posts later, it finally has.  Yes, it’s true-this particular post numbers 150!

I would like to say MS is done with all the weirdness that I can exploit in my blogs but I highly doubt that.

Here’s the thing- this hot summer I have sweated, bled, cried, slept, tried to balance, laughed, griped, whined and wrote.  After doing all of this I have come to the unfortunate realization that I need to step back from blogging weekly and focus on taking better care of myself.

(Learning to run would be a good start, never know when the law will come a’ calling.)ID-100153663

I will still blog as I believe it helps me to process all of the crazy. But I won’t be on a blog schedule.  This means that a new post will be posted the next time MS does something super crazy, or I get so frustrated with MS that I have to beat something and a blog makes me feel like it’s MS I’m beating.

I hope you will still choose to follow my random posts.  The best way to do that would be to either sign up for my Feedblitz Subscriber Service or by following my Twitter account @yvonnedesousa or by following my website Facebook page, Yvonne deSousa.com

I will miss your awesome comments and your weekly stats.  But I hope we will still be in touch regularly.

In the meantime, please keep smiling my friends…ID-100286821 (1)

 

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No Curtains for You

A multiple sclerosis shopping escapade

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We were going on a road trip, my mom, our friend Annmarie and I.  The goal was curtains.  I didn’t need curtains.  I probably needed to wash the curtains I had, but I had curtains.  The ones in my kitchen and living room were left over from the previous tenant in my apartment and she was practically eighty.   The curtains are probably even older.  It’s okay; they dim the sun enough so you don’t really see all the dust.

But my mom needed curtains and had a specific type in mind-63 inches, rod pocket, valance attached, lined, no embroidery, no plain colors, no ruffles, one rod only, energy saving, light diffusing and vibrant without being too flashy.  How hard could that be?

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Our dear friend Annmarie is not only a shopping expert but actually likes curtains.  She’s one of those super sweet, super talented people who also have patience and believes that curtains are no big deal.  She Googled curtains and found some places for us to check out.

We headed away from our little town over a bridge and into a city where we would visit curtain experts.  No ordinary department stores on this venture.

The first place we checked out was a brand new building with no identifying signs of any kind.  It looked very modern but suspiciously so.   We couldn’t figure out what kind of place it was, yet it’s where Annmarie’s trusty GPS told us to go.   I went to check if they were open, although open for what I didn’t know.  They were.

On one side of the building was a fancy store where they sold bedding and bath items but no curtains.   The other side was a factory.  We were in a towel factory.  I didn’t even know towels came from a factory.  I just thought they sort of existed on their own.

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Before I reported this to my companions, I needed the restroom, of course, which turned out to be one of the cleanest and fanciest I have ever been in.  I kind of didn’t want to leave.  It was so classy that they didn’t have a hand dryer or a paper towel dispenser; you dried your hands with real towels.  I was so impressed I tried to get my mom to come in and use the restroom but she just had curtains on her mind and didn’t need any distractions.

Next, we ventured into the heart of the city.  We could tell it was the heart of the city due to the ton of construction details we had to detour through.  The GPS did not like this.  It kept stating “recalculating, recalculating,” and if you ask me, it had an attitude about it.

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But it did direct us to a very large, very old building that we circled several times before we saw the sign for the curtain store. Once inside there were no more signs; just a dark building and a creepy staircase.  At the top of the stairs we saw curtains so up we went.

There was a door marked showroom but it was locked.  There was another door marked office and so I opened it.  The door slammed behind me with a loud bang and I jumped.  Suddenly there appeared a young girl who offered to open the show room for us.  It seems we went from a brand new towel factory to an ancient curtain factory.  The city was an old mill city so this wasn’t surprising.  My mom and Annmarie picked out some curtains that might work but Annmarie was not the type of woman to settle for “might work.”

We set off again.  But already, my MS bladder was calling and not to be outdone, so was my stomach. All of our stomachs decided to join in the rumbling too.  We stopped at a lovely Portuguese restaurant and had a delicious lunch.  Fortified, we found store number three which looked quite pleasant, with several styles of curtains to choose from.  But I chose instead to go visit the bridal store across the street.

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No, I’m not finally getting married, at least not that I’m aware of.  I was just sick of looking at curtains.  Until I entered the store and realized that looking at bridesmaid dresses wasn’t much different from looking at curtains.  I left and met my party- store #3 didn’t carry what my mom was looking for.

Next the GPS sent us to what looked like a deserted industrial park.  The tall buildings were dreary with busted windows and were spooky to say the least.  After circling another several times we found a teeny, tiny sign with the word “curtain” in it.  I couldn’t help it- I had to ask.

“Mom, doesn’t Sears carry curtains?”

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Annmarie and I ventured in first.  This building was dustier and spookier than the previous old building we visited.  There seemed to be no signs of businesses or of life of any kind.  There was a dramatic, ancient looking stairway with the date of 1890 carved into the steps. It looked exhausting and with little hope of finding what we were looking for, I was ready to split.  Annmarie said “I’m just going to see what’s upstairs.”  I heard her say “oh, no, this isn’t right.  What’s a beautiful sofa doing amid all this junk in this creepy place?”

I was convinced we might be in a Stephen King movie.  I worried that if we were in a Stephen King movie and something horrible happened to Annmarie I would look like a jerk if I didn’t get chopped up with her.  Despite my aching legs, I ventured up.  And she was right- there was a lovely sofa outside a huge room filled with junk and a bizarre ghostly old man on a cell phone who told Annmarie that he didn’t know anything about curtains.

You know how in all those slasher films the obnoxious kids keep walking deeper into the scary woods even though they know there is a serial killer in the scary woods?  That was us.  Intrigued, and stupid, we climbed a second set of stairs.  At the top we found more long abandoned filthy rooms but still, we kept walking deeper into the woods.  I mean building.

Amid all the emptiness we eventually came upon a potter’s studio.  Suddenly, a woman wearing a paint specked apron materialized behind us.

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“Oh, you must be the potter,” Annmarie said cheerfully.

“I’m not the potter,” the woman responded. “I’m the girl who needs to pee.”

As we backed away Annmarie cautiously asked about curtains.  The woman/zombie/ghost said “next floor.”  So exhausted, with MS legs of lead but now hell bent on destruction and at least pretending to back up Annmarie, I followed her up the third flight of sinister looking stairs.

At the top- we finally saw them.  Curtains, beautiful curtains displayed artfully in a large, bright room.  Curtains perfect for my mom if we ever got out of this building and got her in.  Annmarie called out for help and another pale ghostly figure appeared.  Annmarie asked about prices and the woman mysteriously stated “we don’t sell curtains.”

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At that, it was all we could do to run down three flights to the safety of the car.  And of course Annmarie was faster.  In my horror movie scenario I would be the slow kid who trips, falls and gets cut up first.  Luckily though, I made it out.

We guessed that when Annmarie “Googled “curtains” she had stumbled upon the curtain factory showrooms of old- most of which were abandoned now as everyone buys things online.  And items bought online don’t come from a factory. They come from Amazon.  But the ghostly building we were now happily leaving, we had no idea what that one was.

Annmarie’s search had one last suggestion.  We followed the GPS voice as it lead us to an actual department store with a whole section on curtains, drapes, panels, valances, tie backs, rods, sashes and even towels.  My mom picked out curtains that “would work” as oppose to the “might work” ones and we left, mission finally accomplished.

On the ride home, my mom remarked that the next time we went shopping she needed to find a present for her three year old grandson and she knew just what to get him.  Annmarie said she would type the word “toys” into Goggle for the perfect present.

I just sighed….

Kidding aside, it was actually a fun adventure, even with a bad MS bladder and achy MS legs. Still, I’m insisting on Toys R Us for my nephew’s birthday!

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We ARE New Englanders

An MS blog that has nothing to do with MS

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Hi friends

I had a ton of ideas for a new MS humor blog this week.  Then things, namely life, got away from me and I had no time to write one.

I didn’t want to leave you empty handed however and so I offer this piece of writing as a substitute.  I hope it makes you smile anyway.

My plan is to be back at you on Friday the thirteenth, (yikes!) with something new.  Til then, may you all have a health and humor filled week.

Yvonne

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We ARE New Englanders!

We don’t just run on Dunkins, we INVENTED Dunkins!

Every year we expect a white Christmas.  Every year we don’t get a white Christmas. Yet, every year, we expect a white Christmas.

8-10 inches of snow is nothing for us.  But we are going to complain about it anyway,

No storm prep is complete without a visit to the packie.

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To the average home owner an air conditioner and a lawn mower are luxuries, a generator is a necessity.

We can’t wait for summer!  But as soon as we celebrate the fourth, we start counting down the days to Labor Day.

No matter how many times we see a New Yorker get confused in a rotary, we are still surprised that New Yorkers don’t know how to drive in a rotary.

Most of the country never thought much about the word “wicked” until we started pointing out how wicked awesome the word “wicked” really is…

We waited years for the Big Dig to be completed but lose our minds when there is a tie up at the bridge.

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And when we say the bridge we know what bridge that is

We are fiercely, deathly loyal to all of our local sports team, no matter how they are playing.

So loyal that when a scandal breaks out about one of them, local celebrities willingly take credit for it.

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Don’t you dare mess with one of our teams- we will fight to the death to protect their name and reputation.

But we (and only we) have the best curse words to yell at them when they are not playing well.

When Mother Nature hands us lemons, we will find a way to make a buck out of it!  Suddenly everyone has a plow and people start selling snow to crazy people outside of New England.

We know that we don’t talk funny- the rest of the country does.

We have a gorgeous ocean, beautiful bays, and lovely lakes.  But we really love our Dirty Water!

Proud to be a New Englander!

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Super Balls

Multiple Sclerosis investigates Deflate-Gate

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I went there.  I did.  I went to the topic that has been on the minds of Americans for the last twelve days or so; the topic that has everyone in the country sick of jokes about players and their balls.

The reason why I felt ballsy enough- yes, I did it again- to write about this topic is trifold.

  1. I’m from New England and so I have a very close and important perspective.
  2. I’ve tried and tried but just don’t get football. The game is completely confusing to me. I blame it on MS.  But then again, I blame everything on MS.

And,

3. I saw an interesting multiple sclerosis take on this whole scandal.

But then again, I see a multiple sclerosis take on just about everything.

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I didn’t pay much attention to the story at first.  But then when it was all over Facebook, I started to follow it.  In case you are as clueless as I usually am, the basics are as follows;

The New England Patriots won a football game that was so big, it meant that they could play in the Superbowl.  The team they beat was from Indiana, the bolts or colts or dolts or something.

After the game, there were rumors that the Patriots had rigged the game by under inflating the footballs they used.  Some say this was considered cheating and gave the Patriots an unfair advantage.  They were reported to the big sports people who are supposed to sort everything out when scandal breaks.

Everybody expressed an opinion while they waited for the guys in charge of all the balls to respond.

The coach said he had nothing to do with how inflated or not inflated the footballs were supposed to be.

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The quarterback just flashed his adorable smile and then showed a picture of his gorgeous wife and so all watching became enthralled with their beauty and stopped listening to what he was saying.

But for me, my concern was for the footballs themselves.  No one was talking about how they felt.  No one asked them, the the subject of the controversy, what had actually happened.

Oh sure, people talked to the experts, the ones who were responsible for taking care of and protecting the balls.  But no one seemed to have a clue about how the balls really felt or what it was like to live as a football.

I could relate.  It reminded me of how I feel sometimes with my multiple sclerosis.

Say there is something I am excited about, a party or a game or something like that.  I build myself up.  I prepare and inflate my mind and body to the best of possible circumstances within my control.  I do everything I can to take care of myself and rest and to look pretty and to be prepared for whatever the event will throw at me, throw pun intended.

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I get to the event pumped.  And then, as more and more people approach me, talking to me, tossing suggestions at me, asking things of me, against my best intention, I start to come down.  I want to stay my best, I truly do.  But sometimes multiple sclerosis has other ideas.

Little by little I get weaker and as my legs and back start to ache, I can get smaller too.  But the end of the event it is possible that I have deflated to a soft, wimpy, useless mess in the corner of the event, no longer what I was when I first arrived, no longer as capable as I had been and no longer as able to do what is expected of me.

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And it can upset people.  Especially since I still might basically look the same and they can’t tell that anything is wrong with me. That’s when the judging begins.

What’s wrong with her?

Why is she so tired?

Why wasn’t she at her best?

Why wasn’t she able to do what was expected of her?

Why can’t we count on her?

If she is so sick, why does she look the same?

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These folks might inquire.  They might ask the experts and the doctors what is wrong with me but usually they won’t accept the responses given.  It is easier to assume there is a scandal or cheating aspect involved.

She probably didn’t take her meds.

She probably took too many of her meds.

She is probably just being lazy.

Her doctors are probably useless.

Maybe her doctors are really doing nothing and scamming her insurance company.

And all the while, these folks aren’t asking me, the innocent, what is really going on.

Can you relate?

Can the footballs at the heart of this scandal relate?

And I don’t even have a talented, beautiful, super couple to defend me.

All I’m saying is let’s take a step back and look at the big picture- if the balls hadn’t lost air as they were exposed to the violence, the elements and the rumors, would anything have changed?

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At the very core of the footballs, if they happened to lose a little air along the way, would the players, families and friends who love them, love them any less?

Maybe it’s time to learn what matters and what doesn’t.  As the balls taught us, show up and do the best you can with what you are given.   And hopefully, friends and family, players and coaches, will make the best out of what you are able to offer them.

No scandal needed. No insults, rumors or drama.  Just have faith that when your balls tell you they are doing the best they can, or are or are not as big as they’re supposed to be, it’s how they’re are treated that really matters.

You may say I’m crazy.  And maybe I am.  But I no longer care.

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There’s a big, super game coming up and that’s where the real focus should be.

As a New Englander, I’m going to do my best to be as supportive of the balls as I can be.

Especially since I don’t really get their job. And since I may not be completely inflated myself, I’m just going to trust that they mean well and are doing their best.

If this whole situation has taught us anything, it’s that we need to protect our balls.

Truth is friends, I’m so clueless I will have no idea if they are doing their best or not.  And I may bore easily and change the channel.  But in my NE/MS heart, I am rooting for them and saying come on NE, do the best you can with the balls you are given!

Dear friends, please remember that my blog posts are tongue in cheek and I’m not afraid to get a little silly to try to make you giggle.  Whoever you are rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday, have a great game!

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Lessons from an MS Semi Pro

Things NOT to do when you have multiple sclerosis, things your neurologist might not mention

 

A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to do an injection of my DMD. For all you MS newbies out there, DMD actually stands for Disease Modifying Drugs.

I’m not being condescending defining that for you; I only recently discovered what it stood for myself.  Before that I thought it actually stood for the Don’t Make me Do them meds or those Damn MS Demon shots.

Despite all the oral medications that have been recently developed, I’m still doing shots.   Even though I don’t like them, they seem to be working.

In order for me to get through the self injecting process, I need to use the auto injector.  One push of an awful button and then I’m done.  But this time, when I pushed the button, nothing happened.

As far as I could tell, I had done everything right.  In investigating this issue, I held the tip of the injector up to my face and looked inside.  HUGE mistake.

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The injector fired suddenly and thankfully, miraculously, I was able to jerk my hand quick enough to keep the meds and the needle from my eyes.  Instead, the medication dispersed all over my thermal Bruins blanket which was just silly.  I have owned this blanket for 15 years and it is still one of the best Christmas gifts ever!  It is super warm, super strong and super healthy and it doesn’t need any drugs.

(Unlike the time I used one of my injections to fix a wobbly coffee table but you’ll have to read MS Madness! for THAT story.)

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Anyway, after the auto injector blunder I realized I had just learned a valuable lesson in an MS thing not to do.  Then it occurred to me that this incident happened on 12/17, the five year anniversary of my MS diagnosis and I didn’t even realize it at the time.

I never forget the date of my diagnosis but I also never remember it either.  (If that makes sense to you, you may have MS.)

 

The coincidence of the trouble with this particular shot made me think back to the many other lessons I have learned on my MS journey.  I decided the right thing to do would be to share them with you.

So here you go- I hope they help.

Note- not all of them are MS related but they are all MS related.

(If that makes sense to you then, again, you may have multiple sclerosis.)

The first one we already covered- don’t look down the barrel of a loaded gun- oops I mean, loaded auto injector.  (But don’t look down the barrel of a loaded gun either- that’s not good.)

Secondly, if you are prepping your upper left arm to give yourself a shot, don’t inhale the alcohol swab. It’s not Jagermeister.  It won’t taste good or be any fun.

 

You CAN inhale the alcohol swab if you want to go on your own weird cleanse as you won’t feel like eating or drinking anything for days.  Except pretzels.  You may want lots and lots of stale pretzels…

Third-don’t look back after a cute guy smiles at you.  You may just wind up tripping over the threshold of the door you are supposed to be coolly walking through, not awkwardly falling through.

The fourth lesson is similar to the first.  If you are deciding whether or not you like the scent of an air freshener, don’t spray it into your face to figure it out.  There are easier ways to get the information.

The next two lessons take us into the kitchen.  The fifth is that salad dressing is for salad, maple syrup is for waffles.  Perhaps it might help to remember if you don’t keep them side by side on a shelf in your refrigerator.

 

Sixth, don’t spray your kitchen floor with cooking spray.  Believe it or not, that’s not what it’s for.

And it doesn’t matter how much you like hockey, the sprayed kitchen floor doesn’t cut it.  Nor does it mean your favorite hockey team (the Bruins) might show up just because your kitchen is now as slipperery as an ice rink.

Maybe if you have multiple sclerosis you just shouldn’t use spray things at all…

The seventh lesson is this-don’t sell drugs.  Not even if you have the purest of intentions.  Not even if you are offering such a discount that they wind up being free.  Not even if the drugs will go to waste if you don’t pass them on and people desperately need them.

(For the ugly details on how I learned that lesson check out my prior blog post Lawbreaker.)

 

Since it was near Christmas time when I almost accidentally injected my eyeball, the next two lessons are related to the season.  The eighth lesson is don’t try to wrap presents with double sided tape.  It will not work, not even if you’re Martha Stewart.  Better yet, don’t buy double sided tape, even if it’s a good deal and looks just like regular tape except for the tiny words that say it’s double sided.

The ninth lesson is don’t buy Christmas cards with glitter on them.

 

Yes, the glitter is pretty.

Yes the glitter is festive.

But is also a pain in your injection bruised behind.

It will get everywhere.

It will multiply like termites.

It will cover you and everything around you.

It will get in your hair.

 

It will get on your teeth,

It will get on those Christmas cookies you are not supposed to be eating.

It will get on your double sided tape and the two will conspire to enfold you into an endless glitter filled world.

The tenth and last lesson is the most important.

Here it is-

Seriously, very seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously.

Here’s hoping for a healthy, happy, humor filled holiday for all of you!!

 

 

Still a Little Lazy

Too Lazy Even for Me Makes an MS Comeback

 

The plan was to post a brand spanking new (where does that weird expression come from anyway?) blog today.  It really was.  Especially since the last two blogs have been repeats.  

But then important things got in the way like visits with friends, a big Bruins win, Facebook, Christmas preparations, church, MS fatigue and the Season 1 True Detective DVD rental from the library.  

In the balancing act of multiple sclerosis that we MS’ers do all the time, well a brand new blog got pushed off the list.  I was just too tired.  And maybe a little lazy after all those delicious Christmas sweets.  

Which got me thinking about a blog I wrote in 2012 about just how lazy we, as a human race, can be.  

And so I decided to repost this blog from 2012.

 And I promise, no I SWEAR, that I will post a brand new blog NEXT week.  As long as I have finished drooling over Matthew McConaughey in this riveting new drama…

Too Lazy Even for Me

 

So I know that I mention (complain, whine, lament) here a lot about the extreme fatigue that comes with MS.   But it is a fact and with this fact, comes the fact that many an MS’er has learned to take shortcuts to save energy.

Most of these shortcuts involve skipping unnecessary tasks.   Some MS’ers are pretty good at this.

Me, I’m still learning.

Even though I skip watching TV commercials as much as possible (especially in an election year- so glad THAT’S over), I was drawn to a particular commercial recently.  I think what caught my attention was that the commercial started by asking the question “how many buttons does your car have?”

I had never really thought about it.  My car is a paint chipped 2005 Toyota Corolla that has served me well since I bought it pre-owned in 2004 (don’t ask.)

With the exception of the incident where a tree fell on it during a freak winter storm (another don’t ask but now you have the root of the paint chip problem,) I have been very happy with it.

It has buttons but I have never counted how many.  I just push them and go.

 

The commercial was for a 2013 Cadillac XTS and the reason why the commercial was asking about buttons was because this new model of Cadillac has far less buttons than your average vehicle.

The car has sensors that tell the car’s control panel (essentially its dashboard) everything that is happening on the road around you.   It has a Cue which means it can give you infinite listening features as well as unlimited access to all your contacts.

It can connect up to ten different Bluetooth devices and it has Natural Voice Recognition so that you don’t even have to lightly touch the control panel, you can just tell the car what you want it to do.

You can buy this car and go from a few buttons that you have to manually push in your current car to this car where you don’t have to move at all!

 

Maybe it’s me, and keeping in mind that I am all about conserving my energy, but I can’t help thinking that if I am too tired to push a button, then I am probably too tired to be behind the wheel.

Arms too achy to maneuver the steering wheel? Perhaps I don’t belong behind the steering wheel at that particular time.

Only a day after seeing that commercial, a friend sent me an email warning about a problem with newly issued credit cards.  All you shoppers out there, take note.  It seems without you even requesting it, credit card companies are issuing new cards that have a teeny tiny wireless symbol on the back of them.

 

What this means for you is that you no longer have to stress yourself out with the tedious task of swiping your card thru the credit card machine when you purchase something.   You can just pull your card out of your wallet and the WIFI signal will tell the credit card machine all your card info.

Thank goodness!  After a long day of hitting the stores, that little swipe at the register completely does me in.

Again, maybe it’s me, but I am thinking that if I am too tired to be swiping my card for a whole two seconds when I buy something, maybe I shouldn’t be shopping.

Let’s see- I’d really love the new Cadillac XTS but I am just too exhausted to swipe my card.  Oh, I can just hold my card while I walk by the machine.  Great- let’s do it, the Cadillac is all mine!

I received the email warning because, (surprise surprise,) thieves have learned how to use these new cards to steal from you.  They just hold up a flat screen as you happen by a credit card machine and they are good to go.

 

On the days when my fatigue really sets in, if you don’t know me or my MS you could try to call me lazy.  (Try it all you want but I bet I will suddenly find some energy to belt you.)  But in my super long list of things that are exhausting, pushing a button and swiping a card don’t come up.

If they could make a gadget that automatically gives you a shower, puts on your clothes and make up, and styles your hair, I might be interested.

How about a gadget that cooks dinner AND washes the dishes?    Now you’re talking.

If I could recline on my sofa resting my very achy body and just tell a gadget to do the laundry, I might get excited.  I’m not too particular, I would even understand if I had to push a button to activate the thing.  As long as I didn’t have to push the button more than once or push it too hard, I’m all for it.

 

Hey Salt-N-Pepa, the eighties are over, we don’t have to push it anymore.

Unless we want too of course.

Have a fabulous New Year dear friends!!!

 

 

Gina Blue is Disabled Too

A chronic illness companion

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My car and I go back a long way, 10 years to be exact.  She was a pretty, blue, 2005, used Toyota Corolla that I bought in 2004.

No, that is not a typo or a result of MS brain fog.  Weird as it seems, the 2005 cars came out early that year and someone bought her right away.  Then they decided that they didn’t like her and returned her to the car place!

Like me, too many times to count, my little Corolla faced rejection early in life.

But I loved her and scooped her up!    She was clean, smart, not too fancy and not too terrible looking; more cute than beautiful.  I didn’t want a flashy vehicle.  I didn’t need something gorgeous that would be too much trouble to keep up with.

 

Sure, I could have invested in a Lamborghini or a Ferrari- not really, I could barely afford the Corolla- but I fell in love with blue simplicity.

Previously I owned a blue Dodge Neon that my friends said I should name. So I named the car after my fake id- calling it Gina Blue.  But it never really stuck.

I tried the name out on my Corolla too but it also didn’t fit. It makes for a fun blog post name though.

It seemed easier to just call her my car or my baby.

She was absolutely perfect!

For one month.

Then, just before Christmas that year I made the mistake of parking her under a big tree during a freak winter windstorm.  While I hummed carols and mailed off Christmas cards my auto baby became disabled when the tree collapsed on her.

Disabled- having a physical or mental condition that limits movements, senses or activities.  Google

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Her roof caved in and her frame was badly bent.  It was a frightening scene.   She needed major reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

I took her to an auto body place so they would make her perfect again but she was never the same.  She had received a traumatic injury that would haunt the rest of her days.

I was shocked that she couldn’t be healed completely, especially since the auto body guy I took her too was incredibly handsome- how could he not fix her completely?

 

Before you freak out, I didn’t pick his shop because he was gorgeous; it was just a nice plus when I dropped my baby off and came to visit it from time to time while he was working on her.

Several years later I had to take her back to the shop as her paint was peeling.  And a couple of years after that it started to peel again.

This time I decided to leave her be. I didn’t want her to think that I loved her any less now that she was covered in chipped paint.

 

Here is the point of my sad tale- You know how they say people start to look like their dogs or their dogs start to look like their people?  Well, I’m convinced that my car is starting to look and act like me.

She received her big traumatic incident right before Christmas.  I received my big traumatic incident (my MS diagnosis) right before Christmas five years later.

The summer after my diagnosis, the heat and humidity made me very sick.  And my car got sick too!!!!

When I took her to a cute mechanic he said the heat just got to her.  He was wrong.  One month later the part that he replaced was the subject of a recall and Toyota sent me a big check.

This should be a lesson- no more good looking car guys touching my baby.

 

Five years have since passed and I’m still kicking.  I’m slower, have unpleasant symptoms, and am definitely showing my age.

But my car is too!!!! Her paint chipped spots have grown and some have turned to rust.  And now she has sprung a leak! Two leaks actually.

(Yes this reminds me of MS bladder problems. No, I have not yet developed leaks, thankfully.)

Chronic illness-  a condition that is persistent or otherwise long lasting in its effects.   Wikipedia

I took her to a new auto body place and a new auto doctor and was told that he can try to do a simple fix but if that doesn’t help her, she’ll need major, expensive work.

(Hmmm, kind of reminds me of what my neurologist told me about my fatigue and mood swings at my last visit.)

And like a busy specialist, this car doctor can’t treat her for two weeks.  And we have a rain soaked Nor’easter heading our way…

 

My poor baby.  I have no way to protect her. The most I could do was try to help her through this exacerbation until she can get the help she needs.

I covered her seats with plastic garbage bags and then opened two umbrellas under her weak spots to catch the dripping water.  I know opening an umbrella in the house is bad luck- hopefully opening an umbrella in a car is good luck?

She looks very uncomfortable.

I worry how she will weather this latest storm.

I worry how she’ll feel after her next auto doctor visit.

I worry how I will pay for it.

I worry about the fact that this latest car doctor is older but still handsome- will she be in better hands with an older car doctor?

I do cringe when society focuses on looks and so I know better than to have that as a factor in deciding where she should be sent.  But this is my very own baby we are talking about and the previous cute doctors have been a bad omen.

There was nothing I could really do but wait and worry and hope she does ok.

Picture 63

While I was waiting and worrying there was a knock on my door.  My friend Serena and one of her daughters had arrived with a surprise gift to cheer me up- a funny t-shirt.

Yes, a shirt has nothing to do with a troubled car.  But it reminds me that when you are down and out, your good friends can help pull you through.

And my car has a good friend, a total bestie, me!

Together we will get through this latest symptom she is facing.

Together we can weather any storms: rain, fatigue, new symptoms, injections, MRI’s whatever they may be.

I just hope that a bumper sticker, rather than a t-shirt, will cheer her up….

 

Guess What!  Guess What!  Guess What!!!  The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America has given MS Madness! a shout out in their latest edition of The Motivator!  Check it out here!  And please check out the rest of this awesome publication while you’re at it…..  The MSAA rocks!!

The Motivator

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