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Gag Me with an MS Spoon

Another very scary multiple sclerosis moment mixed with some 80’s fun

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You’ve probably heard of the Spoon Theory.  It’s an essay/story/explanation of how one woman uses spoons to describe chronic illness fatigue to her friend. It’s downright brilliant.

I did some research and I think and hope the author of the Spoon Theory is Christine Miserandino.  For fear of Google thinking I’m stealing her work, I hesitate to go into too much detail about it here.  But I encourage you to check it out on the Butyoudontlooksick website.

Actually though, the Spoon Theory has little to do with what today’s blog is about.

Unless you look at it in a random sort of way, which, of course, I always do.

My day began with a new MS scare.

But first, some background.

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When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I was addicted to diet soda.   I soon learned that my second favorite drink in the whole wide world (wine holds the top spot,) was poison and I broke myself of the cola habit.  I’m proud to say that I don’t even like the taste anymore and now drink a lot of water.

At an MS talk I went to once a neurologist recommended that for those with bladder issues it’s better to drink the water rapidly, not by taking small sips like you’re supposed to do with wine.  She wasn’t suggesting gulping the water, but she felt lingering too long while you drank it increased your bladder problems.

As I took a regular sip this morning I began to gag.  Really gag.

Yes, we all have had times where something goes down our wind pipe the wrong way and we start to choke but then quickly recover.  This wasn’t like that.  It was way worse.

I couldn’t breathe and I began making these horrific sounds, maybe called wheezing but since I don’t think I’ve wheezed before, I can’t say exactly.

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It seemed like it went on for several minutes although it probably wasn’t quite that long.

I would have been frustrated if I wasn’t so frightened; I hadn’t chugged the water and it was water!  What did it get stuck on??

For the record, I have never gagged on diet soda or wine, not even when I was chugging them.

(Yes I have chugged wine but don’t panic; it was in my twenties and it was only the cheap stuff.)

Since I live alone and couldn’t breathe my panic during this choking fit increased.  It occurred to me that I may have to dial 911.  How to explain then, how I started frantically walking around my apartment, away from my cell phone, and waving my arms wildly as if that would help?

It was while I was moving around that something caught my eye.  It was my Footprints in the Sand throw.

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(For definition purposes a throw is a very small blanket that is sort of useless unless you throw it on something to cover up something else that doesn’t look very nice.  In this case, my throw was covering an ugly storage bin filled with sappy junk I don’t think I should throw away but don’t know what else to do with.  I use the box as an extra chair.  I like to make objects in my home do double duty.)

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Anyway, back to the near death experience. As I was panicking and not breathing, I happened to look down at the throw and caught the words “was only one set of footprints” and no lie, the wheezing began to let up.  Little by little I could feel my breath coming back and I began to panic less.

If you are not aware, Footprints in the Sand is a lovely story written by Mary Stevenson about how God is always with us.  I am convinced it was that line that helped me through my scare.

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Many of you may not believe this, but that’s ok.  I do.

And more importantly, this story illustrates what has become my MS coping method.  Multiple sclerosis does something terrifying and I look to my faith to help me through.  And then, to cheer me up I make fun of the scare.

In this case, the 80’s phrase “gag me with a spoon” popped into my mind which made me think of MS as a big old nasty spoon gagging me.  Then my mind begins to wander with random thoughts which lead me back to using spoons in a better way than gagging and made me think of the Spoon Theory.

As my brain easily went from faith to humor to mindless wanderings I slowly started to recover.ID-100248318

By this point, my mind was full of so many thoughts that the choking terror had diminished a bit.

Do I know for sure that the choking was due to MS?  I guess I don’t but I am blaming MS anyway since it was trying to get healthier due to MS that lead me from soda to water.

And, in the past, MS cognition issues have caused me to gag slightly as I have trouble swallowing.  It’s not that I can’t swallow.  My brain just forgets how to do it from time to time and a mild panic ensues.ID-10045271

I’ve also noticed that I sometimes start to gag when I brush my teeth, something that never happened until years after my diagnosis.

It would be one thing if I was gagging on chocolate, ice cream or bad carbs but water and toothpaste are pretty innocent.

Do I know for sure that it was God who physically saved me or if it was the story about God that brought me comfort?

Does it matter?

It does not.  Either way, this particular terror has passed for now and I won this round.

Take that MS!

Just as long as this win counts even if my cognitively limited brain is now swirling between the Spoon Theory, the Footprints in the Sand story and random 80’s quotes…ID-10016881

Since I hate to suffer alone, let me share some of these quotes with you.  If you remember where they came from, then you are having a good MS day!

“Gag me with a spoon!”

“I feel the need, the need for speed!’

“I’m not going to be ignored Dan.”

“I’ll be back.”

“They’re here….”

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz and I’m fine.”

“Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?”

“What’s happening hot stuff?”

“Bueller?  Bueller?”

“Hey, how come Andrew gets to get up?  If he gets up we’ll all get up.  It will be anarchy!”

“I’ll have what she’s having..”

And my personal favorite,

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

 

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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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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.

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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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Can You Ear Me Now?

Multiple Sclerosis is within earshot

I don’t mean to open my blog with an annoying reminder of a Verizon commercial that will stay with you for days and have you, my dear readers, walking around and constantly asking people, “Can you hear me now?  Can you hear me now?”

Truly, I don’t.

I love and treasure my readers and want to keep them around for as long as possible.

It’s just that when a blog idea hits, sometimes an obnoxious line comes with it and the only way to get rid of it is to share it with all of you.  After all, we’re all in the MS cluster together aren’t we?

 

And so this week’s blog is about weird ear stuff.

I have mentioned my weird ear noises before and have even tried to come up with causes for them.

In my book I talk about them existing due to alien experiments and on a former blog I attributed them to a ghost train, (All Aboard.)

But like with many things MS, the weird ear sounds have gone away, come back, changed, gotten worse, gotten better and overall, bug the heck out of me.

I have even blamed them on bugs.

 

Earlier this summer my ear noises came back and they sounded like fireworks.   Since it happened to be the weekend of the Fourth of July, it’s possible that they actually were fireworks.  Since I live in a tourist area, the popping sounds my ear randomly hears could be visitors setting off more fireworks.

(It would be nice if I was hearing fireworks that I might actually see some fireworks- add some excitement to my mostly boring evenings.)

Then the noises changed again.  Now they sound like microwave popcorn popping in my ear, which would be great if I got popcorn out of the deal.

The most frequent time these sounds occur is on one of my many nocturnal shuffles to the bathroom.  When I am done and lie back down in my bed, all I hear is pop, long pause, pop, short pause, pop, pop, shorter pause, pop, pop, pop, etc.

 

This just makes me want to eat popcorn.  Before I know it, all I’m thinking about is my buddy Orville Redenbacher and it’s all I can do not to get up, pee again, get dressed, and grab my car keys in search of a 24 hour convenience store.

Luckily, the MS fatigue symptom is greater than any old regular or weird MS symptom, and I am fast asleep before I’m turning on my computer to Google which 7/11 in a 20 mile radius may actually be open past 11.

These ear noises are more fascinating than disturbing and I tend to forget about them until the next time they occur and I start considering going out in the middle of the night for popcorn.  Maybe I should just buy some to have on hand, except I’m trying to eat healthy.  Is microwave popcorn healthy?  It’s made from corn…

 

But when the ear noises started combining with a sporadic tiny ear ache, I thought I should get them checked out.  I did the responsible thing.  I hit Google.  I could find no description of my particular ear sounds.

What I did find out was that I’m special.  If my ear noises are MS related, I am in a small category (4.35% of the MS population according to About.com,) that has this particular symptom.

No regular old multiple sclerosis for me- give me even more unusual stuff in this unusual illness.

And according to the web, none of the other 4.35% of MS’ers are hearing microwave popcorn in their ears.

The web said I should talk to my doctor to rule out other issues before I blame MS.  Those issues are wax in ears (gross but have had that checked and am proud to state that I am wax free,) or another, new illness.   The web mentioned Meniere’s Disease, (many ears disease?)

 

So what does responsible me do with that information?  I look up Meniere’s Disease which I am now convinced I have.  How could I not have it?  It consists of two the symptoms related to my MS– vertigo (fuzzy brains which is very different from foggy brains because it makes my brains fuzzy, not foggy,) and balance problems (klutziness to the extreme.)  It also consists of two other symptoms I get from time to time; a feeling of fullness in the ear,(ie, minor ear ache,) and minor hearing difficulties, (ie. Can you ear me now?)

 

It’s taken me almost four years to learn how to spell the sclerosis in multiple sclerosis and now I may need to learn to spell Meniere’s Disease?

Oh I know what you’re worried about dear readers.  You’re worried that I may try to diagnosis myself after a quick web check of this latest medical issue.  I would never do that.

I spent two hours on the web before I came up with my diagnosis.

And, yes, I suppose I will bring it up to my doctor at my next appointment in three weeks.  I just have to remember to add it to the list of other things I need to tell her.

 

I have about four lists already and the reason why there isn’t just one master list is because my foggy brain (not fuzzy- I can’t even think when I am dealing with fuzzy brains) can never remember where I put my old lists.

So, to prepare for my appointment I have made a new list-

  1.  Tell doctor about my new self proclaimed diagnosis
  2. Find old lists
  3. Learn how to spell many ears disease…..

 

 

For Those Who Might Have Forgotten—Forget-me-nots

An Official MS Flower

As I do, I have been complaining about Spring quite a bit lately and will probably do it more in the future.

But for those who actually like this season, I thought I would re-post this past blog in dedication to them.   Please allow me to send you some flowers in the form of this particular repeat post-

Do you have a favorite flower, friends?

I am not just asking my female readers; men can appreciate flowers too.

Although their flowering tastes likely go to something masculine like a braided money tree or a Venus fly trap (both of which are actually plants but so what?) Men enjoy money, eating things and things that eat things, so these plants are great for them.

 

But speaking of eating things, men may also enjoy edible flowers with a sports theme like the bouquet I found above. Or, maybe a flower that reminds them of a night out with their buddies, like the red hot poker flower.

One time a beau called my mom and asked what my favorite flower was before he sent me a surprise. Yes, he was a keeper but try as I did, I wasn’t able to keep him.

She didn’t know and so she tried to casually call and ask me. I didn’t know either.

And frankly, if I did know, I likely would have forgotten.

Which brings me to the basis of this particular blog. It is spring time and spring reminds us of flowers. But lately, what I have been reminded of is all the things I keep forgetting.

I told you last week that when parking my car I forgot to put it in park. How does one forget that? Drive, means drive so you move the gear shift to the D symbol. Shouldn’t it be easy to remember to move the little symbol to the P for park when you want to park?

 

You would think so but then I did it again when I was recently driving my mom’s car. (Shhhh- don’t tell her. She will totally freak out!)

Luckily, I was still in the car when this happened and so I was able to quickly remedy the situation.

Later that same day, I forgot I was driving her car. I told my sister that we needed to go get mom’s car even though we were already in it.

 

Speaking of my mom, I thought it would be nice to send her a surprise for mother’s day from her whole family. I ordered online, typed out the card on the form and hit send.

My mom’s family consists of her three daughters, (I am one of them in case any readers are having a brain fog kind of day,) and her five grandsons.

Here is what I wrote on the card-
Happy Mother’s Day from your loving daughters and nephews

The next day I was brushing my teeth when I realized my mistake. The boys I meant to include in the card were my nephews, but her grandsons.

What was really upsetting was why I remembered that while brushing my teeth.

Sometimes it is not my fault when I forget something. Like the two times I have forgotten that milk belongs in the refrigerator, not the pantry. Doesn’t it make more sense that milk would be kept in the pantry, right next to the cereal, the peanut butter and the cookies, where it is paired so well?

 

The other day I was looking at my website and my name looked off. I thought my wonderful web guru had misspelled my name and I was bummed that the website had been up over a year and I had never noticed. I got distracted for a bit and when I looked again, my name was right. My web guy hadn’t messed up. I had briefly forgotten how to spell my own name.

The weirdest thing I have been forgetting lately is how to swallow. Swallowing isn’t something you should have to remember; you should just do it. The youngest of my nephews (my mom’s grandsons even though I called them her nephews on her card, just keeping things clear,) have been swallowing on their own since they were tiny babies. So how come I have trouble remembering how to do it?

This forgetting to swallow doesn’t happen when I am eating or drinking and it usually happens at night. I am joking about it here, (cause that’s what I do- take that MS!) but it is actually very scary. Slight panic ensues and I have to stop, calm down, and desperately try to remember how to swallow.

 

I have talked to other people with multiple sclerosis and it turns out this memory lapse is quite common, as opposed to all of our other memory lapses that are slightly less common.

It is important that I do some research on each of my blogs so I spent five seconds looking up how swallowing works. Turns out, in the long, complicated, Google description, words like ‘complex process’, ‘neuromuscular’ and ‘controlled by neurological mechanisms,’ are part of the descriptions.

It makes sense then, that it would be something our MS brains would forget how to do.

 

So this spring while I am forgetting important things, I have no clue or memory what my favorite flower is or should be. Then it came to me, forget-me-nots!

What a perfect flower for us MS’er’s, the flower that just screams to be remembered……

In further researching this blog I looked up forget-me-nots and learned some information that made me even more convinced that they should be the official flower of multiple sclerosis.

They can only tolerate partial sun and enjoy the shade even though the need some sun! How perfect for MS’ers is that?

They like moist habitats. Ok, that one is a stretch.

But, while they can exist anywhere, they are most common in Northern Hemispheres, just like my MS friends and I.

They don’t come in orange, the official MS color chosen because all the other cool colors were taken.

 

And they are not the prettiest flower, but so what? MS isn’t very pretty either.

But when you see a bunch of forget-me-nots, they are absolutely lovely to behold-just like my MS friends!

Plus, how can you possibly forget their name?

Well, give me a few minutes and I probably will….

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Some exciting news to share!

MSstation Book Club has named MS Madness!  A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis their book of the month for May!

Check it out here-

MSstation Book Club

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Forget-me-nots

An official MS flower

 

Do you have a favorite flower, friends? I am not just asking my female readers; men can appreciate flowers too. Although their flowering tastes likely go to something masculine like a braided money tree or a Venus fly trap (both of which are actually plants but so what?) Men enjoy money, eating things and things that eat things, so these plants are great for them.

But speaking of eating things, men may also enjoy edible flowers with a sports theme like the bouquet I found below. Or, maybe a flower that reminds them of a night out with their buddies, like the red hot poker flower.

 

One time a beau called my mom and asked what my favorite flower was before he sent me a surprise. Yes, he was a keeper but try as I did, I wasn’t able to keep him. She didn’t know and so she tried to casually call and ask me. I didn’t know either. And frankly, if I did know, I likely would have forgotten.

Which brings me to the basis of this particular blog. It is spring time and spring reminds us of flowers. But lately, what I have been reminded of is all the things I keep forgetting.

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I told you last week that when parking my car I forgot to put it in park. How does one forget that? Drive, means drive so you move the gear shift to the D symbol. Shouldn’t it be easy to remember to move the little symbol to the P for park when you want to park?

You would think so but then I did it again when I was recently driving my mom’s car. (Shhhh- don’t tell her. She will totally freak out!) Luckily, I was still in the car when this happened and so I was able to quickly remedy the situation.

Later that same day, I forgot I was driving her car. I told my sister that we needed to go get mom’s car even though we were already in it.

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Speaking of my mom, I thought it would be nice to send her a surprise for mother’s day from her whole family. I ordered online, typed out the card on the form and hit send. My mom’s family consists of her three daughters, (I am one of them in case any readers are having a brain fog kind of day,) and her five grandsons.

Here is what I wrote on the card-

Happy Mother’s Day from your loving daughters and nephews

The next day I was brushing my teeth when I realized my mistake. The boys I meant to include in the card were my nephews, but her grandsons. What was really upsetting was why I remembered that while brushing my teeth.

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Sometimes it is not my fault when I forget something. Like the two times I have forgotten that milk belongs in the refrigerator, not the pantry. Doesn’t it make more sense that milk would be kept in the pantry, right next to the cereal, the peanut butter and the cookies, where it is paired so well?

The other day I was looking at my website and my name looked off. I thought my wonderful web guru Michael of Kemp Resources had misspelled my name and I was bummed that the website had been up over a year and I had never noticed. I got distracted for a bit and when I looked again, my name was right. My web guy hadn’t messed up. I had briefly forgotten how to spell my name.

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The weirdest thing I have been forgetting lately is how to swallow. Swallowing isn’t something you should have to remember; you should just do it. The youngest of my nephews (my mom’s grandsons even though I called them her nephews on her card, just keeping things clear,) have been swallowing on their own since they were tiny babies. So how come I have trouble remembering how to do it?

This forgetting to swallow doesn’t happen when I am eating or drinking and it usually happens at night. I am joking about it here, (cause that’s what I do- take that MS!) but it is actually very scary. Slight panic ensues and I have to stop, calm down, and desperately try to remember how to swallow.

I have talked to other people with multiple sclerosis and it turns out this memory lapse is quite common, as opposed to all of our other memory lapses that are slightly less common.

It is important that I do some research on each of my blogs so I spent five seconds looking up how swallowing works. Turns out, in the long, complicated, Google description, words like ‘complex process’, ‘neuromuscular’ and ‘controlled by neurological mechanisms,’ are part of the descriptions. It makes sense then, that it would be something our MS brains would forget how to do.

 

So this spring while I am forgetting important things, I have no clue or memory what my favorite flower is or should be. Then it came to me, forget-me-nots! What a perfect flower for us MS’er’s, the flower that just screams to be remembered……

In further researching this blog I looked up forget-me-nots and learned some information that made me even more convinced that they should be the official flower of multiple sclerosis. They can only tolerate partial sun and enjoy the shade even though they need some sun! How perfect for MS’ers is that?

They like moist habitats. Ok, that one is a stretch. But, while they can exist anywhere, they are most common in Northern Hemispheres, just like my MS friends and I.

They don’t come in orange, the official MS color chosen because all the other cool colors were taken.

 

And they are not the prettiest flower, but so what? MS isn’t very pretty either. But when you see a bunch of forget-me-nots, they are absolutely lovely to behold-just like my MS friends!

Plus, how can you possibly forget their name? Well, give me a few minutes and I probably will….

 

Only one more week to enter the What’s in a Name contest friends!!!! Go to the What’s in the Name Blog post and help me title my upcoming book for a prize! Contest ends 5/24/13.

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Daffodil picture courtesy of Barbara Epich Struna http://barbarastruna.blogspot.com/

Image courtesy of [89 studio] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Jomphong] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [renjith krishnan] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [smarnad] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

MS Extreme Sports

Multiple Sclerosis sporting events

Years ago, my 10 year old nephew spent the weekend with me and we went to the video store to rent some movies.

(For you young ones who need clarification, my nephew is 21 now so this was back in the scary days before Netflicks, On Demand and Amazon. There was no instant movie watching gratification. If you wanted to watch a movie you actually had to get in your car and drive a few minutes to a store to see if the movie you wanted to watch was even available and then you paid for it and brought it home. This is how we used to have to do it- horrors I know.)

He was into skateboarding and so the movie we rented was about extreme skateboarding. We unknowingly turned it in late and I had some explaining to do when my boyfriend and I rented a movie the next weekend and he wanted to know why he was paying a late fee for a movie titled XXX that I supposedly rented with my nephew.

“It was called XXX as in triple X sporting events-skateboarding, snowboarding, dirt biking.”

‘Uh huh.”

For some reason, remembering this story got me thinking about extreme sports for MS’er’s. I know many of my fellow MS’er’s keep themselves very active. Montel Williams went snowboarding in Chile this summer. Is there even snow in Chile, especially in the summer? I was too fatigued to Google this fact to get that question answered.

My aunt tells me her friend has MS and participates in triathlons. I don’t know what a triathlon is but just saying the word is making me tired.

And then there are a lot of people with MS who walk in the MS Walks to raise money and awareness about this insidious disease. I could do that. I bet I could walk the whole route; if someone let me borrow their motorized chair maybe.

I am proud of my fellow MS’ers and say good for them! But it is making me feel left out. How come there isn’t a sport for me to go the distance in? There are some things I am great at.

How about an extreme sleeping event? I would totally ace that one! One time I slept a total of 23 out of 27 hours! Can Montel do that?

What about an extreme bladder release event? How many times can you empty your bladder in one night? My record is 18 in a five hour time period. That is extreme for sure!

How about a driest mouth event? My meds cause the worst case of dry mouth and I swear that if I didn’t brush my teeth constantly, I could grow a forest on my tongue.

How about a pin cushion event? One time, I had three different shots in one day- my regular, a blood test and the flu shot. How many living pin cushions are there in this world?

I do, I feel left out. Perhaps I will make my own extreme video. Of course it might be a little boring for others to watch in the sleeping event.

And I am not sure how much visual detail in the bladder event I want to include, but I will figure this out. After I go to the bathroom and take my meds. Then perhaps I will rest for a bit……

Image courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net