Tag Archives: mri.

Another MRI? More Major Radioactive Insanity

Lessons from the tubeID-10015904

It’s time for another MRI later this week.  This will be my 7th. Or 8th.  Or maybe this is the 9th.  Who can tell anymore?  Despite all the time I have spent in the tube, I thought I should review this old post to remember some of the lessons I previously drafted.

2013 started in my world with two afternoons of MRI’s, my fifth set since my body started tingling all over, and not in a good way.   You would think that having previously undergone four MRI’s in a three year period, I would know what to expect.  And since I am generally not claustrophobic, the process wouldn’t be that horrible.   But each time I walk in, I have completely forgotten lessons learned in the past and it is like I am having this test for the first time.

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This year, however, I got smart and thought to write down the things I learned so that I will be better prepared for the sixth MRI series.  And since I will forget where I put this list, I am publishing it here so that maybe some of you can remind me of these lessons when I need them.  Feel free to adopt any of these yourself if you are about to be shot down the tube.

The technologists will tell you that MRI is an abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  They are lying.  MRI is actually short for “Major Radioactive Insanity.”  Major, because while there really isn’t any pain involved, while you are stuck in the tube it feels like a really big deal.

And do not let the technologists tell you any different, there is some sort of radioactivity involved.  If there wasn’t, why would you have to wait for the green sign to light up before you enter the room?  The way the technologists freak out if you step just a little too closely to the door while the light is red, there has got to be some type of radio something or other going on.  Radioactivity, radio frequency, Sirrus satellite radio, whatever.  It is radio something and it is serious.

ID-10062933 (1)

And insanity?  Yes, what goes through your mind while you are in there is nothing if not insane.

Ladies, you cannot wear a bra.  Even if you know for sure that there is no metal anywhere in or on your bra, there is, somewhere.  The little hooks or the synthetic material of a sports bra have microscopic bits of metal in them.   Even if you happen to be a 34A and wearing a light cotton/lace thingy with mesh hooks, you need to take it off; if only out of respect for those of us who must wear underwire over the shoulder boulder holders.

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Go to the bathroom before starting the test.  Once beginning the test, keep reminding yourself you do not need to pee again.  You really don’t.  It’s just part of the insanity, this bladder mirage.

If you panic that maybe the technologists have forgotten you in the machine and left for the day, don’t push the panic button to check.   It will only delay the time you are stuck there and really, really annoy them.  And trust me; you don’t want the technologists annoyed with you until after the MRI is over.

If you get super bored, don’t push the panic button just for something to do.  They don’t like that either.

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If you think you might seriously panic about being stranded (this particular panic occurs to me during the brain MRI when they actually have to lock my head into the MRI vise), then take the technologist’s car keys and lock them in your assigned locker.   You won’t be able to take the locker key into the tube with you (its metal), but you can hide it somewhere in the outer room and then kill the time in the tube trying to remember where you hid it.

At least it will be hidden from the techs so that they can’t leave until they bring you out and you have all searched for the locker key you so carefully hid.

ID-100105637

If, while your brain rambles during the test, you get a sudden desire to reach out to an ex-boyfriend, ex- boss, ex- party buddy, ex- friend, or ex- roommate, don’t do it as soon as you get your phone back.  This is another MRI mirage.  If contacting your ex anything wasn’t a good idea before you went into the tube, it is DEFINITELY not a good idea once you get out.

If your doctor orders something called “contrast,” at some point the technologist will slide you out of the machine and inject ink into your body. This does not mean that later in the day you will spit, sweat, pee or cry pretty colors, which is a total bummer.  I hoped to create my own MRI/MS Rorschach print.

ID-100149247

Damn, you can’t have any fun with MS.

Speaking of bodily fluids, you still don’t have to pee.  Well, ok, by now you probably do.   Try to ignore this fact.  You won’t be able to ignore it but trying to will at least give you something else to do until the test is over.

The MRI takes five hours.  It doesn’t really, but if you think that it does before you go in, the actual time it takes will be a little more bearable.

You will be able to keep your socks on.  If you choose to do this, make sure your socks have non skid, gripper soles, the kind the put on little kids feet pajamas.  If you don’t, when you are finally free to go you may be so excited to get out of there that your socks slip, causing you to slide across the floor, bang your head on the table you just got off of, and have to repeat the whole process all over again to see what damage you have just caused your brain in your excitement to get off the table.ID-100121631

At least the base line tests will already be done.

(So, no, I didn’t actually hit my head on the table when I slid across the floor.  But I came close and MUST remember feetie socks next time.)

Finally, the biggest MRI lesson is that if the technologist gives you a disc to take to your doctor, never, ever look at it without your doctor present.  If you do, you will be convinced that you have the spine of a frog, and the brain of Frankenstein which will cause you to enter into a state of depression the whole week until your appt where your doctor will tell you that what you were actually looking at was an old Rorschach test you happened to have hanging around your disc drive.

ID-100290700Happy insanity, ooops, I mean imaging, everyone.

 

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MS Insanity Galore

A multiple sclerosis contest and some multiple sclerosis advice

*******Contest*******

I’m starting this holiday month and this week’s blog off with my latest contest friends!!! I promise as long as there are entries, there will be at least one winner!

The idea behind this contest is to get everyone excited for the February release of my book MS Madness: A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis.

The first place winner of this month’s contest will receive a $25 Amazon gift card as well as an autographed copy of MS Madness. The next five people who answer somewhat correctly will each receive a free ebook of MS Madness.

Please enter by sending me a private message either through the contact section of my website, or by liking my yvonnedesousa.com Facebook page and then sending me a private message there. The first accurate answers will win.

Please send in your answer no later than midnight on 12/26/13. The winner will be announced in my 12/27/13 blog.

******Question******

So here is the question for the December contest-

I open MS Madness: A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis with two different quotes about the importance of smiling and good humor from two very different sources. What are those sources?

******Hint******

One source is the Bible and the other is a song from my favorite band. The most accurate answer will include a book of the bible and a song title. If no one gets both, the first person to guess one or the other will win.

Good luck everyone! And now for today’s blog-

It is a repeat but as I hang out on MS social media sites, it seems like this issue is relevant for many and may be worth a second read.

******Blog******

2013 started in my world with two afternoons of MRI’s, my fifth set since my body started tingling all over, and not in a good way.

You would think that having previously undergone four MRI’s in a three year period, I would know what to expect. And since I am generally not claustrophobic, the process wouldn’t be that horrible. But each time I walk in, I have completely forgotten lessons learned in the past and it is like I am having this test for the first time.

This year, however, I got smart and thought to write down the things I learned so that I will be better prepared for the sixth MRI series. And since I will forget where I put this list, I am publishing it here so that maybe some of you can remind me of these lessons when I need them. Feel free to adopt any of these yourself if you are about to be shot down the tube.

The technologists will tell you that MRI is an abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. They are lying.

MRI is actually short for “Major Radioactive Insanity.”

Major, because while there really isn’t any pain involved, while you are stuck in the tube it feels like a really big deal.

And do not let the technologists tell you any different, there is some sort of radioactivity involved.

If there wasn’t, why would you have to wait for the green sign to light up before you enter the room? The way the technologists freak out if you step just a little too closely to the door while the light is red, there has got to be some type of radio something or other going on.

Radioactivity, radio frequency, Sirrus satellite radio, whatever. It is radio something and it is serious.

And insanity? Yes, what goes through your mind while you are in there is nothing if not insane.

Ladies, you cannot wear a bra. Even if you know for sure that there is no metal anywhere in or on your bra, there is, somewhere. The little hooks or the synthetic material of a sports bra have microscopic bits of metal in them.

Even if you happen to be a 34A and wearing a light cotton/lace thingy with mesh hooks, you need to take it off; if only out of respect for those of us who must wear underwire over the shoulder boulder holders.

Go to the bathroom before starting the test. Once beginning the test, keep reminding yourself you do not need to pee again. You really don’t. It is just part of the insanity, this bladder mirage.

If you panic that maybe the technologists have forgotten you in the machine and left for the day, don’t push the panic button to check. It will only delay the time you are stuck there and really, really annoy them. And trust me; you don’t want the technologists annoyed with you until after the MRI is over.

If you get super bored, don’t push the panic button just for something to do. They don’t like that either.

If you think you might seriously panic about being stranded (this particular panic occurs to me during the brain MRI when they actually have to lock my head into the MRI vise), then take their car keys and lock them in your assigned locker.

You won’t be able to take the locker key into the tube with you (its metal), but you can hide it somewhere in the outer room and then kill the time in the tube trying to remember where you hid the key.

At least it will be hidden from the techs so that they can’t leave until they bring you out and you have all searched for the locker key you so carefully hid.

If, while your brain rambles during the test, you get a sudden desire to reach out to an ex-boyfriend, ex- boss, ex- party buddy, ex- friend, or ex- roommate, don’t do it as soon as you get your phone back. This is another MRI mirage.

If contacting your ex anything wasn’t a good idea before you went into the tube, it is DEFINITELY not a good idea once you get out.

If your doctor orders something called “contrast,” at some point the technologist will slide you out of the machine and inject ink into your body. This does not mean that later in the day you will spit, sweat, pee or cry pretty colors, which is a total bummer. I hoped to create my own MRI/MS Rorschach print.

Damn, you just can’t have any fun with MS.

Speaking of bodily fluids, you still don’t have to pee. Well, ok, by now you probably do. Try to ignore this fact. You won’t be able to ignore it but trying to will at least give you something else to do until the test is over.

The MRI takes five hours. It doesn’t really, but if you think that it does before you go in, the actual time it takes will be a little more bearable.

You will be able to keep your socks on. If you choose to do this, make sure your socks have non skid, gripper soles, they kind the put on little kids feet pajamas. If you don’t, when you are finally free to go you may likely be so excited to get out of there that your socks slip, causing you to slide across the floor, bang your head on the table you just go off of, and have to repeat the whole process all over again to see what damage you have just caused your brain in your excitement to get off the table.

At least the base line tests will already be done.

(So, no, I didn’t actually hit my head on the table when I slid across the floor. But I came close and MUST remember feetie socks next time.)

Finally, the biggest MRI lesson is that if the technologist gives you a disc to take to your doctor, never, ever look at it without your doctor present.

If you do, you will be convinced that you have the spine of a frog, and the brain of Frankenstein which will cause you to enter into a state of depression the whole week until your appt where your doctor will tell you that what you were actually looking at was an old Rorschach test you happened to have hanging around your disc drive.

Happy insanity, ooops, I mean imaging, everyone.

 

 

 

Major Radioactive Insanity

An MS’er is sent down the tube, again

ID-10015904

2013 started in my world with two afternoons of MRI’s, my fifth set since my body started tingling all over, and not in a good way. You would think that having previously undergone four MRI’s in a three year period, I would know what to expect.

And since I am generally not claustrophobic, the process wouldn’t be that horrible. But each time I walk in, I have completely forgotten lessons learned in the past and it is like I am having this test for the first time.

This year, however, I got smart and thought to write down the things I learned so that I will be better prepared for the sixth MRI series. And since I will forget where I put this list, I am publishing it here in my blog so that maybe some of you can remind me of these lessons when I need them.

Feel free to adopt any of these yourself if you are about to be shot down the tube.

The technicians will tell you that MRI is an abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. They are lying. MRI is actually short for Major Radioactive Insanity.

Major, because while there really isn’t any pain involved, while you are stuck in the tube it feels like a really big deal.

And do not let the techs tell you any different, there is some sort of Radioactivity involved. If there wasn’t, why would you have to wait for the green sign to light up before you enter the room? The way the technicians freak out if you step just a little too closely to the door while the light is red, there has got to be some type of radio something or other going on.

And insanity? Yes, what goes through your mind while you are in there is nothing if not insane.

Ladies, you cannot wear a bra. Even if you know for sure that there is no metal anywhere in or on your bra, there is, somewhere. The little hooks or the synthetic material of a sports bra have microscopic bits of metal in them.

Even if you happen to be a 34A and wearing a light cotton/lace thingy with mesh hooks, you need to take it off; if only out of respect for those of us who must wear underwire over the shoulder boulder holders.

Go to the bathroom before starting the test. Once beginning the test, keep reminding yourself you do not need to pee again. You really don’t. It is just part of the insanity, this bladder mirage.

If you panic that maybe the techs have forgotten you in the machine and left for the day, don’t push the panic button to check. It will only delay the time you are stuck there and really, really annoy the techs. And trust me, you don’t want them annoyed with you until after the MRI is over.

ID-10086477

If you get super bored, don’t push the panic button just for something to do. They don’t like that either.

If you think you might seriously panic about the techs leaving you stranded (this particular panic occurs to me during the brain MRI when they actually have to lock my head into the MRI vise), then take their car keys and lock them in your assigned locker.

You won’t be able to take the locker key into the tube with you (its metal), but you can hide it somewhere in the outer room and then kill the time in the tube trying to remember where you hid the key. At least it will be hidden from the techs so that they can’t leave until they bring you out and you have all searched for the locker key you so carefully hid.

ID-10043409

If, while your brain rambles during the test, you get a sudden desire to reach out to an ex-boyfriend, ex- boss, ex- party buddy, ex- friend, or ex- roommate, don’t do it as soon as you get your phone back. This is another MRI mirage. If contacting your ex anything wasn’t a good idea before you went into the tube, it is DEFINITELY not a good idea once you get out.

ID-10063510

If your doctor orders something called “contrast,” at some point the technicians will slide you out of the machine and inject ink into your body. This does not mean that later in the day you will spit, sweat, pee or cry pretty colors, which is a total bummer. I hoped to create my own MRI/MS Rorschach print.

Damn, you just can’t have any fun with MS.

Speaking of bodily fluids, you still don’t have to pee. Well, ok, by now you probably do. Try to ignore this fact. You won’t be able to ignore it but trying to will at least give you something else to do until the test is over.

The MRI takes five hours. It doesn’t really, but if you think that it does before you go in, the actual time it takes will be a little more bearable.

You will be able to keep your socks on. If you choose to do this, make sure your socks have non skid, gripper soles, the kind they put on little kids feet pajamas. If you don’t, when you are finally free to go you may likely be so excited to get out of there that your socks slip, causing you to slide across the floor, bang your head on the table you just got off of, and have to repeat the whole process all over again to see what damage you have just caused your brain in your excitement to get off the table.

At least the base line tests will already be done.

(So, no, I didn’t actually hit my head on the table when I slid across the floor. But I came close and MUST remember feetie socks next time.)

ID-10057006

Finally, the biggest MRI lesson is that if the technicians give you a disc to take to your doctor, never, ever look at it without your doctor present. If you do, you will be convinced that you have the spine of a frog, and the brain of Frankenstein which will cause you to enter into a state of depression the whole week until your appt where your doctor will tell you that what you were actually looking at was an old Rorschach test you happened to have hanging around your disc drive.

Happy insanity, ooops, I mean imaging, everyone.

 

 

Image courtesy of [renjith krishnan] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Resolve This!

An MS’er attacks the New Year

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Happy New Year everyone! Hope you have had an excellent start to this first day of 2013.

Yes, oh particular ones, I do realize that today is the 11th and thus eleven days after the first official day of the year. But my question is, says who? The Mayans?

I have chosen to start the New Year and my New Year’s resolutions today for several reasons.

1. I had way too much chocolate and goodies still leftover from Christmas to even attempt any healthy eating plan. Unlike my thinner friend who decided to start her resolutions on 12/29 to get ahead of the game (New Year kiss-ass,) I choose to be a rebel and just start later. I also resolved to waste less, so I would be immediately failing if I threw out the good stuff. My friend had help in that department. Her four, pretty much grown kids, who were home for the holiday helped her devour her treats. I was forced to tackle mine almost completely alone.

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2. The end of the first official week of the New Year was filled with two afternoons of MRI’s, for which I needed to refrain from taking my wonder drug, Aleve, for several days. (More on what I Iearned from the MRI tube in a future blog.) Without my over the counter pain meds, the aches were miserable and I resolved to do nothing but lie around my house and whine about them.

3. As you can see from the above, this year I resolved to take my health and ‘get fit’ plan seriously. So I seriously chose a good day to start- the 11th, the Yvonne deSousa official first day of the New Year! A brief Auld Lang Syne to all!

If you happened to be following my ‘get fit’ plan over the summer, you understand that it takes baby steps to achieve healthy new fitness goals. Little by little, I have been sneaking better habits in and have figured some things out along the way that may help all of you in your ‘get fit’ journey as well.

 

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1. One regular size Mounds candy bar is not the equivalent of two servings of fruit.

2. Kale is the best veggie in the world but eating eight bowls of Portuguese kale soup is not the healthiest way to meet your veggie requirements.

3. While super delicious, Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkins are not actually made from pumpkins and thus, don’t count as a fruit serving.

4. Cinnamon is an excellent spice and very good for you. But shaking just a little on ice cream, puddings and baked goods is the least effective way of adding it to your diet.

5. Just because something is in the yogurt section of the dairy case and starts with Yo, doesn’t mean it is the same as the yogurt the experts all tell you to eat. Apparently the stuff that comes with mini M&M’s and Oreo cookies are not the best in yogurt options.

6. Since dark chocolate is good for you, one would assume that milk chocolate is even better as it has milk in it. Apparently, that is not the case.

7. Turns out calories consumed by eating raw cookie dough really do count.

8. Vegan and vegetarian are considered by some to be politically incorrect words these politically correct days. The new appropriate phrasing is “plant based diet.” This I discovered when another friend and I attended a class on “plant based diet” cooking. (See, I really am trying.)

The class was held in a small, quiet room in a doctor’s office, and was just beginning when my friend called to tell me that she was late as she couldn’t find the place. I did what any good friend would do and gave her the best directions that would help her find it.

“It is directly across from McDonalds on Main, you know the Mickey D’s we went to last month to pick up the Frappes.” Despite the offended looks I received from the instructor, I did take home some good recipes.

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Over the fall, you, readers have been concerned about me as well and have sent me some helpful information. One reader and dear friend recommended a book called the Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book that I purchased and have leafed through several times. I swear one of these days I will actually read the words written in it, I really will.

Another reader mentioned the website www.skinnytaste.com and honestly, it looks really good. And I heard from the founder of the website www.msdietforwomen.com and that looks really good too. Guys, you are on your own on that one.

I also discovered the website www.crazysexydiet.com that is geared towards people using healthy foods to fight cancer, but has the same good for you basics we all need. I was at first pleased when I read their list of 9 Foods You Should Never Eat and discovered that I only ate 2 of them- two didn’t seem that bad. Then I realized that Portuguese bread and Italian bread are considered white bread so damn, there were three things on the list I need to cut out.

Not to forget the other part of any person’s ‘get fit’ plan, is the fact that you must drink lots of water. It is not that I have an aversion to water, I just forget to drink it. I usually remember right about the time in the evening when I remember to take my “so I don’t pee all night” pill, which of course, is too late to start drinking water.

And then there is exercise. Another reader sent me info about a website www.crankyfitness.com    The concept of this site is that if exercising makes you cranky, the website can relate.

What all of these things seem to say is that the basic plan should be to eat more vegetables and fruits, no processed foods, much, much, less meat, sugar, and flour, drink water and exercise. I am on it!

I have charged the batteries in my Wii and have the ingredients for my first recipe, a Ham, Brown Rice and Peas casserole for WHICH, I am going to substitute kidney beans for the ham and exchange half the brown rice for farro to add some good grains.

I can do this! Want to join me?

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Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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December Dates

An MS’er looks at the calendar

It is the Monday morning after a month long stay in another state, visiting relatives. My family and I had returned late on the previous Thursday evening. The next day it was all I could do through my fatigue to go to the post office and pick up the collected mail. (I have written about after travel stress and mail previously- check out the blog post from last year’s trip, Its on My List.)

I spent the weekend alternating between resting and going through the mail, resting and sorting the mail, resting and paying late bills, and resting and responding to other mail.

Before I stepped into the shower this Monday morning I looked at my calendar and saw written for today, 12/17/12, “confirm insurance, get approval and schedule MRI.”

While I was gone, changes had been made to my insurance and I knew getting this straightened out was the day’s priority. Yet in the shower, the date was bugging me. There was something more to 12/17, but what?

It didn’t help that December dates are pretty busy for me and not just because of the huge holiday that everyone knows about and adjusts their month around. (You know you do- even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you are making plans as all your favorite places are closed that day!) It is also a birthday galore month for me (besides the big guy’s of course.)

This particular December month is filled with the birthdays of one nephew, two cousins, an aunt, a niece-in-law who is also the mother of my two great nephews, a friend turning 40, another friend who turned 40 last year, a third friend who I thought was turning 40 as my MS brain completely forgot we celebrated her 40th last year with the other friend who turned 40, and a fourth friend who is my same age but who I can never remember if she is younger than me thus hitting my age this month or is older and is hitting the next dreaded year first.

At one point I discovered that a cousin-in-law I have grown particularly close to this past year also had a birthday this month that I almost missed-thank goodness for social media birthday updates.

While watching the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary Pay per View concert at a friend’s house, I was reminded that Keith Richards birthday was coming up (12/18/43 for those who would like to note it on their own calendars.)

I have always been a Stones fan and think Keith is the coolest of the cool and one of the most talented undead humans on our planet. But remembering his birthday is a bit extreme for my taxed brain.

 

Perhaps I remembered because I had listened to the audio CD of his autobiography Life this past summer. Still, retaining the actual date is random. (Speaking of MS as this is an MS blog, did you know that Keith had a beloved aunt who suffered from MS? He has a real understanding and sympathy for what living with MS is like. How much closer to perfection can this rocker get?)

 

I don’t care what all these folks say, they must have gotten ripped off from the birthday fairy or Santa Claus when they were kids. Anyway, what is up with 12/17? There is that whole end of the word thing but that is scheduled for 12/21.

I finished the shower and made calls and miracle of all Christmas miracles, the calls went smoothly and I scheduled my next MRI. It wasn’t until evening while I was writing on my calendar a reminder to stop taking Aleve 4 days before the MRI (and already bemoaning what an achy miserable blob I will be those days) that it FINALLY occurred to me what it was about 12/17 that was bugging me.   12/17/09 was the day I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Here is one of the many weird ways MS works. Every MS’er I know (me included) automatically remembers the day of their diagnosis. I can recall the date of diagnosis quicker than I can recall my social security number.

Yet, looking at the calendar on the exact day, and doing MS related errands involving this sucky anniversary, I couldn’t get my head around why this date was flashing like a black flag in my tired MS brain.

Oh, but the memory the understanding of the date brought. Three years ago I was a hurting, exhausted, smoking, depressed, stressed mess working in a job I generally enjoyed but was the root of a lot of the stress. And I was barely walking. Yet I was trying to focus on the spirit of the Christmas holiday despite MRI’s and doctor appointments.

Today I am less hurting, not smoking, less stressed, not depressed, better walking, not at that job, less of a mess. I am still freaking exhausted ALL the time though and am about as sick of dealing with fatigue as folks are sick of hearing me whine about it!!!

I have discovered skills that I didn’t know about three years ago (writing and public speaking but I guess referring to them as skills is really up to readers and the few audience members I have encountered thus far.)

And clearly, I am still as spacey as I was back then as evidenced by my spending the day trying to figure out why this day was standing out even as I repeated the same day to MRI people scheduling my three year MRI!

Here is another thing that has not changed. In 2009, the most important date was the one coming up the following week. Even through the pain and the fear about what was wrong with me, 12/25 was the most important item on my calendar.

If it is all the same with you, I will continue to focus on the biggest date of the month. So for the others (12/3, 12/3, 12/5, 12/15, 12/16, 12/17, 12/18. 12/19, 12/24, 12/27, 12/28, and 12/29,) you dates are ok on my calendar. But the one that brings me the most joy is 12/25.

Merry Christmas Everyone and whether you celebrate Christmas itself or not, a healthy, blessed holiday season to all……

Note- Joy is one of the words we associate with the Christmas season. This year, after the horrific, violent event of 12/14, joy may be much harder to find. If so, please remember the other words most closely associated with Christmas- peace and love. When we can focus on peace and love, we can come closer to healing.

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