Tag Archives: Sesame Street

You Can STILL Call Me Oscar!

A multiple sclerosis transformation

ID-10057689 (3)

I originally posted this blog on 9/6/13 but ironically, with the heat and humidity and all, it still applies today.  Except for the “it’s autumn” part.  I have to wait a couple of more weeks for that.

But trust me, I’m counting the days!

I slept really well last night, despite the two nights of lousy sleep before last night’s night of good sleep.

I blame the two previous lousy nights of sleep on the incredibly obnoxious bladder issue that the meds don’t always help.

That pisses me off.

(Get it- pisses me off??  I have used that one before and it’s not my own but it IS a classic.)

Anyway, last night was a good night’s sleep so why did I wake up so crabby?

ID-10049049

Well, first off, after my morning bathroom run I turned on my computer to discover that an email I expected and eagerly anticipated was not in my inbox.  On top of that, for some reason, I couldn’t open my other emails, even after logging on and off a few times.

Things went downhill from there…

I turned into the biggest crabapple ever!

AKA, a sourpuss.

AKA, Oscar the Grouch.

ID-100179269

Email is a completely silly thing to get that upset over, especially since overall, things are well.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday that ran on time, went smoothly, and all my results were good- miraculous.

After a miserable summer, autumn is here and the weather is fine.  (Don’t you dare nitpick- I am in no mood.  For Cape Cod folks like me, autumn begins the day after Labor Day!)

I was settled in my new place

I was making decent progress on a project I was enjoying.

So what was with the lousy mood???

ID-100260471

When I don’t know the answer to something, I blame MS.  And in this case, there is some merit to that blame as it was the morning after my MS shot.

In addition to my email annoyance, other things that could be MS related went wrong.

My lack of concentration caused me to have trouble saying my morning prayers.

I spilled tea all over myself.

My clumsy fingers had trouble opening my cereal box.

ID-100312087

My lack of coordination dropped some of my breakfast on the floor.

My MS meds hangover was starting to cause my head to ache.

So what was I to do?

It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be very productive until I cleared my head some and I needed to be productive today.  Since the weather was gorgeous, perhaps a walk on the beach would help.

ID-100138320

It was at that minute that the sky darkened and scary looking storm clouds passed over my new home.

Then it started to rain.  Not a light, pleasant, stomp in puddles rain.  But a heavy, raging, life sucks with a vengeance downpour.

Oscar the Grouch was alive and well and had moved into my body and I was helpless to stop him.

I figured since I was now officially Oscar the Grouch I should do some research on him.

What I found was terrifying!

Oscar is not actually a monster, but a Grouch.

He was born in 1969- just like me.

He is rarely seen outside of his can.  (Hmmm, when was the last time I left my can, I mean, my house?)ID-100154859

He complains, A LOT.

He likes to say things like “Scram” “Get Lost” “Go Away” and “Ding Dong- you’re wrong.”

And scariest of all, he used to be orange.  And as most of you know, orange is the color of MS!

Oscar is actually MS and MS has actually taken over my body and turned me into Oscar.

Need more proof?

ID-100175191

It has long been known that multiple sclerosis is associated with depression (what is more depressing than being told you have MS?) and also with major mood swings.

I looked into this further and learned that MS is also known to cause “frequent bouts of anger and irritability,” and “are likely to affect everyone in the family.”  (Unless they run and hide.)

So what to do about it?  My doctor already has me on mood drugs as I snap at her as soon as I get to her office.

Like Oscar, I was tempted to hunker down in my can and pull pillows over my head.  But that seemed too unproductive even for the grouchy and unproductive me.

Plus, the remote control for my bedroom TV died.

So I wrote this blog instead.

Now, I will hide.

But not before first sticking my tongue out at the world and saying “Na, na, na na na!”

ID-10056127 (1)

Do to legal issues that I may or may not describe in a future blog I was not able to include an image of Oscar the Grouch in this blog.  Your imagination and emoticons will have to do!

Quotes on emotional changes with multiple sclerosis are from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

Quotes from Oscar the Grouch are from Sesame Street and me.

Quote about being pissed off about bladder issues are from my sister Laurie.

“Na, na, na na na” quote is all mine.

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiating-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of at Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

This MS Moment is Brought to you by the Letters ‘F’ and ‘U’ and the Number ‘2’

Multiple Sclerosis looks to Sesame Street for support

ID-10086805

It’s been kind of a frustrating week.  So frustrating that I didn’t have the piece of mind to write a new blog.  And so the frustrated me offers up one of my favorites…….

It was Elmo that finally did me in.   Yes, Elmo, as in Tickle Me.  But maybe that is not fair.  While he was the catalyst, it was really his helpful, female puppet friend Betty Lou that was the root of my actual demise.

It didn’t help that I came late to the magic and wonders of Sesame Street.  Growing up in the early seventies, public television was a somewhat radical concept and the new children’s programming seemed to threaten subversive and counter-culture undertones in my mom’s mind.   The Brady Bunch and The Flintstones were much healthier- nice, safe family values.

ID-10063278

As I grew out of my toddler years her television concerns continued.   The Partridge Family was NOT ok.   The fact that Mrs. Partridge was traveling around the country in a bus and allowing her children to perform rock concerts in front of out of control teens was EXACTLY what was wrong with the country.  At least that’s what my mom always said.

By the time she became a grandmother she relented somewhat and relaxed her television rules.   I would watch Sesame Street with my four year old nephew and we enjoyed it immensely.    I remember rolling around on the floor laughing and crying after a recent breakup with some guy or another while Patti Labelle sang “How I Miss my X” to a very sad looking X.   I thought the scene was adorable and was speaking directly to my heartbreaking soul.

“Drew-don’t you get it?   Her ex is the letter X!   Isn’t that a riot?  And look, X misses her too.  They’ll get back together- I just know they will.”

My nephew looked at me as though I was nuts and ran off to play with his toy fire engine.

ID-10020844

Anyway, back to modern day.   I was in the midst of a horrible month filled with paperwork, appointments, highs, lows, good news, bad news, good advice, bad advice and whatever else one can throw into a month.   After a frustrating breakdown during appointment number six, it was recommended that I see a therapist.   Thus it was that I was at appointment number seven in the lobby of the one therapist that took my insurance and answered the phone when I called.

Much to her dismay as it was her lunch hour, I was an hour and ten minutes early.   No, I hadn’t bothered to check what time I was due there.  My MS brain knew the time.

While she handed me more paperwork to fill out I asked about her practice.

“No,” she told me, “I don’t exclusively treat children.”   It was hard to believe based on the emotion charts, animal posters, blocks, and teddy bears that sat in her waiting room.

ID-10091809

I started the paperwork while I listened to her pack up the hundreds of Legos I noticed on the floor of her office when she opened the door to greet me.    My mind continued to swirl with all that had piled up that month and of all the things I had to do.  But it was my fault I was early (apparently my MS brain knew something that her planner and my calendar did not).  And so, with this round of paperwork done, I grabbed the thing closest to me to read.

It was a book from a Sesame Street series called Sesame Street Library.   In it, loveable Elmo ventures into the library looking for a little black puppy.   As he searches he gets distracted from his important task by story hour.

ID-10024270

I do that all the time.   Could Elmo have MS too?

He meets his buddy Betty Lou and, when asked, remembers his mission.  Betty Lou offers to help.   She gives him all library info he could possibly need and then produces a book called, you guessed it, Little Black Puppy.

Poor Elmo has been misunderstood.  I can relate to that too.  More evidence our furry red friend might be afflicted with a myelin damaging illness.

He explains his plight again.  He is looking for an actual puppy that is missing and happens to be black and little.  Again, the kind Betty Lou wants to help.  Back to the card catalog they go and then to the stacks where she produces a book called How to be a Detective.

ID-100211347

“There Elmo, you can read this book and then you will know how to find your puppy.”

It doesn’t end there.

Betty Lou is a dear friend after all and really, really wants to help so she proceeds to find several other detective books to help Elmo in his search.   Elmo excitedly thanks her.

That’s when I lost it.  In the lobby of a therapist’s office who doesn’t just work with kids even though the only things in the lobby are kids stuff, I proceed to yell at Betty Lou.

ID-100266923

“Betty Lou that is NOT helpful!!!!!  What kind of friend are you?  I know you mean well but if you really want to help, start looking for the damn dog!   How long do you think it will take Elmo to read all those books before the search begins?   After reading the books he will have get the detective kit and then start questioning people and calling insurance companies and hitting search engines and all kinds of crap that take time he doesn’t have.   Can’t you just help look in corners and yell ‘here Fido’ or something?  How bout you read the damn books and then get back to him?”

Poor Betty Lou.  Perhaps she didn’t deserve my wrath but she was not alone.  Elmo was next on my “need a good talking too” list.

“Elmo, don’t be a putz!  Tell Betty Lou what she can do with her freaking books and where to go.   Don’t stand there with that stupid smile expressing all kinds of false gratitude.   Throw the books at her and start looking for the dog.”

ID-100246983

I suppose the moral of the story was that you can find anything in a library.   But I have yet to find a dog there and in my current state, and not being a kid, the message was lost on me.

Perhaps my outburst caused the therapist concern.  She called me in and handed me ten more pages of paperwork to take home and fill out at my leisure.

She asked me what I was looking for, therapeutically speaking.  Then she told me where I could research the answers to what I was looking for.

She recommended some books.

I smiled and expressed all kinds of false gratitude, just like Elmo.

I am even more convinced than ever that multiple sclerosis has got him too.

Author’s Note- please remember that my blogs are tongue in cheek and this post is not meant to criticize therapy as a whole.  The point of the blog is to make fun of this particular appointment in a way that makes me (and hopefully you too) giggle about how frustrating it was….

ID-10056130

 

Image courtesy of  farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nenovbrothers at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of posterize at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  AKARAKINGDOMS  at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  iosphere  at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles  at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

If you were a Sesame Street Monster, which Monster would you be?

Multiple sclerosis brain fog muSings

The latest rage on Facebook these days seems to be the fun little quizzes that tell you the inner secret of what you actually are.

For example, if you were a classic rock band which classic rock band would you be? (Fleetwood Mac- I can deal with that but I was hoping for the Stones, of course)

 

If you were a US state, what state would you be? (Kansas- how did I possibly get Kansas?)

If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, which disciple would you be? (St. Matthew.   Well it’s better than Judas, I guess.)

If you were a European country, which European country would you be? (Malta, really?  I don’t know a thing about Malta.   I didn’t even know it was in Europe.)

I indulge myself in these little quizzes not because I trust them to find my true identity-I’m still floored by Kansas.  Nothing against Kansas but I am SOOOOO not Kansas.

And I don’t take part in them for fun necessarily either.  I take these quizzes as they are the perfect way to procrastinate my MS brain fog away.  While I am taking the quizzes I have an excuse for not being productive, yet I am actually doing something more than staring blankly out the window and drooling.

 

I have yet to see a quiz asking if you were a character on Sesame Street, which character would you be?  Even if I did, I don’t think I would take it.  I have previously answered this crucial question and I don’t need any more confusion in my life.

Back in September during a particularly bad MS bad mood swing, I wrote a blog called Call Me Oscar, as in Oscar the grouch.  And on that day it was true, all I wanted to do was hide deep down in my trash can and be grouchy.  Some days are just like that.  When you have MS, lots of days are like that.

 

But I’ve decided that I am not actually Oscar, at least not on a daily basis.  What I have discovered is that I am and will always be, Cookie Monster.

Even as I try to get healthy and yank out my sweet tooth, I can’t get away from cookies.

 

A couple of weeks ago I was in the grocery store where I had purchased lots and lots of healthy things.  At the register I paid for my groceries and then set money aside for the church basket for the Mass I would go to later that day.  I had exactly four dollars left.

It was when I was leaving the store that I was greeted by these insidious corrupt beings out to destroy me.  When I tried to pretend I didn’t see them, these mini demons began to stalk me. Yes, you guessed it, girl scouts.

 

They had cookies for sale and as if I wasn’t tempted enough once they forced me to make eye contact, they proceeded to tell me all the new cookie varieties.   When I was a scout I think there was only Thin Mints and chocolate chip- nice and simple, no elaborate, adorable sales folks needed.  The scouts had me cornered and before I knew what hit me, they also had my last four dollars.

And in an even crueler irony, they had given me new cookies called Thanks-A-Lots; as in thanks a lot for supporting our cookie sale even as you try so hard to consume healthier things and save money.

It wasn’t just this one incident convincing me that I am a cookie junkie.  On a family trip a couple of months ago my sister bought cookies that are actually breakfast!  They claim to be somewhat better for you than other breakfast choices like say danish, donuts or red velvet pancakes.  These breakfast cookies have good things in them like blueberry flavoring and oats.  Some of them even have chocolate.

 

How can I NOT be Cookie Monster when I can feel good about starting my day with a nutritious breakfast of cookies?   I had given up on Cookie Crisp cereal but breakfast cookies made with oats?  I’m in!

Also on this trip my sister once again expressed her concern for my insisting on consuming raw cookie dough even though the warning labels tell me this is very dangerous.  She finally got to me and I vowed to try to limit my cookie dough consumption.

And then, two women appeared on Shark Tank promoting their product of healthy raw cookie dough!

Ok, maybe I got that confused.  Maybe it wasn’t that it was healthy exactly but that it was no longer dangerous.  Their product was made to be consumed raw!

And while they do not sell their dough online, it turns out there was a store only 80 miles away from me that sells safely edible cookie dough. As soon as I get my car an oil change and those squeaky brakes looked at I’m going!

 

The other night I was talking to a friend about our various computer techna-phobe issues and she asked me if I had gotten rid of my cookies.  I keep trying to get rid of them but they keep hanging around!  Hence, I am Cookie Monster.

Is that really so bad?  I mean, he’s a lovely shade of blue and he never seems to gain or lose weight.

Life is too short.  If the true me is Cookie Monster, than so be it.  And I don’t need a Facebook quiz to clear this up for me.

On this foggy brain afternoon I am relieved to at least have answered one important life question.

Please excuse me while I now try to figure out if I was a Broadway musical which Broadway musical would I be???????

MS Madness!

cover-half

Speaking of monsters, have you gotten a chance to pick up Myron, the myelin munching monster on the cover of my new book?

I promise, this MS monster is way more fun than the MS one that lives with you!

 

Call Me Oscar

An MS transformation

 

I slept really well last night, despite the two nights of lousy sleep before last night’s night of good sleep.

I blame the two previous lousy nights of sleep on the incredibly obnoxious bladder issue that the meds don’t always help. That pisses me off.

(Get it- pisses me off?? I have used that one before and it is not my own but it is classic.)

Anyway, last night was a good night’s sleep so why did I wake up so crabby?

 

Well, first off, after my morning bathroom run I turned on my computer to discover that an email I expected and eagerly anticipated was not in my inbox. On top of that, for some reason, I couldn’t open my other emails, even after logging on and off a few times.

Things went downhill from there…

I turned into the biggest crabapple ever!

 

Aka, a Sourpuss.

Aka, Oscar the Grouch.

Email is a completely silly thing to get that upset over, especially since overall, things are well.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday that ran on time, went smoothly, and all my results were good- miraculous.

After a miserable summer, autumn is here and the weather is fine. (Don’t you dare nitpick- I am in no mood. For Cape Cod folks like me, autumn begins the day after Labor Day!)

I was settled in my new place

I was making decent progress on a project I was enjoying.

So what was with the lousy mood???

 

When I don’t know the answer to something, I blame MS. And in this case, there is some merit to that blame as it was the morning after my MS shot.

In addition to my email annoyance, other things that could be MS related went wrong.

My lack of concentration caused me to have trouble saying my morning prayers.

I spilled tea all over myself.

My clumsy fingers had trouble opening my cereal box.

My lack of coordination dropped some of my breakfast on the floor.

My MS meds hangover was starting to cause my head to ache.

So what was I to do? It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be very productive until I cleared my head some and I needed to be productive today. Since the weather was gorgeous, perhaps a walk on the beach would help.

It was at that minute that the sky darkened and scary looking storm clouds passed over my new home.

 

Then it started to rain. Not a light, pleasant, stomp in puddles rain. But a heavy, raging, life sucks with a vengeance downpour.

Oscar the Grouch was alive and well and had moved into my body and I was helpless to stop him.

I figured since I was now officially Oscar the Grouch I should do some research on him.

What I found was terrifying!

Oscar is not actually a monster, but a Grouch.

 

He was born in 1969- just like me.

He is rarely seen outside of his can. (Hmmm, when was the last time I left my can, I mean, my house?)

He complains, A LOT.

He likes to say things like “Scram” “Get Lost” “Go Away” and “Ding Dong- you’re wrong.”

And scariest of all, he used to be orange. And as most of you know, orange is the color of MS!

Oscar is actually MS and MS has actually taken over my body and turned me into Oscar.

 

Need more proof?

It has long been known that multiple sclerosis is associated with depression (what is more depressing than being told you have MS?) and also with major mood swings.

I looked into this further and learned that MS is also known to cause “frequent bouts of anger and irritability,” and “are likely to affect everyone in the family.” (Unless they run and hide.)

So what to do about it? My doctor already has me on mood drugs as I snap at her as soon as I get to her office.

 

Like Oscar, I was tempted to hunker down in my can and pull pillows over my head. But that seemed too unproductive even for the grouchy and unproductive me.

Plus, the remote control for my bedroom TV died.

So I wrote this blog instead.

Now, I will hide.

But not before first sticking my tongue out at the world and saying “Na, na, na na na!”

ID-10056127

 

Quotes on emotional changes with multiple sclerosis are from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

Quotes from Oscar the Grouch are from Sesame Street and me.

Quote about being pissed off about bladder issues are from my sister Laurie.

“Na, na, na na na” quote is all mine.

Image courtesy of farconville/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

This MS Moment is Brought to You by the Letters ‘F’ and ‘U’ and the Number ‘2’

Multiple sclerosis meets therapy meets Sesame Street

ID-100148062

Dear Friends,

This week’s blog is an oldie but goodie and one of my favorites.  I chose to re-post this one as I am feeling a little overwhelmed this week.  However, it is important to note, I have not yet returned to therapy.

It was Elmo that finally did me in. Yes, Elmo, as in Tickle Me. But maybe that is not fair. While he was the catalyst, it was really his helpful, female puppet friend Betty Lou that was the root of my actual demise.

It didn’t help that I came late to the magic and wonders of Sesame Street. Growing up in the early seventies, public television was a somewhat radical concept and the new children’s programming seemed to threaten subversive and counter-culture undertones in my mom’s mind. The Brady Bunch and The Flintstones were much healthier- nice, safe family values.

 

As I grew out of my toddler years her television concerns continued. The Partridge Family was NOT ok. The fact that Mrs. Partridge was traveling around the country in a bus and allowing her children to perform rock concerts in front of out of control teens was EXACTLY what was wrong with the country. At least that’s what my mom always said.

By the time she became a grandmother she relented somewhat and relaxed her television rules. I would watch Sesame Street with my four year old nephew and we enjoyed it immensely. I remember rolling around on the floor laughing and crying after a recent breakup with some guy or another while Patti Labelle sang How I Miss my X to a very sad looking X. I thought the scene was adorable and was speaking directly to my heartbreaking soul.

“Drew-don’t you get it? Her ex is the letter X! Isn’t that a riot? And look, X misses her too. They’ll get back together- I just know they will.”

My nephew looked at me as though I was nuts and ran off to play with his toy fire engine.

Anyway, back to modern day. I was in the midst of a horrible month filled with paperwork, appointments, highs, lows, good news, bad news, good advice, bad advice and whatever else one can throw into a month. After a frustrating breakdown during appointment number six, it was recommended that I see a therapist.

ID-10029570

Thus it was that I was at appointment number seven in the lobby of the one therapist that took my insurance and answered the phone when I called. Much to her dismay as it was her lunch hour, I was an hour and ten minutes early. No, I hadn’t bothered to check what time I was due there. My MS brain knew the time.

While she handed me more paperwork to fill out I asked about her practice.

“No,” she told me, “I don’t exclusively treat children.” It was hard to believe based on the emotion charts, animal posters, blocks, and teddy bears that sat in her waiting room.

I started the paperwork while I listened to her pack up the hundreds of Legos I noticed on the floor of her office when she opened the door to greet me. My mind continued to swirl with all that had piled up that month and of all the things I had to do. But it was my fault I was early (apparently my MS brain knew something that her planner and my calendar did not). And so, with this round of paperwork done, I grabbed the thing closest to me to read.

 

It was a book from a Sesame Street series called Sesame Street Library. In it, loveable Elmo ventures into the library looking for a Little Black Puppy. As he searches he gets distracted from his important task by story hour. I do that all the time. Could Elmo have MS too?

He meets his buddy Betty Lou and, when asked, remembers his mission. Betty Lou offers to help. She gives him all library info he could possibly need and then produces a book called, you guessed it, Little Black Puppy.

Poor Elmo has been misunderstood. I can relate to that too. More evidence our furry red friend might be afflicted with a myelin damaging illness. He explains his plight again. He is looking for an actual puppy that is missing and happens to be black and little.

ID-10024270

Again, the kind Betty Lou wants to help. Back to the card catalog they go and then to the stacks where she produces a book called How to be a Detective.

“There Elmo, you can read this book and then you will know how to find your puppy.”

It doesn’t end there. Betty Lou is a dear friend after all and really, really wants to help so she proceeds to find several other detective books to help Elmo in his search. Elmo excitedly thanks her.

That’s when I lost it. In the lobby of the therapist’s office who doesn’t just work with kids even though the only things in the lobby are kids stuff, I proceeded to yell at Betty Lou.

 

Betty Lou that is NOT helpful!!!!! What kind of friend are you? I know you mean well but if you really want to help, start looking for the damn dog! How long do you think it will take Elmo to read all those books before the search begins?

After reading the books he will have get the detective kit and then start questioning people and calling insurance companies and hitting search engines and all kinds of crap that take time he doesn’t have. Can’t you just help look in corners and yell ‘here Fido’ or something? How bout you read the damn books and then get back to him?”

ID-10083617

Poor Betty Lou. Perhaps she didn’t deserve my wrath but she was not alone. Elmo was next on my “need a good talking too” list.

Elmo, don’t be a putz! Tell Betty Lou what she can do with her freaking books and where to go. Don’t stand there with that stupid smile expressing all kinds of false gratitude. Throw the books at her and start looking for the dog.”

I suppose the moral of the story was that you can find anything in a library. But I have yet to find a dog there and in my current state, and not being a kid, the message was lost on me.

Perhaps my outburst caused the therapist concern. She called me in and handed me ten more pages of paperwork to take home and fill out at my leisure. She asked me what I was looking for, therapeutically speaking. Then she told me where I could research the answers to what I was looking for. She recommended some books. I smiled and expressed all kinds of false gratitude, just like Elmo.

I am even more convinced than ever that MS has got him too.

 

Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Ambro] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [posterize] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Phaitoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MS Counts

Multiple Sclerosis and Arithmetic

This August I received some disturbing news; Count von Count passed away. I didn’t hear about this from the internet or TV news, but from my own local newspaper. It seems that Count von Count actually lived in my neighborhood (my real neighborhood, not Sesame Street.)

It made me sad that I had a famous Count living near me and I didn’t even know it. Technically I suppose, one would say that Jerry Nelson, the man who voiced the Count, was the one who actually died but to me that’s just semantics. Count von Count is dead and I could really use his help right about now. Vampires are supposed to exist forever, aren’t they?

 

I have said before that I missed out on the wonders of Sesame Street when I was growing up, as mainstream America, my mom included, worried that PBS and a big yellow bird might be sending out subversive messages to our nation’s children and thus, the show was forbidden. Missing out on the amazing learning techniques the Count had to offer has convinced me that is why I was horrible at math.

I have gotten over it and am not in therapy or anything, but it is still painful. By the time my nephew came around, my mom was less worried about secret messages hidden in various parts of that street and I would watch when my nephew was visiting. By then it was too late. I was still lousy at math.

As I age and MS takes over, my math skills, especially counting, have gotten worse. I’m not sure if I hung out with Count von Count he would be able to help or not, but it is a lost opportunity.

My first issue with counting is what my family refers to as “Portuguese math.”

Now before you freak out and accuse me of using stereotypes and being discriminatory, please let me explain. And I bet those of you who grew up in Portuguese households will understand and agree.

“Portuguese math” is when you take a number of something and then multiply the number by how many times you talk about that number. For example, around the dinner table your brother might say that when he was fishing he caught a fish that was ten inches long.

By dinner the next night and after he has told 6 of his buddies the tale, the fish is now 60 inches long. By the next family gathering, the fish will be 6 and one half feet and somewhere he has the picture to prove it.

Among my Portuguese friends one has an aunt who says her rosary 80 times a day and a cousin who was asked out 250 times in one weekend. With a daughter that popular with the boys the aunt needs to keep up with her prayers.

Still confused about “Portuguese math?” Here is an MS example.

Last night I swear I got up to pee at least twenty times. By the time this blog post comes out, I will swear that night (10/1) I got up to pee at least 200 times.

By Christmas the story will go like this “the worst was that night in October- remember? That night I had to get out of bed to pee at least 2000 times. Damn MS!

Speaking of MS, MS is now also affecting my counting skills. My friend asked me to make dinner reservations. I told the restaurant there would be four of us. I had counted everyone included in our party and did not leave anyone out. I even remembered to count myself. I counted twice actually.

But when we arrived at the restaurant and everyone had shown up, the hostess was surprised that there were five of us. I counted again, and again counted myself, but I still got four-me, Lexi, Sam, Jack and Bunny-four. Imagine my confusion when they sat us at a table for five and there was not extra place setting. Me, Lexi, Sam, Jack and Bunny- four. I’m still confused.

But here is where MS and math totally overwhelm me. My whole life I have been taught that there are 24 hours in one day. Most people sleep about 7-8 hours leaving them with what my calculator reads- truly my calculator, I had to go get it to figure this out,-16-17 hours left in the day. How come when I count the hours of my day I only come up with 5?

Dismissing the fact that I probably sleep about 10-12 hours a night and that when I get up it takes me a while to get going. And dismissing the fact that by 6 in the evening I am done and only able to veg out in front of the tv or computer.

If you call during that time I may be in such a comatose state that I am not responsible for our conversation. Fair warning- I may be too out of it to warn you then.

I consider it a good day if I am up, showered and dressed by 12PM, or 1 PM on a decent day. Likely, I will rest for about 45-60 minutes somewhere around 3PM and then before you know it, here is 6 PM again.

See what I mean? When I count the hours in my day I get 5, not 24. This makes no sense.

Oh Count von Count, how I wish I knew you better!

 

 

Image courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net