Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is 2010 over yet?

This has been quite a year. I am quite ready to see it go. Now. My Christmas letter may be something along these lines: "You know how some years are just better than others? Well, 2010 was not on our top 10 list! See you next year!"

If I listed everything that has happened this year, especially with our health, you would probably think I made it all up!

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Job. In fact, I lead a study in Job last fall with the ladies at church. Everyone always says "patience of Job". Well, I didn't find Job to be particularly patient! He was persistent and stayed faithful. God was the patient one! It helps to remember that my God has not forsaken me, is not torturing me or causing grief and pain. It helps to remember that God is God and I am not! Staying faithful through the trials this past year hasn't always been easy to be absolutely truthful! Yet, what are my options? Where can I go and be away from Him? Psalm 139 points that out nicely! Oh, to see His purpose. On the other hand, maybe not so much!! I think that is counter intuitive to faith!

Anyway, it has been our turn in the bottom of the barrel. Guess what? God is there in the bottom of the barrel with us! There are no guarantees that 2011 will be better; it might be worse! But to know that my God cares and won't ever forsake me makes it OK!

My own personal theological pet peeve: How many times do you hear people ask what God is trying to teach them through a trial and have they learned it yet so they can just get on with life?! Ummm, I don't think God allows trials just to teach us a lesson. That seems a little punitive to me. Do we learn things from trials and tribulations? Absolutely! We can learn patience, compassion and empathy for others, find inner strength we didn't know we had, learn we can't do it all after all, learn that lots of people prayed for you, etc., etc., etc.  Yes, God allows trials, but, but, but...for me to try to figure out God's mind and His reasons just seems presumptuous to me. Again, this is just my rant! I can't quote a bazillion verses to support it, but there you go.

OK, just a brief update on my latest trial. I have had a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) for months and months. I've been going to PT for many months and had pretty much hit a wall. So, I went in last Monday and they put me under anesthesia and manually moved my arm in the socket to break up adhesions and hopefully gain some mobility. Painful? Oh, yeah! Back to heavy duty PT to keep it moving. Still hurts and will hurt for awhile! *sigh* The end result will be worth it.

I'll try to post some pictures one of these days. It has been so long since I even posted! Again. Take care of yourselves!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to work!

I returned to work today and it felt great! I only work 20 hours a week, so will only get about 10 hours in total, but that is fine for a start. I think I actually accomplished something! We'll see if my stamina lasts now! I did take a two hour nap today after I got home. I may need to do that for awhile, I am guessing. But I am finally feeling more "me" and not so much a deer in the headlights! Thank you for your prayers! God is good all the time; all the time God is good!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The Beast has been stalking me for years,
     waiting, waiting, poking and testing from time to time.

The Beast never sleeps; is always waiting
     to pounce, stealthily following me everywhere.

The Beast became impatient, toying with me
   yet not revealing itself....yet.

The Beast, tired of teasing, pounced!
     just when I thought myself safe.

The Beast unleashed its fury,
     doing as much damage as possible.

The Beast watched as I struggled
     to see, to walk, to understand.

The Beast had to be tamed, made to go away
     and only the strongest weapon would do.

The Beast retreated, slowly at first
     but retreated none the less.

The Beast doesn't know that I cannot be defeated
     by its attacks. I am not afraid of this Beast.

This Beast whose name is...
     Multiple Sclerosis.

copyright 2010
all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun, fun week-end

Four other couples and Bill and I went to Richland, WA (eastern side of the state) for a car show over the week-end. I was a little concerned about my own stamina in the heat. I was careful to stay in the shade, took naps when I needed and even went to bed early, and did not play board games! Shocking! We had a great time of fellowship, stayed in a nice motel by the Columbia and just plain relaxed! It was a much needed get away! We do this annually and will hit Wenatchee next year!

Still no real changes in my health. Some days are better than others. My right eye is still a little twitchy - moves left better than right. I am still a little wobbly and use my cane when out and about just in case. I have a disabled placard now and that really helps as I have started to drive a short ways. That has done wonders psychologically! Fatigue is still a bug a boo, and my short term memory and the ability to multi-task are directly affected by the fatigue. So, that's the update as we come up on the third month on July 1. I never would have guessed it would take this long. I don't see the neurologist until August 2 so we will see what happens next. It is certainly not in my hands!

Random Pictures

Ferrelli's Pizza Discussion
Princess Hannah with Dough Tiera
Silly Johnny
Do you like your new flip flops?

Happy Grandpa!
King of the Caterpillar!                                                                                                  Build a Bear

Happy 5th Birthday, Hannah!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time for Another Update!

All of a sudden it is past Father's Day, almost the end of June. We have had a miserable June so far. Mostly rain with a few nice days "sprinkled" in here and there! When I get pictures from yesterday I will try to remember to post.

Health Update: I am not getting worse, but have sort of hit a plateau. My right eye is almost normal and I am driving some. Just around the neighborhood so to speak. I still need the cane when out and about. Most days are pretty good as far as gait goes, and others not so much!

Fatigue is my biggest enemy. I still need a nap every day. If I do a lot in one day, or do something a few days in a row, I pay for it with worse fatigue. I hit the wall around 2 or 3:00 p.m. and have to sit down and rest. Sometimes  I
wake up 2 hours later! (OK - most days I wake up 2 hours later. I think the longest nap was 4 hours in the very beginning.)

I think I am doing better cognitively as well. I had a really hard time multi-tasking at first and I still have problems if I get really tired. Short term memory is still an issue at times.

I know it sounds awful, but I really am doing pretty well. I got a disabled placard good for six months and that has really been a help. I will be re-evaluated on August 2 and we will go from there. I am still off work. I drop in for staff meetings once in awhile just to stay updated, but I know I can't handle a full (five hours!) day yet. I can get short term disability for 6 or 8 months I think.

Bill has surgery on his right foot on July 2 to remove bone spurs from the ankle joint. He is really looking forward to it! He has limped around for far too long!

We have a couple trips planned this summer. We leave for the tri-cities this week-end for a car show and in August we will go for a few days to Hot August Nights. It is really weird to think that I can actually have most of the summer off with Bill. Very nice that we get some together time. Check back with me the end of August and we shall see how it went!

I'll try to be more diligent about keeping updated! Try being the key word!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One month later....

Believe it or not, it has been one month since the MS attack. I am doing quite well. After three days on the Solu-medrol I could take the eye patch off and by the end of the fourth day I could read again! My walking was still pretty dicey but with a cane I could get around. I've had a check-up with my neurologist and he is quite impressed with how quickly I have progressed. However, my right eye still has some nystagmus and doesn't track 100%. I am still needing the cane, although I manage pretty well without it in the house. So, I will be off work for another month. I have an MRI in three weeks and then another follow-up. I seem to have hit a plateau but am trying really hard to be patient! If this is as good as it gets, then we will deal with that when the time comes. So, my days consist of resting, walking (I am going further without as much wobbling!), reading, playing games on the computer, doing a little housework, resting, napping! I have been surprisingly content with my circumstances. I get a little cabin fever now and again, but going out anywhere leaves me pretty wiped out still. My body obviously needs the rest, so I am being good to it! So that is my wildly exciting update! Keep on praying! I appreciate all your kind words of healing and love.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

After nearly 30 years in remission, I am experiencing a severe MS attack. It started a week ago with some vertigo feelings and unsteadiness progressing to very severe double vision. Pretty much a nightmare! I saw my neurologist the next day and he confirmed the diagnosis. I have an eye patch to help with the double vision and a cane to keep me from careening into walls, people, etc. The treatment is five days of methlprednisalone (Solu-medrol) at 1,000 mg per IV infusion. Heavy duty stuff. I have Valium to help control the shakiness and Ambien to counteract the insomnia. With treatment I can hope to feel better in 3 to 4 weeks. Without treatment it could be 6 to 8 weeks. Already, after 4 days I don't need to eye patch. My vision isn't perfect yet but no double vision. My right eye had developed a mind of its own - wandered all over the place. Pretty gross. I am pretty tired, but encouraged. We have many prayer warriors around the country and world and so many caring people, not to mention fine doctors and support staff. You know, when you have MS you always know it could show up at any time and this time, the old elephant put the hurt on me! God is control and I trust Him with my life. Thank you for your love and support as well! MJ

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me or Maybe 60 Won't Be So Bad After All!

I had a really nice birthday on Tuesday. Very low key - work, Bible Study and then off to the kid's for dinner and a pineapple upside down cake - yummy!!

The week-end before, we went to Leavenworth - a little Bavarian looking village on the slopes of the Cascades. It is very touristy, but we were after a week-end away and being touristy was alright with us! We had a great time until Bill needed to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night! The little town had a small 24 hour "emergency" room, but they didn't have an ultrasound machine, so off we went to Wenatchee. Gall bladder!

All in all, I think 60 is going to be OK!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holiday Photos

I think the pics are pretty self explanatory! Unfortunately I always forget to post them in reverse order so Thanksgiving is at the end and Christmas at the beginning! Oh, well!

Good memories!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Catching Up

Wow, have I ever gotten behind! I'll try to catch up in readable chunks:
  • Memorial Service for 4 Fallen Officers: We were able to get into the Tacoma Dome for the service which really surprised us! We were happy to get within a few blocks and stand outside along the curb watching the processional! It was the most moving event I think I have ever been privileged to observe. I have never felt so safe, yet so vulnerable. I watched the service for Officer Tim Brenton in Seattle and it was pretty powerful, but actually being there was something far different. There were not as many civilians as we expected - I think the media scared everyone away - but to see the whole Dome filled with officers was absolutely overwhelming. The Canadian Royal Mounted Police in their red dress uniforms really stood out. There must have been a thousand of them! Police from every part of the state and country were there. The silence was unbelievable! The most touching part was when the children of one of the officers spoke and afterwards there was a spontaneous standing ovation! Then when they did the last radio call - gone but not forgotten, taps, Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, the 21 bell salute and you could hear the officers around you sniffling, we both lost it! Glad I packed a lot of tissues in my purse! And now we will have another service this coming Tuesday for another officer who gave his life in the line of duty. That makes 8 officers shot, with 6 dying and 2 wounded just here in Western Washington. We are all a little shell shocked and grieving the loss. I placed four electric candles with blue bulbs in the windows and expected to take them down today, but will leave them up until after next Tuesday's service. Thank you seems inadequate to express how we feel about our law enforcement officers and those in any rescue profession, including our military. Very humbled. May God guide, guard and protect each and every one!
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: fast forward a few weeks and we have a very special privilege - having my almost 95 year old mother-in-law here for Christmas! She was able to spend the night and spend Christmas Day with us as well. It was nice to be able to take her with us to our Christmas Eve Service and then over to relatives she hadn't seen for a long time! She had a ball! We had a very low key Christmas this year. Bill and I only exchanged stockings. I ordered a calendar online for Mom with pictures and birthdates and the kids got her a high powered flashlight. We decided to give the money we would have spent on the adults to a charity. I think we will purchase some goats through World Vision for families in need in Africa. We keyed down our giving to the grandkids as well, but I think everyone had a really good time!
  • New Year's Eve: Can you believe it is now 2010!? We went to church for a few hours and played games and snacked on everyone's left over holiday goodies! Good way to get rid of the candy that everyone gifts you! It was fun and we didn't plan to stay up, but the neighborhood was so noisy there was no point in trying to sleep, so we saw the old year out and new one in! Last year was a sad one and we said good-bye to too many friends.
  • Pre-holiday illnesses: We got a call the week before Christmas from Bill's brother saying that his mom had been in the ER that morning! She had the stomach flu and had gotten very dehydrated. Turns out about 50% of the people in her retirement home had it! I took her to the doctor the next day and she was pretty weak. Scary at that age! She recovered fully and we were thankful she was able to come for Christmas! Then the rest of the kids and grandkids got it! The three adults had it all in one night! So they were a little subdued on Christmas still! So far Bill and I escaped it! Although I thought I was coming down with it but it was really just....
  • A Bad Trip: I have officially entered the Little Old Lady Who Mixes Up Her Pills category and I am not happy about it! Sunday night I thought I was coming down with the flu - lightheaded and queasy rather suddenly. Then my toes went numb. Then my fingers. Then I started to shake uncontrollably! OK, not the flu - call 911! I ended up with numbness and partial paralysis and unable to speak for a short while. Convulsive movements, confusion, all manner of very bad reactions. A CT scan, X-ray, UA, bloodwork were all performed and no one knew what was wrong. Not a stroke, not my heart although my blood pressure was sky high and pulse was racing. After 5 or 6 hours in the ER, I slowly began to improve - gaining speech and losing some of the numbness. Then the shaking began to ease and I felt much better, although extremely tired. It wasn't until I was getting dressed to go home that it hit me like a lightning bolt! I was pretty sure I had mixed up medications - an antidepressant for over the counter Advil. I probably took about 1,000 mg too much of the antidepressant. BINGO! I asked the doc when he came back in for the discharge and he talked to the pharmacist. They thought yeah, it could have been, but weren't convinced. When we got home, I checked and sure enough, that is what happened. I looked it up online and yes, the symptoms concurred. Boy, did I feel foolish! I was scared, Bill was scared and John and Brian came to the hospital and they were scared! Lesson learned and I now have Advil in its original container in my purse - brand name, no generic brand, as that is what got me confused. The generic Advil tablet llooked very much like my antidepressant and when not together....... I saw my doc for follow up the next day, and while pretty loopy, there was no permanent damage. It just had to work itself out of my system. Good grief!

So, that should get us up to date for now! I will post some pics next time. This should be enough for now! I'm just happy to be here! Happy New Year!!