Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ahhhh..The Holidays Are Coming..Whether I Like It Or Not

Well, Christmas is officially on it's way. Only 2 days away.
I'm in such a strange place. I'm not in the "Christmas Spirit" at all. And this is very unlike me.
I am usually one of those people who get so excited about the holidays. I have about ten totes filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, dishes, a Dickens Style village, and an enormous Santa figurine collection.
Every year before, you would walk in my house into a house that looks like Christmas threw up all over it.
This year, I had to be forced to get a tree. And the decor is at a bare minimum.
What is wrong with me?
This is kind of what I'm dealing with:


Okay, this is not really my house but you get the idea.

And Now:

Sad, isn't it?

The funny thing is, though, is that nobody has noticed. Well, I have but none of the other people in the house haven't noticed a thing.

None of the children have said "Hey mom? Where's the Dickens villiage that you always tell us not to touch?" or "Where are all of those weird Santas that you stick everywhere around the house?"

It's amazing. They're as happy as can be and they don't even care that it's the bare minimum.

Which leaves me to wonder, who the hell was I doing all of that for? The hubs could have cared less, the kids seem almost relieved that there's nothing that they will be yelled at if they touch, and I'm not exhausted from putting everything out and then dreading putting it all away when the holiday was over.

It's all kind of strange and wonderful at the same time.

Another thing that has changed about this Christmas is that we are staying home for the first time ever. Before, we always traveled to see family. We would either fly to Arizona to see my inlaws. And while it was always nice to see both of them (I mean that, I have truly been blessed with wonderful in-laws) have you ever tried to fight through an airport with three little kids and a thousand carry-ons, rushing to your gate so that you don't miss your flight only to find out that it's been delayed for three hours?

So, you open the carry on that has all of the activities that you were planning on using for the plane and try to entertain them for three hours. Then you finally get on the plane for the five hour flight and you've spent all of your activities in the airport and the kids are bored and they don't want to sit still and the guy in front of you reclines his seat as you're bent over, digging through bags trying to find snacks or ipods or DVD players. You finally find that thing that your one child wants and she's happy but then the other asks for something so you're digging again and that is the moment that your two year old son decides to find out how the table works and it slams down on the back of your head. And you're trying not to lose it because you haven't even LEFT THE GROUND YET but it's getting really hard. Then there's the endless trips to the bathroom and then the baby decides to poop and have you ever tried to change the poopy diaper of a toddler in an airplane bathroom????

The times we didn't fly to Arizona, we normally drove to Connecticutt to see the rest of the hubs family and while driving is a little better than the plane, there's the endless potty stops and complaints about being cold/hot/bothered/unhappy with the world in general.

Then you get to your destination, where a family member has offered to let you stay in their guestroom and sleeping arrangements are insane and you really don't want the kids touching anything in the house. And you're spending the whole time trying to convince the hubs' side of the family that just because you are from West By God Virginia, you are not a hillbilly and yet your children are walking around acting like the Clampets and you just want to scream!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love seeing the family but I always end up stressed out because I want my children to look perfect and act perfect and WHO ARE WE KIDDING? They are children!

So, this year, we have decided that we are making Christmas all about us and our little family of five. We are going to have the traditional Catholic/Italian Christmas Eve dinner of seafood and then we're going to watch...oh I'm so giddy about this!!!!....The first one of the marathon of A Christmas Story on TNT!!! I have watched that marathon every year of my existence and I love it. Then we'll wake up Christmas morning and open presents in, get this, our pajamas!!!! Then the hubs will make his famous "Big Breakfast" and I am going to make a Christmas dinner that involves making my first ever turkey. Pray for us that I don't kill us all from salmonela!

It may not sound as exciting as going to Arizona or Conecticutt but it's going to be ours and I can't tell you how happy I am about this.

Now, if I could just get that Christmas Spirit that everyone is talking about.....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Um, Say What?

This is my 20th post on this blog. It's funny to me since I have 665 on my other one.
So, do you ever sit down and start thinking about life and your MS comes to mind and even though you already knew it, it hits you again:

Wow, this IS for the rest of my life. Holy S*%t!

Maybe it's still the fact that all of this is still new to me and, honestly, it's made my life really crappy for the last eight months, but I honestly do have those times when that thought comes to my head.
For instance, my oldest monkey came up to me the other night and said "Remember when we made those plans to go to Disney World in a year? That's still happening right?"
Without thinking, I said "Sure honey, why wouldn't we be going? We already have reservations and things. Why would you think we wouldn't go?"
"Um, well, because of your MS."
And I sat there for a second and it hit me, oh yeah, I'll still have "my MS" in a year, right. Cause it's here forever. Right.

I guess I'm still getting used to all of this.

But there could be perks to going to Disney now.

I'll have my scooter and by then I plan on switching out those wimpy wheels and horn for something more, how shall we put this? Substandstial?

Yeah, like that but only four more of those.

And the horn we've already discussed.

Oh, there will be danger, my friend. In fact, Danger is my middle name. (Actually it's not but I was on a roll of coolness.)

On a serious note, I've made myself a goal. I'm calling it the:

"No Weather Permitting Will Be Said Goal"

I know that doesn't make sense but I can help you. During the winter months, whenever my mother is making any plans to come and visit us, at the end of every conversation she will say "Of course, you know, this is all Weather Permitting, right?"

I don't want to tell my kids "Yeah, we'll go to Disney, As Long As Mommy Feels Good. It's the same difference, to me atleast. Because, just like snow in the winter, we all know that we can go from feeling great to poo in 2.4 seconds.

So, I am keeping our plans. If I need to add a nanny, I can handle that. In fact, we might do that anyway. But my children will see enormous rodents next spring!

How do you all manage family vacations?

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Huge Thank You And Some Random Thoughts

I hope that you all have noticed that Sarcasm, Kids, and MS has been pimped out!
You have noticed right?

Ok, I'm gonna stop for a minute and you take the time to look around......


It's awesome, I know!
I owe it all to AngieSS who writes at the blog Cup of Snarky. Thanks Angie!!!
It's funny how it all came about, Angie pimping out my blog.
See, I went over to visit one of my favorite people, Bee at BeesMusings and I realized that everything was different and amazing. Bee had been pimped!
I then read her post where she bragged and rubbed in everyone's face about how AngieSS had pimped her blog all out and look at what a great job she did.
So, in the comments, I wrote something completely subtle and humble cause that's just who I am (stop laughing!). I think my comment went something like "I sure wish Angie would come and pimp my blog. I'm so bored with it. It's actually considering jumping off a bridge cause it's soooo boring." (I'm not talking about Sarcasm, I'm talking about my other blog Rambling Thoughts)
A few days go by and I had actually forgotten about that comment (ha, along with about a million other things) when I get this email. Angie wanted to pimp me out! So she did! And I sent her an email, thanking her from the bottom of my heart, and I may have mentioned that I had another blog she could pimp..hint hint...and she did!
I have to say, I am so thankful to her that she did because I tend to be a bit computer illiterate. Seriously! For example, I just now learned how to use the Paint program on my computer. And isn't Paint like a gagillion years old?
So, Thank you so much Angie! I love the new look and Lord knows, I couldn't have done it without you!

In other news, I have been dealing with the mother of exacerbations!
The pain that I'm always in is doubled and yesterday I woke up talking like Forrest Gump (well, not exactly like Forrest but that's kind of how I feel. I keep feeling like I should say "I'm not a smart man Ginny, But I know what love is!"), and my balance is way off. I mean WAY OFF.
Let me try to explain it to you: Most people know when they're standing up or even when they're falling over right? Well, I feel completely normal until I feel myself hit the floor.
What is up with that?
And as most of you know, having your eyes closed doesn't help much but there are some times when you just can't help it.
For Example: My neurologist asked me if I closed my eyes when washing my hair in the shower. I said "Of course I do, have you ever gotten shampoo in your eyes? It hurts!"
By the way, I think this is why my neuro at Georgetown treats me, I tend to be a bit entertaining.
Anyways, he says "Well, you've got to stop it. Wash your hair with your eyes open so that you don't fall."
And I've tried to do it but the thing is, it's been built into my daily habits. When I was "Little Tracy" and my mom was teaching me how to wash my hair, she told me to "keep my eyes shut". And then there would be times when I would forget to shut my eyes and the soap would get in and I would start screaming things like "Owe! Soap is in my eyeballs! Owwwwwww!" and I remember my mom saying "Well, I said to keep your dadblamed eyes shut! Whatsamatter with you??"
So, yeah, now I am having trouble keeping my eyes OPEN when I know that they should be SHUT. And I really don't think that this is where I intended on going when I started writing about my flare up but, hey, the mind has a...um....mind of it's own right?

And I'm still not in the "Christmas Spirit" and I don't mean all of those crazy shoppers version of the Christmas Spririt where you have to trample and shoot people.
I'm just not feeling it this year.
Normally, we would get a tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, still no tree.
I have totes of decorations that are always put out the same weekend as the tree. This year they are still toted.
I don't know why I'm feeling like this. Does this fall into the "First Year of MS" category or is this something all it's own?
Well, one thing I did do was get the kids Christmas portraits taken. And that is what I'll leave you with.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The World Is Not Safe For Anyone Right Now!

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Mine was pretty good. It went by quickly though. We couldn't find anyone to watch the Funny Farm animals so we had to make the three hour trip to my mom's on Wednesday and then do the three hour drive back home on Thursday after we had stuffed ourselves to the point of popping.
I don't know why, but long drives seem to kick my butt now. When I was 18, I could pack a duffel bag with a change of clothes and a toothbrush and take a road trip with my best friend without a moments notice.
But when we got home Thursday evening, I felt like I had been in the boxing ring for 12 rounds and lost terribly. I don't think I got out of bed at all on Friday.
It's good that we didn't stay all weekend at my moms like we normally do because she would have talked me in to going shopping on Black Friday like she always does. I don't know how this happens, really. Every year, we get to my moms and I make the declaration "I don't care if you go or not, but I am NOT going shopping on Black Friday!" And then I suddenly find myself in the middle of the mall or WalMart, fighting for my life.
This year I knew that the marathon shopping was not going to happen for me. I'm starting to acknowledge that I have limitations. I don't like them, but I know that they are there. And I know that one of those limitations definately include not going shopping on black Friday.
And after watching the news, I am so glad that I stayed put in my comfy bed!
I know that the people that go shopping on black Friday are looking for great deals but I didn't know that this meant that they would throw aside all of their manners, compassion, empathy, and human decency to do it. And for the love of all that's holy, where is the Christmas Spirit?
Stampedeing over a WalMart Employee? Shootings in a Toys R Us?
It's like they've turned into wild animals!
Can't you just imagine Christmas morning with one of these people?
Gift Recipient: Oh wow, a laptop! Thanks..But I already have a laptop..
Gift Giver/Rabid Animal: Do you know how many people I had to TRAMPLE OVER to get you that laptop? You better smile like you like it!

I am just so glad I didn't go. I would have hate to put dents and scratches all over my brand new scooter by running over these rude people. And I haven't even upgraded my horn yet so the only warning they would have is a tiny little "beep beep" before I plowed them.

This year, I'm sticking to shopping online. How are you all doing it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Memories.....Oh and Happy Turkey Day!

I'm sorry I've been MIA lately on this blog. I guess I'm in sort of a funk and I don't want to keep moaning on and on about it and chase you all away, you know? I've kind of grown to like you little boogers and I wouldn't want you to run away because of me being...well..funky.
I don't know if I told you all about how we're in the finishing touches of a huge home renovation. Did I tell you? I can't remember..
Ok, so we're in the finishing touches of a huge home renovation, there happy?
And the other day, we were moving totes in from the garage and the hubs gave me the most dreadful job of going through all of the stuff that I had hoarded in them. (I happen to be a bit of a hoarder. I come from a long line of them. My grandmother use to serve stuff in plastic butter bowls from, like, 1950)
So, there I am, going through the totes. No big deal.
And then I started finding some things that kind of hit me.
Like all of the kids scrap books that I've made them. Pictures of me being very young and very pregnant. Me as a young mom with two tiny baby monkeys born so close together that everyone thought they were twins. Pictures of me and the hubs before marriage and babies and home mortgages.
Then he brought in, and this is going to sound really stupid, but it was the final straw.
He brought in my pink golf bag.
See, the hubs loves to golf. Would do it everyday if there weren't this pain in his side called "work".
One weekend, two years ago, he had plans to go golfing but his buddy cancelled on him. The hubs looked like someone has shot his puppy. He just looked so sad. So, I offered to go. I don't remember if I was thinking that he would say "Thanks, but no" or "Okay, get in the car!" but he took me up on the offer. I had never been golfing in my life. I had seen a golf coarse and I've seen golfers play on TV so I thought it would be no big deal.
We played 18 holes, I wrecked the golf cart twice before he said I wasn't allowed to drive anymore, and it turns out that I'm one of those people who can whack at that ball with all of my might and it will only go like twenty feet. But the cool thing was, he didn't care. We had a great time, laughing and just being relaxed and hanging out. It was a great day.
After that, I started recieving gifts for no reason.
First came a huge box that contained my brand new pink golf bag.
Then I got some "girlie golf clubs" as he called them.
Then I got some pink, pearly golf balls.
We started golfing together as often as we could. And every time, it was a great time.
But then this summer came and there was no golfing.
I was too sick and he felt too guilty to go.
And I really missed it. I missed us together on the golf coarse.
So, that's why the funk rolled in.

But, in other news, as I'm sure you all already know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day where we worship the turkey, football, and gigantic floats in parades. I hope you all enjoy your day!
Happy Thanksgiving To All!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here Are Some Things I Do Remember

I'll warn you all now, this one might not be funny. I'm feeling a little...what's the word? Maudlin? Not depressed really, just, well, blah.
My therapist, whom I love dearly, has given me the task of journeling again. So far, only random things have been written down but last night I started writing about the things I remembered about myself before MS moved in and I thought that I would share a few of them with you.
Here goes:

Things I Remember About Myself Before MS

I remember laughter, I remembering enjoying the feeling. I remember the hubs and I laughing together a lot.
What I can't remember is the last time I actually laughed. I mean truly, unabashedly laughed. Sure there have been times when I've done a "ha ha" to make someone think that I thought whatever they were telling me was funny, but I can't remember the last time I laughed and meant it.

Smiling is another thing I remember.
Sure, I smile now but it's not a genuine smile with feelings behind it.
No, now the smiles are used to put everyone else around me at ease.
I see the look on someone else's face and I know that they need some sort of assurance that, even thought I feel like I've been hit by a truck who then backed over me and hit me again, all is right with the world.
So, I wake up those old, rusty smile muscles and give them the best smile I've got in me.

And you can see their shoulders become lighter. All is now right in the world. Their world anyways. My world is still turned upside down.

That's one of the things that I have found so interesting about this disease.

Since being diagnosed eight months ago, I've spent a majority of that time assuring everyone else that it will all be okay.

What I really feel like doing is throwing a full on, two year old, body thrown to the floor, feet kicking, arms swinging, screaming at the top of my lungs, temper tantrum. But then someone might knowthat everything is not okay, right?

Another thing I remember, back in my "Super Mom" days, going non-stop all day, volunteering all day at school, dance classes, girl scout meetings, etc. and when I finally to bed, I would climb in between the silky sheets and just breathe.

I loved that feeling. The contentment and happiness to get into my bed. I would even say, either to my husband or to no one at all "God, I love this bed!" sigh....

I now hate my bed.

When fatigue set in and then came the exacerbations, I was forced to spend so much time in my bed, alone, away from my family who were downstairs going on with life. I grew to hate that very same bed, with those very same silky sheets. I wanted to join my family. I wanted to fill my chair for family dinner. Hell, I wanted to cook the meal for family dinner, but my body wouldn't let me.

I would lay there, in that bed, alone, and yell to an empty room "I HATE THIS BED!!" Then I would go on to add "And for that matter, I'm starting to hate my body! What kind of a body just decides to just STOP WORKING???"

Another thing I remember is being able to actually remember. I didn't need to make millions of lists and post it notes just to get through the day. I could remember an entire grocery list in my head. Now, if I have to go to the store for one thing, say coffee beans, I have to write it down! One thing!

I'm starting to feel like a child again who shouldn't be trusted on their own. I push myself too far, I can't remember to turn off the oven (that actually has not happened yet by the way) and honestly, I'm a bit of a mess. Maybe I need a nanny.

So, there you have it. Just a few of the things I remember about me and life before MS came to live in my body. Do you all remember anything?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm Still Alive And Kickin'..Well, Maybe Not Kicking Exactly...

Ok, all of you fellow "veteran" MS people, I have one question for you (actually, I could pelt you with questions until your eyes roll back in your head). Are you ready for my one question?

Does this first year of never ending crap ever stop? Is there a light at the end of my tunnel or is that a train coming straight at me??

Yes, I realise now that those were two questions but they're grouped together into a cluster for one answer.
I just do not get this whole disease! And, to be honest, I'm pissed at it all the same!
I didn't want to turn this post into a whiny, woes me, I must be the only person on earth dealing with this so everyone must feel sorry for me post.

I guess that I should have made some sort of disclaimer when you all started showing up so that you wouldn't be disappointed. Something like:

**Warning:This person is NOT always funny! In fact, sometimes she's rather bland and whiny!
I guess that I was hoping that the first doctor, the one who diagnosed me, would be right. That I would start the Rebif injections and start popping the Provigil and I would instantly be right back to my old self.
Now I'm worried that "my old self" may be a goner.
Let's talk about something else....lalalala..I know!
Ooh! I forgot to tell you all that I got my "new ride"!
That's right, I am now the proud owner of a scooter. But I have to tell you, I'm a bit dangerous on the thing. Seriously! As in I've had it for two days and I've already put a few scuffs on it from running in to stuff. Nothing major and nothing was broken.
The picture here is kind of what it looks like except for I got four wheels instead of three. I wouldn't want any tipping over happening!
We did have two "near hit and runs" happen though.
The first one happened when the Scooter Store guy was still here, teaching me how to use the new ride. He told me to get in the chair so that he could "measure me" (which we all know what that means right? That's right, I'm still hot! Oh, that wasn't what you were thinking?) So I got in the chair and then the wee monkey decided that he needed to climb in too. So, I'm sitting there, the littlest monkey in my lap, and this guy is behind me "measuring me" *wink wink* when the little monkey decides that we're going to go for a drive. In reverse.
I tried to explain all of this to the guy but I'm pretty sure that he left here thinking it was me.
The second happened when The Hubs decided that he was going to take it for a spin. He was like a chipmunk on crack on that thing!

The first thing he figured out was how to crank up the speed all the way up and then he just started going around all over the place. Then he would yell "How do you stop??" I would say "Take your finger off the gas thingy!" and he's say "Where is it?" as he was nearing mowing me over. After a few minutes I figured out that the best thing for me to do was to round up the kids and get us all to higher, non-scooter friendly ground and wait until he had his fun.
Of course, I am a little disappointed in a few things. The first would be the sissy "horn" they put on it. They can call it a horn but I would have better luck pulling one of the kids hair to get them to yell than I would with that horn. It's highly disappointing.
Also, there isn't a lot of room for my flames. I was really looking forward to having flames painted on it. But as you can tell from the picture, the red doesn't cover a whole lot.
And the tires are teeny tiny! Where am I going to find rims to find those teeny tiny tires? Maybe the wee man has some cool ones on a Hot Wheels car around here.
But the most disappointing thing about it is the fact that it's mine.
Before I had kids and a hubs, I had a boyfriend who had taught me how to drive a Harley by myself. I was told that it was "HOT" to see a chick driving her own hog.
But try as I may, this scooter will never be a hog. But then again, I'm not that young chick anymore either so I guess we're even.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh Yeah! My Sisters, Cousins, Neices, Boyfriends, Uncle Had That!

One thing that I can't complain about, living in a small country town, is people trying to find some way to relate to your illness. (Hence, the title of this post)
Normally I don't go around telling everyone what's wrong with me, if I can help it. I've always been a private person and I would just rather not tell people who are basically strangers, like the other moms picking their kids up at school, all of the gory details of my walk down MS Lane.
But you always find that one person, I know that every one of you reading know exactly who I'm talking about, who not only completely understand what you're going through but they can relate in some very, extremely, not even "Seven Degrees To Kevin Bacon" sort of way.
Here are just a few of the responses I've gotten when I've told people that I had MS (after them badgering me because TRUST ME, they didn't get it easily!) Followed by what I wanted to say but didn't:

1. Oh yeah! MS. Oh that's some nasty stuff! When I was little, back in the 50's, we would go and visit my aunt who lived in Florida, and she had a neighbor who's daughter had MS. Oh she was such a mess! She had to live with her parents for her entire life cause she just couldn't take care of herself. Isn't that a shame!

*Well, yes, actually that is a shame. But you wanna know what's even more of a shame? The fact that you have no idea that you shouldn't have told me that story! Was it supposed to help in some sort of way? Funny, I don't feel helped.

2. Well, I'm sorry that you have MS but I just want you to know that I donate money every year to that Jerry Lee Lewis Telethon so in a way, if they ever find a cure, I paid for it for you!

*Ummm, thank you? Wrong disease though. That would me Muscular Dystrophy, not even the same initials, but thank you for paying for someone's cure!

3. That's just the worst thing that could ever happen, isn't it? What will you do? How will you go on? What kind of life is that? Not a good one, I'll tell you that!

* Well, up until THIS very second I was planning on actually, you know, living my life. Granted in a different way. But now I guess I'll just send the kids home on the bus and go jump of a bridge. Thanks!

Seriously! What is wrong with people?
It reminds me of when I was pregnant with my first child and still working and everyone, seriously everyone, even people I didn't know would walk up to me in stores and try to touch my belly and then tell me this horrible labor story!
It wasn't exactly the best time to tell me all that stuff! And where is this law written that anyone can touch a pregnant woman's belly, by the way? What, they figure somebody's already touched her so it's ok?
But that's a different rant for another day.
I have just never understood why people feel that they need to so desperately say something that they say these things. It doesn't make me feel better and I cannot believe that this person would walk away from the conversation thinking "Wow, I'm like Dr. Phil!"
The truth is, it's okay to just not say anything.
I don't need to hear the horror stories. I already have enough worry and what if's on my shoulders to last me.
I don't need you to say you're sorry. You didn't give it to me. Nobody knows how we get it.
I just feel like it's part of my life. That's it.

Maybe someone should start making shirts that say "It's MS, No not the thing Jerry Lewis does the telethon for, please don't say anything else unless you want to tell me how great my shoes are."
Cause I still wear great shoes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Isn't That Innnnteresting?

So, I had the appointment today with my new local neurologist. I will say that she passed the hub's inspection and got the "She's Not A Quack Or An A%&Hole...YET" stamp of approval. Seeing as he's the active medical proffessional in the family, and he's a really hard one to get by, she did pretty good.
He's the kind that goes in looking for intelligence, knowledge of the disease we're dealing with, the ability to make decisions about said disease, and they also have to be ok with the fact that he's going to be very involved (he's a doc) and will be with me at every appointment. If they pass all of these things, then we will proceed with forming a doctor/patient relationship.
I, on the other hand, go in and base my very factual opinion on things like bad breath, hair styles, do their shoes squeak when they walk (I know this sounds weird but it drives me bananas!), are their pants too short, do they talk with their eyes closed, and do they wear too much cologne/perfume. Oh, and they can't be "close talkers". If any of you were ever Seinfeld fans you would know what that means, but for those of you anti-Seinfeld-ites, it means that they get way too close to your face when they talk and it's really uncomfortable. This is a huge no no if you're anywhere near me. I need my personal space, and if you come into that, you might get hurt.
As you can see, both the hubs and myself base our judgments on highly educated check lists.

One thing I've noticed since being diagnosed with MS and local neuro shopping, is that they seem to think that all of my symptoms started the day I was diagnosed. Have you all noticed this?
Like today, we're going over the usual first appointment snoozefest stuff and she would say things like "Have you ever had numbness or tingling in your feet?" And I would answer "yes" and then she would ask how long ago and I would tell her off and on for two years. She would then look at me, puzzled (and they all have), and say "But you've only been diagnosed for seven months, right?"
So, I'm guessing that I'm completely abnormal in this field right?
None of you had ANY symptoms until the doctor came in and said "Well, it looks like you have MS". Then, on your way out of the doctors office, you fell down twice, you lost the ability to speak, you went blind in one or both eyes, and you started forgetting things like where you parked your car.
Then come the questions like "When did you have your first exacerbation?"
See, this question for me is a hard one to answer. I remember as a teenager that I always got migraines and that one time I couldn't see out of my eye and I do remember it hurting to move my eyes (you know, like look around) but seeing as how I'm 30 now, I don't exactly remember what age that happened. Plus, I used to fake a lot of illnesses so I know my parents didn't take me to the doctor for it.
So, I explain all of that (again) and she says "Well, do you think you were 19?" No, I know I wasn't 19.
"How about 18? Do you think it was when you were 18?" Nope.
We did this until we got to 16 and I said "Yes! You know, I was 16 when I had optic neuritis." I had an epiphany people!

But, like I said, she made it through the hub's check list and I liked her shoes so I think we'll give her a chance. Plus my neuro at Georgetown wants me to switch from Rebif to Tysabri and they have a really cool infusion center there so that will be nice.
Who would have thought that at 30 I would be impressed by nice shoes and great infusion centers?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just A Few Ramblings From A Foggy Mind

I swear, lately I have been in such a fog! I just wander around, forgetting things, wondering what it is exactly that I'm supposed to be doing, and always getting distracted. It's like I suddenly have aquired the attention span of a gnat. "Ooooh, look, something shiny!" and away I go. I'm sure for a lot of you who have had this wonderful disease longer than me, this is nothing new to you. For me, it's infuriating. I've tried making lists but then I lose the first list so I start a second and on and on until I've paid the Post It employees salaries for an entire year.
I don't know if any of you have been over to visit my other blog, but it's called Rambling Thoughts and I named it that for a reason. That's usually what I've got going on in my head. Just rambling, random thoughts floating around up there and I mostly just type down the dialog that's going on in my head. I just want to warn you that you'll get a lot of rambling from me. It happens. I can't help it. Deal with it. Everyone will be happy.
Oh, I wanted to say that I was surprised by the comments for yesterdays post. While I'm glad to hear that most of your all's friends have stuck by you, I was really expecting more to say that they had been through what I'm going through now with the amazing disappearing friend show. I will say that the friends that have stuck around have been so amazing through all of this and are always willing to lend a helping hand. I guess I just wasn't expecting that part of my life to change much.

In other news, I have another wonderful blogger to thank for welcoming me to the MS Blogging community. Lisa Emrich from Brass and Ivory wrote a post welcoming me and she only asked for a couple of things in return! :)

Thank you Lisa and all of you for making me feel welcome. I know that none of us asked to be here but it makes it so much better that we're in it together than dealing with it alone.

You can also visit Brass and Ivory by clicking on the link in my blog roll (which she only hinted a little that she wanted me to put her in) I saw something on there about how she's going to take us all to a carnival or something so that should be fun, right? I love carnivals!

Also new on my blog list is Ben at Did You Know That Montel Williams Has That? First of all, I loved the name of his blog since I've heard that question a lot since being diagnosed and he also left the most interesting comment in yesterdays post and this is just a little part of it:

"So at the risk of sounding all Charles Manson here...I'm gonna add you to my page as well. Let me know if that is weird or whatever, but I'm gonna do it. There aren't too many dudes out here for some reason. That's cool though, I guess I'm just the sensitive type."

Ahh, Ben you had me at "at the risk of sounding all Charles Manson". And if you haven't been over to visit Ben's page, or Bald Ben as he calls himself (hmmm, I wonder if that means he's bald?) you totally should because I did yesterday and he's really funny. And he's right, I haven't seen a lot of guys out there and it's nice to get a guy's point of view for a change!

One last rambling before I head off into the fog. I have another appointment tomorrow with another new neurologist. See, I have a neurologist at the University of Georgetown Hospital who is amazing. The only down side is the drive. It takes three hours to get there, or more if D.C. traffic is bad. The hubs and I both agree that it would be good for me to have a local neuro established if anything should come up.

I've been down this road about four times now. There are a lot of quacks out there calling themselved Neurologists! There was one who, on the first visit, saw me walking in with a limp, and said "You don't have to walk like that. If you have disability papers just give them to me. I'll fill them out." Nice.

Number Two told me that none of my symptoms were from MS. At the time I had right leg weakness, foot drop, trouble with my speech, and fatigue. #2 says that MS didn't cause any of those things. He says that I was just really stressed out. He wanted to send me out of there with some pretty heavy duty antidepressants and a lot of Xanax. Movin on.

I have some hope for this one though. A woman that I've been exchanging emails with for a while sees her for her MS and says she's great. We'll see. Wish me luck!

Now I'm off, into the fog, to look for something shiny!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?

I've started to notice that a lot of my friends are starting to disappear. It's like this widespread epidemic!
From a medical point of view, I knew that my life was going to change when I was diagnosed with MS seven months ago. Hell, it had already started changing before I was diagnosed. I was worried about things like losing the ability to walk and see. I was worried about how I would go on to be a stay at home mom if I could barely take care of myself. I still worry about that now.
My MIL told me that she has a friend with MS and he says that it stands for "Many Surprises" and I think that's pretty fitting. Atleast in my case, I never know how I'm going to wake up one day to the next.
What I didn't expect to change was how people who knew me before MS would start to look at me differently. They talked to me in a different way. I had some who would try to help out by asking me everything about MS and then I had some who figured that they would just ignore it all together.
The thing was..I used to be a pretty fun person to be around. I loved to laugh and most of the words that came out of my mouth had a sarcastic tone to them. But suddenly, to my friends, I'm this broken, fragile little person who can't be toyed with.
I've had some that have stopped calling all together. Two of my closest friends used to call everyday and we could spend hours on the phone. Now I haven't heard from either one of them in months.
But I will say, I have found some funny sides to this kind of thing.
The hubs has a Great Aunt who is in her 90's and lives in Connecticut. She's a very interesting lady, spent her life working for the FBI but she won't tell you what she did, at 80 she wanted a new car (new car to her meant used car new to her) but the one she wanted was a stick shift so she taught herself how to drive it. She's never been married or have any children and she's not exactly the kind of person to pity someone.
During a phone call, my MIL was talking to her and Aunt said "So where is Tracy? Is she around, could I talk to her?" My MIL told her that I had just gone upstairs to use the bathroom. Aunt did this tisk, tisk noise and said "Oh that poor thing."
When I got on the phone I said "I know, right? You'd think that they could fix something! I mean, I have MS and I still have to go pee..where's the justice in that?"

See, I'm still me.
The thing is, I'm a little more dangerous now. Think about it. Most of the time I use a cane. The cane is long. One time, the hubs said something and I wanted to hit him but he was out of reach so I whacked him with the cane. The hubs says that the cane hurts.
And I just found out yesterday that I'm getting my motorized scooter. Just think of the damage I'll be able to do to someone with that puppy! And I can double it if I hold the cane while driving the scooter. No one is safe!

I'm not saying that it doesn't hurt that these people have disappeared from my life or some of the ones who have stayed look at me differently. I'm just hoping that if I keep showing them that I'm still here, they'll get it. And the ones that are gone, I guess they were in my life as long as they were supposed to be, right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It Appears That I've Been Brought Out Of Hiding

I don't usually get a lot of comments on this blog (although who am I kidding? I don't get more than 11 a day on my other blog either!) so imagine my surprise when I signed on to this one last night and saw that I had, like 10 comments for my last post! I just figured that maybe all of my blog buddies followed me over here and started commenting here too but to my even more surprise, all of the comments were from people that were new!
So, for all you new people visiting the zoo, I'd like to say

Welcome and Thanks For Comin'! Feel Free To Take Your Coat Off And Stay A While! But Don't Plan on Stayin' Too Long Cause' You Might Mess Up My Nap Time!

I've actually been stalking a lot of your all's blogs lately but I haven't been leaving a lot of comments out there in the blogosphere. I'm still new to this whole MS thing and I didn't want to intrude.

But today, when I went stalking, I found that Brain Cheese did a whole post on me and she welcomed me "Onto The Short Bus" (which for some reason cracks me up every time I hear or read that!).

I might have left a teeny tiny little comment about wanting my MS blog put on her blog roll but I totally wasn't expecting all of this! She even did a blog review, which she says she never does because she doesn't want anyone to review her blog.

So, as you can tell, I was feeling pretty happy. My ego was a little puffed up. Tracy was now welcomed onto the short bus. Rock on!

Then I read in the Brain Cheese Comments that one Miss Lisa Emrich wrote this:

" I was planning on announcing/welcoming Tracy tomorrow...but now.... well, humphf... I'll have to find something else"

What? Is there an almost fight going on over me? People, people, listen to me, there's totally enough Tracy to go around! Lisa, don't you go finding something else! Announce me anways! And as I said to you in my reply comment, if you need me to act all surprised, I totally can do that!

I started a blog list and have put some of the ones who commented up there. I'm almost certain that I missed some of you. Please don't take that personally, as I tend to have the attention span of a gnat most days (Ahh, the joys of MS). Plus, I kind of got sleepy and there was this whole thing with a chicken following me around but that's a story for another day. The point is, if I missed you or I didn't miss you and you just want your blog up there, leave me a comment!

And, seriously, thanks for the welcome. I'm still not exactly sure how I got to be on the short bus. I don't know if you grabbed me off the street and knocked me out and when I came to welcomed me, but all the same thanks!

I wanted to share with you all this kind of awesome comeback that I had the other day. (yeah, I'm kind of proud of myself, so what?)

Have you all noticed that when you have an illness or disease like, oh I don't know, MS and you tell someone and you see that moment when it hits them that they have no idea what to say to you now? Then this switch flips and it's like "I must throw as many analogies at her as possible" and then you're hit with all of these sentences that make no sense and half don't even pertain to you? Well, this is one I had the other day.

Random Mom at Kids School: Oh, MS huh? Wow. Well, I guess that Forrest Gump was right. Life really is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Me: Well, I mean, I guess if the box of chocolates was the kind filled with the gross goo inside and you knew that every one you bit in to was going to be disgusting and you'll want to put it back in the box but you totally can't, then yeah it's a lot like what I'm going through with MS.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


The title really says it all. For the past three days I have been..well... blahhhhhh.
This is what infuriates me about this disease. Exactly one week ago (well, one week and a day..ok it was Halloween for crying out loud people!) I was hitting school parties and then that night the hubs and I took all three of them trick-or-treating and I was the one that the kids had to say "Mommmm, it's time to goooo!"
Then exactly one week ago (and yes I do mean exactly one week, wait..today is Saturday right?) I was baking a cake and getting ready for a date with a hot guy for our 9th anniversary. We went to dinner and talked and it was all wonderful.
And this week?


I seem to be starting another flare up. My speech is slurred and I stutter a lot and I'm exhausted and my balance is way off (and by way off, I mean that when I think I'm standing up, I'm actually not). I've basically slept for the last three days straight. Luckily, the wee man is a great napper and stayed right beside me. And now the hubs and my mom are here for reinforcements.

I just hate being like this. The hubs keeps doing the laundry (which is really a wonderful thing or we would all be naked) but then he dumps the baskets out into a chair in the living room/our temporary bedroom and it becomes the Mountain of Doom. It's my Mt. Everest if you will.

I know that I'm lucky that he even does the laundry but would it kill him to fold something now and then?
Oh, right, "Real men never fold laundry!"
So, here I am, stuck in bed, feeling like crap, and Mt. Everest is slowly growing up in front of me.

Imagine this but made out of laundry. Oh, and without the snow of course.
What to do..what to do...
For now, I think I will just pull the covers up over my eyes and go back to sleep. Everest will always be there when I wake up I'm sure.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Distance Means Nothing

One person that I feel truly lucky to have in my life is my mother in law, Mary Jane. She's one of those women you wish you could be like, who tells you like it is even if that's not what you wanted to hear, and she gives you encouragement (although at times it may seem like she's just telling you what to do).
When I told her that I had MS she set out to learn everything she possible could about my disease. She's been going to an MS support group, she get's newsletters and emails, and she sent the kids a DVD about MS that eplained it to them in their terms. Plus it was a cartoon. You can't go wrong with having the kids watch a cartoon.
She's always managed to show up when we need her most and help in ways you can't imagine. And the funny thing is, she lives in Arizona. It's not exactly a quick car trip over to West Virginia from her house!
The last time she was here visiting, we went to Target. I wasn't doing too well and my legs were giving out a lot which lead to me falling a lot. When we got into the store to get our shopping carts, we had a conversation that went a little something like this:
MJ: Get one of those motorized scooters for yourself.
ME: Oh, no. I don't think I need one today.
MJ: Get one of those motorized scooters for yourself.
ME: No, I think I can just hold on to the buggie and shop. I'll be fine.
MJ: (a little more stern) Get a scooter!
ME: Ok fine!

And then I got in the scooter, end of discussion. The thing is, she and I both knew that me being in the scooter was what was best for me, but my pride wasn't allowing me to take that first step. So, she made me. I have a feeling that the conversation could have gone on forever like that if I hadn't given in. Who knows? We could still be in the front of Target, months later, arguing about how I was going to get around the store.
When I told her that I wanted to start journeling but I couldn't find any pretty Journals to write in, she sent me about 15 journals from her business. They were all beautiful, different shapes and sizes. I'm now set to journal for the rest of my life.
We tak by email several times a week and we try to talk on the phone atleast once a week but, of course, life sometimes gets in the way. But with all of that, her living across the country, only talking through email, etc, I've never felt closer to her than I do now.
I guess a "support system" doesn't have to be right there at your door to really be of support.
Thank you Mary Jane, from the bottom of my heart!
And I promise to always "eat my peas!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Can I Turn A Kick To The Ego Into A Hot Ride?

I went to see my neurologist at the University of Georgetown last Wednesday and, for the most part, it was actually a very productive meeting.

Since I'm still managing to trip over air a lot of the time, he sent me home with an order for a four wheeled walker with the seat thingy built in (and yes "seat thingy" is not the proper term but you're in Tracy Land now so that is what it's called) and another order for a motorized cart. While I understand that I probably, maybe, definately need these things, it's still a bit of a kick to the ego, you know? Cause there's nothing sexier than a 30 year old woman yelling at her children from her motorized cart.
Or something like this could happen, which for me is very likely:
You would just have to imagine a younger woman with great shoes and an awesome handbag instead of the purple sweater thing that woman is wearing but our facial expression would probably be the same.
My brother has already offered to put some big tires and rims on it for me. And he does have a friend who does auto painting so I could have him paint it pink and maybe put some flames on it or something. That's just a few of the advantages of living in West Virginia. People know how important it is for your vehicle to not only look good but to be prepared for any unexpected off roading trips. I'd also like a horn for it that's really loud, unlike the ones they have on the scooters at places like Target. They claim it's a horn but all it does it a tiny little "beep".

I think this one would suit me pretty well. Not only would it say "Hey, I'm a badass" when not in use, but it also claims to be extremely loud. I bet I could clear an entire department store out with one blow from this puppy.

Although, I found this picture of a walker here that might work out for me:

That thing is ready for an off road adventure anytime. And just look at those shiny rims. Honestly though, I hate this. I had a moment where, as I was sitting in the doctors office and he and my husband were talking about how badly I needed this things, and I found myself thinking "When in the hell did this become my life?" I keep hoping that this is some kind of bad, really bad, terrible, horrible, awful, realistic nightmare that I'll wake up from soon and all of this will be gone. I'll tell myself "It was just a dream" and I'll get out of bed without any pain and I'll go in the kitchen and fix my coffee and not have to take ten fricking pills and I'll go about my day the way I used to.

I guess I'm just having a "poor me" kind of day. I've never asked "Why me?" I know there's no rhyme or reason to why I got MS and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone else in the world.

I guess there are just days where I don't feel up to fighting the monster.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This One Is Gonna Be An Angry One...Just Thought I Would Warn You

I'm a bit aggrivated...not the right word...miffed? No...mad...getting closer...
Ok, I am way kind of definately, whole heartedly PISSED OFF!
And what am I pissed off at? This mother frippin disease that shows it's ugly head when I least expect it, making my body defy me, let me down, disappoint me in ways ones body should never do.
Let me try to make some sort of sense out of my ramblings for you.
Think of what you do, say, on an average morning from the moment you wake up to the second you walk out the door to work, take your kids to school, go to Dunkin Donuts and then come home and eat two dozen jelly filled donuts, whatever it is you do.
Now, imagine it with these little gems added in:

1. You husband, wife, gay lover (there is NOTHING wrong with that), dogs, children, etc. has to come and tell you to get out of bed about fifty times after the alarm has gone off for twenty five minutes waking everyone up in the house but you because of all the meds you have to take for you illness.

2. You finally get up, still in a fog from the meds, and have to get everyone dressed, pack lunches, fix hair, feed the monkeys, and get them out the door and into the super mini van before 7:15 a.m. to get them to school on time.

Add in the fact that your right leg really doesn't work so you're dragging it behind you like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and you have to bring your cane with you everywhere you go.
It's all enough to make even the most sane of people go crazy. And as I'm sure you all have figured out by now, I am not one of the most sane of people.
One of my main problems is that I'm stubborn. Really stubborn. To the point of being stupid.
For so long, I have fought this illness and the limitations it's put on me.
I have what my therapist calls a case of the "I shoulds".
I should be able to carry a laundry basket up the twelve steep farmhouse steps and put it away.
I should be able to go back up the stairs to get my own clothes.
I should be able to clean the house, make dinner, make it through the day without a damn nap, go to the grocery store, volunteer at the school, go on the school field trips with my kids.
I should, I should, I should.
In turn, I end up exhausting myself and just plain screwing myself.
Friday had been a crazy day. I took the kids to school, came home and put away loads of laundry that had been sitting there taunting me, bathed the littlest monkey, showered myself, and then had to get back in the car and drive and hour to two doctors appointments for myself. Then it was off to the pharmacy and I made it back in town just in time to surprise the girls by picking them up from school instead of them having to take the bus home.
Busy day. No nap. My butt was kicked.
But did I stop? Oh no. I was being the supermom.
There was dinner to be made, homework to be done, baths to give.
The hubs kept telling me "Don't over do it. Sit down if you need to, I can take over whenever you need me to."
In my head I thought "Oh, you're very sweet, but I've got this. I should be able to do this."
By the time all of the things were done, I was exhausted. I had overdone it. I refused help when I should have said "Oh God, yes please!"
But by this time, my stubborn self kicked in and said "Just one more trip up the stairs for your pj's and then you can relax. On more trip up those stairs. It's only 12 stairs."
I made it up the stairs but by the time I got there my muscles in my legs were weak and shaking. But I didn't stop, oh no, I kept going. And that's when it happened.
My body said "Ok lady, enough!" And I fell.
It wasn't a big fall. I was coming out of the bathroom and fell on a part of the floor that is waiting for carpet. I fell to my knees and skinned them pretty good, hit my arm and my head on the wall, added a few new bruises to the collection that I have going, and really beat up my pride.
The hubs came running up the stairs, he knew what had happened. And he found me there, in the floor like I had landed, crying like a little baby. I wasn't crying because I was hurt physically, I was crying because of the "I shoulds".
In a way, when the hubs got there, it was kind of funny. He kept going between asking me if I was ok and yelling at me for pushing myself and not asking for the help that I so needed.
It was:

Are you ok? God that was a loud one!


But are you ok? Is anything broken? Are you bleeding anywhere?


But seriously, are you ok? God you scared the shit out of me! Are you ok?

He ended up going to get my pj's and I ended up sliding on my butt back down the twelve stairs that I had just climbed up.
Remember when you were a little kid and you'd slide down the stairs on your butt? I used to do it at my grandparents house all the time. Thump thump thump. Then I'd run back up and do it again. It was so much fun.
Now, as an adult, not so much. Now, I feel every thump through my entire body, it gives me an atomic wedgie, and I wasn't doing if for fun, I was doing it because I couldn't walk myself back down.
This is what MS has done to me and my body. My body and I are no longer on the same team.
Thank you MS.

Maybe I should get one of these put in the house. I wonder if my insurance would pay for that?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't Mess With Naptime...Or Else

As I've mentioned before, fatigue has been one of the main and most problematic symptoms for me with my MS. Before I was diagnosed, I would wake up at 8 a.m., go for two hours, take a two hour nap, go for two more hours, take another nap, go for a few more hours, then go to bed. That was my day.
After my diagnosis, I was given some meds that help fight the fatigue and for the most part, they have made a huge difference. I am almost a half of a functioning person again. I do still need a nap but it's just one and it's only and hour and a half to two hours long. Not bad.
With the home renovation going on the past five months, the workers started to understand how important my having a nap was. If I got a nap, I was happy and chipper in the afternoon. No nap, watch out for the swinging cane. And since they're nice guys, they would work a little more quietly so that I could get my nap. I trained them well.
One group of people that I cannot get trained, though, is DirecTV. I can't tell you how much of a pain in my ass these people have become! All we want is for them to hook up the boxes in the new parts of the house and move one. That sounds simple enough right? Well, three times these people have come out, during naptime, only to find out that their workorder didn't say "You will actually have to work" on it and they all left without doing anything.
So, we rescheduled again for today. The hubs even made sure to schedule the guys to come before naptime so that I wouldn't kill them. The hours that they were supposed to show up were from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. I could handle that.
At 11:30, this really rude lady called from DirecTV to tell me that the guys are running late and they will now be here anywhere from now and between the hours of 2:30-5:30. Which, how in the world is that even a time frame?
I got a little, for lack of a nicer word, angry. I was going to have my nap today damnitt!
So, I taped a little note to the door for the guys for whenever they do decide to show up. It looks a little something like this:

I sure hope I hear them knock!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sometimes You Just Gotta Do It, Even If Spite Is The Only Reason

Before MS showed up and changed my life, I used to do a lot of things. One of my favorite things was baking. I used to bake all the time. Seriously. I was one of those people who went to Costco, the bulk food heaven on earth, and bought the ginormous bags of flour, sugar, and chocolate chips.
I remember one time, as we were leaving Costco with my baking purchases, the guy at the door who checks your receipt said "Oh, you have a lot of baking stuff. You must have a baking business." I smiled politely and said "Nope, I'm just one of those people who is contributing to the ever growing obesity population in the country." Then I took my reciept, left the man standing there with a blank look on his face, and pushed my cart full of baking goods to the car.
Since the MS monster decided to show it's ugly face, one of my main problems has been fatigue. I've had months pass the I don't remember because I slept through them. Almost literally.
Today, I decided that I was no longer going to cower in the face of the monster. I was going to bake something if it killed me! I figured it wouldn't hurt me since i've lost almost 100 lbs. because of the meds the doctor has me on. I want a homemade cookie damnitt!
That's what I did too. I baked almost three dozen chocolate chip cookies. Remember the kind your mom or grandmother used to make that you knew you couldn't buy in any store because these were made with love? That's the ones I made.
So, I did it. I'm exhausted now, but I did it. The way I look at it is, sometimes, you've just got to do it, even if the only reason you've got is spite.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Value Of A Good Therapist

The day I was diagnosed with MS, this change started happening to my so very extremely nice all the time personality. And the more the MS started to effect or change my life, the worse it got.
I was...well for a lack of a better word PISSED. I was so pissed off. At so many things really.

I was pissed at the doctor who told me that even though I definately had MS, once I started the Rebif therapy, I might not even know that I have it for ten years or more.

Really Doc? Because I've known that I've had it every single day since, thanks.

I've been pissed at the way I see my illness effecting my family. My husband is always watching me like I might shoot off into space if he takes his eyes off of me, my kids were terrified that I was going to die and they were also sad because the mom who used to be "Supermom" now couldn't get out of bed long enough to make them breakfast.

I was pissed at the constant pain that I've been in, pissed as my leg for not letting me know when it's going to decide to stop working, pissed at falling down, at fatigue, at the neurologist, who was supposed to be an MS specialist, who kept telling me that MS didn't cause pain, that my leg had full strength, and that when I started talking like Forrest Gump that wasn't MS either.

That's another thing I've been mad about, I never know what's going to happen when I wake up one day to the next. Honestly, one day I took a nap with my two year old son and I had been feeling different that day. I couldn't figure out what it was, not worse. Just tired. When I woke up, I couldn't speak. Then when I could get words out my speech was all broken and I couldn't complete big words and sentences were impossible.

The next day, my husband drove me to this "specialist" who told me that it wasn't my MS causing my speech. It was stress. I thought, but couldn't say or I totally would have, "STRESS? Really? Cause I have three kids, a farm, a house to run, and all of that was there before and I never started talking like Forrest Gump before!!!" His solution was to up my antidepressant (that I have to take because the Rebif is known to cause depression) and give me a script for Xanax. My husband basically told him to stick the scripts up his bum and we left. I haven't seen him since.

I honestly felt like I was drowning. MS had changed everything about my life, it made me feel like I was on the outside of my life looking in, and I knew I couldn't deal with all of this anger on my own. So, I went to see a couselor and I am so glad that I did.

She's been helping me deal with all of this anger and has helped me to find ways to still be involved with my family without wearing myself out. I've been seeing her now for almost five months and it has made such a world of difference. I'm not as angry anymore, although I do still have my moments of rage at this stinking illness, but I'm dealing with it. I can see the difference it's made in me and in my family who no longer feel like they're walking on eggshells around me anymore.

I highly suggest counseling or therapy to anyone going through this. Therapy isn't just for crazy people, which is what I always thought before.

There's nothing more valuable than a good therapist!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Welcome To The Zoo

Hi, My name is Tracy and I have MS {ahem, this is where you would all say "Hi Tracy" in your most somber AA voices...What? Nobody wants to play along? Fine.}

Well, I guess I'll try it again.

Hi, I'm Tracy. I have three kids who are insane monkeys most of the time. More often than not, I feel like the zoo keeper instead of the homemaker. No, seriously, I'm told they're great so that's good right? My oldest, who was probably the biggest surprise I've ever had in my entire life, will be 9 soon but she acts like a raging, pms-ing, 16 year old most of the time. My favorite thing that she says is "I want to be treated like an adult!" So I'll treat her like an adult and then she gets mad and stomps off to cry in her room. As I watch her go, I think "Gee, if only we could all choose when we want to be adults like she can."

My second child, also a girl, is 7. She was probably the second most biggest surprise of my life since my first baby wasn't even a year old yet when I found out she was on her way. She's an interesting kid. I'm pretty sure that she is a reincarnated 80 year old woman from Jersey who used to smoke a lot of Pall Malls. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Em has lived a lot of passed lives because there are times when she starts talking in a brittish accent, then suddenly she's southern sounding like Scarlett O'Hara. But the Jersey thing has lasted the longest. Plus, she always gives you the feeling that she's way smarter than you and she's just tolerating you until she can reach world domination.

Then there's the wee-man. My little two year old tazmanian devil. I swear, I thought I knew what I was doing with this whole mothering thing until I had a boy. Geesh. He never stops moving, what he can't climb, he eats, and he's more than happy to piss his sisters off. He also has times when he's cuddly and sweet. Usually he's sleeping during those times but they still count.

I'm not going to give you the long, detailed road of how I came to be diagnosed with MS. I'll just give you the important stuff and we'll build up from there.
Here's the low down. Around the age of 16 or so, I remember having a week when I had a horrible headache, a blind spot in my right eye, and it hurt just to move my eyes. I didn't really mention it to anyone and after a week it went away. Problem solved. I just assumed that I had taken some bad drugs or something. I know now that what I had was Optic Neuritis and that was probably my onset to MS.
Years went by, a marriage happened between myself and my wonderful husband, and lots of babies kept appearing out of nowhere (and by nowhere I mean my whooohaaaa!) and life went on.
Over the past ten years, I've had times when I was a little "extra clumsy" and I would trip over random things, like oh, say, air, but I always managed to explain these things away. It doesn't do for mother to get sick afterall.
Two years ago, after my son was born, I started having a lot of migraines. Like three to four crippling migraines a week. I had the blindspot, sensitivity to light, smell, noise, and people. I started seeking help from neurologists for these migraines and since none of them knew what to do with me but were to arrogant to admit it, they would just write me a prescription for some pill that would do nothing and then send me on my way.
About eight months ago, I had a migraine that was so bad I ended up in the E.R. The next day I followed up with my family doctor who was an elderly, smalltown doctor that I basically used for antibiotics. He said "Hey, you know, you've never had an MRI. We should maybe get one of those." So, I did.
Two hours after my first MRI, my family doctor called me to tell me that I needed to see a neurologist ASAP. That I had 19-20 lesions in the white matter of my brain, consistent with MS.
My life changed at that exact moment.
I do have another blog that I've had for about four years called Rambling Thoughts of The Neverending Mind but it's more of my funny, everything is peaches and cream and everyone is shitting snowcones kind of blog. I didn't want to weigh it down with MS stuff so I decided to start this one.
I'm hoping to find some people who also have MS. Right now I only have one person that I exchange emails with and I would really love to hear from more people, compare some notes, curse the illness, whatever hits our fancy.
So, Wecome to the Zoo!