Friday, November 30, 2012

Didn't even think this could happen!

Of course if it has anything to do with muscles, M.S. can and does toss a huge monkey wrench into living life. Dealing with changes M.S. continually forces me to make, I'll bottled it up inside, not sharing it with anyone. Yes my silly pride still gets in my way. Thinking I could hide it by not speaking unless I had to, using two to four words answers this worked for a while when it stopped. Using every trick I knew to prevent people from noticing. Go as far as blaming people for not listening to me! The last time I said that to Jane, she got an odd look on her face and said “I don’t understand you, it sounds like your talking in a different language!” As she said it the feelings of guilt washed over me. Finally telling Jane everything, it had started back in July, with my words coming out in the wrong order, to the point where my words coming out more as sounds than words! No I did not have a stroke! It’s my M.S. slowly progressing. The tongue is made up of whole bunch of muscles and it’s also an organ. Any hoot! The muscles of my tongue are being affected by M.S. fatigue and spasticity so they’re not working right or as a team most of the time. I'm able to talk it just takes longer to get my words out, in a way that people can understand me. The longer I talk the harder it is to speak clearly. It’s another adjustment in the long list of adjustments I've had to make because of M.S. I admit this is the hardest adjustment I've had to make by far. As always I’ll continue to find ways to work around and within my ever changing limitations.

After many years of talking on the phone, for far too long with many different people M.S. has quieted and calmed my long windiness. Not really a bad thing because, I tend to talk way too much anyway. As with most of the ability M.S. has taken, I've learned new ways of doing what I want to keep doing. With this one I've noticed how much emotion, comes from the words people use or maybe it's because I wasn't paying attention. Yep, over time I do seem to find a positive way of looking at the adjustments, I've had to make as I travel through my life. There are more than enough negatives in life, I choose not to hold on to them too long. That's all!

The training with Nacho is going great, he now understands the hand signs, the noise I make as well as the number of clicks of most of the commands used on his walks. Very glad he's a smart dog or he would be pulling me around and down on our walk's

This is the look I get from Nacho when it's time to play!
He still is a puppy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to eveyone

I have a great deal to be thankful for today, my family and friends. Our new buddy Nacho who is such a joy and yes I’ll be glad when he grows out of the puppy stage. With so many of our service members coming home and rejoining their families, welcome home we are all very proud of you and thank you for your service.

Now I want to share a bit of good news, I’m sure many people may disagree and that’s okay. The Heath Care reform act is the law of the land. At the V.A. hospital the horror stories about waiting for hours even when you have an appointment to see a doctor, having to wait for months to get an appointment is gone. How did this change? The V.A. has been asking for a new computer system since the mid 80’s, finally it came from the health care reform law. The V.A. hospital and Health care system, nationwide received the new computer system at first it was a bit messy. What it’s done by reducing fraud and stoped double dipping and paid for it's self. Has stream lined operations and the horror of wasting the whole day for one appointment is gone, as is waiting three months to get in. Now my doctor can and does email me to get my tests done before I see them saving a visit and has the results before I see them. Arriving for my appointment I've been called in before or on time. Even with the budget cuts made to the V.A. I still get great care, with this one tool the V.A. has become a leaner care giving team, like the hero's it serves.

I do believe if people are given the right tools, they will do great things. There are some people that only look at what's in it for them. From the old we can learn that history is lived, understanding if we don't learn it's lessens we will repeat the same mistakes again. As for sick and broken of which I'm one, are we a waste of space and time, just a drain on the system not worth saving. If so to heck with you! For without these groups of people, the break through's in learning how the human body, mind and the brain work's or how to fix it. Not long ago it was stated that humans only use 10% of our brains and the rest was just storage.  There is still so much that is unknown.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Creative Arts Competition

The list is narrowing down nicely on my list of reflections the top five so far are.

  1. # 27 You being you is amazing
  2. # 17 To the few who feel the help given wasn't much help
  3. # 16 In the span of life
  4. # 12 "words"
  5. # 1 My dream
Thank you so much, to all who have already voted. Going from 53 to 5 is a great start and a much more manageable list. I'll enter the top one into the competition on December 4, when I go into see my doctor at the Minneapolis V.A. hospital.

Thank's for helping me with this, I appreciate and value your input.            

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Creative Arts Competition

2013 Minneapolis V.A. health care system. Held every year I'm eligible and   thinking of entering this year. Last year I saw part of the creative writing entries all were very good. Not sure which one of my reflection to submit for the competition.

So if you have a favorite and want to let me know by putting the number in a comment. Going to see my doctor on the 4 of December before the dead line. Worth the risk, to at least give it a try. This will be a first for me to put anything I've written into a competition, if I don't chicken out.                                                                                                                                                                    

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#19 Reflections Love as a word and a feeling

Love as a word and a feeling
By Mary K. Mennenga

Love as a word is tossed around too freely
Love as an action is showing people they're important enough
For you to take the first risk, by opening up knowing
You could end up getting rejected
But sharing this act of kindness that some may only rarely see
That my friend is why love really isn't a word
But a feeling that's been put into action 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The older I get,

I'm saying goodbye more often than I'm saying hello, I don't find it sad living and dying are part's of life. What I remember the most are the people who have touched my life enriching it as they come, stay and or go. The amount of time that was spent together isn't as important, it's what we each gained in the time spent together. Haven't had a friend that agreed with me on every issue and I'm glad, be a bit boring if we did. Have been told many times I shouldn't talk about subjects like politics and religion but I still do. It's cost me a few friends over the years. It's too bad in a the way because, if by questioning each others perspective on these two issues, puts a wedge in our friendship it's sad.
Looking at information in different ways because no one see things in the same way. It helps me to see information from an opposite points of view, to challenge my own view. Time and history has taught me I don't know what I don't know! Learning also if I'm unwilling to listen with an open mind to people they will do the same to me, if not it ends in a shouting match and we both lose.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where to start?

That's the hard part, I've been trying for a few days and failing. Allowing myself to be side tracked isn't hard with a puppy like Nacho, training plus reinforcing it over and over again is time consuming with M.S. reducing my energy levels has taken it's toll. Nacho is worth it, hes smart strong willed luckily not as stubborn as I am! He brightens my days and is great company. Nacho and I go for walks and is no longer afraid of my walker. Being a pointer any small animal or bird he sees he wants to chase but because of his training he doesn't. Thankfully hes a quickly learner or he would have dragged me, half way down the street walker and all. So he points I say leave it and we move on most of the time I'm happy to say.

Jane's mother had been sick for a long time and passed away October 11, 2012. John her youngest son has lived with her all his life. Losing his best friend and Mom on the same day has been hard on him, John has problems and has not lived on his own, he took good care of his Mom. She hung on to life for him until Jane  let her know that we would make sure John was okay. We are helping him so he can stay in the only home he has ever known. Time will tell if he'll be able to make it.

The reason why this has been hard to write is, the spasms of my heart muscle are continuing, more annoying then worrisome on the scale mom used, it's two springs poking through on my side of the bed. The ringing in my ears is at such a high pitch and loud, making it harder to concentrate or sleep. Using headphones helps it doesn't stop the ringing, it does make it easier to deal with and that's good enough for now. Being unable to speak in a way, that can be understood by anyone, is happening more often and lasting longer. It's so frustrating wanting to join into a conversion or answer the phone! When I try to speak what comes out isn't what I wanted to say the words are all mixed up or come out as sounds, I'll try again which makes it worse. So far losing physical abilities has been easier to handle. Because I'm able to find a way to work around or make adjustments to how I do the thing's I want to get done. My vision is a pain closing one eye, isn't working as well, because my eye gets tired faster. I used to love watching action movies, sports and fireworks on the T.V. Now the switching from scene to scene, seem to happen much faster it's too much information for my brain, I'll feel sick to my stomach and headache, then I'll see four of everything and it's all moving around, all I can do is close my eyes and be very still. The really weird part is with my eyes closed, I'll see waves of colors floating in and out of view. When it stops I'm able to open my eyes again, as long as I don't try to focus on any one thing, I can get where I need to be laying down in bed but I don't fall asleep, I just wait until I see two of everything that's what my normal vision is. Most of the time I just listen to the T.V.

Walking and training Nacho helps me deal with the stress. The fall colors have been beautiful this year even with it being so dry. Watching the oak trees  slowly changing colors has been great. However the leaf's building up on the sidewalk makes walking a bit harder, so the walks are getting shorter most of the trees have lost their leafs the oak trees are the last to fall. Soon the city will clean the streets and the season of brown will begin and our walks will get longer again. Do hope we have more snow cover then last winter, if not we are keeping leaf's around the base of the trees to help so the roots don't freeze and to retain water to prevent too much winter kill last year was a hard one on trees. With Nacho I've started using more hand signs, clicks, ticks and sounds along with the word commands (when I can say them) so either one will work Nacho is learning fast. When we walk I'm using the come-along leash, hes a dog and loves smelling who has been around, so I allow him a five count then give him a light pull after another 5 count I pull again a bit firmer and he comes. Never using enough force to make him choke or cause him pain. Because I want him to know it's okay to be a dog, it's a big part of his charm! When we walk there are rules we both must follow to keep everyone safe, he seems to understand that.

Writing this has taken much longer then I thought it would and is longer then I wanted it to be. My M.S. seems to be progressing faster, I hope with my stress level dropping I'll even out and go back to a slower pace of progression.  
 I'm head over heels in love with Nacho Man.

Living loving life
Is a choice
That is made everyday!