Thursday, October 15, 2015

Now what?

This time last year I was recovering from ulcers and bleeding hemorrhoids.  I needed to take time to rest and recover, while still coping with all the changes wrought by the conditions.

I also needed to lose weight gained during a difficult summer of gut pain.

This did not happen.  In fact, in the springtime, I had the opportunity to hire dog walkers.  Two little girls came around to ask if we had a dog.  I said yes, but I walked her myself.

Then I realized that was a sort of lie.  I was walking Sarah, but not nearly enough for a dog.  Her growing belly confirmed this.

I called the kids' parents and arranged for the both of them to walk my dog.  I paid a tad more then they asked, in hopes that they would continue coming.

They not only came, but they were escorted by a parent, who saw to it that their girls were not exploited or in danger.  On top of that, they often brought siblings, because my Sarah gets balky when her routine is interrupted.  She had preferences, and they had security needs.

Well, I got rid of the worst of the excess pounds by cutting calories.  Yesterday, the walkers informed me that next week would be their last of the year.  I want to get them a little present to thank them.

They were not always prompt, and didn't call to let me know, but for elementary school kids, I thought they did pretty well.

The proof?  Well, Somebody has to walk Sarah this winter.  No other kids are coming forward, because Daylight Savings Time will make the streets dark and dangerous.  For little kids.

For a grown woman, it is time to step up and take the leash.


Monday, October 05, 2015

The Sandwich is Going Bad


I was wondering just when this "Sandwich Generation" thing was going to become unmanageable.  We have our answer: 

After years of doling out cash to help our money-strapped kids, THEIR kids now need expensive dental work.  The sort of thing our generation would have let go.  After all, those baby teeth will fall out.  There is no way my parents would have spent thousands of dollars on bad baby teeth.

Of course the answer is simple:  no more cash to give them.

Now for the upper crust of the sandwich.

My MIL is losing it.  Really, really losing it.  I don't think it looks like Alzheimer's, but more like dementia.  On the other hand, there are no outside influences to look into for her memory loss.

She can't hear, and cannot manage hearing aids.  She fears the neighborhood is too quiet, so she can't rest at night.

We are finding lunches and suppers left in the microwave.  She loses anything that isn't nailed to her hands.  Even her stories, which we've heard a million times are starting to suffer from her memory loss.

The only good thing is that others notice it too.  Now family is starting to come forward to help.  Goodness knows I am stretched beyond the limit.

After two weeks of nonstop coughing, snotting and just feeling gawd-awful, I no longer am able to stop by.  I dread what I will find.

It's time to call her, and I am afraid to dial the number.  What new problem is waiting?  And will it be another unsolvable one?  Or will it be another indication that medical intervention is needed?

Will I be able to handle it?

How long will I be able to handle her?

Little Pond

Monday, July 06, 2015

Well, we seem to have sorted out most of my physical troubles.  But I still have MS and I still have reflux and pain in my duodenum (upper gut). 

It's six am and I have been awake since four.  It's my own fault, because I ate hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.  I feel like my fingers turned into the hot dogs.

Today I will return to my low sodium diet with a vengeance.  Watch out, zucchinis!

Helpful tip:  it's easier to take the time to put on those nail gel tips, than to try to use nail polish.  And they last a good week or so.  Just be sure to massage them after dishwashing or showering.  I use a towel.

Also, if your doctor warns you about gaining weight with MS, take it to heart.  Put on about 10 pounds this last winter, and can hardly climb stairs, even while dragging myself up by the arms.

Love the way the fat fills in the wrinkles on my face, though.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Can't go out to the garden alone

I just wiped out a third of all our zucchini plants.

"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up"  just played out in our backyard.

Fortunately, Husband RJ came to help.  Unfortunately, I had no strength in my legs or knees.  I told him to grab my waist or butt and pull.

But I outweigh the old man by about 20 pounds and he couldn't manage it.  I pitched forward from a squat into the zucchinis.

Finally he planted his legs and grabbed my arms and pulled straight up.  My legs were no help.

I bawled out loud for a second or two.  Then we picked up the mess and I went in the house to make supper.


Monday, June 23, 2014

This time it's not MS

After a sonogram, an upper GI endoscopy, and a perfectly lovely colonoscopy, the verdict is in.

  • gall bladder is distended (whatever THAT means)
  • there are duodenal ulcers
  • there are also interior hemorrhoids.  Well, at least they don't stick out.
  • I have diverticulosis.
Now believe it or not, I know what diverticulosis is.  And I know what hemorrhoids and duodenal ulcers are.   Furthermore, it is no surprise that my gall bladder was distended.

Gall bladder and diverticulosis and hemorrhoids are all in my family history.  My mother just died after a long battle with intestinal troubles and diverticulosis or even diverticulitis was common for her.  And the other two, well it had to be something, right?

Now what to do?  I will see the doctor again on Thursday. Maybe he can shed a clue.

Because I have none.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

After three years of work

TIME HEALS:  The First Nexuses  is finally published.  I gave up trying to find proofers for it, as so few people around me have the time.  It actually took longer to research and write the darned thing, but only since I went on disability have I had some serious time.

As an editor myself, I could have spent another three years revising Time Heals, but since my MIL was widowed, time is scarce.  I wanted to see publication before I died.

Are they still saying that MSers on the average die around 62?  In that case, I can still enjoy the fruits of my work, if any.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

As I was going to St. Ives

I met a man who lost his eyes.  When I was first diagnosed, there used to be an MS Society branch in town.  (Thanks for nothing, MS Society.)

There, I met a man who awoke the week before to find he was rapidly losing his sight.  When I say rapidly, I mean that this man could now no longer drive a car, just one week later.  He had learned that he had MS and expected to be completely blind in a few weeks.

So why on earth would I skip the eye doctor for two years?  Yep, two years, during which my sight deteriorated enough that my glasses were no longer any use to me.

I am now the happy owner of new lenses and a much clearer outlook on life.  Even as I write, I can sense the strange numbness/tingling completely ringing my eye socket.  I am tired and can almost feel the muscle drooping.

Lesson learned:  Get thee to an Eye Doctor.

What's more, if you have MS, you need an ophthalmologist and not just an optometrist.

If you don't have one, get one.

Little Pond