End of the Year Review..

NYeve 2013

Hello my dear readers!! Tonight is New Years Eve. I’m home, ready for bed. LOL. It’s been a rough few days, this is not how I wanted to end the year. All I can say is, at least I haven’t landed in the hospital!

My goal for the upcoming year is to work on getting answers for my health, or as many answers as I can. I see my new neurologist next week, and I’m excited, yet nervous! I’m hoping things go well with him. I’m also working with University of Miami Neurosurgery Department to get an appointment with Dr. Green. They’ve been so helpful.  I also hope to get a wheelchair. 🙂 And make it special, and just for me. I’m nearly completely unable to bear weight on my left leg due to the pain in my hip. I also have some silly goals I’ve set aside for myself:

 1) Get the cooling bed so I can sleep!

2) Start crossing things off my bucket list, first is to experience the Northern Lights up close and personal.

3) Get special contact lens for my photophobia.

4) See my son graduate VPK (in May)

5) Write a book.

6) Make new and long lasting friendships.

These are just a few of mine! What about you?? Have you decided any resolutions for yourself??? This year has been very difficult, and at times i’ve wanted to give up, but I kept on fighting. Just as I will next year! Sometimes our trials seem so much, too much at times to handle, but we must remember, that we can overcome so much with our family and friends at our side.  I want to help others as much as I can. To help others see that even though we battle this hell, we don’t have to let it consume us, we don’t have to let the darkness win. Let’s start this new year off right. With positive thoughts, and hope in our hearts! Hope for so many things, and people. Remember we are all battling something, who are we to judge others?? All we can do is be kind to one another, show compassion, and hope that our kindness helps someone else.

So my dear readers, as I mentioned in the last post, I’d truly like to make this more interactive. I’m working on making this an active site, and hopefully I can have that done!

Stay safe my dear readers, and Happy NEW Year!!!!!!!!

Day After—We Survived!

 

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So, it’s the day after Christmas for those of us in the US..and guess what?? We made it, we survived the stress of the holidays! Maybe not by much, there may have been some falls, some passing out, some anxiety attacks, some arguments, but we made it! Lets all take a bow, or clap for ourselves! You know why? Cause dammit we deserve it! 🙂  This holiday was definitely hard on me, I was definitely a lot worse health wise this year than I was last year. I woke up Christmas morning, knowing it’d be a rough day, I was already exhausted from not sleeping well, and in a lot of pain. My son was already up and ready for presents, but first we had to have breakfast, and open our stockings from Santa, (he’s only 4). My dad made breakfast, our traditional Jiffy Blueberry Muffins, while my son and I opened our stockings. I got my cool gear cup, I’ve been looking for, in green! It seemed Santa didn’t want me to get sick since I got a lot of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, he also got my favorite lotion, which is the only one I can use now, Cocoa Butter! Also Got some Hello Kitty Lip gloss, Yes Hello Kitty! LOL. Some other stuff as well. My son of course got all boy stuff, matchbox cars, batman figurines, tattoos, minions toys, finger skateboards, and candy..sigh.. candy and my son do not get along well, we limit his candy intake to the extreme. LOL. It hypes him up so much. So we finish our breakfast, while Pop (my dad) goes through his stocking, my son is literally jumping in his seat for presents. Telling us to hurry. And yes Santa did come and he had already gone through those presents. He got a remote control truck, an Iron Man toothbrush holder thing (haha like my description?), and an outfit for school.

Soo….finally Pop finished his breakfast, and it was present time, so we all head to the tree. My dad gets me a blanket in case I get cold and a pillow for my back. And we start handing out presents for my son..This kid made out like a bandit!! LOL he’s loved. He got clothes, Duck Commander PJ’s, TMNT PJ’s, another shirt for school, Skylanders game, Angry Birds Light up shoes, and Perry the Platypus shoe, a special book I made him of his Bible verses they memorize in school, a build your own bottle rocket, solar system model to build, a rocket ship clock that lights up the room and shows pictures of the moon or galaxy on the ceiling. So much science stuff for him. He loves science so much!!!! He was so excited!  I got some sheep pajama pants, a Kinect for xbox, and a game for the kinect. My dad got some pictures for his picture frames, a journal for himself from me, and a very special gift from my son: a poem “Walking with Grandpa” we also included pictures of them together, and my son signed it. I converted it to a picture file, printed and framed it. He choked up with emotion. And hugged my son so tight. 🙂 It was all worth it.

After presents, I rested a little bit, then started an apple pie.. Yes ladies and gents, an apple pie..home made! It turned out so so delicious! My dad made a standing rib roast, rubbed with steak seasoning and horseradish sauce, it was so delicious. I also made mashed potatoes and green beans.  My uncle and his girlfriend came for dinner. It was a wonderful day with family. 

As I was preparing for their arrival I decided to shower..of course I fell in the shower and seemed to have hurt myself pretty badly. I have a stiff neck, and weird numbness/pressure along my spine, along with tremendous pain in my neck, spine and hips. Of course unbeknownst to me, my uncle and his girlfriend arrived just in time to hear me scream and fall. Oh joy. But I brushed it off and made the best of the evening! I was determined not to let it ruin the day. I found a new friend in my uncle’s girlfriend. I’m glad to have met her. We ended up talking and sharing stories of our horrible experiences with doctors. She loves my uncle very much and I’m so happy to see him so happy! We exchanged numbers and hope to stay in contact with each other! 🙂

So my dear readers, while some of us are suffering through the pain, remember there is always someone there to help you, to love you. It may be someone you least expected. Instead of focusing on the bad, let’s start looking at the good. We’re alive, we’re loved, we’re supported. In many ways we’re blessed. We may not have good health, or be rich, but we’re rich in love, and support. To me, those things are worth more than money!

Let’s start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions! I want to start making this site more interactive! I want to interact with my readers!  Let’s start working together and reaching out to each other and focusing on good, not all the bad!

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Holidays..and the stress it brings

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So… it’s Christmas Eve…FINALLY!!!! I spent Sunday making Sugar cookies with my son. I was exhausted by the time we were done, but to see the smile on his face was well worth it! I sat in my walker and wheeled myself around the kitchen. We even made homemade frosting! Now..I’m not a great baker..I rarely bake..but these turned out pretty well!!! Though, I didn’t say they’re pretty..lol.

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The stress of Christmas shopping, wrapping the presents, dealing with family and then the cooking.. So much goes into it. Which in turn makes me feel worse health wise. Though I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Seeing the smile on my son’s face is all worth it.  I’m falling a lot more, dizziness is worse. Had a really bad fall last night, I’m trying to recover from.

I’m trying to teach my son that Christmas is not all about presents, that it’s about family, faith, love. I remember as a kid, my dad got laid off from work just before Christmas. We lived in West Virginia, so it was wintertime. Imagine, December in the mountains. We had a choice, presents or food and firewood. My parents chose to put food on the table and keep us warm. On Christmas morning a knock came on the door, it was our neighbors, members from our church. They had a ham, casseroles, bags of presents, firewood. To me, that was still to this day the best Christmas I’ve ever had. It was the embodiment of what Christmas is. Family, Community coming together and celebrating our Faith, our love for one another, helping each other.  If we did more things like that just for one person, it could mean the world to them. It makes a difference. The world needs more of that, in my opinion. More Faith, more compassion, more love. 

Yes I have something incurable, yes it’s taken so much from me, but it hasn’t taken my faith, or my strength, or my love, or my hope. These are all things that we should hold on to. Even if I do have a brain tumor, I’ll still fight. Because fighting is worth it, I have so much to live for.  People often assume acceptance means giving up, to me it’s not the same. I’ve accepted this life, but in no way have I given up. My eyesight deteriorates, my hearing is going, my legs barely function, but I still fight. I’ve accepted this is my path, but I’ll fight like hell to live. I can still live while being in a wheelchair. I can be a mom, a wife, a daughter while in a wheelchair.  Acceptance is not about giving up, it’s about letting go of the anger of why me, why this, and accepting life as it now is, and embracing it, and using your strengths in a positive way.  We have to accept that our family will never fully understand what we go through, that no one will except those that suffer the same illness. Accept that they will never understand, let go of the anger, of the guilt, and be at peace. All you can do is express yourself to them, and educate them. My family doesn’t understand, but not understanding, doesn’t mean they can’t be supportive!!!

Christmas is about family, Faith, love. Take a moment this Christmas to let your family know how much their love and support have meant to you. For me, it’s meant the world.

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And the Results are in..Kinda

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Ahh..Welcome back everyone! It’s another sunny day here, though a bit Chilly! So last time we were awaiting results from the CT scan…and boy did we get them!!! But before I get to them…like that..leaving you in suspense??!!

First things first.. this week my dad has had off, and he’s taken me to appointments, and Christmas shopping (much to my dismay), yes i’ve been the Grinch this year.  I’ve just not been in the Jolly mood. But I’m slowly getting there. We’ve gotten some good presents for my son! He’s going to have a great Christmas! One thing I’m excited to give him is an old Musical Keyboard my sister found for me. I know some may be shocked that’s it’s used, but you know what? He’s 4! So I’m excited to give it to him. He has one at my mom’s and always plays it, so I’m thinking he’ll love this gift! I also got him some Duck Dynasty pajamas, because I’m just that awesome! 🙂  Ok ok. Enough gushing about the Christmas presents. My mom had knee surgery yesterday, and made it through alright. I’m so happy! I’ve been trying to stay active, but the pain isn’t really allowing it. The pain in my head, neck, back, hips, legs, hands is just becoming so much .  To find out half of your Femur head is missing…wow that’s a lot to take in!!

Alright my lovely readers, now i’ll lift the suspense!  Below are the results:

CT-Hip:  Mixed Sclerotic Lesion in Left Iliac Wing measuring 2.8 x 2.1 x 1.8 cm in greatest dimension. Appears Benign, possibly enchondroma.

CT-Lumbar: Mild Multilevel loss of intevertebral disc height.  L2-3 broad based posterior disc bulge more prominent at the neural foraminal with mild neural foraminal stenosis; L3-4 mild circumferential disc bulge more prominent at the neural foraminal with mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis; L4-5 mild circumferential disc bulge more prominent at the neural foraminal with mild canal stenosis; L5-S1  mild circumferential disc bulge more prominent at the neural foraminal with mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis.   Non obstruction 2mm calculus in midpole of right kidney. Additional adjacent 1mm calculus cannot be excluded. Punctate calculus is also seen in midpole of left kidney. Mild Sclerosis at sacroiliac joints, limited visualization of iliac bones.

Bone Scan Whole Body-  The Thoracic-lumbar junction has a mild convexity to the left. There is  increased tracer activity to the  right side of skull.

So… I had my CT scan done December 9th, and was sent for a Bone scan which was done December 16th. Tuesday morning my ortho’s office calls me to come in. So I go in, wondering what’s wrong. When my doctor comes in, she’s talking to me, and says. “have you ever had surgery to your head, or a head injury.” I tell her no. That’s i’ve been complaining for months to my neuro of these weird headaches and pain. She takes my films and puts in on the screen and shows me right there in my brain is something, and they don’t know what it is. She said due to what the bone scan looks for and my symptoms I need a neurosurgeon, and sooner rather than later. I ask her point blank what she thinks.. She says the words I feared the most. She doesn’t believe it to be cancer because it’s not showing up that way, but she said it could be a tumor that the tracers are picking up. So, she referred me to University of Miami Neurosurgery, as it’s one of the Top neurosurgery departments and it’s an hour or so away. Problem is, I lose my health insurance Midnight Dec.31. So I sit here and wonder..If the neuro had followed up on my complaints, or given a damn would this have been found? If it is a tumor, can anything be done??? As it is now, I’m losing my hearing, and my eyesight its worsening as is my speech, and other things. So.. How was none of this found by the renowned Cleveland Clinic??? Simple, they didn’t give a shit! I should be angry, but I’m not. Anger gets me know where. I’ve been set on this path for a reason, and I’ll continue on it. With my same strength and courage, with the love and support of my family and friends. This journey is far from over. Giving up isn’t an option.

Never-give-up-hope-..

Vanderbilt- At Last

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My son and I before leaving to the airport

 

I am home from Vanderbilt. It was a long appointment, and a very difficult one for me.  The travelling was one of horrible experiences to date. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale airport,  I was refused a wheelchair because I refused to check my carry on bag. By the time I made it to the gate I had nearly fallen 3 times, and was completely exhausted.  The lights and sounds made my headaches excruciating.  Being in an upright position for so long, affected my spinal headaches, so that gave even more joy to my travelling. The travelling had worn me down, and I was at my worst by the time I got to Vanderbilt Thursday morning. I stayed positive, rather them see me at my worst, than my best! Because of the cold, I was seizing even more than normal, I was also falling a lot more than normal. I arrived at  Vanderbilt  at 8:30 am, I was tired, nauseous, shaky, and just feeling like crap. We headed up to the 5th floor, my appt was at 9:30, but due to not knowing the area or traffic we left our hotel a little too early! We checked in, and sat down to wait. I was called in for the autonomic testing. They were to do the Valsalva testing, breathing testing, and a tilt table, minus meds.

AFT Testing at Vanderbilt
AFT Testing at Vanderbilt

The nurse shut off all the lights for me, due to my sensitivity to them.  As the nurse finished hooking me up to the heart rate monitor, I started seizing. The pain was horrible, and my mom was trying to comfort me through it. Apparently I stopped breathing during it, so that scared her. According to my mom, who is a nurse, and the Vanderbilt nurse my heart rate went from 67 to 156 during the seizure.  After that I was out of it for a few minutes. The nurse continued hooking me up to the monitors. She couldn’t get a reading on the continuous bp cuff on my finger as my hands were so cold, she had to use hand warmers and then use a baby cuff. LOL.  As we started testing She was patient and comforting. We did the breathing test, where I had to breath against resistance, my goal was to hit 40, I didn’t even make it to 20. OOps. I became dizzy, it was awful. The other test was breathing in through nose and out through my mouth, I kept mixing it up and getting confused, and dizzy. This got me frustrated and near tears. After that was the tilt table. She tilted the bed up and almost immediately my nausea worsened, my chest pain worsened, and my dizziness increased. I kept saying I feel like i’m in Alice’s rabbit hole, according to my mom. I became very disoriented and confused, lethargic really. The test was finally over!  After that we could eat and wait for my appointment with Dr. Robertson.

 

Post Tilt Table
Post Tilt Table

So the moment we had been waiting for, for 6 months was finally here!!  We were taken back around 2:15, pm to meet with Dr. Robertson. I immediately liked him. He listened as I explained everything, how I felt, my daily routine, my limitations. He genuinely cared. He then asked me questions, and my mom questions. I tried so hard to keep up, but I kept getting confused and repeating myself. He was very patient with me. He then started his exam of me. He paid very close attention to my hands, in particular to my fingers, checking for inflammation. He also was interested in the severity of my photosensitivity. We spoke of my symptoms and how they affect my life. What’  I’d like to change. I explained I want to walk down the aisle, I want to dance with my husband for the first time. I want to be able to have a conversation with someone face to face without getting confused. I want to me able to go into the sun without feeling pain or passing out. He looked through the records I had with me from Cleveland Clinic. He was very interested in my case. He says I definitely have an autonomic dysfunction, but that’s not the only thing going on. We asked about MS. We waited with bated breath. His response was what i’ve known in my heart. That it’s a huge possibility. He suggested I get my MRI of my spine, he feels that’s where the lesions would be considering what is affected in my body.  I still don’t know if I’ve processed everything. He wanted my records, since Cleveland Clinic did not send updated copies prior to my appointment. I told him I will make him copies, and send to him. He said he really wants to go through my records page my page, and really read them and make his conclusion. I walked out  numb, not knowing to feel. He wants to stay in touch, and keep him updated on what we find.  He was so wonderful. By the time we left it was after 4:30pm.  I made the copies Saturday, and sent them via fedex, they will arrive tomorrow. I’ve already called his office and told them.

Mom and I at Vanderbilt
Mom and I at Vanderbilt

My Cervical MRI is scheduled for Next Monday, as well as seeing Dr. Tandri at Johns Hopkins. Finally, i’m getting closer to answers. I’m scared of what the MRI will show, I’m scared that in my heart I know what it will show, and you know what?? It’s ok!! If it is MS, I still won’t let it beat me down!!  My mom was so supportive through this trip. My dad has been amazingly supportive at home. My boyfriend worries so much and supports my fight every single day. My son loves me. Despite this illness I have a lot to be thankful for. I’ve accepted I may never know my true illness, while it will be awful, and could be dangerous, I have faith. I have the love and support of my family and friends, for that I thank you all. Those that have been on this journey with me, cried with me, laughed with me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! My journey isn’t over. I still have a ways to go, and I’ll continue this fight as long as I can.

 

proverbs 3125

Dog and Sunlight= Laughs and Crawling

Here’s a laugh for ya! So I was inside relaxing, since I leave for  Vanderbilt tonight and I hear my dog barking like crazy. I  go outside not realizing how sunny it is. I’m instantly blinded, dizzy and just dropped to my knees. Now i’m crawling through the backyard on my hands and knees, to get her with my eyes closed because of the sunlight.. I had no idea what she was growling and barking at. So I finally got her!  30 minutes later she’s whining at the door to go out, I let her out thinking she has to go potty, but noooo not my Lillie Belle!!!!!.. Then, what do I hear????  The barking and growling again:  This time I went out prepared for battle..I had sunglasses and shoes,  and was prepared to crawl again if I had to dammit!  I heard hissing and the bushes were moving like crazy all down the fence WTH!!! ..She wasn’t backing down, I’m screaming for her, telling her to come, she wasn’t backing down. She was like “This bitch is mine! Mom”  LOL . I finally got her away from it, and in the house.  Then she starts pacing the living room whining to go back out and get it. So i’m assuming it’s a raccoon by her actions. lol. Our good little hunting dog!  I called my dad and he got a good laugh, though he was glad I’m alright. He said maybe a opossum. Maybe it’s a honey badger?! (for those that got the joke, good on you!)  Whatever it is, she wants it!  Hope this added some laughter to your day, because it sure did to mine!

Moral of the story: Just laugh, even if it’s at yourself. 🙂 I could have gotten angry, but what’s the point?

So..Who would win??? LOL 🙂

Lillie Belle     2013-11-09 20.22.02    Vs          raccoon The Raccoon

Let’s Laugh

 

Challenge Accepted

Wanted to share something to make you all laugh! . I am a redhead..shocking i know.. I mean like Ariel from Little Mermaid Red..I’m a natural brunette, but one day my boyfriend made a joke how my personality is that of a redhead..I was like “challenge accepted!” So, I headed off to my wonderful friend that has done my hair for years! She was very hesitant but we did it..and he was speechless the first time he saw it.. Now i’ve changed the shades of red, dark, auburn, now Ariel Red..I think that’s my favorite. Well… I use John Frieda Radiant Red…and I get pissed off EVERY TIME! The tube sucks! It’s not easy for me to get the shampoo out at all. I’ve dropped it, thrown it and accidentally poured it on bottom of shower and fell and hit my head.. LOL (I can no longer stand in shower, I fall too much, not shampoo related though :p) So… I finally had had enough! I emailed Customer Service of John Frieda Explaining to them that while their product is great the packaging sucks. I said that it is not easy for those with problems gripping items in that shape or lacking strength. Why make the shampoo so difficult to get out?!!!! It’s just stupid!! I know why not switch products you ask..well.. I’m kinda of a creature of habit, and it keeps my hair so shiny and pretty. 🙂  So we’ll see what happens!!!

 

Ariel

 

Radiant Red Tubes

 

Damn You Radiant Red Shampoo Tube!!! I love you and hate you!