And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

Cleaning House

It has been a very long time since I have written anything here. Extremely long by my standards. I have been busy cleaning house in many ways. Well, first I was busy sending out prayers of Thanksgiving for the invention of TamiFlu as I dealt with a low grade version of the flu my mother got for Christmas. She got really sick, I got preventative Tamiflu and was able to get through with minor symptoms. Considering I am a living, breathing risk factor I call that a victory. I ended up staying with her for about 3 weeks instead of the 10 days I expected around Christmas because I wanted to make sure she was over the flu before I left, and I selfishly did not want to bring the germs home with me. :)
When I got back to my apartment I realized that I had left it in a mid-Christmas state of disorder. I dislike disorder a great deal. Now, my apartment is tiny - no more than about 500 square feet on a good day- so something as simple as a few items of clothes on the bedroom floor make a big difference. This was disorder and chaos. I totally rearranged just about every storage system in my house - my bookcases, my "office space", my kitchen cupboards, my dresser, and my arts and crafts storage. I am ignoring my closet because as the only closet/built in storage area I have decided it is a useless cause and as long as I can close the doors it is all good. I have no coat closet, no linen closet, no storage area so my closet serves more functions than is probably legal. Then I ended up washing almost every dish that I own. I hate dish washing because 1) I am the dishwasher and 2) the sink is not handicap accessible so dishwashing involves this awkward sideways contortion. I have tried using my braces and standing to wash dishes, but since my legs turn an awful shade of purple gray with white blotches after I stand for more than a few minutes, and I eventually develop syncope if I do not sit down, this has failed to be successful. Apparently my dysautonomic circulatory system has issues with sending blood to my legs and retrieving it when I am in an upright position. It is quite charming - I call it cadaver legs. ;) Anyway, I also vacuumed and mopped the entire apartment - I love hardwood floors. Vacuuming and mopping in a wheelchair should be Olympic sports with points for not tying yourself up in the vacuum cord and not creating tire tracks on the freshly mopped floor.
Mentally I have also been cleaning house. For some reason I was rather delusional and thought that the first year of dealing with all of this medical stuff and all of the changes in my life would be the most difficult. I was wrong. The second year is actually proving to be harder, I think because the true reality of it is sinking in and I have to let go of the illusion that there is ever going to be a simple answer or simple treatment/cure. Also it has been difficult because this illness is proving to be a relentless monster and it continues to progress. It is now impacting the strength in my arms, and I am noticing more changes in my lung function (I do not have the results from the PFTs done in December yet). I have been referred to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic, for which I need to make an appointment, and I also need to follow up with my primary neurologist for treatment of the symptoms - primarily the dystonia, and to assess the upper body weakness. So I have been dealing with the frustrations and the fears, the doubts and the sadness. I have been cleaning away the emotions and the false beliefs that will not do me any good and making way for a new start, for the hopes and dreams and gratitude and joy that usually define my life.
I hope this makes sense. I have every intention of writing more soon, and writing more often now that the thorough housekeeping has been addressed.

Wishing I could throw on an apron (cape-style) and fly up there to houseclean with you!

So glad you and your Mom are well. I am thus reassured after not reading your words for so long. Then there is the developing weakness in your arms. *worried look*

Wishing I could configure an easier method for dishwashing at your apt. But being the smart adaptive person you are, I suspect there's little I could add.

Now to go read your (undoubtedly) moving words on the post above. I might not comment but don't take that as a negative. Barbara

I understand how difficult it is for a neat nick, like me, to not be able to keep a house clean and clutter (read obstacle) free. I have many ailments, the worst being my migraine headaches. When they happen, I lose the function of my legs. That means I am stuck sitting or lying in my bed, or worse, I fall and have to wait for the headache to pass and then try and get up and continue my day. My home is not handicap ready, so there are places that, when I am on wheels, I just cannot get to. Very frustrating.
Thank you for your optimistic views. I needed that today.

Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.