25 years later

George is stretched out on the sofa. He has blond hair and glasses with an orangish tint. He is wearing a black, Mickey and friends sweater with white snowflakes, black pants, black headphones, and he is barefooted.

At first I blamed it on the new shoes, the fall in the mall and the second fall later in the day. It didn’t seem right, though, as they were an exact replacement of the ones I loved. It was my introduction to MS. Later came the ice storm and a more serious fall. Finally after exhaustive tests with lots of E’s in their names and 24 vials of blood, we met with my neurologist.

There was no drama, no tension. He told us what we already knew. The MS is progressive, and there is too much spinal cord damage for you to walk again.

After a struggle, MS put an end to practicing optometry, though I never lost the love and try to stay current. I’ve been a disabled parent and a licensed swim official. I volunteered at the hospital where I edited the volunteers’ newsletter. Then one day I called the National MS Society for information and was soon a Peer Counselor.

So I’ve officially been rolling for 25 years. Somewhere along the way I learned Rock your disability! It was a life changer. If I have a message it would be that going through a progressive disease is, at times, agonizing. A few years ago my neurologist managed to sort out the MS from the injury. That explains things that are going on now, but it doesn’t change my resolve – or yours. I know my followers, and you are strong. And kind.

Thank you for your support, and this is probably the last you’ll hear of my Paraversary. Twenty-five is a big enough number, and I’ve long run out of fingers and toes. It’s time to quit counting and roll on to the next challenge.

Thank you for stopping by and for indulging me whilst I look on some emotional times. Thanks to Sandy and Cliff for their unwavering support and the sacrifices they have made to keep me mobile. I’m blessed more than what I could possibly deserve.

Photo: George is stretched out, on his side, on the sofa. He has blond hair and glasses with an orangish tint. He is wearing a black, Mickey and friends sweater, black pants, black headphones, and he is barefooted.

Winter solstice and the patio

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Earlier this year I wrote about the empty pot and suggested we should view the full ones instead. The empty pots By the end of summer and damage to the plants in Hurricane Irma there was almost nothing left. All the pots were empty. The winter solstice here in Florida means a time of cooler weather and a break from the seemingly endless summer. We used this time to plant anew. Even added a fresh coat of paint to the old lawn furniture.

fullsizeoutput_173bAs the days get longer I’m hoping to make more progress in working through my arm and shoulder woes, get through the reaction to a prescription med, and begin to feel almost human again. Like the new plantings in the old pots, this is the time to grow again.

The flowers were available when we first planted, but they were not a really good idea. They were delicate in the heat and attracted bees to which I am highly allergic. Now we have colorful perennials that should  take the heat and the cold and be okay if (when) I miss a day of watering.

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We still have the aloe, rosemary, and oregano, as those perennials literally weathered the storm. And in the front of the house the small rose is blooming.

As I was watering this morning, a songbird landed in the top of the elm and began singing. (Does anyone know what this bird is? White tip tail; I think it might be a mockingbird, as is sounds very much like a sparrow.) In Florida the beginning of winter was a new beginning on the patio and I hope in my life. fullsizeoutput_173a

My family will be arriving from Taiwan just before Christmas. Sandy and I are excited beyond words and feeling truly blessed. We wish all of you the joy of Christmas. Thank you so very much for stopping by and for your support. You are awesome!

Media: The top photo shows 3 small and 1 large planter with a red, ornamental grass, colorful crotons, and a tall tai plant; green bushes a behind. Below on the right is the edge of the brick patio with planters of grasses and crotons leading to the statue (her name is Gina) that has graced our patio for years. Then below on the left is the truck planter now planted with succulents. Center are the herbs, aloe plant, and the rose that is beside the front walkway. The final picture is a songbird in the top of a drake (Chinese) elm that has mostly lost its leaves for the winter. The bird is gray with white on the breast and has white on the tips of the tail that can be seen in flight.

 

 

Saturday selfie

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Oh, the much maligned selfie! It has become an art form in itself. But let’s start with a confession. I took the picture on Friday with the intention of writing on Saturday. This leads us to today, Sunday, and the actual topic. It’s about life on wheels and the less than glamorous things that happen. And the blog entries that didn’t happen.

I have not forgotten you. In fact I think of y’all every day and am thankful for each of you. Why has blogging not happened? In a nutshell, this invincible, wheelie warrior has taken some arrows (watched Avatar last night, hence the arrows thought) and is rolling backwards instead of forward. Hey, I said it was about life on wheels, the ugly with the awesome.

About 6 weeks ago I was removing the cover off the neighborhood pool’s lift chair when I felt a sudden pain that felt like someone had chopped my arm with an ax. As it turned out, that’s about what happened. I ruptured the bicep of my right (dominant) arm. The tendon ripped totally off the shoulder. Whack!

Now we have a paraplegic with a serious issue, as my arms are how I move around the mall – and do the essentials of daily living. Let us not forget the uninvited guest that moved in long ago called multiple sclerosis. MS does not like to be disturbed. The injury poked my MS with a big stick. Not good.

The heat has been oppressive with no rain for months (yes, no rain in Florida). Heat + MS = Fatigue. Multiply that by tendon and nerve damage, and we have ourselves a fight. Literally every MS symptom, you can find the list online or just ask me, has flared up.

The sunflowers are in the form of seeds. The potting soil is in the form of a bag in the garage. So you get a selfie instead of sunflowers. Sorry about that. I’m doing therapy every day and going to the office weekly. Yesterday we did Target. Today I cleaned the wheelchair you see in the picture. It’s my backup, and it has to be kept running, too.

Life on wheels. It’s time to get on with things, adapt as we have all done before and will do again, and keep on moving. I do think I’ll try forwards instead of backwards. What do you think?

Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll try to do better at writing and sharing.

Photo is a mirror selfie. Summer blond hair, round glasses with light brown tint, blue and white polo shirt, white canvas pants, and my favorite blue and white Converse All Stars, loosely laced. Titanium wheelchair with red casters, wood plank floor.