more of the same…

still don’t feel like I have MS. two days in a row!

sweet!

even after reading the quarterly issue of the National MS Society’s Momentum. which usually sets my anxiety on fire.

instead, I enjoyed learning about Nicole Lemelle’s successes! she is so inspiring! (and one of the first MS peeps to respond to my blog!) keep doing what you’re doing, Nicole!

and found myself fascinated by all the travel articles. including a safari in South Africa for folks that have some difficulty walking. hmmm. Africa on the brain for some time now. keeps showing up! I will get to Africa. one day.

nothing wiggled. huh.

so strange.

not scared anymore. of what the future holds. finally!

all in all, more inspired to help. aiming to do the Irvine MS Walk this coming weekend. it’s on my old uni stomping ground. I know that walk. to and from my melange of psychology, francais, women’s studies, poetry, WWII history, and political science classes. (yes, I had a hard time settling on any one thing – so I tried ’em all.)

I can do the walk. I did it every day for four years. not sure if the hub will join me. due to his Achilles. but we will see. at least Monty can come along!

…it took me seven months to get here! but I got here – yeah!! lucky seven.

so in honor, I bought a guitar this weekend. from Target. figured, I would start out small. not ukelele small. cost small. already took one lesson from my laptop. love it. it has taken up residence on our IKEA white leather recliner that I won on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I really did! well, won the gift card to purchase said recliner. it looks good there…gently leaning into the recliner. like it fits. ūüôā

yikes. my fingers were bleeding after attempting to strum an E chord. interesting. but. oh…so inspired. tuned my own guitar today. yahoo! can’t wait to demonstrate to our rocker friend – ha! may need some help here, Big D!

also bought The Gluten-Free Bible – on the discount rack @ B&N. can’t wait to try flour-less PB cookies! neither can my hub.

what did you do this weekend – that was new and slightly uncomfortable? and get yer heads outta the gutter. ūüėČ

xo

tidbits.

awesome.

today, finally I feel like I don’t have MS.

AWESOME.

or I’m just getting used to it – ha!

I can now ignore my legs buzzing. and random bee sting shocks. wonky legs. fatigue. and right eye feeling like someone is yanking on it. from the inside.

instead, I choose to continue to strengthen my weak legs. and visualize my CNS healing. and, so it will be!

we have a new stationary spinning bike. so grateful! been riding it every day. feels so good!

the bike is starting to work>;>;>;for example…muscle loss courtesy of the big C and MS…in my right leg. muscle seems to be slowly re-growing. just like my hub’s Achilles tendon.

btw>;>;>;I could not stop laughing when he tried out the bike. with his left foot propped up on the back of the couch. cycling with his solo right foot. rock star! he has been amazingly strong through all this!!

bottom line. I have to take good care of myself. summer is approaching. all my flares have occurred in the summer. and this is going to be one hot summer!

so what will I do? relax. eat well. not stress. do my daily shots. not get sucked into negativity. not even close. btw>;>;>;last two weeks have been brilliant despite a couple sleepless nights!

being back at work, has been SO good for me! see work-a-holic post – ha! now I can do both. finally!

(note to self – remind myself of this frequently! and yes, I realize right now is not Monday at 5:26. in the AM!)

hope everyone is having a great Saturday. my hub and I have had a great day! and now off to watch the Muppets. one of my fave post-MS kid movies that we enjoyed. I don’t wanna cry any more than necessary!

xo

PS. we almost came home with a second puppy today…if she’s still there next week…we may reconsider (ahem…two girls…what were we thinking?). she is so cute! we also liked #44. a boy. white lab mixed with something else. (love any number that adds up to 8). but he wasn’t ready to taken out for a walk. hmmm. we will both meditate on growing our family.

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stuffed…

is what I am after eating 2/3’s of a small gluten-free pizza!

(note:  my appetite has finally returned!)

inhaled my hub’s left-over Mastro’s steak he sent to work with me today.

yum-O.

that was a treat!

feels like all I eat these days consists of gluten-free zpizza, mexican food, omelets, chicken& rice (same diet as Monty sans the veggies), and fish.

I have officially realized that I don’t know how to put together variety when it comes to gluten-free. ¬†I know I can’t eat the gluten – I thought I was going to die¬†the week before last after one small piece of gluten-y pizza.

so I end up eating mostly out of a box now that I’m back at work. ¬†this must change!

my girlfriend recommended I sign up for a local gluten-free cuisine class.

so I did! ¬†I can’t wait. ¬†but it’s not until July. ¬†boo.

in the mean time, I need to will revive my green smoothies and blog post recipes.  the blender is on its way to catastrophic failure; I am close to sending it to retirement life.

as a follow-up to work-shopping…been thinking about starting a lunch time voluntary book club session at work – The Happiness Advantage – loved it. ¬†simple. ¬†easy pos psych tips. ¬†things everyone at all levels can do to bring back the happy and motivation at work!

we will see. ¬†still getting my groove on back in the office. ¬†it’s been good. ¬†my daily MS thoughts are turning into every other day thoughts. ¬†oh wait, yeah, I still hate my nightly shots. ¬†grrr. ¬†still have buzzy legs, bit wonky when I’m tired, exhausted eyes, and the left arm pain comes and goes…but it’s all good! ¬† joint pain is improving as well.

happy Friday, peeps!

xo

treats!

this week…I have been listening to recordings of my friend, Lori, coach me on inspiration. ¬†yes, me!

what an amazing…intuitive listener she is!

what a treat!

I love laughing out loud at and with myself, as I listen to our sessions from a few months ago!

things are so obvious to me now listening to myself from the past! ¬†it is so clear! ¬†can’t wait to look back two months from now and laugh again. ¬†ūüėČ

and observe the clarity.

today, I came home to a TARGET and some IMPACT.  courtesy of Lori.

love, love her art!  she inspires me!!  beautiful.

so…I will keep writing! ¬†blog at this moment. ¬†and script content at work.

BUT, my draft fiction piece is growing. ¬†slowly. ¬†and then quickly at times. ¬†it is certainly evolving. ¬†right now it feels too close to home. ¬†so I’m stepping back for a second. ¬†and that’s okay. ¬†I’m getting used to being back in the trenches at work at the moment.

it’s been fun. despite the sleepless nights – ha!

who or what!  inspires you!?  would love to hear!

xo

Monday meditation.

5:30 AM Monday morning. ugh – that’s early!

after a sleepless night. even more ugly! don’t you just hate that? when one’s monkey mind won’t shut down. or up!

woke up so frustrated. groggy. dis-oriented. foul mood. no cool dreams to recollect.

after hours of deep breathing. reading. lavender essential oil. listening to my Binaural Brainwave dreamy sleep ambient sounds. not even a meditation worked! until my hub was so restless with my restlessness, he turned on Mythbusters at 3:15. and we proceeded to laugh our a*ses off watching the Mythbusters plunge their hands in icy cold water to determine how they could keep a hand in icy, icy water the longest: by swearing. or by assigning substitute words for an expletive. (much better than knife home shopping shows my hub watches when he can’t sleep.)

then sleep eventually descended over us both before a busted/not busted conclusion was rendered. and then it was time to wake up at 5:30.

decided to do some self-coaching on the topic. since I was so frustrated with myself for not being able to rock a solid sleep last night.

here was my final reset this morning…

grateful that God gives me the opportunity to realign my thoughts into healthier, better feeling thoughts at any time Рthoughts that are aligned with what I truly believe. I say when, how much, and how long I let my thoughts spiral out of control. I can watch them and decide what to do at any moment. it’s that easy.

note to self. keep doing this often. and set the intention tonight to sleep and remember my dreams. more wild animals, please…

what do you do when sleep evades? would love to hear your tips!!

xo

work-shopping.

no, not looking for a new job!

yet. ¬†ūüėČ

instead, I am inspired to put together a workshop for my work peeps.  this idea has been brewing for some time now.

turns out, we have had a rough go at things the last three years.  yeah.  lots of changes.  layoffs.

more work.  with smaller budgets.  fewer people.

but, we all continue to persevere!!  that is what is so cool about where I work!  there are a lot of incredibly loyal and awesome employees.

despite the perseverance, there is a low grade, frustrated, and communal depression that has settled over the company.

while being trained last year, I became incredibly motivated to make a difference at work. ¬†ask my staff about the WWW (what went well) philosophy. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I wanted to coach ‘corporate junkies’ to peak performance!

now, all I would love to do is make a difference in helping people feel better and be happier at work. ¬†that’s all we have anyway – to feel good. ¬†about who we are. ¬†and what we do. ¬†what we can each offer. ¬†every one of us can do that! ¬†every one has a right to feel good.

so today, I stepped back.

and saw things more clearly than I have in the last three years.

everyone is doing the best they can, with what she or he has, within the environment.  there are some really smart, fun, creative, and effort-full peeps at work!

so I mentioned my workshop idea to a work buddy today. ¬†(though the content does not exist yet – ha!) ¬†he said “yeah, yeah – you have to do it! ¬†that is the only way things are going to change!”

but then my lizard-y thoughts started spiraling.

and I stopped her in her tracks.

I can do this. ¬†not right this second. ¬†but I have a million ideas rolling around in my head. ¬†on how to improve the morale at work. ¬†through ideas that don’t cost any money. ¬†because they would come from within.

more mulling necessary. ¬†but something is starting to germinate in my soul. ¬†perhaps. ¬†ūüėČ

xo

ps. ¬†it’s Friday, people!!

CNS MRI 101.

okay, after my fourth CNS MRI today, I consider myself a quasi-expert on the topic…or not! ¬†ha! ¬†I certainly have grown through the process. ¬†identifying what works and what doesn’t work for me.

note to everyone: ¬†my Xanax is still wearing off from today’s MRI!

so here, is what I have learned…

MRI #1:  brain MRI, 2005, post eye bonking out on me.  gandolin injection (to light up any active areas).

sedation:  none.

mistake:  no sedation.

results:  made it through, however, it was impossible not to feel the smallest itch and have it turn into a full-grown rash.  while trying to remain perfectly still for 40 mins.

MRI#2: lower lumbar spinal cord, 2011, to rule out a herniating lumbar disc after my leg numbness joined the party.  no gandolin to light anything up.  since I did not have a herniating disc, my doc threw away that MRI.  waste of time.

sedation:  none.

results:  I meditated on the magnet sounds that reminded me of Fozzy Bear from the muppets.  you know, wacka-wacka.  I also went back in to time, to revisit my life from my earliest memory and pulled forward to present day.  with fozzy in the background, it was almost entertaining.  no regrets.  other than to have an unnecessary MRI Рha!

MRI#3:  second brain and thoracic spinal cord MRI, 2011, to figure out what the heck was going on with my numb, ESP feeling legs, and other symptoms. gandolin administered.

sedation: ¬†Valium. ¬†here’s the rub, it was taken too late. ¬†and no cervical spine MRI. ¬†I kept asking, but the docs kept denying. ¬†we know you have lesions there, it’s not necessary to MRI your neck. ¬†but don’t we need a baseline?¬† and need to make sure nothing else is going on in there? ¬†I kept asking.

results:  anxiety attacked ten minutes into the machine.  pulled out.  start over once the V kicked in and I composed myself.  that time, I knew they would find something.

and finally MRI#4:  cervical spinal cord MRI, 2012.  close the gap to complete my brain and spinal cord MRIs (see above).  gandolin administered.

sedation:  Xanax.  perfect timing.  perfect results.  I slept through the entire MRI.  yeah!

tips from my perspective (I’m no expert, though!):

Р take the sedation and arrange for a driver.

Р let the staff know you are nervous.  if you are.  kindness follows.

– shut your eyes before the tube sucks you in.

– ¬†you can’t control what’s going on up there in your brain or spinal cord, so lean into it. ¬†be curious. ¬†this is a good thing. ¬†tell yourself, I can’t wait to have my brain examined. ¬†trust me, you will laugh after saying that! ¬†prepare a meditation. ¬†or music. ¬†I like to visualize my lesions, and gently blow on them…the flames slowly die down until the lesions are just left gently smoking.

Рdeep breaths.  in and out.  for a count to three.  then four.  then five. all the way up to eight.  breathe into the parts of your body that feel exceptionally tense.

– once you make it though: ¬†ask your docs to show you your MRIs. ¬†they are yours after-all! ¬†and it’s fascinating!

– and finally, remember how lucky we are to live in a time where this technology is available. ¬†ūüôā

good luck if this is coming up for you!  peeps who require a brain MRI know how scary it is.

I’ll have another brain MRI in September – fully prepared for that one! ¬†can’t wait in fact to see how much my brain has healed since last year.

have you had a brain or spinal cord MRI?  any tips?  would love to hear!

xo

hello late 30s…

or am I already there!? ¬†ūüėČ

I think I officially grew up this last year. ¬†well, maybe. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†let’s face it, I have been on this path of self-discovery since my 20s. ¬†huge progress in 2011. ¬†my friends who are older…and also introvert empaths…say life just keeps getting better and easier as we unravel, discover, and accept what is. ¬†thank goodness!

since my birthday falls on tax day, we are celebrating early this weekend. ¬†while I’m still 37. ¬†time to say good-bye to the year when MS hopped on for a ride.

long sidebar on that topic>>>had 19 vials of blood drawn yesterday. ¬†yikes! ¬†that was a lot of blood. ¬†my new doc is awesome, but I’m eager for a break from medical appointments. ¬†period. ¬†MRI of my cervical spine is Monday. ¬†legs have been buzzing non-stop the last three days. ¬†interesting. ¬†did some research Thursday night, and I’m now curious if some of the symptoms I’m experiencing might instead be Copaxone side effects. ¬†buzzing is def not. ¬†but muscle and joint pain may be. ¬†my left shoulder hurt so much on Thursday night. ¬†it felt like someone had stabbed me in the back. ¬†ha! ¬†though muscle pain is def on the MS list. ¬†not sure about joint pain. ¬†my BP has also been high the last two months. ¬†also a side effect of the big C. ¬†that’s all I got on this topic! ¬†I’m ready for regular life to resume.

so back to celebration!! ¬†last night, my hub booked us at our favorite ambiance restaurant – La Cave – where food is wheeled out to you. ¬†no menus. ¬†steak, seafood, salad, and a twice baked or regular baked potato. ¬†great martinis. ¬†think circa 1960s Dean-o vibe. ¬†this restaurant has been in Costa Mesa for almost 50 years – and in the most obscure location. ¬†it’s downstairs from a giant Blockbuster. ¬†no windows. ¬†ancient elevator. ¬†red accented lights. ¬†brick walls. ¬†cool staff. ¬†my hub said that it has our kind of peeps. ¬†I love it! ¬†thanks baby!!

then tonight, we are hanging with a small group of friends. ¬†at Silky’s. ¬†our favorite local Irish pub. ¬†I’ll have my photo taken with Silky the horse. ¬† can’t wait!

what happened to you this week?  anything good?  love to hear!

xo

long day today.

but all ended well!

backing up>>>my legs started buzzing hard yesterday – out of the blue – coupled with intense left shoulder and arm pain…tapered off to a mild buzz later on this afternoon, thank goodness – phew!

plus,¬†I got in my own way today…turns out.

AND, I forgot to don my disco-ball diamond encrusted catsuit this morning.  it is ready for wear tomorrow.

I reset.  so cool that resetting is always an option!

so, here is what kicked off my hard reboot>>>my UK and MI fam called me from Marco Island, FL while I was at work late tonight!

what a way to end a long day!

I wanted to cry when I heard my Dad’s voice. ¬†and then the phone was handed around the table to his sister and wife. ¬†(more wanting to cry!) ¬†once that was overcome, we chatted while my fam enjoyed the view overlooking the gulf post sunset.

very familiar with this view after many long evenings, long talks and long laughs…

how I wish I was there! ¬†but for a half hour, I was transported to one of my beautiful places on earth. ¬†I felt like I was right there with them. ¬†lots of laughing. ¬†love that. ¬†laughing connects. ¬† ūüôā

so I was ready to reset fully by the time I arrived home. ¬†took Monty for a walk – visited my friends with wings. ¬†played with my doggy. ¬†made dinner with the hub. ¬†then settled in for an amazing Amazing Race from Sunday night. ¬†we finally caught up – and where are they?? ¬†Tanzania – the same view of Kilimanjaro I have on my vision board! ¬†must already be working. ¬†ūüôā

soooo good to talk to my fam! ¬†my aunt said she saves all my blog posts!! ¬†warm, fuzzy feeling. ¬†ūüôā ¬†my second mom – says she can’t wait for my books to be published! ¬†more warm, fuzzy feeling. ¬†ūüôā ¬†they all are so kind!!

how did they know?

miss and love you guys!

xo

left-brain lock-down.

huh?

since returning to work, I have experienced difficulty accessing my right, creative, rainbow colored, sparkly brain.

instead, I’m back to logistics, statistics, staff, and problems. though the problems do require some creativity to resolve. ūüėČ

but overall, left-brain lockdown. where my mind appears only to operate in my left hemisphere.

one word I can say about this left-brain biz – BORING!

just writing this jolted my right brain to what I recovered last night. phew. thank you, God! she’s still active in there.

turns out…I have a trifecta of books I would love to will publish (well, at least finish!) one day. ūüôā

all three are forming. and by forming, I mean drafts are underway.

first one started brewing in 2009. second in 2010. third, 2011.

proposed actual titles include…

whoa…hold your horses there, girl!

but I want to share! do I dare share??

nope. there goes lefty, slamming the door!

what if someone steals your ideas??

will my blog copyright suffice??

sorry, lefty wins this one.

see what corporate work will do to your brain. ūüėČ unless you work for Apple.

but I can share that I can’t decide between two titles for the fiction piece. ha!

maybe one will become the third in the trifecta…and the other a future stand-alone. will see how the story evolves and then decide. chick-lit has been brewing in my right brain for ages. before any of the drafts above started hitting the page.

turns out. I love writing the fiction. love, love it!

it’s so much fun. so fun, you think I would be writing ALL the time.

but then a block decides to show up. more important, adult responsibilities take priority. chores. a pet needs to be fed. or the hub with the achille’s tendon on the mend needs help. insecurity. what am I thinking? my grammar and spelling is for the birds. clearly. then there is the necessary requirement – sleep. add friends into the mix, and it’s all over. just kidding on that one. (my friends inspire me, btw!)

but I can conquer those blocks more effectively now that I have finished Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. amazing, awesome book. even for us corporate work types! it’s brilliant.

turns out blogging and self-love and self-care…help knock down some of those blocks.

and, d’uh…I will keep writing. period. you can count on it. I’m so excited! the process is 95% of the fun. ūüôā

what do you love to do? what makes you feel like a kid again?

would love to hear.

xo