As 2014 Leaves Us…..

December 12, 2014

This past year has been such a roller coaster ride. One year ago, I spent days and nights, visiting my dad in the hospital- for five weeks- as they were trying to treat him for pancreatitis. I hoped that 2014 at the time, would come in like a lamb and give us all a fresh break with dad’s health. He finally did recover and life went on. I was back at the gym 4 – 5 days a week, giving Zumba classes my all.

I had already been experiencing a bad case of tightness and stiffness with pains in my heel of one foot, but I was not giving up my class. NO WAY! It wasn’t to THAT point yet, where I couldn’t walk, (Ah, hindsight!) but that day would surely rear it’s ugly head. When I began staying for the 5 minute ‘ab workout’ class after Zumba, one day a week, I still remember the day I felt something go completely awry in my lower back. (Was that really a snap? Or was that pulling sensation just my imagination?) I Shoulda, coulda, woulda stopped this routine, but I was determined to keep up with my 12 month journey of losing a lot of weight the previous year and ‘toning’ was something I really wanted to keep on doing. Lord only knows that I definitely could use some type of abdominal workout– seeing that a steam roller across the ol’ gut is a little out of the question.

After months of pushing my foot to the limit and laying on the ground in the ‘ab’ 5 minute class- lifting my legs up, out and around, mother nature took over and hit me with her scepter of PAIN like a sledgehammer across my face. It’s bad enough having MS and adjusting your entire life to what that entails- and every case in every person is different. Mine happens to be severe, overwhelming fatigue that zaps the life out of me completely. I try to go and go and go but I pay for it dearly the following day after some activity. After literally racking my brain and memory and looking at the calendar as to when my foot became a hobbling mess, it was last May during the Buddy Walk Jenni had signed up for- ,ore like MOM had signed up for. I was in shape and the length of the route was not bad at all, but when you have Achilles tendonitis, that’s a whole different animal. Physical therapy only emptied my wallet for one month and nothing good came from going. Then my sciatica was full under way and we all know that is still a permanent stain living within me.

There were some good times too though: Jenni becoming involved with the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada and joining the Cool 21’s. It took her quite a while to warm up and feel comfortable going and I could see she enjoyed her new found friends. I created a massive bulletin board for her bedroom with all the pictures of the Cool 21’s. She looks at it daily and smiles. I wasn’t sure what to expect taking her there, I mean, I wanted her to have some kind of outlet to see people other than her dad, Kimmi and me everyday. Jenni doesn’t fit the ‘mold’ of a lot of her peers: many of the young adults work and volunteer. And speak. Jenni having pretty much no verbal skills has always worried me, and rightly so. (Past experiences have proved this). All the young adults in her group are wonderfully fun and animated people and she likes seeing them when she can. A friend of mine asked me after seeing lots of pictures I post on facebook whether Jenni is left out as it appeared to her that a lot of her friends have boyfriends/girlfriends. I told her that “No, it’s not a problem because Jenni doesn’t think that way. At least I am almost certain she doesn’t. I am happy for the couples that have blossomed into relationships and they are truly lucky to have each other. I am happy that Jenni has had a place to go and had the excitement of attending a prom last year. The Christmas party she attended the other night was so entertaining and she had a grand time. Which brings me to guilt feelings: When I got involved with the DSOSN, I had every intention of helping out in what ever way I could. I didn’t want to be some deadbeat member. Because I have no clairvoyant insight- or my childhood Magic 8 Ball stuffed into a box under my bed- I didn’t foresee that I’d be hit with the Achilles tendonitis problem, sciatica damage to the point of having a procedure on my spinal nerve endings (that had me pain free for THREE days- yes, THREE days) and then my vision becoming less and less over the summer. (Ophthalmology appointment next week). I look at myself as some Queen of the flakes in the eyes of the parents who work tirelessly for the Cool 21’s (and the organization as a whole). That’s just how the wheels in my brain work. And if having all these health related stumbling blocks hurled into my path at warp speed isn’t bad enough, come to find out as of this past week, I have had testing done on a couple of new bumps in the roads- Major Bumps: Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. I can honestly say I know of no one else who I have met that has Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus. I’m hoping it’s not that. The RA could cause vision loss, which might explain things, but my brain MRI I had done last month showed no lesions on the brain affecting my vision. Which brings me back to the guilt feelings: I have always been a dependable, hardworking person and have always been involved with so many of Jenni’s school and social life activities throughout her life. I not only haven’t fulfilled the things I said I would do with this organization, but as of now, I can’t see very well in the dark in the evenings to take her to her group activities. I am so thankful that one of the moms from the Cools 21’s, Cindy, offered to drive me and Jenni to the Christmas Party because we would not have gone otherwise. (After the fiasco with the Halloween Party and Dennis taking us– never again!) I am hoping after my opthalmology appointment next week, that maybe there will be some inclination as to why my vision has taken a dive and what I can do to see better again not only during the day but in the dark.

Stress does no one any good and trying to shut it out is good advice, but trying to abide by that rule is easier said than done. I am waging a massive stress issue right now regarding Jenni and the State of Nevada with her medical insurance and that is causing major snafus within my well being. That’s a whole other BLOG in and of itself. I am hopeful that 2015 gives me a break…. one person can only juggle so many ills of the world (OK, a little dramatic here) but I want to enjoy feeling good and really meaning it. I could easily hide in bed all day- but I don’t. I try everyday to do what I have to do in my life and I muddle through it, with spasms, pains and all. But I survive. I’ve learned three things in life: It goes on.

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