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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spirit of the Season

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I wanted to say for my Karma Yoga class on Christmas day. I was not raised as a Christian but it seems to me, there is something to be remembered when we acknowledge Christmas. When I think of Christ, I think of love, not all the warped things done in his name or of the giant commercial holiday we so often associate with Christmas.

At the heart of Christ's teaching is the message that all beings are worthy in God's eyes. The humbleness of ones origins, ones profession and ones wealth having nothing to do with ones value in the universe. What really matters is what we make of our time on this earth and how we treat our fellow man. There is more to be gained in giving than in receiving. Christ said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven," so why not give freely of what we have to offer? That is Karma Yoga at its core.

The story of Christ whether it be myth, legend or fact teaches us to love and value our fellow man. It teaches us to look beyond the outward packaging at the light shining from those around us. The word Namaste is loosely associated with the phrase, "The light within me acknowledges the light in you." I believe that this was part of Christ's message as well: look beyond the exterior to find the beauty in others. When I think of Christmas in this light, it brings a smile to my face and a longing to my heart to give something to others and to bring them some of the comfort and joy that giving and teaching brings to me.

On this day which is at its core is about love, think of someone in your life or in the world who is struggling. Fill your mind's eye and heart with this person and send them some love.

Today I am grateful for all the beautiful people I have had the opportunity to know and care for.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This moment is good

It's so easy to forget the beauty of our present with worries about the future. I am guilty as charged but I'm sitting here right now and thinking, "This moment is good."

Sometimes we seem to live in order to get from one event to the next but sometimes, the best of it all is right here in front of us if we pause to look at it.

I got off work Friday and found I was in a horrible mood, thinking about the work I still had to do during vacation. Also, I was fixated on the horrors at work I will go back to in January but the truth of the matter is, I don't even know what tomorrow may bring so I ought to enjoy this instant.

I teach and practice yoga almost daily but I still have to constantly remember this. All that truly matters in the end is seizing the opportunities in front of us and making the most of them. Our past is of little relevance and our future is uncertain so all that really matters right now is now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

At last...

My winter vacation has begun, none too soon. I have been feeling achy and rather sick for the past 3 or 4 days and I am so glad to have a break. I think with a little rest I will soon back to my crazy, vivacious, blog writing persona (LOL).

I am staying home for the break but my brother is visiting and I have some fun family plans for the holidays so I'm sure to be entertained. I'm gearing up to teach a "karma yoga class" for Christmas. This class will be donation-based and the proceeds will go to Urban Peak, a center for homeless teens. I'm collecting cash and non-perishable food for the kids. There is no way I would rather spend my Christmas. I think there are already a half-dozen people signed up and I have raised at least sixty dollars from people who can't attend. I think in the end, I will be able to collect a sizeable donation. This is what Christmas is really about for me. I feel so honored to get to offer such a special class. I can hardly wait. I still want to write something new and to decide on some music but otherwise, I think I am ready.

Overall, this should be a mellow break interspersed with a lot of yoga. I have been teaching every day for almost two weeks straight now and Monday will actually be my first day off. This is probably good because the body does need a break now and then but knowing me, I'll go take a class anyway (gotta love that yoga).

Unfortunately, I had to bring some work home over break. Yesterday, this had me in an awful mood but now I am taking it in stride.

I also need to finish and edit the writing pieces for my graduate school application and get them out in early January. Hopefully it will all come together...

January promises to be very busy too. On top of my regular schedule with work and teaching yoga, I will offer a yoga workshop for little kids. It is called "Little Animals" and it should be a lot of fun. I am also presenting at a "Diversity Conference" at the end of January where I will be teaching yoga for teens. This seems like a great opportunity to network, get my name out and to meet some cool young people who will help keep me inspired about teaching (I hope).

Thankfully, all this is around the corner and I have plenty of time now to rest and recharge myself for all this activity. It's good that teachers get breaks frequently.

Today I am grateful for vacation and time with family.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If I didn't work...

I have said it before and I am sure I will again, work cramps my style. Don't get me wrong... I don't mind working hard, I just like working hard at things that call to my soul. Probably, I could teach five yoga classes a day. I could write or paint for hours without complaint. Actually, I could even teach all day long every day like I do currently if my workplace felt like a better place to be. When the year started, I loved it for a short while but then things started to get really bad... Going to work sucks all the life and energy out of me. I actually used to like bringing work home. Now I dread it. Right now I am blogging to avoid the work I still need to do tonight (LOL). Anyway, I do long for more free time.

My biggest problem seems to be lack of energy. My schedule is busy but not like it was when I went to college and grad school. I just don't have the energy I used to. People will tell you that this comes with age. I imagine it does but I suspect that my lack of stamina is more due to MS. That's why I often wish for work that demands less of my full energy. Working the way I do now, there's nothing left. When I get home, I literally pass out if I can. It's so hard to even get back up to eat dinner. I am back in bed between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. I guess the good news is that I have made it this far working full-time so I still have my house :) The bad news is that I find little energy left for the things I want to do.

My birthday was yesterday and by 5:30 pm I was exhausted and ready for bed. I didn't really even do many things. I was in bed by 8:00 pm on a Saturday night and I slept until 7:30 am. Then I got up, ran a few errands, practiced and taught aerial yoga, went to the grocery store, ran a few other errands and came home. By 3:00 pm, I was back in bed for another two hours and now I am only up to work, eat and go back to bed. I did not write or paint all weekend and I am bummed...

I keep thinking that tomorrow maybe I will do some stuff after work but every time, I find myself so tired that I end up sleeping instead. I need more spoons. I am dreaming of the day I can cut my hours at work. I really hope my house sells soon so I can make this a reality. I think if I worked 3/4 time instead of full time at school that I would feel much better.

I am not having a pity party here but I am imagining the possibility of a life where I could prioritize being an artist over paying the bills. Don't we all--

Today I am grateful to have a full-time job, two part time jobs and several hobbies when many people are trying to just find a job at all. I do count my blessings...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reality is what you make it...

I went to a dharma talk last Thursday with yoga guru Amrit Desai. I was intrigued because he is one of the living legends of the yoga world and I was curious to see him in person.

While he made several good points, I thought his best one was regarding reality. He basically said that we create our reality, therefore our reactions to situations and people are really just our own ego-responses created by our personal perceptions. This is not a new or novel idea but being reminded of this point of view was good for me. I was again reminded that I really create most of my own suffering. Of course knowing this is the case and doing something about it, are different things entirely (LOL).

Work is really cramping my style. Or is it? I guess the answer must just lie in my reality. I keep thinking, "My boss hates me." Or does he? I keep wondering, "How much longer can I do this? Can I afford to quit anytime in the next eon?" Then I close my eyes, breathe and think, "I am not my job. This is only part of my life." Sometimes after a dark night of the soul, so to speak, I feel great, sometimes almost stupidly happy... I use my yoga and meditation to bring me back from the dark places, the negativity, the unproductive thoughts. I have adopted my grandmother (and Scarlett O'Hara's) attitude, "Why think about it today? I'll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day." I am hoping this keeps working because I have yet to adjust my reality to believe that my boss does not hate me or that my job is the most negative force in my existence.

Anyway... I may spend 40 or so hours a week at work and another 3 or 4 commuting but I am determined not to let it ruin my life. I am determined to think about it as little as possible when I am not there. I try to stay present but it is my looming vacation that helps me keep my sanity.

How does any of this relate to "Living! with MS?" Well maybe it does and maybe it doesn't but I imagine that our mind creates many of the conditions for our illness. While we cannot prevent all things with an unpredicatble disease like MS, we can control our reactions and our "realities." My reality can be, "I have MS and that limits what I can do" or it can be, "I have MS, so what?" Maybe I will slow down, rest more, be more mindful, think through the things I committ to doing but otherwise, nothing changes. My reality can be, "I have a migraine, might as well cancel all my plans," or it can be, "I have a migraine, I need to chill, and then also consider food or a nap depending on the situation." So I can block off my whole night to be laid up in pain or I can work with the pain and see if I can help it pass by relaxing and taking care of myself for a few hours. We cannot fully control our MS but we can control our realities as we cope with it.

Today I am grateful for the chance to shape my own reality even when it is a challenge.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

MS and "The Art of Passing Time"

Over ten years ago, I embarked on writing a series of poetry called "The Art of Passing Time" with my girlfiend at the time. We dreamed of creating an artsy, black and white film that conveyed our philosophy and ideas about relationships. She was the "idea man" and I was the writer. Over time, the project morphed into a poetry series and long after we parted ways, I kept writing the poems.

In a nutshell the art of passing time was as follows:
We are in a universe adrift,
Always seeking connections--
The only constant is change,
But we long to pause time,
Pause time, just breathe.
It is possible to connect with another human being
Without artifice or pretense.
Time can be borrowed and shared.
All that matters is the second we are in--
We take the instants we share and treasure them,
We do not try to possess the other,
The memories linger long after we part...

While these ramblings form the basis for the art of passing time, my vision of time has morphed as I have grown older and experienced more things. In yoga, I always ask my students to ground themselves in the present, to enjoy the moment. This is a personal journey. It's not about connecting, it's about enjoying this space in time, whatever it holds.

I think MS has fundamentally changed my view of time. Before I was sick, I never really recognized my own mortality. It seemed that I had forever to arrive at some phantom destination (usually an ego-driven, concrete goal). I would achieve my goal and then feel deflated. I was hounded by time, always trying to crowd more tasks into the day. I rarely stopped to breathe and I was really stressed out about time. In fact, I was obsessed. I would have given almost anything to freeze time...

Although haunted by time, I would never shrug off responsibilities to make more time for the things my heart yearned to do. MS irrevocably altered me. I almost died in the beginning... When this really hit me, everything became different. I found myself greeting the sun every day. I was teary-eyed in my gratitude to still be alive. I realized, and still do, that every additional day I live is a gift. This realization changed my whole attitude about time. I slowed way down. I took on fewer things. I took more time for myself. It took a long time to adjust but now I think I am better for it. Now, "The Art of Passing Time" has new significance for me.

I am reading a book called It is amazing. I almost feel like the author took all the ideas that have entered my head since my diagnosis and spilled them out onto paper. I have a renewed determination to finally finish and publish my poetry collection. I can feel my attitude towards time shifting. This comfort with time is bringing me new peace and I find my heart is full of joy.

Today I am grateful for my place in time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

self-censorship and the art of blogging

I often wrestle with the question of how much I should censor my topics and observations on this blog. I never censor what I write on my other blogs but this one feeds to facebook and sometimes I am not sure how much of my life should be shared with all my fb "friends." Right now I am completing a divorce and this makes it tricky. I have this feeling that there are certain details of my divorce and my life now that it is not time to share. Sometimes this is hard because I have always been brutally honest on this blog but I think that showing some sensitivity in my content right now is the best course of action.

There are some things I can safely say here. Things are going well for me. I am sad that things did not turn out differently but I think they came out for the best ultimately. I know that I am still being judged by many former "friends" who never got my side of the story and who may or may not know the truth but that is ok. At the moment, my own peace of mind seems most important. I am finding that with greater peace and more time for myself, I am feeling better overall. My migraines are almost gone and those I do have, I know how to work with almost entirely without meds. I am still tired but now it is ok to go to bed when I want to.

Slowly, I am figuring out what I really want to do with my life. I am exploring new things and new ideas. I am feeling very creative. It has been fun to just go where my passions pull me and to not worry about results or perfection. I think this process is actually making me more creatively successful. I find myself dreaming of new goals. I have an enormous "bucket list" now. I also know I want to travel and explore new things.

MS does not dictate my plans. Marriage does not dictate my plans. My "job" does not dictate my plans. The only thing dictating my agenda now is my own need and desire and it feels great!

Today I am grateful for my renewed comfort in this skin.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update 12/01/09

Long time no write... I just got back from vacation yesterday and by the time I got home my spoons were already used up by travel. I ate and then fell asleep for three hours. Then I got up, did a few things and was back in bed by 8pm. I slept until 5:45am this morning. Now I feel rested and rejuvenated by vacation and all that sleep. Work is somehow a little less trying...

The next vacation is already in sight and I am starting to make plans. The next few weeks I plan to finish my writing and application for graduate school. I also am going to teach some extra yoga classes to make some money for the holidays etc... I think I can keep my stress minimal until the next big break.

My vacation was fabulous. I slept almost all day Saturday. The whole trip was one long culinary extravaganza. I even went to "all you can eat sushi" on Black Friday for the excellent price of $15.00. It must have been a special deal:) I got to spend some nice time with my mom and with some friends. Overall, it was a great vacation.

Today I am thankful for this feeling of rejuvenation.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks-giving

I am thankful for vacation.
I am thankful for vacation.
I am thankful for vacation.

It has arrived at last, none too soon I might add. Work has been very stressful and frankly, I am exhausted. I have been going to bed around 7 or 8pm every night and I still want a nap every day. I am hoping to catch up on my rest over break and to get some more energy to take me through until Christmas.

Right now, I am at the yoga studio but early in the morning, I am off to visit my mom in warm, sunny Arizona for five days. I am so glad to be getting out of town. I'm selling my house and it is constantly getting shown so I often do not have space when I want it. I am looking forward to interruption-free vacation.

Oh, by the way, check out this week's Carnival of MS Bloggers, I have a poem there.

Nadja

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aerial Yoga Teacher Training



Today I completed my level one teacher training for aerial yoga. Come by and check out the pics on my Firebird Yoga blog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

After the darkness there is sunshine

It seemed I dwelled in shadow. Work ended but the shadow it cast was long. I felt sick in my soul. How could a place that looks so nice from the distance be so cancerous inside? It seems to suck the very souls and humanity from those who enter its doors. I have seen horrors this year that I could hardly even have imagined. Yet I keep going back, to fight another day. I am not ready to give in and let apathy and negativity destroy a large part of my world.

I came home and let sleep obliterate all things. I awoke from the fog of an afternoon nap, still sick in my body and soul. I tried to forget but in the end, I just cried, and cried and cried. Then I slept again, awoke and cried another deluge that seemed unending. Then I slept again. Eleven hours later, I awoke and the sun was shining. I bounced from my bed singing, spent an hour on Wikipedia, studying and writing and then wrote about Nataraja, Lord of the dance, developed a yoga flow in his honor and went off to teach. Where yesterday there was only sorrow, today there is creativity and light.

I came home and wrote some poetry, posted this entry and now I'm off to take yoga from someone else. This should be fun!

Today I am grateful for the calm after the storm.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I dream of weekend

It's almost all I can think about. One more day, one more day... My formal teaching observation is tomorrow but I am unconcerned, I just want it done and the work week to be over. No crazy weekend plans but I am ready to just lay around and chill out. Then, two days of work and five days off. I'm so ready--

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Graduate School Part Deux

I have decided I want to embark on another round of graduate school. This time I thought I would focus on the pursuit of a frivolous masters degree that will in no way serve a definitive career track (LOL). I now see that is the only way for me to do it. I have decided to apply for an online MFA in Creative Writing at Naropa in Boulder.

Today I looked over the application process. It is lengthy and involved and the suggested deadline is January 15th. Piece of Cake, right? Then I looked at what is involved. There is the ususal application and transcript stuff. There are the letters of recommendation and the two to four page essay and technology assessment. Still, not bad. What, 15 pages of poetry? I got it. 30 pages of fiction prose? Uh, oh. I write poetry but I usually write non-fiction, not fiction prose. What the heck will I write about?

At first I thought, "What am I getting into?" I became fearful that I would not measure up at all. I didn't know what to write. I decided to tackle the essay first. It got easier as I wrote. Five and a half pages later and I was done. Now to edit. That was harder. I needed most of what was there. Then I had a brilliant idea, adjust the font size. Snap, now I have three and a half pages. I think it will work.

The poetry just needs compiling and editing. Now, the 30 pages of fiction. I got the suggestion that I write historical fiction. Great idea, I think I can make that work. What topic? That's hard. I need an interesting woman to write about, someone who's inner life I can really imagine. I was taking a walk and it hit me... Now I know what I will write and so the story begins--

Today I am grateful for this challenge opportunity to stretch myself creatively.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In case the Spoon Theory fails you...

Joan from a Short in the Cord just sent this great link to me. It is the Spoon Theory for all the lushes in your life. I love the Spoon Theory but The Beer Theory really works for me. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All the Blogs are Updated!

It was a long and busy weekend. Really, busier than I hoped for but good. I have just finished updating all four of my blogs so drop by and check out my latest work.

Be sure to check out Poems from the Blue Plane and get smothered by love. Denver Refashionista offers advice on "Age and occasion appropriate dress" this week. My Firebird Yoga site offers a rationale for "Pushing in Yoga."

While you're browsing, be sure to visit the sites of some of my "Followers" on this blog. It's also worthwhile to check out all the links to great blogs featured on this page. Wherever your surfing my take you, "Calabunga dude!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Walk MS Rewind



Last year was the first year I participated in Walk MS. It was a great experience and my ex and I raised about $850.00. This year I am excited to be helping out again...

A few months ago I participated in a photo shoot for the walk at a request from my care manager at the MS Socity. Today I ran into the woman who posed as my "mom" in the shoot and she informed me that my photo was featured in the campaign for the 2010walk. Wow, I am humbled to be this year's face. Anyway, I guess I am in the brochure and my photo is on page four of this month's "Momentum". Crazy... I am truly honored to "represent" for this community.

Denver Refashionista
Nadja Tizer

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Neurologist Visit 11/03/09

I went to the neurologist today for the first time in a year. The visit went very well. He says I passed all the "tests" and that the yoga is working for me. He also said I do not need another MRI for a while unless I change medications but that so far, the Copaxone seems to be working well for me. Unfortunately, he is retiring but he gave me a referral so I feel satisfied.

I have still been feeling a bit strange lately but we think it is a potential UTI, rather than an exacerbation. My symptoms include, back pain, abdominal cramping, urgency, inflammation, full body soreness, painful joints, dizziness, nausea and blurred vision but the biggest issue does seem to be the back pain and urgency, so I think we have nailed it down. I should know by tomorrow and if we are right, I can start antibiotics or whatever he suggests. If it is not, he will send me to a specialist. Either way, I am optimistic that relief is on the way.

Today I am grateful that my appointment went so well. Next Tuesday, female doctor, week after neuro opthamologist (is that how it's spelled?) and then on with my life. Yay!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow Day

The snow is still falling and my snow day has been everything I hoped for. I slept like 12 hours, took a nap, had a bubble bath and generally relaxed. I even watched my favorite soap. I could get used to this... I am hoping that it clears up soon because I have exciting weekend plans but I have really enjoyed this storm.

Tomorrow we have professional development at work so there are no kids! It should be quick and mellow and then I am off for weekend adventures. I have my costume and I can't wait. I am also taking Monday off work so next week will also be short. The week after I think I also have Monday off so there will be lots of time for R&R.

I am watching the news and they are forecasting a weather clearing tomorrow. Things are generally looking up.

Today I am thankful for my relaxing snow day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sometimes MS cramps my style

I decided a few months ago that I was no longer going to live my life as though I had MS. It has been great. I make plans and don't worry about my spoon quotient. I don't question if I can make committments or take on challenges. I just do. It has been life-changing. I have been feeling good and I still believe that much of our physical state can be attributed to our mental and emotional one. However; MS does put a kink into the equation at times.

Lately it has been cramping my style a bit. While I have still been doing everything I planned, it is with less than my usual energy. I am exhausted, the MS kind of tired where you sleep forever and still don't feel fully rested. This sleep comes on in a dizzying, nauseating cloud that wipes away everything else. I fall down the rabbit hole for thoughtless hours full of strange dreams and hallucinations. The migraines are back. I have been fighting them with Midrin and Meloxicam. It seems my body is inflamed. I have been taking the Meloxicam to try to fight the pain. My joints ache. Everything is creaking. My neck has been especially bad. I keep fearing I will throw up and my vision has been on the blink. This is really a pain in the butt.

I know MSers, your thinking I need steroids. Ok, maybe I do but I just had some a few months ago and I am hesitant to rush down that road of crazy with any haste. I am trying to eat well, rest plenty and keep taking the Meloxicam. I am hoping this set of remedies will do the trick.

At the moment, I am still working and driving so that is a good sign. If either of these things go by the wayside, I will get in touch with my neurologist with haste. Right at the moment, I feel the best I have all day so I am optomistic. We are getting hit by a storm front so maybe they will cancel school tomorrow or the next day. That would suit me. I could lay around in my PJs, eat, nap and watch movies. It would be perfect!

Today I am grateful I have not yet entirely succumbed to the latest bout of symptoms :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chronicles in the life of an urban adventurer

Where can I find the time to write? I'm so freakin' busy, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not but definitely occupied.

I'm making plans-- lots of them. I finally know my next steps. I'm going to get another masters degree. To be exact, I want to get a masters in fine arts with an emphasis in creative writing. I want to stay in Denver and apply to Naropa. I want to keep teaching at Harmony Yoga. As to the rest, I trust it will fall into place.

So back to the chronicles of an urban adventurer. I have been having adventures aplenty. Some of them have involved, swinging from a suspended trapeze, hanging upside down off a giant hoop-- five feet off the ground and wrapping myself in aerial fabric (tissue)and moving through a set of choreographed moves. I have been having the less-intriguing adventures of an urban, public school teacher at an "awesome" high school where I don my cape daily in order to pound edumacation into the brains of youngsters. I'm the "hall sweep" queen, bringing terror to the hearts of youngsters who are tardy for class. I continue to seek liberation from my current post but I'm still waiting to hear back on my latest transfer application to another school.

Yoga is at the center of my existence, thank the goddess. It keeps me sane and content. I have been teaching pretty much every day. The only drawback is that I have not had much time to attend anyone else's class. Perhaps one day soon I will.

Mixed in with all the craziness, I have still found time for my 8-14 hours of sleep a day. How do I do it? It takes discipline (LOL). My time is spoken for but I have made it my bitch... I'm caught in the adventur, yet I am still bored and underchallenged. I can see the next adventur near on the horizon and I am ready!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Joys of Solitude

One might think that with divorce and the fact that many of my old friends won't talk to me that I would be sad or lonely. This is not the case. I am celebrating my solitude, in fact, I crave it. Today I am at work but I wish I were home reading, studying, painting and writing poetry. I can't wait for the day to end so I can be alone again.

Being alone is like oxygen for me. It is in my solitude that I find creativity and strength. I need the time to recharge and rejuvenate.

I love teaching. I love to teach school and to teach yoga but in order to do it from the purest place, I must find time to be alone.

Yesterday I spent the whole day alone. It was amazing! Now I want more. Tonight I teach yoga but I imagine that there is more time alone in my future.

Today I am grateful for the time I get to spend alone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update 10/16/09

Things are good. I'm happy. I feel creative. Generally I am unperturbed by the convolutions of the world outside me. There are many problems at work but I am not allowing them to trouble me unduly.

I have been reminded that suffering is caused only by our reactions to external situations. If we do not allow them to trouble us, then we need not suffer. This is why I feel good internally and emotionally.

Physically I still feel good overall but the last few days have been rough. It is a bad time of month and that often makes my body very inflamed. The inflammation makes me feel ill. I have been taking anti-inflammatory medication and migraine pills regularly. I know that this will pass soon but it is a drag. Last night, I woke up to cramps so bad that they jolted me out of sleep. It took me an hour for the meds to kick in so I could sleep again. Incidentally, I am a bit exhausted from my midnight awakenings.

Despite the physical discomfort, my spirits are good. Thank goodness it's Friday. I anticipate that my weekend will be mellow and relaxing.

Today I am grateful it is Friday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Shortcomings of Humanity- A rant

I feel a rant coming on... Disclaimer, if you are easily offended or are going to take this personally stop reading now. You have been warned!

Lately I have becoming increasingly irritated by some of the shortcomings exhibited in my fellow human beings.

1) Don't pass the buck-- take responsibility will you?
I am super-tired of the people around me who are full of excuses. Would it kill you to take some personal responsibility for the problems around you instead of passing the buck all the time? I hate hearing the, "I would but..." Or, "I could but..." Is Obama the only person left who can admit it when he is wrong? When shit happens in your life and keeps happening, is it possible that it is partially you? I am willing to say that it is partially me and to work on that. Could more people please do that? I know, I know, my standards are too high but can you blame a girl for wishing?

2) Kindness doesn't cost you anything, would it kill you to be nice?
I don't care if you are in a rush or you had a crappy day, does basic nicety have to be such a stretch? Don't take your crappy mood out on others. It's not usually their fault that your day sucked. It is unexcusable to be rude or mean no matter what's going on. I often am ill, I don't take it out on others, or at least I try not to. If I do, I at least apologize and assure them that it is not their fault. I wish more people would do this. I know, there I go again with my high standards...

3) I believe you have a brain-- use it!
Sometimes I tell my students, turn on your brain. I would like to say that to some adults too. Please think before you speak or act. Try really using your head...

4) I didn't ask for your opinion or advice so don't give it.
Ok, even I slip up on this one sometimes but it drives me nuts when people give me their opinion when I didn't ask for it. I also despise unsolicited advice. Another thing that annoys me is some people's habit (especially males) of thinking that just because I am expressing that I have a problem, it is their "job" to solve it.

That about wraps today's rant.

Today I am grateful that I am only this much of a bitch sometimes (LOL).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Passing on the Love


Life's good and I want to share so today I'm going to pass out some awards.

To Lisa Emerich and Diane Stafford I offer the "Most Inspirational Blog Award"

To Serina, Stephanie and Nina I offer the "Your an Awesome Girl Award"

To Kim I offer the "Strong at the Broken Places Award"

To Mike and Robert I offer the "Kreative Blogger Award"

To Julia, Herrad,Cherlyn and Julie I offer the "Kindness Award"

Please just lift your awards off the side of my blog.

All of the bloggers bookmarked on this blog are awesome so if you haven't checked out their work, please do so. Also, if I did not give you an award today please know that it is coming soon.

Happy reading,
Nadja

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Awards



Today I am grateful to accept two awards from Herrad. I will soon be passing these on to my favorite bloggers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Much better thanks

It may be that not every day is sunshine but my sun is shining again. It's good to be alive.

Today I am grateful for the challenges and adventures:)

Friday, October 2, 2009

No one promised all sunshine

Today sucked. In fact, that word "suck" has been causing me a lot of trouble in the last 24 hours but that is neither here nor there (LOL).

I need a break. I need a break from work. I need a break from social obligations. I need a break from most people. I certainly need a break from judgements. I even hear them in the voices of people who claim to care about me. I am truly at the end of my tether but shit won't stop hitting the fan so I can take an excriment-free breath. I don't know what I expected--

This has been one crappy week. When I ached the most for a nervous breakdown, I didn't even have that luxury. Apparently breakdowns are a luxury reserved for those who depend, not those who are always depended on. Sometimes I just get sick of holding it all together. I want to screech, howl and throw things but I just feel rather silly when I get through doing it.

Lately I have filled this blog with joy and gratitude but today I must say, even I can't be all sunshine all the time. I would like to freakin' strangle someone right about now. I guess it is good I am home alone (LOL).

No one promised all sunshine so there you have it--

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Synergy

The master plan is finally falling into place. I'm rubbing my hands together with a wicked grin on my face. Ok, this was not in the master plan but it should have been...

I feel good; really good. It's almost ironic that my primary blog is called "Living! with MS!" because these days I'm just really Living! I don't say this to make every other MSer jealous. I say this because I have come to believe that so much of our physical state, is linked with our emotional and mental state. The better I feel in these respects, the better I feel physically. The better I handle my stress, the fewer the setbacks. The more I embrace who I fundamentally am, the weaker my disease becomes. These days it is a non-entity that I only recall when I give myself my nightly copaxone injection. Even the injections are getting easier. I have the process down to a swift science. They still hurt like a ----- afterward but the process is quick and routine now.

I have been having fun wherever I go. I have been acting spontaneously and not worrying whether I have the "spoons" to get through the day. Much of my time is spent with friends. I also spend a lot of time alone writing, painting and taking care of all the little details involved in living alone. I am taking good care of myself but now I answer to no one and I create my own schedule. It has been fun going to aerial yoga and aerial tissue.

My physical intelligence has been increasing exponentially. Now it seems I can learn a new dance or aerial move and master it after only a few tries. Yesterday at "fabric" class I climbed all the way up the fabric twice. I'm getting strong very quickly. Today I barely feel sore, much to my surprise. I'm hooked.

Words are really insufficient to describe my current state of being but on one of my other blogs (Poems from the Blue Plane) I attempt to.

Today I am full of gratitude and wonder at the journey that my life has become.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Aerial Yoga, Awww Yeah!


This is my newest passion. Check out more pictures on my Firebird Yoga Blog.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beyond Fear

Please check out my latest post on Firebird Yoga. It tells the story of how MS and yoga helped me master my fears.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Independence

One thing I have learned about chronic illness is that it can rob you of your feeling of independence. When I was diagnosed, I wondered where I would be without my husband or family. I still felt screwed but I felt like if things went south, I could count on those people to take care of me. In fact, I believed I needed to be taken care of. When I was scared and sick, it felt good to remind myself that I had people who would care for me if I got really sick and couldn't work. I was ceratin I needed that safety net. Now, my worst fears have been realized and I am all alone in this.

I am getting a divorce. I now have to pay half the mortagage on a house I can't afford. I'm responsible for my student loans and car payment. Financially, I am in dire straits. If I get too sick to work full time, I don't know what will happen. Most of my friends have turned their backs on me and won't even talk to me. I have had a falling out with several family members. I am truly on my own.

Do I feel despair? Hell no! I feel good. I'm creatively inspired and empowered. Overall, my health is good. I have found quiet happiness in my independence. I can do what I want, when I want. I have to work full time and now I'm working at the yoga studio several days a week in addition to my regular yoga classes I teach. I have been working 12-14 hours a day but I am ok. The only thing I crave is more alone time. This weekend, I plan to hole up and create art and writing. I will dance and do yoga. I will kick it with my cat. I will breath the air of independence and I will not be afraid. I can do this!

Today I am grateful to have this opportunity to be alone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I promised honesty but...

Sometimes it seems that the world is not ready for my degree of honesty so here, on my blog that feeds to facebook, I promise to be honest, but not to a fault. To see the unfettered me, check out my other blogs: Denver Refashionista (my artistic creations and clothing), Firebird Yoga (my yoga site) and my newest addition, Poems from the Blue Plane.

I am doing well these days. I still have my critics but I have realized that if every artist was concerned with their critics than nothing great would ever be created. So I have decided to just be myself, no apologies and to make the most of the time I have on this earth. How does this tie into Living! with MS? Well, MS has really taught me to value each day. It has helped me value the things that really matter in the creation of a beautiful life. MS has made clear to me what I can and cannot do. MS has actually made me more whole, rather than less.

I feel good. These days, I hardly feel like I have MS. I have not had a migraine in a month. I have been taking very little medication outside my copaxone. I have been sleeping less and doing more. I am having fun! Today I have the day off and I am excited to be spending the majority of my day on intellectual and artistic pursuits.

Today I am grateful for my health.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back on track

Comments are back and controversial posts and comments have been removed so enjoy and comment away :)

Happy reading,
Nadja

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Changes

I surrender to the change
Or rather, I embrace it.
The world is spinning quickly
But I do not cling for dear life,
I am content
Shrugged off all that held me back.
Found me
Discarded my baggage without regrets.

I look to the future now.
The thing we had,
It was killing me slowly.
You are better off alone.
I am happier as I am.
I wish you well.
I am at peace
Let us cease to torment each other.

I live without regrets.
I notice,
I learn and then I remember and move on.
I hope you can do the same.
I wish you all the love and joy this world has to offer.
Go out and find it.
Be happy.
I bear you no ill-will.

My wings have sprouted.
I sail from the nest
Into an endless sky
Of possibility.
My heart soars
My dreams are vivid and grand.
I do not look back now
The future is mine.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Peace

Today is 9/11 and I meditate now on peace. Last night I went to an amazing yoga event in the park that focused on peace. It lent me a great deal of personal peace and clarity at a time where I needed it.

I feel calmed, content and comfortable in my skin. I feel the best today, both physically and emotionally that I have in a long time. Now I feel like I have the energy to focus on bigger issues than just my health. It feels good and I feel very freed up. I can breath again.

Meditating on peace helped me sort out several mental and interpersonal conflicts I have been having. I now feel at peace with the situation and that is allowing me to focus on the greater peace, something we must really remember on a day like 9/11.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where's the Refashionista

I had a busy week and then went on vacation. I spent some relaxing, computer-free time with my mother. I will be back here to post and read soon. For now, please enjoy the yoga mediation on my other blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rant

*Disclaimer, this is directed at no one in particular. I appreciate everyone's concerns for my situation/s but I have it under control. Above all, fellow bloggers, this is not aimed at you. I just needed to rant.

Leave me Alone!

I am tired of being second guessed
I am worn down by advice.
You mean well,
I’m sure
But you are driving me nuts!

Please, please, I implore—
Leave me alone.
Can’t you trust me?
Trust me to run my own life
Can’t you trust that I know my own mind?

How can I even think when no one gives me space?
How can I make good decision if I must constantly answer your questions and your calls?
Why can’t I be trusted?
Why do you treat me like I’m crazy?
Can’t you see my strength?

I have done battle with demons,
I have fought the good fight
I have listened
I have always put others before myself.
Is it too much to ask that I be allowed to make the choices that feel right to me?

I’m tired of being treated like a child
I’m tired of being disrespected
I’m sick of being told “It’s the steroids—“
F---- off-- I took those a month ago.
Trust me, trust me, trust me.


If I make a “bad choice,”
Can you just allow me to reap the consequences?
Stop protecting me from myself.
The only person who has to live with my regrets is me.
Let me live and let live!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A happy Sunday



I had a nice Sunday. During the early morning, I was sick because I ate differently yesterday and accidentally gave myself a shot in the muscle, not the fat, hence the pain. I felt very nauseaous for a while but by 9:00 am, I was ready to get up and go.

I went to aerial yoga but class was cancelled. I did get to stretch out, do some tricks and talk to the owner of the studio. I will go gack today for some more training on the aerial equipment like the tissue (fabric), Hoop and trapeze. I talked the owner of the studio into giving me a discount for two days since I teach at her studio sometimes. I am excited for class later today.

I also bought groceries to fit my diet, went to lunch, did some work, created a restorative yoga sequence for my Firebird yoga blog and took a nap.

Later, I went out and saw my best friend DJ at a patio party. I then finished my day with dinner and my shot. I did the shot in my belly this time. I heated the area first and got relaxed. Then I did the shot laying down. I think I lost some of the medicine that way but most of it went in. I then applied more heat. This one did not hurt or sting at all. Yeah!

I'm thankful for my great Sunday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hot is better than cold for me...

Not really, but with the Copaxone it is. I heated before I injected and iced after. The aftershock is intense. I realized that the ice was not allowing the medicine to spread well and so the pain would not spread out as quickly as yesterday. Now, I just tried heat instead. It is helping the pain. Yesterday did not hurt as much. I must not have hit as good a spot today. My hands have been a bit inflamed and I think it slowed down the speed of my injection. Maybe I will try the auto-injector... I kind of like watching myself shove the needle and plunger into my arm ( I know I'm a weirdo) but maybe the auto-injector would make this easier than trying to get my swollen hands to work well.

I couldn't resist the urge to post that intense poem this morning. As a writer, I look for opportunities in the drama. Mostly, my life is rather mundane, so this gave me something new to write about.

When I injected tonight, I prayed out loud afterward to calm myself. I don't believe in prayer but it is very soothing and I love the sound when I'm nervous. It helped me focus on my breath and something outside the pain. Even now, my arm still hurts. At first, it felt like the area all around the site was pulsing. I imagine, I'll get used to this. I have lost a lot of weight this week due to cutting foods out of my diet because of food allergies. Now, I'm trying to gain a little back. I figure the more fat I have for this, the better...

I ate some hot wings for dinner tonight, after almost eight years as a strict vegetarian. They tasted good but I was really grossed out. I only ate half but I had some fries and celery too so at least I'm fed for now. Hopefully the chicken won't make me ill but I had to experiment at least.

Right now, my life is very chaotic and many things are in flux but despite the challenges, I feel good. I feel positive about myself and the work I have been doing. I feel good about my art, writing and dance. Cutting out foods seems to be helping already. I don't have morning congestion for the first time in years. I also have been migraine-free for three days now.

Today I am grateful for this chance to confront and conquer my fears. I feel empowered.

Awakening to hell

* This post may not be for the faint-hearted or newly diagnosed. Today was my first injection of Copaxone and I just call it how I see it.

Denial is possible
As long as you have ways to forget.
I allowed myself to pretend,
Pretend that I would be one of the lucky ones--
Maybe I still will be
But this disease has caught me in its jaws
It seems every day, I grow slightly more ill.
It's harder to pretend.

Yesterday I had to stop pretending to myself--
This thing is real and it's not going anywhwere
We are life-long companions
So why do I feel so alone?
Disease is a constant companion but not a joyful bedfellow.
It does not comfort you
But it never lets you fully forget.

Yesterday I had to stop pretending to myself
I thought I was ready--
Ready to fight my disease with any tool at hand,
Then I saw the needle...
My heart raced for a moment
I tried to calm myself with cleansing breath
A voice in my head said, "This is your life now."
Yes, but I don't want to accept--

Hot tears scalded my cheeks.
I had to stop,
Needle poised midair--
I cried large, fat, raindrop tears
Inside something released and my fear faded.
Ok, I'm ready.
I took the syringe
Placed my thumb on the plunger and started to push.

I felt nothing
No pain,
No fear--
Not too bad
Seconds passed, a lifetime
My arm began to burn
I focused on other things
A huge welt rose on my skin

I did not look.
I talked and looked away,
Trying to keep my mind off the pain.
Now streaks of it raced along my arm
I felt as though I had been stung
I could feel it in my armpit and my fingers
I ignored it and did not look at the site
Ten minutes passed, a life-time.

I was alive and unharmed
I breathed a sigh of relief
I walked outside with my friend
We parted with hugs
And I thought,
"Now what?
Who can I call?"
I wanted someone who had shared this sort of thing to listen

I made some calls
Found myself still alone
Accepted the silence
And then got an offer to see family.
I ate some bland food,
My relatives apologized.
It seemed good to me,
I was glad to be eating and in company--

So weary I almost could not drive,
Made it home by force of will,
Fell into a dreamless slumber,
Managed to forgot
Sleep swept me away in a dreamless tide--
I awoke to hell
I remembered I was alone in this
The trauma swept me but I could hardly cry.

This is my life and that I accept.
I will not fight the current,
I will fight the disease.
I can accept this
It is harder to accept
The daily reminder of my mortality--

For a more positive analysis check out Firebird Yoga.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Broken

I reach for your sleeping form in the night--
My heart races
You are not beside me.
I am disoriented.
I cannot seem to remember how to sleep.
I am hot, awake and restless.

My heart feels pulverized.
How did we come to this?
Oh my sweet love,
Now stranger who shares my home.
I feel my disease
snuggling in for a long stay.

My hands and arms are numb
But my heart seems to bleed.
It beats heavily in my chest
A swift, dull thud with the pain.
I'm crying because I feel so scared and alone
I hurt so much.

All I want is to be comforted
I want to be reassured
I want to be held
I wish for sweet nothings whispered in my ear
But I am mocked by silence.
I breath deeply into the darkness seeking calm like an anchor in the storm.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Firebird Yoga

I just got a great idea for a new yoga company and blog I wanted to start. I would like to welcome all my readers to check out Firebird Yoga. I am still working on the font colors so I would love your feedback.

I plan to continue writing about yoga there. I also plan to take photos and possibly video to share with my readers. I will talk about yoga for every body and need. I hope to bring the joy of yoga to both healthy and seriously ill individuals. Please take the journey with me.

Namaste,
Denver Refashionista

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I want to join the circus...

Literally-- At one time I could do most of their moves. Now to train.

More to come...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For my yoga students

When I teach yoga I like to give freely of myself, to nurture my students and to help bring them closer to their true selves. Nevertheless, I get as much out of my teaching as they do. Teaching yoga gives me a home, a place of sanity to stand when all I want to do is howl at the moon. It reminds me to breath. It reminds me of my favorite prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi:

"Lord make me an instrument of thy peace
Where there is hatred, let there be love
Where there there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light.
Oh divine master--
Grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive,
And it is in death to self
That we are born to eternal life."
Amen.

My heart is filled with gratitude for the things I receive from teaching yoga. I bow to my students. I bow to the teacher in all things. I prostrate myself to the divine with the faith that I will find a way no matter what.

Let yoga be your candle in the dark.
Let it lift you and fill you.
Let it in inspire you
Take what you discover on your mat into the world
And create peace, love and harmony.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not good

Right now I'm too exhausted and overwhelmed to post a real blog so my news of the day is pasted below. These are the results of my genetic test for allergies. The news is bad but at least I know there is something I can do to fight the MS. More to come later...

Specialized Laboratory Analysis for Optimum Intestinal and Overall Health
Kenneth D. Fine, M.D.
Medical Director
10875 Plano Rd., Suite 123 Dallas, Texas 75238

Final Laboratory Report


Date: 8/21/2009

Name: Tizer, Nadja

A) Gluten Sensitivity Stool and Gene Panel Complete *Best test/best value
Fecal Anti-gliadin IgA: 40 Units

Fecal Anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA: 40 Units

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score: Less than 300 Units

Fecal Anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA: 10 Units

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1: 0301

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2: 0501

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,1 (Subtype 7,5)

C) Egg, Yeast, and Soy Food Sensitivity Stool Panel
Fecal Anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA: 4 Units

Fecal Anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA: 8 Units

Fecal Anti-soy IgA: 7 Units

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-gliadin IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): Intestinal antigliadin IgA antibody was elevated, indicating that you have active dietary gluten sensitivity. For optimal health, resolution of symptoms (if you have them), and prevention of small intestinal damage and malnutrition, osteoporosis, and damage to other tissues (like nerves, brain, joints, muscles, thyroid, pancreas, other glands, skin, liver, spleen, among others), it is recommended that you follow a strict and permanent gluten free diet. As gluten sensitivity is a genetic syndrome, you may want to have your relatives screened as well.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): You have an autoimmune reaction to the human enzyme tissue transglutaminase, secondary to dietary gluten sensitivity.

Interpretation of Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score (Normal Range is less than 300 Units): Provided that dietary fat is being ingested, a fecal fat score less than 300 indicates there is no malabsorbed dietary fat in stool indicating that digestion and absorption of nutrients is currently normal.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic "sensitivity" to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation Of HLA-DQ Testing: Although you do not possess the main HLA-DQB1 genes predisposing to celiac sprue (HLA-DQB1*0201 or HLA-DQB1*0302), HLA gene analysis reveals that you have two copies of a gene that predisposes to gluten sensitivity (any DQ1, DQ2 not by HLA-DQB1*0201, or DQ3 not by HLA-DQB1*0302). Having two copies of a gluten sensitive gene means that each of your parents and all of your children (if you have them) will possess at least one copy of the gene. Two copies also means there is an even stronger predisposition to gluten sensitivity than having one gene and the resultant immunologic gluten sensitivity may be more severe.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic "sensitivity" to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic "sensitivity" to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-soy IgA (Normal Range is less than 10 Units): Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic "sensitivity" to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

For more information about result interpretation, please see http://www.enterolab.com/StaticPages/Faq_Result_Interpretation.htm

Stool Analysis performed by: Frederick Ogunji, Ph.D., EnteroLab
Molecular Gene Analysis performed by: American Red Cross
Interpretation of all results by: Kenneth D. Fine, M.D., EnteroLab

Thank You For Allowing EnteroLab to Help You Attain Optimum Intestinal And Overall Health.

That's it in a nutshell. I'm sure I am grateful for something today but someone remind me please.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hit by a truck...

Well, actually I wasn't literally but I feel like I was. Despite all my hard work and hopes for the best, today was shit. I don't even have the energy to explain really.

What I will say is that I got a migraine by 10 am and then had to run out of my classroom to puke. Stress induced? You betcha... Anyway, no use dwelling, I'll live but I did get sent home from work. My future as a full time teacher, I don't know anymore. Time will tell. I am going to contact my case manager at the MS Society. More to come...

Today I am grateful that I still got to teach my yoga class at the studio. It made a horrible day a little better.

Rambling Update

I had a good day yesterday. I decided that fate doesn't come to us, we make our fate so I decided to make mine and the fates of my department colleagues, my students and myself better ( I am now department chair). On the way to work, I called my ESL colleague who works next to me and asked her if she would cover both our classes all morning if I wrote the lesson plans and got the students going on their work. Then, I set her up and went to talk to my new ELA boss. I got him to agree to our plan and to authorize me some room to go work out all of our departmental issues. Act the job you want to get the job... That's what I did.

My next stop was the counseling office. It took them an hour to get to me but they gave me a comfy chair and let me just hang out and relax which was great since I still had a migraine at that time. By third block, I was talking to the boss (assistant principal) in charge of our schedule. I realized we had gotten off on the wrong foot so I started our conversation by closing the door and saying to her, "I'm sorry if we all got off on the wrong foot etc..." I explained that every request we had made was on behalf of kids. I also explained that we were not trying to add to her burden but were actually trying to lighten her load. I explained what we wanted/needed for our students and then said, "How can we help?" This went over very well. She agreed to our requests and then gave us a task to accomplish. She asked us to make our own rosters based on data :-) (that so rocks). So I went back to my colleague with the good news.

We co-taught for the rest of the hour and then I took over and sent her off to relax and to do our computer work. By the end of her lunch, our schedule change was approved (I get to teach yoga one block!) and our were rosters turned in. I noticed that as this weight lifted, my migraine dissipated. By the time I was done teaching, I was downright jolly. I spent my plan period tracking down test booklets to test the new kids in our school because my coach is out very ill. I never heard from her or found the books even though I went on a treasure hunt around the school. Luckily, I remembered that I had a copy so I was able to make a plan for testing our kids. I started to test one and today, I will test everyone I know to test. Then, later, if my coach shows, I will find out who else to test and we will wrap things up. All of this is not part of my job (it's hers) but I am interviewing soon to join her in the position and I want to prove that I know what to do. I think this is the best way of making my dreams come true.

Today is our last day with kids this week and tomorrow is Professional Development so I'm almost there... Friday morning, I will go get the blood work my doctor ordered done and just go in late.

After school yesterday, I went to Kaiser and got my new migraine medicine, booked a physical and ordered the auto-injector for my Copaxone so that I wouldn't be able to chicken out.

I slept the most hours tonight that I have since I finished the steroids, thank goodness. Today, I teach yoga at school, go to ballet at school :-) and then after I teach school all day, I will go to my studio to teach yoga again so it will be another long day. I have invited a bunch of colleagues to come to my yoga class down in Denver so I hope a few come and check it out. I'm working to create a buzz...

I am excited for the day...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh the horror

What a day... Things went great with the kids but everything else at work is a giant snarl. Even the mellowest person would be stressed.

On top of everything, I am in the process of getting my bathroom redone. Right now, the water is off and they are pounding on the ceiling while I fight a migraine and irritable bowels.

In the meantime, my stress at work just skyrocketed exponentially when after several days of school, the counseling office just changed our master schedule and gave me new courses to teach. The courses have never been offered, there's no curriculum and my rosters change every ten minutes. Basically, I was told at 2:00 pm about the change and I had to delete my gradebook, create new plans and copies for tomorrow. In the process of it all, I stopped to puke and then went to talk with my principal about FMLA. He was very understanding and said he would talk to the assistant principles who are adding to my stress. I told him to go ahead and explain to them about my health so hopefully I will get more support now.

Not my day and yet, you can't keep me down for long. I can barely stand from the headache and nausea (I have even had a prescription pain pill) but I'm still excited to work with the kids again tomorrow.

Today I am grateful to have great students that help make the B.S. worth it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The whirlwind

I am swept into the whirlwind that is the beginning of any school year but unlike last year, I feel joy. I embrace the chaos and then forge order. It has been years since I felt this creative in my planning. I am excited.

I'm tired but my body only seems to let me sleep in spurts so I sleep for a few hours, get up, use the facilities, do a little and then rest again. Then I repeat the process. I did that two times last night and once this morning. I use my little naps for sustainance. Tonight, I hope to sleep through the night in preparation for the long day tomorrow.

I got a massage yesterday and that made me feel a little better. I am still headachy and my vision is blotchy but I am slowly feeling better. The weather has also cooled off which really helps. I am hoping to have a great week at work and to continue getting better.

Today I am grateful for the cool weather.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

FMLA Journal

It's 2:30 am and I'm up feeling sick so while I wait for my medicine to kick in and relieve my discomfort I have been typing up documentation of my illness for my FMLA records and in case I ever need to file for disability. I am so glad to have this blog because I went through the archives and found all the dates and info I needed. Pasted below is my FMLA journal. I recommend that everyone with a chronic illness should keep one for legal documentation purposes.

FMLA Journal
March 2008- car accident- fractured sternum, lesions found on liver after MRI
April 5, 2008- puked repeatedly after airplane flight
April 12, 2008- awoke with severe vertigo, vomited 30 times
April 13, 2008- diagnosed with benign vertigo at ER, irregular CAT scan adviced to seek MRI
April 21, 2008- vomited blood at work after weeks of vertigo and illness. Still going to work with double and slanted vision until that day. Rushed by husband to ER. Diagnsoed with Mallory Weiss tear in esophagus from vomiting. Kept overnight for observation.
April 22, 2008- ER doctor suggests possible MS after learning of my double vision- off from work
April 22, 2008- MRI of brain at Kaiser
April 23, 2008- Off from work. Dr. Riley and Dr. Sylman diagnose me with MS based on brain lesions found. Bloodwork completed. Prednisone prescribed for exacerbation (4 days, 500 mg)
April 28, 2008- steroid taper prescribed.
Week of April 21, 2008- FMLA paperwork for temporary leave completed by Dr. Riley. Five Wishes paperwork completed.
April 23, 2008- May 16, 2008- Off from work for exacerbation. Tenure granted in Adams 14 Schools.
9/14/2008- second exacerbation becomes apparent. Exacerbation treated with Prednisone. 2 days taken off in September due to vertigo. Depression becomes apparent.
September and October 2008- problems with blurred vision. Visits to neuropthamologist and eye doctor. Problems with right side visual field test noted by Dr. Gardner
November 11, 2008- follow up with Dr. Sylman and decision for new MRI
12/05/08- MRI results. Lesions still present but shrunken
1/10/09- Got care management set up with MS Society for help with counseling, career counseling, employment concerns…
4/16/09- steroids prescribed for 3rd exacerbation
4/17/09- day off from work due to vertigo and exacerbation
6/07/09- start to feel “off”. Problems with Asthma and inflammation of body. Very nauseated and achy.
June 2009- problems with heat sickness begin. Numbness in extremities. Nausea worsened by heat. Joint pain increased by damp and rain as well as asthma exacerbated.
June 2009- Daily headaches and nausea begin and continue into August
July 2009- MRI reveals 3 new lesions. Dr. Sylman recommends I choose and start on a DMD course
July 2009- New medication prescribed for headache and joint pain/inflammation
July 28, 2009- Choose to go on Copaxone starting in September
July 30, 2009- Met with HR regarding FMLA paperwork for intermittent leave during 2009-2010 school year
8/05/09- Prednisone prescribed for exacerbation
8/10/09- Ill at work due to overheating. Classroom air broken fix ordered
8/11/09- FMLA paperwork submitted to HR. Air broken again and new order for repair submitted.
8/12/09- Air broken and fixed again.
8/13/09- Air broken, overheated, puked and went to school clinic for care. Air fixed again.
8/14/09- Air broken again, oveheated. Air fixed again.

End Journal

While I feel sick right now, I am grateful for the great day I had today with my students. Other problems can keep but this is what matters and I am grateful for the chance to do what I do even if I feel ill.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I get to go to work

I get to go to work. I'm excited. Today is the first full day with all my students. I can't wait to meet the new ones and to do the projects I have planned. I think it is going to be very fun.

Yesterday was awesome. We had freshman orientation and I got to meet all my freshman and to do some activities with the art's academy students. They are neat kids. I'm inspired in my own art just by coming into contact with this group of students and teachers.

Healthwise, yesterday was not so awesome though. The A/C in my room was broken when I got in. Then it also broke in the teacher workroom. Having just finished steroids and an exacerbation, it was hell for me. I threw up in the morning and had to go to the clinic for an hour. Luckily, I was able to use ice and cold water to cool me down. Once I cooled, I felt a little better but I was a bit rough all day. My colleagues were super-supportive and I didn't have to go home early. Now the air is fixed and I am hoping that today I will feel ok all day.

Today I am grateful that I get to go to work in my new school.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Up at 4 am

Ever since I took the steroids, I have been ready to crash at about 7 pm from the long days at work but I wake up in the middle of the night. I imagine this will pass soon but in the meantime, I'm just adjusting my schedule around this change of pace. Rather than working after school the last few days, I have been relaxing. Monday I went to yoga and then fell asleep on the couch at 8 pm. Yesterday, I was so tired when I came home, I just sprawled on the couch and read, had dinner, watched a movie and went to bed.

I am actually excited about work. There is stress but I'm feeling good about the new year and our new facility. I really like my "academy" and I am getting to know some people in new ways. Yesterday we did some team building with Outward Bound and I enjoyed it a lot. I was ready to have a bad attitude but instead I made some great connections and had a lot of fun. I have a good feeling about things...

On the health front, things are very touchy. My skin and body feel very sensitive after all the steroids and I bruise easily. All the congestion in my lungs seems to be coming up too. The heat has also been a problem and yesterday my classroom was boiling hot. There were several times where I could hardly see. My vision has become blurry and spotty whenever I overheat. I am also noticing that I can hardly stand the lights in the new building so I will probably teach with the lights off and the blinds open in my room to help my eyes. I am quickly remembering the physical rigors of my job but I think I will be supported by colleagues when I need breaks or assistance. I still need to talk to my boss but I am turning in FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) paperwork to HR today.

Despite feeling pretty rough, inside, I feel positive. I am enjoying the need to be creative with my teaching because there are still many uncertainties. For the first time in a long time, I am reinventing the wheel but I think it is a good thing. I was stagnating and now I am inspired again. Now, I'm off to work.

Today I am grateful for a burst of creative inspiration.

Monday, August 10, 2009

There's work to do but...

I decided to chill instead. Work is chaotic and things are a mess but I'm generally unfazed. At the end of the day, I walked away from it all and went to yoga. I didn't bring home any work to do either. Is this what balance looks like? I could get used to this:)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's a new dawn...

It's a new day
It's a new life
And I'm feeling fine (Nina Simone).

I am done with my steroids and my exacerbation seems a thing of the past. Looking back over the summer, I could have probably stood a round in June and then I wouldn't have dragged so much all summer. Right now, I feel great. I am full of energy and for the first time in a long time, I'm not in pain. My joints feel good, the fatigue is gone and so is the headache I have been dragging around most of the summer. I am hoping the energy from the steroids will last all week.

This change couldn't have come at a better time. I start work tomorrow. The steroids have gotten me up early three days in a row so I have been more productive than I was all summer. I already have the first few days of school planned and I'm ready to rock my interview for the instructional coach job tomorrow. Either way, I think I am finally prepared physically and mentally for the transition.

I imagine that after today, my presence on the blogosphere may fade out a bit for the next few busy weeks but I will swing by to read comments and hopefully to post a highlight or two.

Today I am grateful to be feeling like my old, energetic self again.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Photo shoot and Update

My eyes are so tired. I think that I might be done working for at least a few hours. I went in to work today for about six hours and now I am worn out. Thank goodness for the steroids, they are keeping me rolling. Most of my inflammation and joint ache is fading and my vision is slowly improving again. I have a busy weekend ahead but I plan to take plenty of breaks since Monday is my official back to work day.

My time at work today was very productive. I found most of my stuff and starting putting my classroom together. I also had a positive meeting with my new boss. He invited me to come in on Monday to interview for the instructional coach position I have been seeking. I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Yesterday was pretty cool too. I got to participate in a photo shoot with the National MS Society for their next walk. It was actually a lot of work so now I know that modeling is a hard job. Anyway, I think I will be in one or two pictures on the national literature for next year's walk so look for my face. Once I get copies of the photos, I will post them.

This weekend I am going to teach yoga, go to Nia, attend a "Mother Blessing" and do a little prep work for next week. It's a darn good thing that I still have one day of steroids to give me a boost (LOL). Despite the chaos, I think things are looking up.

Today I am grateful for the surprising opportunities that have come my way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Exacerbation and Steroids

I will keep this brief-- I am exhausted. After almost two weeks of kidding myself that just rest would make me better, I finally admitted to myself that I was having an exacerbation. I woke up from a dead sleep at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning and everything was spinning. I could hardly see or walk. I was filled with panic. Had I waited longer than I should to start some steroids? I finally took some Klonopin and it calmed me down and diminished some of my dizziness so I could sleep again. Before I drifted off, my nerves gave me strange signals. Sometimes my arms felt burning hot, sometimes numb. I promised myself that when I got up, even if I felt better, I would call my neurologist.

I called him yesterday and they had me come in for a urine analysis to check for UTI before they would give me steroids. Today they finally gave me a prescription for Prednisone. I have to take 500 miligrams for four days but then I am done. I realize I could have asked for the IV but I did not want to be tied down (literally) so I took the Prednisone. I was not happy to resign myself to this treatment, knowing that it makes me sleepless and crazy but I also realize I start work on Monday and I can't wait for rest to do its work.

I knew on Monday that I was in trouble. I have felt achy and ill since I came back from California. I have been dizzy and nauseous a lot of the time and my vison has been blurred. Over the weekend, I got so dizzy that at times I walked crookedly and standing up made me want to hurl. Monday was different though. I still was dizzy and periodically numb in my arms, hands and feet but emotionally, I was a mess. I think that was the true indicator that I needed help. I had things on my mind but I was far more upset that the situation warranted. I cried most of the day. I really was not surprised when I woke up to severe vertigo and blurred vision. My emotions had already warned me that an exacerbation had already begun.

I imagine the good news is that I will start work feeling full of energy. Since the dose is only for a short time, I hope to experience a minimal crash once I finish the drugs. I am also hoping this will hold my symptoms in check until I can start my Copaxone. I am glad that my doctor spared me a lecture about how I should have already started my DMD. This exacerbation reminds me why the Copaxone is probably important for me at this stage.

Today I am grateful that I can still drive and live my life through all the inconvenience of my current situation. I am also grateful for the love of my husband and my pets who have been so supportive lately.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Outstanding Bloggery Award


In honor of friendship day Lisa passed this along to me today. Thanks so much Lisa!

I in turn would like to extend this award to two new bloggers who have caught my eye. I therefore will pass this award along to Mike of This is my Life and all that Goes with it and to Stephanie of 20 with a side dish of MS.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Destiny

Is there such thing as destiny? Is it possible that things happen the way they are "meant to?"

I often find myself saying, "Things will happen the way they are meant to." What do I really mean by that? I realize that for me there is fallacy in this statement. To assume that things happen the way they are meant to supposses that there is some greater, intelligent force controlling the universe and the things that happen to each individual. What I realize is that to believe things happen the way they are meant to, we must also believe in something like God. So for me, here lies the fallacy in my original statement. I must believe in a God to believe that things happen according to destiny but I don't even believe in this type of God so how can I even make this statement?

I believe in the divine within. I believe that I am not the biggest, most important thing in the universe but I still fail to believe that there is some other entity pulling my strings. So why do I even say that things will turn out as they are meant to? I guess it must just be human nature to seek an explanation for the things that happen to us. "It was meant to be" is an easier explanation than accepting the idea that things happen at random or that we are personally responsible for the things that happen to us. Interesting stuff...

While I discount the idea that things happen the way they are meant to, I find that in some cases, things in my life often seem to work out for the best in the long run. For example, last year I really wanted to get the job of coordinator for the arts academy at my school but I didn't. At first, I was bummed out but later as I watched the job unfold,I became very relieved that I was not in charge of that position. Another example for me has unfolded at the yoga studio where I work. Somehow it just "feels right" for me to work there. Each opportunity I have encountered there has worked out better then I planned. First, I got to sub there without even asking if I could. Then, I got hired. Later, the owner of the studio offered me space for my kids yoga without me asking. Today, I took over teaching the yoga class I have been wanting to teach since I started working there and again I did not solicit this change. At yoga, things keep falling into place. In my quest for a new job, nothing has panned out. If things were truly meant to be, there would perhaps be a giant message in this. Yoga is calling to me. Public education is losing its charm. The logical message, yoga is for me, public school is not. All this stated, I must stay the course with work until another opportunity presents itself (forgive my use of the phrase, "stay the course" LOL).

It sometimes comforts me to say that things will happen as they are meant to even if I don't really believe it. I guess we do what we can to rationalize quirks in our existence.

What are your thoughts on destiny?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More time off...

A lot has happened since the last time I posted and I planned a long update but today I just don't seem to have it in me so I'll just document the highlights.

Yesterday I went to work on a fact finding mission but the only thing I learned is that not even the bosses know what's going on. I still have no final schedule and no students enrolled in my courses. I did track down my stuff and saw my new office but no one is allowed to check out keys yet anyway. I spoke to one of the assistant principals for about two minutes and he assured me that by August 10th I would have a schedule. He basically told me to go home and enjoy the rest of my vacation. This is a bad sign about what awaits me when work officially starts but you don't have to tell me twice to chill.

I also spoke to the head of HR and she was very helpful. She gave me FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) paperwork that will allow me to take intermitten leave as needed for my health. She will also inform my boss for me. That is a relief.

I used the time I would have worked to take care of some health stuff. I got a new prescription for a stronger painkiller than the over-the-counter stuff I have been using for headaches and joint pain. I took some this morning but my body still hurts. I think it's from the cold and damp. Whatever the cause, my hands, wrists and knees are stiff and sore so I don't feel like doing much.

I talked to the injection nurse at Kaiser and she told me how to get set up with the Copaxone. She said it would only cost me about $30.00 or $40.00 a month out of pocket. I can just start in September when I am ready. I am glad that my cost won't be too bad.

I also went to my acupuncturist for the IgG and IgA blood tests and we should have the results from those tests and the genetic tests in a few weeks. At that point, we can see if there is anything I can do with diet to control some of my symptoms. If there is not, at least I will know I tried everything.

Today I am grateful for more time off to relax.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No rest for the wicked

My trip was great so I didn't wallow until I got home. I'm proud to say that I only spent one day really feeling sorry for myself and doing little then after a really good cry, I decided to get on with my life. I figured, "There is no rest for the wicked" so I might as well get on with my life. I still am not feeling like my spirited self but two days in a row, I have forced myself out of bed and started doing the things I need to do before school starts.

Yesterday I read all your helpful comments on DMDs. I am leaning toward Copaxone so I read through their whole website and then called Shared Solutions to get my name into their system and to get the process rolling. I wasn't sure how things worked so now I know next steps for getting started with Copaxone or another DMD. I guess I just need to let my neurologist and my insurance know which I choose and then they will direct me from there. The Shared Solutions people were very nice and helpful. I actually talked to four different people and there was no wait time. Now that's good service...

I discussed the whole MRI/DMD situation with my mom and I told her I had already done just about everything holistic that I could think of. The only thing I have not done is genetic testing for allergies to gluten, dairy and soy. My mom just learned she is intolerant to gluten. We both decided that my next step before starting on a med was to get the genetic testing done. I talked to my acupuncturist and he helped me order the tests. I am also going to his office to get an "IGA and IGG" test done that we can send in. Once the data comes in, we can look at the tests together and see if there are other things I can do with diet to help control my disease. All this said, I don't think gluten intolerance causes lesions so I am still getting myself prepared for a DMD.

I start work on August 10th and I'm gearing up for that as well. I am anticipating a bit of a stressful start so I'm going in tomorrow to at least see what to expect for this upcoming year. Yesterday, the ESL coach position in my school opened up so I applied but I really won't know if that is my future for a little while so in the meantime, I want to be proactive in my current role. I have realized that without a coach, this may be tough so even if I don't get the job itself, I will essentially have to do that work until someone is hired. My fingers are crossed that since I know the work, I will be the logical choice for the job. Either way, I don't think I will start the meds until sometime in September. There is part of me that wants to skip it but as just about everyone has pointed out, "You don't want to wait ten years and wonder if there is more you could have done to prevent deterioration." I am still scared about both the injections and the side-effects but I'm coming to terms with my fear.

Today I am grateful to have a plan of attack for my future.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vacation, MRI and DMDs

This post has a little good, bad and ugly...

I will start with the good. I had a great vacation in California. The weather was lovely and the beach was awesome. I got plenty of sun but not too much. I also never got too hot.

We had a great time with my husband's family. We got to meet and hang out with our new baby niece for the first time. She is one of the cutest, sweetest babies I have ever seen and I have known a lot of babies. The whole famiy spent a good deal of the time just watching her. She was a great source of entertainment. This week's joke: "How many adults does it take to care for one baby?" We found it took at least four or five. Our time with her was really special. I may post a few pictures in the next few days.

Vacation was extremely relaxing and enjoyable. That was a good thing because now I will get into the bad...

I got the results from my MRI and I have three new lesions. My neurologist is suggesting that I go on a DMD. He wants me to choose between Copaxone, Rebif and Avonex.

While the results of my MRI were not surprising, considering this summer's symptoms, I am bummed. I have long been hoping that my diagnosis might miraculously change. I was also hoping my lesions would shrink or at least stay the same. My neurologist told me not to worry too much about the fact that I now have five lesions because MRIs can vary a lot from one time to the next but he did say that these results indicate that my lesions are active. My initial diagnosis was benign MS but alas, that is out the window now. I am sad to know my MS is progressing because I have worked so hard to treat my disease without meds. I eat healthy and get plenty of excercise. I still have full physical function and I work full time. I am afraid that going on a DMD is going to further complicate my life and make it harder to keep up with my rigorous full time job. I am now giving careful consideration to how I should proceed from here. I am hoping the MS community will sound off on the questions I have posted below.

Here are my questions.
1) Why did you choose to go on DMDs if you are on one?
2) Which DMDs have you been on?
3) What were the side effects with each drug you tried?
4) How much did the drug/s cost?
5) Based on your experience, which drug would you recommend and why?

Thanks so much for your help. This is a hard decision for me and frankly, not one I ever planned to make. I know, denial is not a river in Egypt :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

California here I come

I'm heading out first thing tomorrow for a short trip to northern California to see some of my husband's family. It should be a nice break (not that I have not been having one). I'm not sure that I will be near the computer but I will be sure to create a post about the highlights when I get back.

I hear the weather is cool where we are going so that will be a nice respite. We get to see my husband's new, baby niece for the first time while we are there. I am looking forward to a nice, relaxing trip.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Very brief update

I have finally cooled down a little. It seems like the weather today is cooler too so I'm sure that helps. I have been drinking water by the gallon and I think that is helping too.

I woke up feeling really sore this morning and I am actually wondering if drinking so much water has been akin to a cleanse or a detox. If so, that is probably a good thing.

I chilled out indoors all day yesterday and just read blogs and novels. I napped a little and then at night, I ate a huge salad and rented the movie "Push." I thought it was ok. I always like Dakota Fanning so that was a bonus. The back of the DVD intrigued me because the characters in the movie all had different telepathic powers and I am fascinated by that idea. Overall, I would give the movie about a B- but I was entertained.

I got a lot of sleep although I am still having crazy dreams. Once I got going, I headed out to try Nia again. I thought it was a nice class and I enjoyed all the dancing. I think my favorite part was when we just got to free-dance. The class was also a good workout and I was sweaty at the end. This time it did not make me feel sick. The room was nice and cool, we warmed up and cooled down and I drank a lot of water. I think it was good for me to get my heart going.

Today I am grateful to find my body at a comfortable temperature again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Coping

Over the last few months I have been keeping the overall tone of this blog pretty positive but I guess everyone has to unload sometimes...

The last few days I have been finding an urge to write angsty poetry. It seems there are things on my mind. The biggest thing has been poor sleep. I keep having nightmares and restless sleep. Last night, my nightmare woke me up but I couldn't even remember it. I felt really sick too. I was sore, nauseaous and dizzy but the worst part was that I felt parched. Even my skin felt hot and dry. I drank a ton of water but I couldn't get the sand paper feeling out of my mouth. When I got up today, it was still there.

When I helped to set up therapeutic yoga, I was roasting hot. During class, I had to get up three times to drink glasses of cold water. After class, I went out to lunch with the group at a Thai restaurant. I finally found relief in the air conditioning. I drank a Thai iced tea and ate a cool salad and I started to feel a bit better. Right now, I am sitting in my cool living room drinking ice water. I'm tired but I feel so much better.

I guess no matter how well a person adjusts to having MS, there are still bad days. I have had a few lately. It is still a struggle not knowing from one day to the next how I will feel. The headaches and nausea seem to come frequently. I suspect the heat that has made me irritable and sleepless at times. Yesterday I found myself in tears about the MS for the first time in a long time. First, I cried in the afternoon after trying to puke before I had to go teach yoga. I couldn't even get the relief of vomiting because nothing came up but I felt hot and horrible. I was so frustrated and when I first got to the studio, I still felt warm and dizzy. Then, last night when I woke up feeling awful, I cried again. I almost never cry from the physical discomfort anymore, I get upset about needing to go on with my plans when I feel lousy. I also get upset when I can't do what I want to do.

Last night, I got upset worrying about what I would do if I got really sick while my husband and my dog are camping. I can't call him, not that it even matters. I have family in abundance nearby. What I did remember is that I usually keep my phone and my insurance card downstairs when I sleep. I realized that if I woke up ill and couldn't handle the stairs, I would have serious problems. This is actually very far-fetched. Even at my sickest, I have handled the stairs on my bottom. I realize there is no real problem here but the idea freaked me out when I was feeling sick. The good thing is, I rarely entertain this sort of "what if" anymore. Today I know I will be fine but I will go to bed with the phone by me for reassurance.

On a more positive note, I am coming around a bit on the facebook thing. Lately I have been able to find a whole bunch of relatives I never even knew about. One of my relatives even has a genealogy page where I was able to learn more about the family history. As I find relatives, I have been making new "friends" and many of them have been adding new pieces to the family puzzle. I have been keeping some notes as I try to sort it all out. I love research projects :)

I am looking forward to a few more weeks off before I have to really start work. Next week my husband and I are going to visit his family in California. We are going to the beach and I am very excited. I think it will be cooler there and that may help me feel better.

Today I am grateful for the life I have and the people who make it richer.