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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


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.

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."

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

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


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?