Thursday, July 31, 2008
I am a firm believer in EDUCATION...It was a blessing to have all my daughters go to college on scholarships. The advantage searching for scholarships are:
1. You do not have to spend all your money or take out parent loans.
2. Your child will not be thousands and thousands of dollars in debt when they graduate college.
I use to have a website called "DID U KNOW" that listed hundreds of scholarships, but since my children graduated college, I no longer maintain that website. I try to let you MS'ers with college bound children or MS'ers who are seeking to go to college for the first time know about the National MS Society Scholarship in advance.
The Society established its scholarship program in 2003 and the program continues to grow in terms of both support and scholarships awarded. In its first year of operation, the program awarded 36 scholarships for a total of $68,000; in 2008, a total of $1.14 million was awarded to 518 scholars.
2009 Scholarships — Scholarship applications for 2009 awards will be available October 1, 2008. Applications may be submitted from October 15, 2008 through January 15, 2009 and scholars receive notice in May 2009.
The application form will be available on this site in October. It will remain posted until the closing date (Jan. 15). National MS Society chapters will also have applications. Contact your chapter by calling 1-800-344-4867.
CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Daughter: “Mom are you okay.”
Me: “Yes, I am okay why you ask.”
Daughter: “You do not look well and you are walking funny.”
Me: “To be honest, I feel as if I am split in half.” “I have been trying to ignore I am having problems with my right leg, but now the entire right side of my body feels different from my left.”
My daughter looks at me very hard then she says, “You know the right side of your face does look weaker than the left.” I gasp, “You are kidding me” with a straight face she said, “No I am not, that is why I asked if you are okay because you looked off to me today and you are moving around the house like you are okay, but I can tell you are not. Sit down and tell me what needs to be done, I will take care of it.”
A relief came over me because I could now tell my family how I have been feeling since we been home from Texas. I been going acting like all is well, but deep down I knew my body was going through changes. I came home from Texas anxious to get back to blogging and visiting my virtual MS blogging buddies site and my other favorite non MS blog sites that I push what was going on with my body out of my mind.
When I was in Texas during the first two weeks in July, I blamed Texas HEAT and HUMIDITY on the new affliction my body was experiencing. Not only did I have to deal with a summer cold that flared my MS, I quietly suffered with a debilitating pain that hit me in on my right side. When I would step on my right leg, a lightening bolt pain would hit me directly in the small of my back on the right side and forcibly radiate down my right leg that knocked me off balance. I could not walk, I tried to take a step again and the same thing happened. Instead of alarming my family I tearfully went to bed and prayed to God, “Please do not let MS rob me of my mobility NOW, not NOW with all that is going on with “E” he would not be able to handle this NOW. I am aware of what MS can take from me, but this is not the time. Please take what is afflicting my body right now away and while you are at it take this cold with you.”
I could not reveal what was happening to me because my family was grieving the lost of Moma Nora. I was able to hide what was happening because everyone already knew I was feeling bad from my summer cold. Fortunately, my prayer was answered the temporary lost of the use of my right leg was brief. I was happy to leave the Texas HEAT and HUMIDTY behind, but a heat wave was waiting for me when we returned to Tennessee. My summer cold and MS flare was better when I returned home and I did not experience that new affliction I experienced in Texas. I thought to myself, “It must have been the heat that caused the right side of my body to do what it did in Texas.”
Sadly, that was not the case. I cannot get angry that the new affliction my body was feeling returned because at the end of the day my prayer was answered God took it away while I was in Texas. I tried to go about my day by ignoring how painful and weak the right side of my body felt. I literally felt like two people and I still feel that way as I type this blog post. The left side of my body feels normal, I cannot say the same for my right side...imagine this:
On the right side of my body I have a headache, my eye feels lazy, my arm have a lightning bolt pain striking me above my elbow, and my back have radiating pain shooting through it. My hip has a standing sharp pain in the joint that connects my hip and leg bone, and to make matters worse, my leg feels numb as if it is being weighed down by a ton of bricks.
I start feeling this way on the third day upon my returned from Texas, I thought if I was still wearing the Fentanyl patch I probably would not be feeling none of this. That is what I LOVED about the Fentanyl patch, I did not felt ANYTHING, and I was PAIN FREE. I have been tempted to call my doctor for a prescription, but instead I have been taking Lortab 10mg to get some relief from the pain when I could no longer tolerate it.
If the networks ever have a game show on who could tolerate pain the longest before taking something for it I would probably win.
I went to see my neurologist yesterday and I am scheduled to have a MRI Tuesday of my C-Spine and T-Spine to check and see if I developed lesions on the spine. I am optimistic that my MRI will be negative and I am mentally prepared to accept the worse case scenario.
I am holding on to the belief it is the HEAT that is causing my body to temporarily split in half and the two sides will unite in harmony once this heat wave is over.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
While I was in Texas, for the first time in years I came down with a bad summer cold the second day I arrived in Texas. The last thing I needed was to be sick when my husband needed me during the sad event as to why we were in Texas.
By my fourth day in Texas, the cold was flaring my MS, but I came prepared in case my MS flared. My neurologist prescribed me a Medrol -Dospak if I start to experience an exacerbation. The steroids kept my exacerbation symptoms in check, but the summer cold was getting worse. So, I called my primary care doctor and explained my symptoms. She prescribed an antibiotic and Bidex for my cough and congestion. I gave the number to the closest pharmacy, which was CVS Pharmacy.
When my husband and I arrived to the pharmacy, the pharmacist tech with a strange look on her face told me, “we had your antibiotic, but we only had one-day supply of your other prescription. To get you started we have given you the one day supply and will have the rest tomorrow.” My reply was, “Okay” because I did not see a problem with that and the way I was feeling I wanted to get started on taking something so, I could feel better.
As my husband and I drove off, he suggests I get started on my medication. Before I take anything I look at what I have, when I open the bottle for Bidex, I was in for a shock. I immediately knew it was not Bidex because Bidex is a white tablet and what I had were capsules. I read the bottle and the bottle said Videx, I thought to myself maybe Bidex comes in a capsule also because the spelling was off by one letter. As I read the medication pamphlet, I was flabbergasted the pharmacy had given me THE WRONG MEDICATION.
We immediately turned the car around and went back to CVS, as we were driving back, I was on the phone to my primary care doctor. She was pissed when I told her what they had given me. Once I made it back into the pharmacy to address their ERROR my doctor had already called them back. I know mistakes can happen, to NOT acknowledge your mistake as your fault is UNACCEPTABLE.
That is exactly what the employees in the pharmacy department at CVS did. First, the pharmacist did not come and talk to me about HIS error because no matter what happens in a pharmacy department the blame falls on the pharmacist. The pharmacist tech that checked me out tried to blame my doctor for their error, she said, “If your doctor’s office had spelled it out this would not have happened”. I looked at her as if she had lost her freaking mind and before I knew it, I went off. I said, “You have some freaking nerves to blame my doctor’s office for your mistake. By me not being a regular customer and the prescription was coming from a doctor in another state. It WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to verify if they said Bidex or Videx, especially since the TWO DRUGS HAVE EXTREME DIFFERENT MEDICAL PURPOSES. Had I taken the capsule you given me the circumstances would be DIFFERENT! Hell, now I understand the crazy ass look you gave me when you told me you had only one-day supply, you thought I had HIV!”
I called CVS headquarters the next day to file an official complaint and my doctor did not prescribe me anything after that grave error, she instructed me to take Mucinex and Delsym since I also had some antibiotics. My cold is gone and my cough is getting better now that I have some Tussionex, which is the only thing that rid me of a bad cough.
I personally will NEVER use a CVS Pharmacy agian. If they could be that careless with a prescription called into their store for a first time customer from a different state. I hate to think how careless they are with their regular customers.
ALWAYS check your meds carefully before consuming.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
One day I decided to quit... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality...
I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
'God', I asked,
'Can you give me one good reason not to quit?' His answer surprised me...
'Look around', He said. 'Do you see the fern and the bamboo?'
'Yes', I replied.
'When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor.
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.
'In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.' He said.
'Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots.
Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.'
He asked me.
'Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling…
you have actually been growing roots'.
'I would not quit on the bamboo.
I will never quit on you.'
'Don't compare yourself to others.'
'The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet they both make the forest beautiful.'
'Your time will come', God said to me.
'You will rise high' 'How high should I rise?'
'How high will the bamboo rise?' He asked in return.
'As high as it can?' I questioned.
'Yes.' He said, 'Give me glory by rising as high as you can.'
I left the forest and brought back this story.
I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.
Never, Never, Never Give up!
† † † † † Author Unknown
One day a friend hopped in a taxi and took off for the airport. My friend and
the taxi driver were going down the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped
out of a parking space right in front of them.
The taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by
just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started
yelling at us. The taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he
was really friendly.
So my friend asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car
and sent us to the hospital!"
This is when the taxi driver taught my friend what is now called, "The Law of
the Garbage Truck."
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of
garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As
their garbage pile s up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump
it on you.
Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't
take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over
their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
"Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't." Life is ten
percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it
Friday, July 18, 2008
MS’ers , non MS’ers, and readers who commented and emailed me expressing concern in reference to my unfinished post June 17…THANK YOU for caring about my well being.
When it rains it pours, I had been through a storm when I decided to stop taking
The Duragesic (Fentanyl transdermal system) patch is a powerful opioid pain medication for moderate to severe chronic pain. Duragesic is also a DEA Schedule II narcotic and prescriptions require a DEA Order Form. Fentanyl has an analgesic potency of about 80 times that of morphine, it is generally prescribed for long-lasting relief from intense, persistent, and chronic pain when pain needs to be controlled 24/7.
I have been suffering with chronic pain since 1987 and I probably taken every prescription pain medication known to man. In the beginning of living with pain, Tylenol and Ibuprofen worked for years. When my body became immune to the 3000mg a day of Tylenol and 3200 mg a day of Ibuprofen, I was prescribed Percocets, Darvocets, Lortab, Vicodin, Ultram. Hell, you name a pain medication I more than likely have taken it. Unfortunately, I could not function taking the prescribed pain medication, I also did not want to become addicted. However, I need something to control my pain to have a life. My neurologist finally suggest that I take Fentanyl because it was a patch that would release medication in my system 24/7.
When I first put on a Fentanyl patch the dosage was too strong, but once the dosage was decrease I was euphoric. Fentanyl had me feeling GOOD, I had absolutely no pain. I was able to function...I had a life. Over time, I start noticing my heart skipping beats and my breathing becoming very shallow as I slept and I know it was God's grace that woke me from my sleep each time it happened. I also noticed that my mood was becoming erratic. Yet, I refused to believe Fentanyl was the cause of my dark depression, heart palpitation, and breathing issues.
As in the past with other medication, my new best friend Fentanyl turned on me. I did not want to believe Fentanyl was causing the dark depressing that was creeping inside of me in April. I blamed it on multiple sclerosis; because MS’ers experience depression now and then, but deep down I knew it was not MS depression. Once that dark depression manifested, I knew I had to make a decision to continue or discontinue wearing the Fentanyl patch, I began fearing I could die in my sleep wearing the Fentanyl patch or do something crazy. I finally made that decision to stop taking Fentanyl and what a ride it was. I had no idea I should have weaned myself off of Fentanyl instead of abruptly stopping.
By the grace of God I made it through. I experienced severe nausea, the feeling of creepy crawling bugs over my body, goose flesh/bumps, and severe chills for four straight days. By the fifth day, I called called to have myself committed into a hospital for drug addiction withdrawal once I realized that was my problem. I was told there would be no need for me to come because I went through the worse of the withdrawal symptoms and I should start feeling better.
The nurse was right because i start feeling better, the symptoms subsided and I could tell I was on the road of recovery.
I know I did the right thing stopping the flow of morphine in my body.
We dread the thought of this day, but because of her age, he knew God would be calling her home one day in the near future. Regardless of how we try to prepare ourselves for the day, the lost, hurt, and pain is devastating. Every week he would call, every summer and Christmas break we would go visit. It has been two days prior to the dreaded phone call, he talked and laughed with Moma Nora, we were scheduled to leave July 11, for our annual visit.
Sadly, we received a call June 30 that Moma Nora suffered a massive stroke. We arrived in Texas July 1 and the prognosis was not good. She quietly took her last breath on Friday July 11, 2008. When the priest delivered her last rites I felt her become peaceful, the loud strangling sound of the death rattle that engulfed the room become softer. Peacefulness of acceptance entered the room and we all said our goodbyes.
Moma Nora was a devote Catholic with a beautiful spirit and a loving heart. She enriched this earth with sons’ women dream of having as husbands. I am blessed to be married to one of the fine men she nurtured into manhood. It saddens me to witness the hurt and pain I see in my husband beautiful hazel eyes. With a kiss on the forehead while I stroke her silky hair for the last time, I told her “I LOVE YOU, We will miss you, and I promise to take care of your son. Thank you for loving me as one of your daughters.”