My New Normal

 

 

 

It all started back in April.  I woke up with my feet tingling as though they had fallen asleep and were trying to get the feeling back.  This lasted for two weeks straight so I thought I should get it checked out.  It was so weird and I was embarrassed to go to the doctor for just this.  Well the doctor couldn’t find anything unusual so he referred me to a neurologist.  I booked my appointment but had to wait two months, and in this time my symptoms changed.  My feet were fine but now my legs were tingling after I’d exercise.  So weird, I would be fine but after I would exercise or walk fast across the parking lot my legs would tingle so bad, like all my nerves were freakin out!

The neurologist put me through some tests in his office and everything seemed fine so he booked me for an MRI on my mid-spine to see if there was any inflammation and also ordered a bunch of blood tests.  Everything came back fine, he didn’t see any inflammation and the blood tests were normal, so the next step or ‘plan B’ was to look at my brain.  I went in for an MRI on my brain to see what’s going on there.  Well about two hours after my MRI I get a call from the neurologist to come in for a consult because they found some ‘abnormalities’ – duh,  I could have told him that!  Any way, at that point I already knew what it was.  I had been doing some research on my own about what might cause the tingling in my legs and I had found one person on a forum with the same exact symptoms I had and that’s when I knew.  So when I got the call I tried to remain calm but it’s a scary thing to think about and to wait for.

Thank god I have the best husband, he came with me for support and I was so glad he was there.  The doctor showed us the MRI, both of them, and said that the ‘expert’ did find inflammation on my spine and that was the cause of the tingling in my legs.  And then he showed us the ‘abnormalities’ on my brain, about 15 small white spots, or lesions, that is the indicator for MS.  So when he said the words, ‘you have MS’ it wasn’t that I was shocked it was just now I had a ‘label’ I had a disease, a condition, this is what I’m going to be known for, my life would never be the same, that is the part that is most disturbing.

I’ve always been healthy, I’m never sick, it just doesn’t make sense that I would get this.  But then again, this is a disease that makes no sense.  There is no known cause and no known cure.  I have to be my own doctor, plan my own course of treatment, because they just don’t know what to do for MS.  Sure there are drugs that I could take to help and there are diets that I can go on, but there is no definite in any of it.  All I can do is consult the internet and the specialists and come up with my own plan of treatment.

So for now I’m not taking any medication and I’m making some lifestyle changes.  I’ve given up coffee, dairy, gluten, red meat, sugar, alcohol, and legumes.  From everything I’ve read the dietary changes seem to offer the most positive results.  I’ve given up volunteering and trying to reduce stress as much as possible.  Trying to exercise more and getting more sleep.  The hardest thing of all is just trying to figure out what to eat and what to feed the family.  My sweet hubby is trying to eat the same diet as I am in support of my diagnosis.  I ask him ‘why, why would anyone volunteer to eat like this?’  It sucks!  Try going to Disneyland or eating at a restaurant when you can’t have anything on the menu.  But I’m committed to staying healthy and not letting this get the best of me.

I haven’t told too many people, it’s hard to call someone and say ‘guess what I have’ so I just don’t.  It’s not a secret but I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or assume that next year I’ll be in a wheelchair or that my future will be shortened or that I’ll end up disabled   No one knows what their future holds so I will just take this a day at a time and like I told the doctor, it is what it is.  So I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, although it’s hard not too, but being positive and being proactive, and having a great support team around me is what’s going to get me through this.  I just have to accept that I now have a new normal.

 

D

 

Sidney at Poway Park

 

Working on editing and posing with Sid.  She is so beautiful and fun to be around, it’s easy to get great photos.  I’m also working on updating my website and facebook page.  Baby steps for sure, but fun to keep learning and moving forward with photography.

 

 

This entry was posted in Seniors.

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is a trail that runs from the US Mexican border to the Canadian border.  It takes four to five months to hike, hiking anywhere from 15-25 miles a day and you have to pack everything you need.   This is what my son is doing right now.  On the trail somewhere with sore, blistered feet and happier than he’s ever been.

He’s been planning this for months, done tons of research on the right gear to have.  Everything has to be the lightest, and most durable.  He hiked in the winter and in the summer.  Hiked alone, hiked at night, hiked at night alone.  Challenged himself and scared me to death.  But it is his thing!  He loves the outdoors.  Loves hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, mountain biking, all kinds of outdoor sports.  So this just made sense for him.

 

 

He is an amazing, inspiring, beautiful soul, and it makes my heart stop when I think of him out on that trail alone.  There are times when I wish it were me out there, to have the courage to walk away from all my comforts, I might be a bit envious of the freedom to follow a dream like this.  There are times when I want to find him and walk with him to make sure he is ok  – no matter how old they are you still want to take care of them.  But knowing he is prepared and knowing that he is living his dream makes me proud.  What a great feeling to be inspired by the courage and strength of your child!

Although he is not child, he is a grown man and he’s out there having the adventure of a lifetime.  I see great things for him in his future.  But for right now I imagine that the only thing he’s thinking of is his next step, his next meal,  if he has enough water and how far away the next stop will be.

 

 

But to watch him walk away and start this adventure was just – tough.

D

Gone to Long

 

Wow, it has been waaayy toooo looong since I’ve posted.  I didn’t even recognized my own blog.  How sad.  My life has been a whirl wind of busy.  So many things have taken my time, some things replace other things and then you forget the things that you want and love to do.   I’ve loved being busy, well most of the time I’ve loved it.  Volunteering for the high school drama department has been fun, well most of the time.  Watching kids transform into these amazing characters on stage and set these characters to life is something that I never thought I would be involved in.   So I’ve surprised myself by volunteering and I’m glad I did.  But it kept me very busy.

My photography has been a little slow.  It’s not that I don’t want to take pictures all the time, but there are just times when I can’t or it isn’t the right time or some excuse.  I was able to take an amazing workshop held here in La Jolla, the Seniorologie Tour California  – what an awesome experience.   It was so informative and to be able to sit with the senior photographers that I admire most was just – beyond words.  Michelle Moore, WOW!  She is the pioneer of this industry, she has set the standard for the rest of us to look up to.

The workshop was at the beautiful La Valencia Hotel.   Talk about being completely intimidated to be at this workshop.  Everyone was a professional with years of experience and then there was me.  NOT a professional – yet.  But, after meeting everyone, no intimidation, everyone was so nice and helpful, it was one of the best things I could have done for myself.  Now I just need to start applying myself to the craft and make something happen!

 

D

 

 

Still Learning

 

I’m so lucky to have such a beautiful daughter.  She is a fantastic model and is sweet as well.  I keep thinking  I want to get into photography and specialize in Senior portraits but there is so much going on in my life and to make this happen seems impossible.  But, I will keep trying.  This blog is my on-line journal of photos so I can watch my progress and see if there is any progress being made.  I am not confident enough yet, or know enough yet, to start taking pictures of other seniors so I beg my daughter to let me take her picture.  We spent some time at a local park, it was fun and a great learning experience for me working with natural light and finding the right settings.  It’s funny how you think the pictures look great in the preview screen and then get them home and realize what you did wrong or what you needed to do differently.  But at least now I am starting to see what I need to do differently and what setting I need to change, I think that’s progress, right?

D