Something about which I wondered today...

Should I move my political views to a new blog? Check out MisLeading Wisconsin for the latest in Scott Walker's contradictions.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maybe an answer for the medical problem?

I went to see a neurologist from another medical group a couple days ago.  He listened carefully, took copious notes, and, from things he said, he obviously had studied my file previously.  After about 40 minutes or so, he asked if I had had a virus or been exposed to one back in Nov. 2009 when this numbness started.  Although I couldn't remember, the doctor said this could be a post-viral rection--essentially my smaller nerves were damaged as a result of the virus.  Although the nerves have likely healed, my body has retained a kind of nerve memory (like the body having muscle memory).  I'm taking an anti-depressant now to deaden the memory in my nerves (lucky me, I'm hitting, like, every single one of the side-effects: nausea, increased heart rate).  I've also been scheduled to get two more nerve tests to determine if this is, indeed, the problem.

The doctor said it may take several months of meds for results. 

And, even if it's not, at least it was an answer.

Or at least it was something to try.

Thank God.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

She will be remembered

Laura, our 30 year old niece, a wonderfully sweet and funny girl, a staunch battler of seven years against her stage 4 ovarian cancer, a woman of hope and faith in her Lord, passed away quietly on Sunday, with her mom, dad, and sisters beside her at hospice.  Her faith, her determination, and her spirit will live on as an inspiration to those who knew her, and even those who never had that pleasure (as in Laura's Smile Mile for ovarian cancer awareness).  We'll miss you, Laura.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saying goodbye to Laura

Our niece is in hospice care.  I guess, by definition, that means she won't be with us long.

Laura's only 30 years old.  She got her college degree, got married, and then a few weeks later, at age 23, she was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.  She's only 30 years old.  I write that again because I just can't believe it.  30 years old.  That's just too young to die.

I didn't have too much connection with Laura, to be honest.  I married into the family when Laura was 17--her life was filled with other things (as are all 17 year olds), so we didn't spend time bonding.  Whenever I saw her it was with the large-scale family, allowing for the litany of small-talk questions: How's school? How's work? and the like.

But she was always sweet.  And positive.  And smart.  And witty.  Just a lovely young lady.  She read at our wedding (she's Jodi's goddaughter).  She always included us in family invites later when she married. Did I mention she's just 30 years old?

She has fought this cancer with every treatment in the book (and some that aren't, I am sure).  Her faith has been incredibly strong, her outlook incredibly positive.  Her in-laws began a foundation and an annual walk/run to increase ovarian cancer awareness, and it's been a huge success.  They call it Laura's Smile Mile, well, because she brings smiles to so many people, and she smiles, and laughs, so much herself, even through seven years of fighting this.  Now she's 30.

When Jodi and I stopped in to see Laura at the hospice on Memorial Day, I stayed pretty much in the shadows, as I have always done, peripherally involved in stories told, nodding, sharing a smile.  When it came time to go, I touched Laura's arm--I've never hugged her or anything, except probably at her wedding, and now I couldn't because she looked so frail I feared she might break--and told her I loved her, and that I would always remember her reading at Jodi's and my wedding.

Since then, word's come from Laura's mother that Laura has accepted that her time is coming soon. We stopped in yesterday to say goodbye, I guess.  I sat in the periphery, as usual, but when it was time to go, Laura held out her arms for a hug, our cheeks pressed together, and she said "I love you."

She's only 30 years old.

That's just too young to die.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Medical update

For anyone who still checks this for info on my numbness, here it is:  The numbness and arm weakness that came a few days back seem to have intensified.  My calves are numb (which I don't recall them being before, as opposed to my whole legs), and it's possible my shoulder blades (whichever muscles that would be) are, too (they feel differently, but maybe it's just how I've been sitting around).  My right foot is virutally completely gone, figuratively, and my left foot is about 75% gone pertaining to feeling, although I can still perceive pressure when I walk (which I counldn't do with the last episode a couple months ago).  My neck even feels a bit lighter, so I don't know what that's all about.  And my right arm is joining my left arm a little bit in terms of strength loss.

I'm sure hoping this won't get worse before it gets better, but, even if so, I guess I have a baseline from the last episode and can assume that this is merely temporary.

Say a prayer.  Thanks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Neglect and numbness

I've certainly neglected this blog for my political blog MisLeading Wisconsin ( ).  And it's been very exciting, to be honest.  I've interviewed Sen. Erpenbach (one of the Wisconsin Democratic 14 that left the state to deny a quorum), I've gotten an e-mail from former Governor Jim Doyle saying he'd check out my site, and I've been in contact with national editorial cartoonists, obtaining their permission to run their cartoons on my "Laugh About It" page.  And I've gotten some comments from visitors (not a lot yet, though), and most importantly, I've gotten a chance to research and write about topics that are vital for this wonderful state's future.  If you can visit, please do.

I also said I'd use this as a health chronicle.  Even though the neurologist said that no news is good news, and all my tests say I'm healthy, I still have had the general numbess in my limbs.

Today, it's getting worse again.  My left arm feels like dead weight (especially the bicep area), and the tops of my feet and the back of my thighs have severely lost feeling.  It certainly feels like it did before the last episode that made the neurologist think MS (the MRI showed absolutely NO markers for it, thank goodness).  To be honest, I don't recall the backs of the thighs going out before, so I'll see how I'm doing tomorrow.

But, the good news is, if history is any predictor, the feeling will come back to where it was.  I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

And keep writing MisLeading Wisconsin, of course.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ah, Baseball

I love baseball.  It means summer, green grass, having a beverage out in the sun.  And the make-up of the game is perfect for warm, lazy summer evenings--you can tune in for an inning, come back later, and probably not have missed a thing.  And even if you did, every inning, every pitch really is classic drama: pitcher vs. batter, batter vs. fielder, fielder vs. runner.  Any pitch could be the one that turns the game.  And any player could be that day's hero, no matter how bad they are.

But the best thing about baseball is that you can be down to your last out and still come back to win the game.  I told my second graders that before the Brewers opener--just like life, you can be way down, and still come back.  It was actually (I thought) a pretty powerful and positive message.

And it proved true.  Cincinnati hit a three run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

Right message.

Wrong team.

Go, Brewers

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

A beautifully sunny (albeit chilly) day.  The birds are singing like crazy--it seems every year I wonder, were they this vocal last spring?  And the Brewers start on Thursday.  I'm taking more walks (because I can), and am really enjoying doing so.   My legs are still a bit out of control, and my shins (yes, my shins) are completely spent by walk's end, but I'm doing great (well, except for my NCAA bracket...).  HAPPY SPRING!  (and GO, BREWERS!)