Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You!

In case any of you out there are wondering where I disappeared to, I just wanted to write a quick note to let everyone know that I have been experiencing MAJOR computer problems!  My personal laptop took a vacation full of obstacles and danger...and picked up some viruses along the way.  Kind of like when you fly to Tahiti, a fellow passenger is sneezing and coughing from the row behind you, and the next day your head is so filled with phlegm you can't think straight.  Then the airlines lose your luggage, and you spend a week on the beaches of Tahiti blowing your nose, and wearing the same outfit you flew in with...including the underwear.  Yeah--kind of like THAT.

Luckily my laptop is being fixed as we speak, the viruses are getting erased, and hopefully I will be up and running at my full potential within another week.  I have much to tell you, though will faithfully wait for the return of my computer before I share.  Right now I am typing this in my parent's office...and although they allow me plenty of access, it's just not the same!  My laptop is much more comfortable on my hands, and I can put on my favorite pair of monkey pajamas and type away.  (I'm not too sure my parents would appreciate the outfit!)

So I hope you will have patience with me, dear readers.  I promise to be back soon with more excitement...guaranteed to knock your socks off!  Well, okay--maybe you'll still have your socks on by the end of it, though I think at least it will make you smile! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome to the Family!

Introductions are now in order...we have a new addition to our family!  Yes, the fur continues to accumulate in my apartment, and despite my allergies I couldn't resist adding some more.  A little over a week ago I brought home a handsome, sweet one-year-old cat named Chili.  (As in chili pepper...and Mexican food...and margaritas!)  The name I have since learned, fits him to a tee...he is a beautiful deep orange and white cat, shy but playful, and loving once he gets to know you.  Five minutes in his presence and you can't help but think of happy things, like kicking back with a big margarita in hand!

Now, some people may think it's way too soon to bring a new cat into my life, so shortly after losing my darling Scout.  I struggled with that myself...and then my friend K pointed out to me that I'm not replacing her.  NOTHING could ever replace her...Scout was one of a kind.  I'm choosing to open my heart to another cat who needs a home, and allowing myself to love again.  And K was absolutely right!  Is there a risk?  Always.  Though as they say...a life without love is no life at all.  Do I feel any less sad about Scout's passing?  Not really, though I'm managing my emotions a little better.  I still run into those moments, however, that sneak up on me...like earlier today when I was washing out Shay and Chili's dishes.  As they are both boys, they tend to be messy and not 'clean their plates' all the way, so there are always scraps to wash out.  I was doing just that, and thought to myself how different they are from how Scout used to be--she would just about lick the flower pattern off the ceramic, she was so thorough!  And then I spent the next 10 minutes crying.  You see??  Even something as simple as cat food and messy dishes can bring on the tears!  And that's okay...tears are normal.  And I'd rather risk having a life full of them, if it lets these sweet, funny and furry little beings into my heart!

The other big reason I adopted Chili was as a friend for Shay.  He has been very lonely since Scout passed away, and really is such a nice, friendly boy...he needed a companion.  And though there were a few hisses and some tail-poofing at first, they have both acclimated well to the situation...and are now spending a good deal of their day doing what cats do best--ignoring each other!  And then all of a sudden they will have bursts of feline energy, and run pell-mell throughout the apartment chasing foam balls and batting them around.  Once in a while a paw comes up and it's a cat that gets batted...they are boys, after all.  Though I can safely say that there is no blood or fur flying, which makes me breathe a little easier.   Chili has definitely fit into our home nicely, though to be honest I haven't slept much since he joined us...his most productive playing/talking hours are from 2:30-3:00 a.m., again at 4:30 till whenever, and often around 6a.m.  And Chili is a TALKER!  His meow sounds a lot like "Hello?" and he says that word a lot.    Never fear dear readers...I have ordered some special ear plugs, and hope to be sleeping through the night--oh, sometime around next Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Growth and Change

I have to share a progress report of how my squash and pepper plants are doing, as I have managed to keep them alive and have become quite the proud gardener!  The pepper plant continues to flourish, and there are so many peppers on it the number is hard to count...right now, I'm just waiting for them to turn yellow so that I can pick them.  My yellow squash plant is flourishing as well, and I was actually able to pick my first squash.  As any proud parent of a bright yellow squash, I of course took photos before completely devouring it.  As you will see, it's about the size of a pencil.  Isn't it lovely?

Tasted good, too!  My thumb is turning greener by the minute, the old black mold has been washed away...and I have become a gardening Goddess!!!  Plants grow before me--larger and riper with sunlight and water...and the gentle loving touch of my gardening, Goddess--like fingertips!!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA A-HAHAHAHA!!!!!  haha...ahem...sorry.  Got a little excited there, for a minute!

As with plants, there is constant growth and change throughout life...some for the worse, and some for the better.  When it comes to my plants I have learned the signs that show me it's time to prune...by cutting off the dead leaves that take up space, or the huge green ones that suck up all the nutrients so that the smaller, weaker leaves can't get any.  Living with daily challenges also teaches you how to recognize these signs when it comes to yourself...you learn which activities are easy, which ones are hard but adaptable, and which activities you need to give up doing all together.  In other words, you learn how to prune your life (just as you prune your plants.)  That can really be hard!  No one enjoys giving up activities they like, and even the daily chores you may despise aren't always easy to give up (when you're being forced to because of inability to complete them.)  And if you aren't paying attention to these signs, often the little changes that can add up to so much get overlooked until one day the differences slap you in the face.  Having CMT can sometimes be like that, as tiny little changes can cause little 'problems' throughout the body that sometimes add up to HUGE changes in the future...that are even harder to deal with.

I recently attended our latest CMT support group meeting, which was a very informative one.  Dr. Micheal Shy, a Neurologist from Detroit and an expert on CMT came to speak with us.  Yes, I said that...an expert on CMT.  Can you believe it??  Thank you Lord...they do exist!!   Dr. Shy gave a very in depth presentation on the many types of CMT (I won't go into all of them right now as it can be confusing,) symptoms of each type, therapy that is helpful--and he also spoke of the current research that is being conducted by the CMTA STAR program.  We were able to watch videos of patients Dr. shy has worked with who display different types of CMT...many of the symptoms these videos presented were familiar.  I found myself nodding my head during some of these and thinking Oh, yeah...I have that.  Though other videos demonstrated the types of CMT that aren't so common, where the patient might walk normally and not display any outward symptoms...but then suffer sudden problems such as numbness throughout their entire arm for many days, because they changed a light bulb and held their hand up in the air for too long.  If I thought my life was difficult having to adapt to the way I do daily things, and live with the changes in my physical being that stick around...well, I can't even imagine having to adapt to sudden and severe symptoms that could show up at any time!  I'm sure you'd learn certain things you could and couldn't do...but there would always be those new issues that would suddenly arise.  It shocked me to see that, yet also taught me how lucky I have been.  I am not a person who is good with surprises...I'm a planner.  And if I couldn't have some plan on how to adapt to the changes in my life...well, that's just too scary to contemplate.  When those moments come up in my future causing me to give up another task I enjoy (and I'm sure there will be more of them,) I will be upset...I'm not going to pretend otherwise.  Though I hope after learning what else is out there that I WON'T have to deal with, those moments will run a little smoother.

At the end of our meeting I went up to shake hands with Dr. Shy, and told him he was the first neurologist I actually liked.  He laughed, and although he may have left there thinking I was strange, it had to be said.  I haven't had the best luck when it comes to dealing with people in that field of the medical community, so it was nice to have a different experience!  It gave me some new things to think about, and new information on CMT.  Having this disease doesn't give you the green light on CMT knowledge, even though you may rate high in personal experience.  It is good to have my eyes opened a little wider about what I'm facing, and possible changes for the better that may be in my future...and I'm waiting with my pruning sheers for whatever comes my way!