Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New York, New's a wonderful town! STILL!!

(Reposting this particular blog as I remember the fantastic time had in the most fascinating city on the planet!  I pray that everyone and everything is where they should be--safe, in NYC and in every town/city affected by Sandy.  To be elderly, disabled, alone, or young, and scared of such natural disasters is a horrible thought!  Much love and blessings and may everyone help one another through as we should.)

But it kicked my butt!!!

There was an instant realization that I could NEVER live in a large city again where everyone says, "It's just a 10 minute walk from here."

Not at the pace I walk, it isn't.  I found myself trying to stay in the right lane of walkers, the slow lane.  No one told me THERE ISN'T A SLOW LANE!  So I tried my best to stay out of the way of those with good healthy working legs, barely being trampled or shoved out of the way, and showing my 'touristness' by saying "excuse me" and "sorry". 

All in all, when you think of large cities like New York or Chicago, you think of getting around as rather easy.  I'm here to tell you that when you have any type of disability, it can be rough.  There is a lot of walking, climbing stairs, getting on, getting off, moving out of the way, quickening your steps crossing streets or catching buses or trains or elevators, bending, squeezing through, standing, waiting...Sheesh, I'm exhausted just thinking about it again. 

My challenge is coming up here.  There is a commercial ad on TV that has women wearing a bell bracelet while they move through their day.  I challenge everyone to actually pay attention to EVERY move you make, including getting yourself ready for the day, and to write it down.  You have my permission to skip the bracelet. That whole 10,000 steps in a day/pedometer requirement is a joke!  You do more than you realize if you live in a large city!  Kudos to you for getting through it!  And, some in high heels!!

Now, imagine that you have a disability or are elderly, that you maybe use a walker.  I hope it makes everyone feel a little more compassion and patience when you see someone moving a little slower than you. 

On the 'up' side, we did get in the main sites through that WONDERFUL HOHO bus (that's hop-on/hop-off), my daughter and I played Sex and the City in a nightclub, and we swayed around on top of the Empire State Building.  Therefore, it is more than worth the weeks of recovery I'll have to go through for it. 

I highly recommend Congee Village Restaurant in Chinatown.  It's off the main drag of people trying to sell you junk.  They actually take you to China through the most authentic food and atmosphere!

There are musicians at the Liberty and Ellis Islands ferry and amazing undiscovered talent in Battery Park!  So much to see and to do and to little time.

If you get to Times Square, on top of the Forever 21 store is a HUGE Jumbotron that you can see yourself on from across the street!  We had a blast with that!  I've always known I was destined for the big screen!  Although, I look quite small here.  I can't even tell which is ME.

Of course, my dear husband, who protected me and helped me SO much through the trip, mainly wanted pizza.  And BOY did he have everyday!  It made me happy because it was his birthday week and he got pretty much everything he wanted.

Bottom line is it's such a fun and exciting city that offers everything you could ever want on earth but I wouldn't want to live there. 

However, I have begun my Physical Therapy sessions.  When I regain my balance and strength in my legs, watch out Big Apple!  I'm gonna take you on again, the right way!

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Ended With a Whimper...2012?

Bumping my head on exercise equipment then being nipped by my neighbor's dog, a few falls, one friend entering Heaven, and one starting a fight for her life...the beginning of loss of sensation in 1 1/2 fingers and palm of my left hand is almost welcome.

Ironically, this is not a result of the Multiple Sclerosis but from a bulge in the area of my cervical spine that is causing nerve damage to the ulnar nerve that affects your pinky and half of your ring finger.  Just a little anatomy lesson for those who are not in the medical field. 

Having MS is, I believe, a lot like Life.  You wake up and you don't know what the day holds for you. 

It is a frustrating prospect only because you feel you have no control of your life.  In reality, we really do not, but refuse to admit to it, most of the time.  I've made my peace with not being the same "let's go-spontaneous-go 'til it's done-what do you MEAN you're tired!" multitasker.  It may sound crazy to some but the MS has been a blessing.  I'll explain.

I have this condition which has forced me to slow down, to reevaluate, to pay attention.  We go through life, generally, with the expectation that each day will be the same as the last and the same the next.  With that attitude, we are truly taking Life for granted.  When you don't know if you'll go blind in one eye or both, how long it will last, if it will end, IF your leg will work, IF it will stay that way, will you get to the point where your skin is so hypersensitive that no on can touch you, you look at the day a little differently.

You learn gradually, after making some peace with it, to be grateful for each day life is breathed into you and wakes you for a new one.  You take better care of yourself while you can.  You live out your dreams, while you can.  You take the chances you fear, because you still can.  Again....this is not unlike anyone's life, with or without MS.

So, yes, there was a time I could hold down 4 jobs at a time, raise a child, run 5ks, hike, earn belts in Kung Fu, and play 'real' tennis not on the WII.  Now, I make a list of tasks and consider it a good day if I get a few of the items completed before my battery needs recharging with a nap.  It's not a bad thing.  It's not a bad life.  And it, certainly, could be a lot worse.  I read it everyday on the forum and pray for those who suffer more than I do with MS and anything else out there.

You see?  Live the life you are given, whatever may be in it.  It's not a dress rehearsal.  This is it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


So...I made a detour at Baby-Girl's-Home-for-a-Week Drive hoping to find my way back here but ended up on Thanksgiving Boulevard.

Strangely, I've been down that road many times before, but forgot it leads to Christmas Island.  Silly me!  My GPS kept screaming, "RECALCULATING ROUTE!" so often I wanted to strangle that little lady. I gave in and made the hard right turn onto the New Year Bridge.  I think the official name is I-2012.

I'm praying there's no toll charge because I never have money on me. 

Anyway, here I am, back on the right path and should be at my destination...well, whenever I get there. I make no promises.

However, there is one matter I mean to attend to this year. It's not a resolution, in traditional terms, so don't be afraid to keep reading.

It involves a private 'discussion' with Father John earlier in 2011, or possibly late 2010!

He said, "When are you going to write that book?"

That's not a grammatical error. I wrote he SAID because it sounded more like a command than a question at the time.

"How did you know I wanted to write a book?",  I asked, dumbfounded.  I'd never mentioned it to anyone and never to him!

He grinned slyly.  "I know everything."

Looking back at 2011 and good people I know that didn't make it to 2012, plus one dear friend who is still fighting to make it here, I can't sleep thinking about just how much I've taken time for granted.  I've wasted a tremendous amount of time considering it is a gift given to us like everything else we have, like waking and breathing!

Anything we have said we want to do...we'd better get on it and do it, say it, live it, pray it.

Even if  "failure" is the result, at least, we can say we tried it. There's a certain dignity in that which we should embrace instead of the fear of starting.

As Liz Lemon said, "I want to go to there."  Wherever, there may be.