Onward and Upward

As you know, I have had a pretty craptastic year. (See previous posts) So I am ready for something new! Something exciting! Something fantastic! How can I be so happy? So upbeat? Frankly, I don’t f-in know.

Someone asked me that not too long ago, “How come you are so happy? You have had the year from hell, more than most people have in a lifetime and now you’ve been dealing with your back for 6 months (2 herniated discs, one bulging), how can you maintain this outlook?”

I answered her with this, “I don’t fu@king know. I just keep plodding along, doing what my heart tells me. I guess it’s not in me to sit around and mope. I just am not that type of person. I believe we have choices: we can choose to give up or we can choose to go on. There was just something on TV where some guy said it was proven that a positive outlook cannot help or change things. I think he’s full of shit. A positive outlook might not cure my MS, or my back, but it was as sure as shit keep me from playing in traffic. If I can’t push myself to keep going, what have I got? I find things to do that don’t involve hurting my back. I can’t ride, but I go and groom my horse, or I paint, do yoga, knit . . . until I am back on track, I have to find other things that i enjoy. And I think that’s the secret: don’t sit around, pissed at what you can’t do. Enjoy what you can. So that’s my secret!”

Then we poured more wine and had a laugh at ourselves, and at life.What we have is a gift: good friends, family, and the future.

The future of health care?

Aside

Today the visiting nurse came to do day 2 of my IV (love having her come to the house). We got talking about the state of health care and how quickly it is growing. She was telling me how her organization, Lifetime Care, is taking over a lot of smaller organizations from the outlying areas. The problem is they now need more nurses and there is no money in the budget for it. And since there are so many people on Medicaid, they basically get free health care.

I know what we pay and due to the meds I have to have and the number of doctor’s appointments I have, we pay a very high premium. How many people stop to think about those who are taking care of us? She told me what she makes a year and it made me sad. She makes a fraction of what she should and she has been a nurse for many years. I look at some of the jobs out there that are run by unions and the government and people are making way more than they should and driving our country farther down the tubes than it already is. I just had to share this because it made me sick.

Yoga and its benefits

I mentioned in my earlier post about gentle yoga. I can’t tell you how much this has been helping my very painful back. But after doing research, I learned that I really needed a teacher who understand anatomy and how the body works. Rick Lynch at Finger Lakes Yoga is that teacher. He understands exactly what I’m going through, how I got there and how to help it. There are many yoga instructors who might understand the art of the practice, but don’t know our bodies and how they are put together. So do your homework and even go and watch a class. I can’t say enough about how important it is – the last thing I wanted to do was create more problems and this class has been stretching and working those muscles that have been needing help.

Oh, and this book is awesome too! It’s not all yoga but great stretches – many of which I was doing in Physical Therapy.

The end of an era

Today was my last appointment with my long-time doctor who treats my MS. 17 years of appointments, tears, hopes, all gone in a single appointment – it was a 4+ hour appointment, but still. I left on a bittersweet note – went over results of MRI scans, saw some progress, some plaques that didn’t change, so I guess good and bad. But I’m on to a new doctor with more questions and unknowns than I have ever had.

I guess maybe this is a good lesson for all of us. Is it good to become so dependent on one doctor? Is it better to maybe see 2? And of course, what impact does the insurance have on all of that? Our hands are usually tied when it comes to our medical choices.

I have appointments with 3 new doctors in May. I’m going to take my time and test the waters. Hopefully I’ll like one of them . . . I would be curious to know what people have gone thru in the search for finding a specialist. It’s not quite as easy as it seems. I have asked around, looked online, sent out feelers . . . but I am learning it is subjective to peoples’ opinions, and many seem to accept just what they are told. I guess I have been dealing with this illness for so long that I am done just listening. Now is the time to be proactive and more involved in my treatment.

Do doctors become complacent after they have been treating the same disease for decades? Or seeing the same patient for years? I’m not saying that I’ve experienced this, but it is something to consider.