Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life Songs

I have two little birds in a cage. They are simple society finchs. They live in a small flight cage. I try my best to meet their needs. Warmth, water, food, safety. In return they give me an amazing amount of joy.
They are simple creatures.  Their cage is set in the kitchen and during the day I uncover them and they can see a small portion of the  front yard. At times I can tell that they are looking out there and listening to the wild birds that check out the feeders I have set up for those.
One of the most remarkable things I am privileged to witness from these two is their willingness to sing their songs for me. They are both males and they both have a song. Each  song is specific to it's owner and is the only one they sing. DaFinchy's song, to my ears, seems a bit more melodic. Pearl's song, seems more monotone to me. DaFinchy is freer with his song. Pearl will defer to DaFinchy and will only sing when DaFinchy is not.
I don't know what this means in the animal kingdom. Though I do know what it means to me. Their songs are a gift. Each time I look into their cage they take notice of me. There has not been a time that this hasn't happened. If I tarry for even a moment DaFinchy sings his song for me. It is his gift and he is very free with it and  seldom withholds it.  If DaFinchy pauses after his song is sung, Pearl will sing his. Though he is not as free with his, he still gives it.
They serve as a reminder to me. They remind me of a little poem I have carried in my heart for many years. I do not know the author.

He's placed me in a tiny cage
away from gardens fair.
Yet I will sing the sweetest songs
for He has placed me there.
Not beat my wings against the cage
if it's my Makers will.
But, raise my voice to heaven's gate
and sing the louder still.

I long to be like Pearl and DaFinchy. To have but one life song. One that gives Glory to my Creator, my Lord, and my Savior. To raise my voice freely when ever some one looks in. To raise my voice to Heaven's Gate and sing the louder still.

Lifesong by Casting Crowns

Empty Hands held high
Such Small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my life song sing
Bring a smile to you

Let my life song sing to You
Let my life song sing to You
I want to sign your name
to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my life song sing to You

LORD, I give my life
A Living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my life song sing
Bring a smile to You


Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Let my life song sing to You (x3)

Chorus (x2)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

MS is MS

For myself and those who read this blog, I've tried to answer what ms is. It is a difficult disease to understand  to be sure.
From what I have read, MS is MS. It is all the same disease. There are just different stages.
I have RRMS. Relapsing-Remitting MS. It is characterized by occasional relapses, followed by periods of full or partial recovery. During these times the disease seems to be in remission. Though they call it remission, the disease is still resident just not visibly active.
One of the books I have states that 42 % of people with MS have this type.
This book* and others**,  list these stages.  Secondary-Progressive MS, Primary-Progress MS, and Progressive-Relapsing MS, Active MS, and Benign MS.
Even though MS can be classified in different stages by neurologists, everyone is different. We may have symptoms in common, but MS will be as individual as each of us.


Thanks for your comment. I am truly sorry for your  young friend's trouble. Your prayers for this young man's well being are precious. 

* "The First Year Multiple Sclerosis" by Margaret Blackstone 2007
relapse: A period when symptoms of MS that you've had in the past recur to an aggravated degree and for a longer period of time. Relapses are sometimes referred to as incidents, attack, or episodes.
remission: A period when symptoms lessen in severity or disappear altogether.
** "Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis" by Randall T. Schapiro, M.D. 2003

Monday, May 2, 2011

Life Upside Down - Eight months in

This past month has been a continuance of what I think now is a relapse. All of my symptoms, save the double vision, have been evident but accelerated. Worse in other words.  The new stuff is an exaserbation. And if I understand what that means correctly, it's the appearance of the new symptoms. Like the nausea and acid reflux. For the passed two months the Status Quo has changed. Symptoms are numerous.
So I'll try to explain the days I am having now.
Upon waking I have the normal duties of dog care. This I know by rote. I am most times refreshed and just attended to the dogs. Most times walking to the kitchen is accompanied with dizziness and balance issues. In truth, through out the day, if I am navigating, I am having at least some dizziness and some balance trouble.
As the day progresses. If I am sitting down at table or computer, I am usually not dizzy but lately I am nauseous. These bouts of nausea play tag with me all day. I haven't found the trigger. But I have found a help. Peppermint. Whether it is a little Altoid or a stick of gum it seems to quiet the trouble.
If the nausea has moved into acid reflux there is no help that I have found yet.
If we are heading out some where and I have to get ready to go, that brings on my cognitive trouble. The severity of this seems to be dictated by the hurry factor. If it is not a pressure to get ready I am only hindered some. The more rushed I feel the worse the symptom.
I have mentioned before that our lives have been kept low key for a long time. And it remains that way. Thankfully. This seems to be the best strategy against my cognitive problems.
An exception to the is the days of what I have heard termed "cog fog". These are just days when you're completely fogged in with cognitive problems. I have not found the trigger for this yet. They just are and we stay put or rely on Gregg to be the director. I thank God for this man every day.
Usually the mornings go with just these symptoms. Then as noon approaches I start to have weakness issues. In months past this would just entail the right hand. But lately that has changed to include both arms and hands. If I take a few minutes rest it will subside and then I can continue on with the day. This can come and go through out the day.
I have learned that even at times that I am not experience any symptom, if there is a seat available I take it. I am no longer embarrassed to sit down at any time. Even if at the moment I am feeling strong and like I could stand for hours. If there is a seat available I sit. This action may help the evening symptoms to be stayed or not so severe.
Which leads me to the evening. By the time dinner rolls around, the morning activities will tell on the evening.  I always have dizziness, balance issues and cog trouble while preparing dinner. Thankfully again my beloved steps in and lends his expertise.
After dinner and during the evening, I'll most likely start experiencing weakness in my upper body. Sometimes the entire body. I suppose this is just fatigue from the day's activity. And I suppose that when this shows itself for a whole day it's because I have over extended myself the day before.
As the evening progresses, my legs get there heaviness.  I realize now that  this is spasticity. I've had this symptom for several years. I realize now this was probably an indicator of the onset of my ms. It is most times in the late evening. It makes sleeping a challenge.
This passed month has been disheartening to me. I don't know why this has taken me aback. It's not like I didn't know this could happen. This is and will be a progressive disease. I guess I am naive. I just hope and pray I can be accepting of things as they are and live well.
As a side note:
When I was young my family would gather around the tv and watch a weekly program. One of the main characters had a very popular tag line. He would say "No brag. Just fact." when he was talking about something out of his life.
Since the explaining of my passed month may come across as complaining to some, that is really not my intent, I will say. "No Complaint. Just fact."
This month I'll be seeing my neurologist. It will be only the third time. I am, of course, a little nervous. I think things are going as well as they can. Hopefully he'll say the same.